As seen in The Maryland Coast Dispatch
Office 365, Microsoft’s premier software collaboration platform, is now the most widely used enterprise cloud service with 120 million business users worldwide. Cards Technology CEO Sam Card explains why Office 365 is so popular among businesses.
Q: Why is Office 365 better than just buying Microsoft Office’s desktop applications?
Sam Card: If you purchase Microsoft Office 2016 software, the software is soon outdated. You get updates and patches but not new versions. With Office 365, your apps are updated continually so you’re always up-to-date and your information is protected against the latest security threats. Software – especially Microsoft products – are high-level targets for hackers. If you use Office 2016, it’s left to you to make sure security patches and updates are installed. With Office 365, that all happens automatically so you’re always protected. Plus, Office 365 has more features available – like web apps and Skype for Business - than you get with the desktop version of Office 2016.
Q: Is Office 365 just for email?
SC: Office 365 is much more than email although most of the time businesses move to the cloud for a better email option. Once we’ve gotten Outlook up and running for them, we walk businesses through the other Office 365 features, teach them the basics and then ask them to decide what additional Office 365 apps they want to implement for their company. Normally, they will start with SharePoint, Microsoft’s document management and storage system, after Outlook because it’s the underlying support structure for Office 365.
Once you understand SharePoint, you can use Teams and other Office 365 apps like OneDrive. Most people think OneDrive is only cloud storage for personal files but it is also a tool for syncing SharePoint lists and OneDrive documents.
Q: Are there alternative, cloud-based collaboration platforms for businesses?
SC: There are two main cloud collaboration platforms – Office 365 and Google’s G Suite. In my experience, Office 365 blows Google away in these main areas: information protection, productivity, compatibility and collaboration.
Microsoft spends about a billion dollars a year on security. Google only spent $6 million between 2015 and 2010. If I have a confidential document in Office 365, I can take it off the network, put it on a flash drive, copy it to another computer, and it remains a confidential document. But, with G Suite, if you take a file out of the Google ecosystem, those special permissions for forwarding, copying and printing are lost and the document is no longer confidential.
Office 365 does a good job from the simplest needs to the most advanced. For one thing, most people are already familiar with Word, Excel, PowerPoint, etc. so they already know how to use the apps. With Google, you may have to learn a new system, and it’s not always fully compatible with Microsoft documents.