Office 365 and Office Online, an Inseparable Pair

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The most unfitting thing for a business to do is to spend money unnecessarily. That being said, regrettably there are plenty of those that have. However, in the case of Office 365, some businesses are a little bit shortsighted in how they view Office 365 including Office versus their standalone usage of the Office Suite. For most business decision makers Office 365 is considered as containing the Office with Word, PowerPoint, Excel and Outlook. Because most businesses are running Office they think they only need Office 365 with Exchange Online and Skype for Business. With addition of Skype for Business they believe they are gaining the greatest advantages of Office 365 with the lowest investment. However, the more limited Office 365 package without Office 2016 is not the value that it seems for most businesses.

Without Office 2016 online collaboration features, they lose the productivity improvement of having employees share files in the cloud, edit files in the cloud and simultaneously collaborate on files in the cloud. These productivity benefits are lost without Office 2016 online and that requires Office 365.

Additionally, too many companies examine Office 365 and determine it’s a specialized software application where employees in manufacturing or accounting don’t need the capabilities. The online features and collaboration capabilities are for employees in marketing, sales or operations. The conclusion is that those organizations need to communicate and share information with each other, partners and customers. The rest of business runs just fine with the existing information silos. That is almost never correct or true. True business transformation requires that the entire company is allowed to share information more quickly, act upon information more rapidly and manage processes and business interactions better across teams, departments and organizations. Office 365Premium supports business transformation.

Therefore, it is important that an application like Word or Excel can exist on a standalone PC as a draft, support multi-employee engagement during an online meeting with the group editing the document or spreadsheet online. However, few businesses ever attempt to quantify the benefits of online collaboration and the fiscal impact of the productivity improvement. Some months ago I developed a way to measure collaboration improvements within a business and the findings were surprising significant. Basically using collaborative tools saved even a small business tens of thousands of dollars per year. My research found that online collaboration via web conferencing can save a small business with 22 employees $46, 900 per year. A larger business with 100 employees could save in excess of $200,000. Both examples are well above the price difference of Office 365 with and without the Office 2016 Suite and online features.

I understand that the savings of using these collaborative tools will still be weighed against the cost of acquiring the new licenses and, perhaps, the unfulfilled ROI on the existing Office licenses. However, most businesses are performing that analysis and comparing it against an objective measure of the cost savings achieved through online collaboration. Indeed, it is a matter of how much the software will enable the company to become more productive by performing faster and cheaper thereby placing itself in a more competitive position. Both of which will grow the business more quickly and more profitably.

That is the power of moving the Office 2016 Suite into the cloud. And that is the power of Office 365.

David Byrd

David Byrd leads marketing and operations for CloudRoute. Prior to CloudRoute, he was CMO at ANPI, and CMO & EVP of sales at Broadvox.