Is Microsoft 365 the same as Office 365?

Microsoft 365 and Office 365 are one and the same as of April 2020 when Microsoft announced that Office 365 was officially renamed to Microsoft 365.

Think you already know all about Microsoft 365?

Think again because Microsoft Office 365 offers far more than basic access to programmes like Word, Excel and PowerPoint. Instead, it’s a collection of cloud-based services that keep your business running smoothly.

Which apps are included in Microsoft 365?

  • Word
  • Excel
  • Powerpoint
  • Microsoft Teams
  • Outlook
  • Onedrive

Why should you use Microsoft Office 365?

With Microsoft 365, gone are the days of worrying about maintaining your own servers to sync your team’s work. With its cloud properties, Office 365 does all the hard work for you. Through services like Outlook OneDrive and Teams, Office 365 provides the basis for all your business tasks, from the simple to the more complex, making it virtually indispensable for any small business.

What are the main benefits of Microsoft 365?

Access Files Wherever You Are

All your files are stored in the cloud and can therefore be accessed from any device or location as long as there is an internet connection. For many businesses, it is vital to be able to work out of the office so it is important to be able to access any files you need no matter where you are.

Secure Cloud Storage

High-security measures are in place to protect your files. These include two-factor authentication, threat detection, and anti-malware, which means that anyone unauthorised cannot access the files and threats are identified and stopped as quickly as possible. This is therefore particularly crucial for companies dealing with confidential matters and data.

Easier Budgeting

Since Microsoft 365 is a subscription paid monthly, it stays constant which helps you determine your budget with exact numbers in mind.

Improved Communication

Microsoft 365 enables companies to keep communication centralised through apps like Skype, Outlook and Teams. Skype makes it easy to organise meetings and calls with external parties anywhere in the world and Teams simplifies and speeds up communications between departments and internal employees. 

Regularly backed up files

When regularly backed up files are stored in the cloud, it ensures that if something disastrous happens to your devices, the files will not be lost and work can continue as normal.

Automatic Updates

All updates to each Microsoft 365 app are done at predetermined times, and automatically. This means you don’t have to lose sleep over being on the latest versions.  All updates are included in your subscription, eliminating the cost of buying new software.

Simple Collaboration Features

With Microsoft 365 you can share mailboxes, calendars, contacts, and documents. This means meetings can always be scheduled at times that suit everyone, people can access the same mailbox so emails can be filtered to it and never missed, and SharePoint also makes sharing documents easy and enables multiple users to edit at once.

What is Microsoft Outlook and what is it used for?

Microsoft 365 provides a simple, business-oriented email service called Outlook, It allows you to store both individual and communal team inboxes in a central location, meaning they can be accessed from almost anywhere in the world. 

Why use Outlook email?

Email is essential to the day-to-day running of pretty much every modern business. Yet many small businesses still rely on basic, default email services which, though free, are very limited. 

Other email services don’t usually have:

  • adequate storage
  • remote access
  • message back-ups
  • shared calendars

These inadequacies can hold back small businesses by reducing productivity and efficiency. Outlook on the other hand is for more than just sending and receiving emails, with Outlook you can also manage your calendar, store information of your contacts such as names and numbers, and track what tasks need doing. 

Additionally, you can use shared calendars and a global contact list to help your business to stay on track and remain productive. In Outlook, you can also use bcc to send an email without the recipient’s name or email address being shown to the other recipients of the email.

The Data loss prevention in Microsoft Outlook is multi-factor authentication, anti-spam, anti-phishing and anti-malware filtering, keeping your data protected. 

What is Microsoft OneDrive?

OneDrive is Microsoft’s answer to Dropbox. It allows you to store all your important files in one easy-to-access location through a cloud-hosted server. Not sure what that means? Read our helpful guide, ‘What is the cloud?

What is Onedrive used for?

OneDrive ensures that, when a team member makes changes to a file or document that’s shared on the cloud, everyone can access the latest version with minimal fuss.

Why should you use OneDrive?

We’ve all experienced the nightmare of losing an important file. Through syncing to the cloud using OneDrive, you can ensure your business’ hard work isn’t ruined by a broken computer.

Small businesses face enough challenges without unnecessary worries to contend with. When it comes to keeping your work safe, Microsoft 365 is a great solution.

What is Microsoft Teams?

Video conferencing software has been a lifeline for small businesses during recent events. Businesses have found new ways to connect with clients, and have even discovered new growth opportunities by embracing remote working. 

Microsoft Teams gives businesses an efficient way to host team calls, communicate and collaborate. That’s made easier still by integrating Microsoft Teams with Outlook, allowing meetings to be scheduled quickly and teams to stay on track. 

Teams can also be synced with office phone systems, Microsoft SharePoint and OneDrive, which can help businesses completely embrace remote working. Given the ever-changing nature of our workplace setups, many businesses are still learning how best to use these tools to boost productivity.

What are the benefits of Microsoft Teams?

The chat feature

  • Instead of using emails for asking simple questions or sending somebody a singular file, you can use chat, which helps decrease the overwhelming number of emails everyone receives.
  • You can share files in chat by simply attaching them in chat. Then you can have a quick call with your team about the file while still in the same window, allowing you to see the file while in the meeting. 
  • Chat can also be integrated with the other apps and used to schedule meetings, reducing the need to switch between apps while on a call.

Keeping information for projects in one place

  • Normally for a meeting you end up with a multitude of emails for one meeting because the agenda, actions you need to take and additional points are all discussed separately.
  • With Teams, once the meeting is created the agenda can be discussed between all participants in the same place the meeting was created.
  • This space can also have any other relevant information added for reading before the meeting so that everyone can see what will be discussed and gain a good understanding beforehand. 
  • After the meeting, all notes and actions can also be kept in the same place, along with the recording of the meeting that is automatically added.

Collaboration and accessibility features

  • When you create a document in teams, it will be automatically shared with everyone in the team so they can begin to co-author immediately. 
  • The mobile Teams app also means you can stay accessible and contactable from anywhere while still having all the information you could need in one place. This enables you to respond to chats at any time, keeping you in the loop.

IT service providers like Simblox can help you to maximise your Office 365 integrations to make sure everything runs smoothly, making for a seamless remote working experience.

Microsoft 365 subscriptions

For many years, Microsoft Office has been a staple of modern business. You’d be hard-pressed to find a single business not using at least one of its flagship programmes like Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook or Access.

What is the difference between Microsoft office subscriptions 2013 and 365?

It wasn’t so long ago that you’d need to buy an Office package for every one of your devices, and then repurchase to get the latest version. 

But with Microsoft 365 came the move from a per-device license to a per-user one. This welcome change means that you can now sign in and use Office on up to five different devices with every licence. 

You can also access Microsoft 365 on any device with an internet connection. With a subscription model, you pay a monthly fee for access to the most recent version of each programme. 

This means you don’t have to worry about constantly replacing your package, or seeing it expire unexpectedly. With the foundations taken care of, you can focus on the running of your business.

Microsoft Office 365 provides a great set of tools to help your small business grow. IT experts like Simblox can help you to find the subscription that best suits your business’ needs. 

Final thoughts on Microsoft 365

Businesses can use Microsoft 365 to manage many important processes simply and efficiently. From staying connected with colleagues to ensuring your work is backed up and secure, Microsoft 365 takes care of the basics, saving you time, money and resources long term.

Next steps

If you think your business could benefit from a Microsoft 365 subscription, or if you’d just like to learn more, get in touch with Simblox. You can also find out more about all of our cloud services here.