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Making the Switch to Microsoft 365 in 2021

With over 120 million users across the globe, Microsoft 365 is obviously one of the most popular software platforms on the market. How did Microsoft corner this market with this wildly popular software, and why should your business consider making the switch to Microsoft 365 in 2021?

Microsoft: Then and Now

Microsoft Office hasn’t always been the sleek software it is now. In 1990, the company launched the first version, Office for Windows (otherwise known as Microsoft Office 1.0). Keep in mind that back then, using a mouse was a luxury and your data entry revolved around your prowess with your keyboard. This is the ancient world of DOS, where formatting and printing were done by hand in a series of codes and commands. Microsoft Office 1.1 was considered cutting edge for its time, and the early version of Word began to pull people away from the reigning champion of the time, the now forgotten WordPerfect.

As part of its bundling of services, Microsoft Office 1.1 also included early versions of PowerPoint and Excel. As time marched on, so did Microsoft Office. The platform continued to update but still only contained Word, PowerPoint, and Excel. In 1996, however, the upgrades took on a new shape with the addition of Microsoft Office Assistant. Admit it, you loved that little dancing paperclip.

Microsoft Word truly came into its own in 2003 with the version many business owners will probably remember as the “first.” The Windows version was now XP; we were still technologically in the infancy stages, paving the way for the powerful tools we take for granted now. In 2007, the Word program began including a “ribbon” we all know and love, allowing businesses to create sleek and professional documents.

Through 2010, Microsoft Office began to dabble in Office Web Apps that allowed users to connect multiple devices to one network as well as Touch and cloud solutions.

We are currently in Microsoft Office’s 2019 version now that Microsoft Windows 7 End of Life has come and gone, with full cloud integration and many more tools available than ever before.  Microsoft 365 is not only more productive and efficient than other platforms, it is user-friendly and affordable for your business. Add to that the world-wide name recognition of Microsoft 365, and you’ll see why it’s currently the largest platform used by businesses around the globe today and why your business should consider making the switch to Microsoft 365 in 2021.

Microsoft 365 Offers Security, Ease of Use, and a Suite of Tools at Your Command

Microsoft 365 has many of the tools you are familiar with, like Outlook, many you never heard of, like Publisher, and many you never even knew you needed, like Teams.

Features and Apps

Basic subscribers will receive many apps as part of their packages, with premium subscriptions having access to more. Based on your subscription, your Microsoft 365 can include:

Excel – An intuitive spreadsheet with multiple applications and automated features

Publisher – Publisher application for professional looking documents

Exchange – an email and calendar server

Teams – Groups, chat features, audio and video meeting capabilities, and more

Word – The premier word processor program with multiple templates and highly customizable features

Planner- An all-in-one task organizer that simplifies and breaks down tasks into manageable pieces

OneNote – an information collaboration and gathering

Outlook – An email client as well as a personal organizer and calendar plus many more features.

PowerPoint – Slide presentations made easy

SharePoint –Share documents to groups or across an entire organization, allow edits to the documents and more

Skype for Business – Instant messaging software platform

Microsoft 365 offers features across many devices including tablets (Android and iPads), Macs, PC’s, iPhones and Androids.

Routine Security Patches

You know that cybersecurity is a constant worry for small to medium-sized businesses as well as large enterprises. Microsoft 365 offers privacy protection, layers of security measures, proactive monitoring and routine security patches to address evolving threats.

Microsoft 365’s security is not a complete solution by itself for any small to medium-sized business, but it can be an important part of an overall cybersecurity strategy.

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Affordability

Making the switch to Microsoft 365 can save you money with flexible package options, cloud solutions, and increased employee productivity and efficiency.

Microsoft 365 Offers Flexible Subscriptions

Microsoft 365 can be purchased in many ways including monthly and yearly subscriptions. It also offers several package levels, so it’s possible to customize your employees’ Office 365  to your employee’s needs.

Making the Switch to Microsoft 365 in 2020 Means Never Paying for Updates

With your subscription to Microsoft 365, your software will update regularly with no effort or additional money needed from your business. Free upgrades will ensure your organization is always using the newest features as they come available from Microsoft.

Save Money on Hardware

When you make the switch to Microsoft 365, you are making a switch to cloud-based services and features. This means that you won’t need to invest in a lot of new hardware to run the platform and apps.

Cloud Computing Means Flexibility for Your Workforce

One of the biggest appeals of Microsoft 365 is the flexibility that cloud computing offers your teams. Cloud storage means your employees can access email, files and other data wherever they are, whenever they need it.

Sign in From Anywhere

Whether your employees are on the road, working remotely, or in-office, they will all have access to everything they need from multiple devices. Data saved on a PC can be easily accessed on mobile devices, for instance, and work done on mobile devices can be found on workstations in the office. This means increased productivity for you since your employees are no longer chained to their desks and desktop devices.

Bring Your Workforce Together with Teams

Iconic IT relies on Microsoft Teams for many reasons. Group chats, file sharing, specialized team groups, video and audio meetings are all possible with this app. You can have crystal clear meetings from all across the globe with Team’s easy to use video and audio call options. These meetings can be recorded, screens can be shared to display key points or slideshows, and more.

Making the Switch to Microsoft 365 in 2021: Work Smarter, not Harder

Microsoft 365 provides the tools your office needs to run smoothly and efficiently and increase productivity. These apps are user-friendly, customizable and intelligent. Office 365 allows your business to streamline administrative tasks and processes so everyone in your organization is on the same page.

Ready to try it for yourself? How about a free 90 day trial of Microsoft 365 to get you started.  Explore the features and apps for yourself and see how making the switch to Microsoft 365 can improve your efficiency, save you money, and keep your employees working productively.

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