Microsoft Office 365 for Small and Mid-Size Businesses

Microsoft Office 365 for Small and Mid-Size Businesses

Touted as an “online productivity suite”, Microsoft Office 365 makes it easy and affordable for small businesses to get into the cloud without shifting away from the familiar Microsoft products they are already using. The Microsoft Office 365 “toolbox” includes email, collaboration, communications (IM and audio/video conferencing) and Office Web Apps.

Here are a few reasons we believe Microsoft Office 365 is an excellent way for SMBs to enter the cloud:

Security
Office 365 applications are accessed through 128-bit SSL/TSL encryption so that if a transmission is intercepted by someone without authorization, they won’t be able to read it. Antivirus signatures are kept up to date, and security measures are applied in accordance with the Microsoft Trustworthy Computing initiative. Exchange Online uses Forefront Online Protection for Exchange (FOPE) to protect mail messages from malware, and it uses anti-spam filtering and antivirus with multiple virus engines. Microsoft monitors the security systems continuously for suspicious activity and has a robust incident response protocol in place. Microsoft also does regular security audits.

Reliability
Microsoft’s service level agreement (SLA) and has a 99.9 percent scheduled uptime. Because Microsoft has multiple data centers all over the world, when there is an outage at one data center, customers are transferred to another data center with little disruption.

Compliance
Microsoft Office 365 services have been certified as compliant with ISO 27001 standards, completed SAS70 Type I and II audits, and achieved the EU Safe Harbor seal. Microsoft has also added controls for helping customers comply with HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) and FERPA (Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act).

Compatibility
Since businesses are using a variety of operating systems, Microsoft Office 365 was designed to work with a wide variety of operating systems, including Windows 7, Vista, Windows XP and Mac OS X. The online Office 365 web portal can be access by Internet Explorer 7 or later, Mozilla Firefox 3.x, or Apple Safari 3.x.

Updated Versions
Microsoft 365 provides all the features and functionality of the very latest versions of Microsoft’s server products, which means business get all the advantages of using the most recent applications available.

Exchange Online
Exchange Online gives businesses the benefits of Exchange Server 2010 without the cost and overhead of deploying it in-house. The benefits of Microsoft Exchange Server are many, including easy of access, security, disaster recovery, business continuity and compliance. The anytime, anywhere access is essential for businesses to remain productive during unforeseen outages.

SharePoint Online
SharePoint Online enables seamless collaboration. SharePoint works with all Microsoft Office 2010 applications, including Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Access, Outlook, InfoPath, SharePoint Designer, and SharePoint Workspace and can be accessed by all popular browsers. SharePoint sites are protected against viruses and malware by Forefront Security for SharePoint.

Lync Online
Lync Online is the communications service component of Office 365 and enables instant messaging, audio and video calling between PCs, Web conferencing and presence. Lync integrates with Outlook so users can find and communicate with others from within Outlook.

Office Web Apps
With Office Web Apps users can have access to Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote, and you can create or edit content and post it to your SharePoint site or save it in your SkyDrive folder no matter where you are or which computer you are using. Users can view files on many popular mobile devices, including Windows phones, iPhone, Blackberry, Nokia, and devices with Opera Mobile 8.65 or Openwave 6.2 and later.

Is Microsoft Office 365 right for your business? Contact ACE IT Solutions at 908-704-0400, we’ll assess your current IT infrastructure and determine the most cost effective cloud solution to meet your business’ needs.