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Want to know why 100 million people have moved to Office 365?

Did you know that there are now more than 100 million active Office 365 users? It’s a big number and it’s growing by an estimated 2.5 million every month.

As the world’s most popular business productivity suite, Microsoft Office has finally transitioned from a clunky set of online pseudo applications launched in 2011, to the seriously dynamic cloud-based application it is today that we know as Office 365.

And while Office 365 revenue has now overtaken conventional licence sales of Office, there are still many who have not yet gotten past the poor press that the earlier versions received to see what transformative value this latest incarnation offers.

So here are 10 reasons why Office 365 will be right for you – and why your legacy software may no longer be the best option going forward.

Work on the move

No matter where you are, whether you’re on a train, at home or even dipping in and out of your email while on holiday, you can work anywhere at any time with Office 365. Long gone are the days of being glued to an office workspace – you can now put your smartphones and tablets to better use and work on the move, increasing the productivity of your business.

Predictable costs

As a subscriber service, there are no upfront purchases required. You get a flexible contract with fixed, clear monthly ‘per user’ charges where you can mix and match plans to suit your business and user needs. Budget planning is a lot simpler because of it too.

No more licensing headaches

Previously, knowing what licences you needed could be a real challenge, particularly if different applications and releases were in use. Office 365 includes all the licensing required, and everyone has access to the same software at the same time.

Security

Cloud-based storage services invariably make people think about security. Office 365 makes use of 128-bit SSL/TSL encryption which ensures that even if data is intercepted, it cannot be read. Microsoft enacts a policy known as the Security Development Lifecycle, which ensures that data is secure and safe when developing, deploying and maintaining data.

Evergreen

Office 365 will always include the latest edition of Office technology, which means you won’t have to buy another copy of Office to upgrade, as all changes will be brought to the current software. This saves businesses from having to reinvest in new versions of Office to access the latest developments in the software.

No more patches and maintenance

Office 365 also means Microsoft is taking care of keeping everything up to date and ship shape. The Service includes all of the traditional behind-the-scenes IT support within the licence, so you can free up time and resources for other projects and needs.

Always be unified

Regardless of device you happen to be using, because your email, calendar, contacts and other Office 365 apps are synchronised in the cloud, updating information on one device is automatically updated across the rest.

Reduce your hardware and energy needs

Because it’s a cloud based service, there’s no need for in-house servers. Less equipment means fewer energy requirements and ultimately less space.

Use O365 on up to 5 devices

The days of one licence for every device are well and truly behind us. Now, as you move about you can bring your Office 365 access with you, switching between desktop, mobile, tablet and so on up to 5 devices. All automatically in sync in the cloud.

Disaster Prevention

With old versions of Office, data is stored locally, which means you have to rely on your own backup procedures to ensure the safety of data. With Office 365, Microsoft provides data protection and backup in the cloud, which you can access whenever you want, wherever you are.

As with most things in life, the process of moving to Office 365 can be a mixed bag. For very small organisations it can be a simple DIY job. For slightly larger businesses, the process can be straightforward, but there may be some degree of complexity depending on your legacy set up and arrangements. However, with the right tools, approach and support, Office 365 will quickly make its place at home within your business and will help your users collaborate and operate far more effectively.

If you’re still sitting on the fence, or if you’ve decided to move forward with Office 365, we’re here to help. To learn more about us and what we do, check out our Office 365 page, or get in touch at info@bcn.co.uk.

How Cloud Computing Can Solve Your Business Problems

 

Cloud computing can be an organisation’s best and most reliable resource when it comes to solving business challenges.

Key challenges facing businesses today – including expensive IT, mobility restrictions, and limited growth capacity – can all be solved by migrating to cloud computing and an increased reliance on Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) programs.

Problem 1: Expensive IT Costs

Solution: Organisations must accommodate increasing demand for new IT capabilities and services, however economic uncertainty and rising costs of materials can cause a roadblock along the way.  Cloud computing presents an economic advantage by providing IT solutions at a lower cost and increased access to data from virtually any device.

Problem 2: Mobility Restrictions

Solution: Mobility is an increasing IT challenge, and nothing tackles this challenge more completely than cloud computing. Businesses are eager for increased mobility of business applications on smartphones, which rely on timely updates only available from cloud-based software management. Cloud-based providers solve the challenge of mobility by providing service updates almost immediately, which bring enormous productivity gains.

