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Technology
Mar 1, 2016

Your 'How To' Guide To Office 365

Sponsored Content provided by Robbie Garner - President and CEO, Atlantic Computer Services

I’m sure you’ve heard plenty about Office 365. As you probably already know, “O365” is, in its simplest form, a new licensing model for popular Office products like Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and others. What you may not realize is that the features of O365 go well beyond this.
 
I always start by providing my clients general information about O365, its features and an overview of what it will take to migrate existing email, contacts, calendar and other business assets to help them decide if it is the right product for their needs. If you are wondering if O365 is right for your business, here are some things to consider.
 
O365 is broken down into a few different plans. Microsoft actually kept the number of options to a minimum. I like this as it makes it much easier to determine which one fits your business. Start at this link to compare O365 plans for your business.
 
The most popular plan offered is the Business Premium plan. It includes local copies of the most popular office products (Excel, Word and others), hosted Exchange email, Skype for Business, 1TB (yes, 1TB!) of OneDrive storage space, and much more. From the Premium O365 Plan, you can move down to what is essentially just hosted Exchange, or move up to plans that include voice service. For most folks, the Business Premium plan is the most appropriate.
 
The prices displayed on that page I linked to above are per user/per month. O365 is a subscription service. For the Business Premium plan, you’d pay $12.50 per user/per month. If you work through a reseller, such as us here at ACS, the price remains the same.
 
At ACS, for example, we can bill you monthly. You can manage this on your own through the O365 Admin portal, but there is much that a company like ours can do for you when it comes to implementing and using O365, so weigh your options carefully (and keep reading).
 
Once you’ve decided that O365 is for you, you’ll need to consider the migration. Your business will need to get all email, calendars, contacts and possibly raw file data from wherever they currently reside into the O365 platform. This can be a huge process.
 
There is always the manual approach, which is exporting a .pst file from your current email system and importing it to your new O365 account. You’ll also have to point your email records (mx records) to the O365 portal. Obviously, depending on the size of your organization, these “simple” tasks can seem overwhelming. Plus, there is always the risk of errors, technical glitches and potentially lost data. This is why I recommend using an IT company that has plenty of O365 experience to help you through the process.
 
At ACS, for example, we have software tools that can assist with the migration. We can copy all of your existing data from your current system into the O365 platform in the background while you continue to work. We can kick off the process weeks ahead of your scheduled cutover date. We’d finish up on a Friday afternoon, and then on Monday morning your folks would come in and be up and running in O365! It would be smooth and seamless for you.
 
Once we complete migrations for our clients at ACS, we continue working with them to help them take full advantage of the additional features of O365.
 
Things like SharePoint Team Pages are a great way to share data inside your organization. How about using the video conferencing and online collaboration features inside Skype? You’ll have tools at hand that only larger companies had the resources to provide a few years ago. We can help you maximize the potential of O365 and increase your business’ efficiency.
 
So what are you waiting for? Sign up for that free trial and check it out. We’d love to help you, so contact us today for our expert assistance.
 
There’s a reason why so many organizations look to Atlantic Computer Services for the IT support they need to grow their business, and that’s because ACS provides honest, reliable, knowledgeable and friendly service. The company's goal is to serve as a technology partner, offering solutions that are affordable, uncomplicated and in the best interest of each individual client. Learn more about ACS, its services and its people at www.acs-ilm.com, or call (910) 799-6538.
 

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