Office 365 email is an excellent choice for smaller businesses.

To users, it looks just like the Exchange they recognize from an on-premise server so it’s a seamless adjustment for them to make.  For business owners, it delivers outstanding data security, uptime and removes hardware from your server room.

Here are more reasons why Office 365 email works for smaller businesses:

Automatic Upgrades

Tired of the expense of upgrading hardware and Exchange software every 3-5 years?  Once you migrate to Office 365, upgrades are handled by Microsoft, and you no longer have the capital expense of a new Exchange server.  You will, however, need to keep the client-side version of Outlook current.

Access and Syncing

Office 365 is easily accessible anywhere, anytime, from any device, and your actions sync across devices.  So, if you mark an email “unread” on your smartphone, the email will show as unread on all other devices.  Plus, calendars sync so that appointments don’t get lost between devices.

Uptime and Reliability

Your email is stored in Microsoft data centers and their Service Level Agreement (SLA) for Office 365 offers a financially-backed, 99.9% uptime guarantee. Worldwide uptimes since Q4 2013 are available on Microsoft’s website.

Compliance and Security

Microsoft has invested billions of dollars into its infrastructure to deliver the highest levels of security and meet compliance requirements.  Even if your company is not required to meet compliance guidelines, Microsoft data centers provide substantially better security than you can provide on your own.  In addition, Microsoft takes this commitment seriously and will share with you where your data is located and who has access to your data.

Management

Office 365 email offers excellent management tools for your IT provider, allowing reporting, adding accounts, password resets, etc. to be completed with ease.

Cost

Remember that moving to Office 365 email may not result in cost-savings over time.  Over a three-year period for 50 users, it’s about the same as running your own Exchange servers.  However, in our opinion the other benefits of Office 365 email make it worthwhile.

When you decide to make the change, remember that it takes skill to efficiently migrate the mailboxes from your current system (even if it’s an Exchange server) to Office 365 email.  Retain a knowledgeable IT team to handle the migration for you and to provide ongoing support.