If someone asked you what Microsoft Office was, you probably have the answer. It’s the suite of tools that includes Word, Excel and PowerPoint that seems to be on almost every computer.

But what if you were asked what Microsoft Office 365 was? Do you know the difference?

If you are a small-sized businesses, you no doubt have read that Office 365 will better your productivity and make life easier. But what exactly is Office 365, and why should you believe the hype?

Here is what you need to know.

What Microsoft Office 365 is not

Office 365 is not like traditional software that comes in a box.

• It’s not installed on your desktop PC or Mac.
• You cannot buy a perpetual license.

What Microsoft Office 365 is

Office 365 is what is called Cloud software.

• It is installed on a server somewhere outside your office (even in another country).
• You access Office 365 via a web browser (IE, Firefox, Chrome etc.).
• You pay a monthly or annual license fee (subscription) for the software.

Office 365 – Same software, only better

Despite being hosted online, everything still works the same as the traditional boxed versions of Office.

• Access to all your favorite applications: Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook.
• The same functions and features, running in your web browser.
• The same user experience so there’s no loss in productivity when you switch.

Office 365 – Financial benefits

Cloud software can sound complicated. But there are definite financial advantages.

• Lower cost to add new licenses.
• No more upgrade fees. New versions are included in the subscription fee and updated for you.
• Office 365 support services included in license fee.

Office 365 – Practical benefits

Cloud software offers your business a competitive advantage.

• Per user licensing allows you to use Office 365 with up to 5 devices per subscription.
• Access the productivity suite anytime, any place and on any device via the Cloud.
• Online file storage and real-time collaboration tools for improved productivity.
• Immediate access to the latest tools (Office 16) to boost productivity.

Office 365 – Even more power

But that’s not all. There’s more included with each subscription:

• Fully managed Microsoft Exchange Server email functionality.
• Conferencing and messaging services via Skype For Business to help you stay in touch.
• Share files using OneDrive for Business storage to collaborate with remote employees.

Office 365 – Reduces IT cost

Office 365 can save you money in other ways too.

• Lower Office support costs. Office 365 support covers everything to do with Office, which can save you money.
• Improved availability since all services are covered by Microsoft’s 99.9% uptime agreement.
• Improved security. Get enterprise-class security provisions to keep your data safer than your own company server can.

Why you should add Office 365

Office 365 is worth the move to the Cloud because:

• It is effectively a cheaper and better way to run the Office tools you already use.
• It allows you to create a mobile workforce quickly (BYOD).
• It allows you to stay up-to-date while keeping an eye on your budget.
• It removes almost all of the operational headaches associated with IT.

If you are looking to add Microsoft Office 365 to your business, take a look at each of myhosting’s business plans. With each subscription you can get full onboarding, email migration and ongoing 24/7 support.

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