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May 4, 2016
By David Byrd
By David Byrd
As I’ve discussed, some habits are difficult to overcome. Businesses like to own assets. There’s familiarity and comfort with buying software in a box, installing it, putting the box on a shelf and knowing it’s always there. But Office 365 can be an excellent entry point to cloud for a customers with the right legacy software mix, end user experience level and business strategy.
Once you identify a company where 365 might be a good fit, it’s time to make the case. Here are 8 selling points:
1. Your end users know it. Office 2016, the core of Office 365, delivers Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneDrive and Outlook. These applications have been standard for knowledge workers for many years, and as a result, have a substantial following. Familiarity allows employees to be more productive. And, as Microsoft has moved these applications into the cloud, it has added features and functionality.
2. Skype is integrated. That brings instant messaging between employees and individuals on the Skype network. It also supports presence, showing whether an employee is idle, busy, on a call or in a meeting. If the person you need is in a meeting, why call? Instead, send an instant message, which can be answered without interrupting the meeting.
3. It can deliver UC. In addition to IM, presence and voice, Skype has been expanded to include a cloud PBX. By integrating the cloud PBX, IM, presence and voice, Microsoft has entered the domain of unified communications. UC businesses benefits include increased employee productivity, accelerated decision-making, improved collaboration and making gold out of base metal. Okay, maybe the last point is a bit of a stretch. But UC is a much-desired capability and, with Office 365, is delivered at a very attractive price point.
4. SharePoint is part of the deal. Skype for Business is an effective collaboration tool supporting conferencing and interactive online meetings. Office 365 also includes SharePoint for additional collaboration functions, Yammer for social networking within the business or as a business intranet.
5. You can pay by the month and pick your plan. Office 365 is paid for through a monthly subscription fee. A business can choose among seven plans determining which will best fit its infrastructure requirements business needs. Use of Office 365 also eliminates infrastructure such as servers, heating, air conditioning, power and space.
6. Storage is included. Moving to the cloud provides off-site storage, a minimum of 1 terabyte per employee with business continuity; higher-end plans include more. Flooding, fires or other catastrophic events will not impact company data as it is now safely stored in the cloud. Employees are able to work from anywhere, at any time, using their desired devices.
7. You can provide it on personal devices. Office 365 provides each employee five installation device options, either multiple PCs, tablets or smartphones.
8. Maintenance and adding accounts are easy. With Office 365, upgrades and maintenance releases are provided automatically without service disruptions or additional costs. As a cloud service, it is easy to scale the number of users up or down, fully engage and support remote workers, and customize services for each user.
Need one more?
Last year, per Pew Research Center, Millennials passed Generation Xers as the largest represented cadre of American workers, with 53.5 million employed — more than one in three workers are part of the Millennial generation, classified as those 18 to 34 years old. They expect mobility, and that means cloud. Office 365 includes social-oriented search technology called Delve, which is a natural for Millennials.
David Byrd leads marketing and operations for CloudRoute. Prior to CloudRoute, he was CMO at ANPI, and CMO & EVP of sales at Broadvox.
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