Microsoft 365 vs. Office 365

Are you considering investing in Microsoft 365? Whether you already use the Microsoft Office Suite and are now thinking of switching, or thinking of opting for this Microsoft product as your first Office tool, this blog can help. We’ll review the pros and cons of Microsoft 365 to help you determine if it is the right fit.

Let’s start with what Microsoft 365 is. Microsoft 365 is a suite of Microsoft Office programs that includes email client, spreadsheet, presentation, document, calendar/reminder, collaboration, and chat tools.

How is it different from the regular Office package?

Unlike the regular Office package, Microsoft 365 is web-based. That means all your data is stored in the cloud and retrieved from there every time you need to access it. It is not necessary to store the software on your computer, though you also have the option to install it if you wish.

What are the pros and cons of Office 365?

  1. The regular Office package stores your data locally, on a computer. When you store your data locally, there are chances of downtime and data loss if the hard disk becomes corrupted or fails. Furthermore, you need to have access to the specific computer or hard disk it is stored on to have access to the data. Since Microsoft 365 is web-based, your data is accessible from anywhere.
  2. Office 365 uses encryption, so, in general, your data is safer than it would be on the desktop version of Office suite. Plus, the security in cloud-based storage is generally stronger than what you get when storing at the local level.
  3. Office 365 offers more storage space compared to the traditional version of Microsoft Office. In the traditional version, when you use Outlook email client, the emails are stored on your hard drive, slowing down your system and eventually making you run out of space, forcing you to delete a lot of those older emails. Oftentimes we see that clients don’t want to lose old emails. Maybe they find them all too important to let go of, or they don’t want to spend time browsing through hundreds of them deciding which ones to delete. In any case, Office 365 comes with 50GB of storage space for emails, so you don’t have to worry about this issue.
  4. Office 365, being the most recent version of Microsoft Office, is one of the most efficient versions. It has updates and improvements that can boost your productivity better than the traditional Office Suite. Microsoft is continuously at work, innovating to make Office 365 more efficient.
  5. Office 365 is mobile compatible and has an app that you can use on your phone to access and edit your Office files anytime, anywhere. Since the files are in the cloud, multiple people may work on the files simultaneously.
  6. In the traditional set-up, you are paying for installing and using the software program on each individual device. That means staff working remotely from home or other locations, won’t have access to the programs. With Office 365, you are paying per license, irrespective of the device you are using. That means anyone can access it, from anywhere, using their credentials.
  7. When you subscribe to Office 365, you can pay the licensing fee on a monthly basis. It is more of a pay-as-you-go format. In the traditional Office set-up, you had to pay for the number of licenses you bought, then they were yours to keep–but they were tied to the device you bought them for, meaning legally, you could install them only on one device.

No matter how intuitive a software suite is to install and use, making sure it is regularly updated, the security patches are in place, and the tool is in compliance with industry regulations and standards, can be time-consuming–especially when you have a business to run and clients to attend to. Consider getting assistance from a Managed Services Provider (MSP), like Accelerate, who is authorized and partnered with Microsoft to provide Office 365 services for you. Office 365 also has multiple versions of it–each suitable for different business sizes/uses. Your MSP will guide you through which version suits your needs best based on your business and industry. Contact us today for more information.

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