Problem 3: Limited Growth Capacity

Solution: Although business growth is the primary goal and motivation of all businesses, it quickly presents a challenge of being able to support the extra amount of data that new growth brings. The cloud can hold an unprecedented amount of data and cloud technology can be continuously scaled up or down to fit a company’s changing needs.

Problem 4: Lack of Inter-organisation data sharing & collaborations

Solution: Lack of cross- organisation data sharing can lead to misinformed decision making. Cloud computing resolves this by facilitating faster, easier and more extensive data sharing between departments and offices within your business. The also aids collaboration within the organisations.

 

About BCN Group
BCN Group is an IT Service and solutions provider based in Cheshire with a client base covering Cheshire, Manchester, Stockport and throughout the UK.

Our key focus areas are: virtualisationstoragehosted solutionsdisaster recoverybusiness continuityIT consultancy network support services. Follow us on twitter: @bcn_group

 

 

The shift towards the Cloud is well underway…

 According to Paul Roberts, Citrix enterprise mobility senior product specialist, the shift towards cloud computing and mobility are indelibly linked, with the shift towards the cloud already well underway – and the goal of mobility to get apps and data to people and devices.

“There’s a few businesses that are actually in the cloud, but most organisations are still based on traditional client/server applications. But there’s a shift happening,” said Roberts, who was speaking at the recent Computing Enterprise Mobility Summit.

Even banking groups are now looking upon the IT hardware that they need to support vast swathes of their business as a hindrance, he added, which they would rather offloaded to Amazon, Rackspace, Microsoft or other providers of cloud computing services – in particular, for non-core activities such as storing marketing and other materials.

Read more

To find how the cloud can benefit your business, contact us on 0845 095 7000.

About BlueCoffee Networks

BlueCoffee Networks is a dynamic, fresh thinking, independent IT solutions provider covering Manchester, Stockport, Cheshire and the UK. Our key focus areas are virtualisation, storage, disaster recovery, business continuity,consultancy and support services. BlueCoffee Networks have strategic alliances with many of the big known and trusted manufactures such as VMware, Microsoft, Citrix, HP, Cisco, Hitachi and many more.

Why small & midsize business success could lie up in the clouds

As well as enabling a low-cost, efficient virtual company structure, cloud services offer a new way of working.

The facts are simple. Prior to the internet, you would purchase software, usually with a licence, and install and run it on your computers. Under the cloud model, the software is run online by a third-party provider, and you access it through your internet browser. You never install anything on your own computer, and you never actually ‘own’ any software: rather than buying a product, you’re renting a service.

To understand why cloud computing is such a game-changer, we need to look in more depth at the reasons why the cloud (also known as ‘Software as a Service’ or SaaS) is so different, and how it creates business-friendly benefits.

Make IT our problem

First off, there’s just no technology for you to worry about. When you sign up, you get to use the software without worrying about installing it, maintaining it, downloading updates or keeping it secure. You also won’t need a server or any of the other additional IT investment that larger suites of software used to require. All that is taken care of by your service provider.

Predictable and economical – a business-friendly financial model

The greatest benefit of the cloud, however, is financial. With cloud services, there is no upfront cost. You’ll pay a low, predictable, flat-rate monthly fee per user for the software that you use; and that means that you can scale up or down as your business needs demand. When you take on more staff, you can switch on new licenses immediately, and similarly turn off the tap if you scale down.

Unlike installed software, you will also always have access to the latest version. When a new version of a service is released, it is instantly made available to all subscribers, giving you access to tools which will keep your business at peak competitiveness.

Running software online also brings with it some inherent benefits:

  • Work from anywhere: software which was installed on a computer only ran on that computer. Today’s business owners work from home and airport lounges as well as the office; and with the cloud, you will not only always have access to your software, you can also log in and simply pick up where you left off.
  • Collaborate with colleagues, clients and suppliers: you can share access to your cloud workspaces. That means you can work on documents, proposals, presentations etc. with other people, and expand the boundaries of your office to clients, too.
  • Cut the risk of crisis and speed up disaster recovery: one of the key economies of scale involved in cloud computing is that a good cloud provider will have better security and resilience than you can ever hope to afford. They will store your data safely and securely. If your office was broken into (or, more likely, you leave your laptop on a train), your data is still safe and immediately accessible online from another machine.

The security question

Solid providers will explain their security methodologies and commitment to you. Microsoft’s Office 365, for example, has a Trust Center here, with documents which clearly outline their promise. Your provider should also give you an SLA, or ‘Service Level Agreement’ which commits to delivering, for example, a guaranteed level of ‘uptime’ (i.e. ensuring that their service will be available for e.g. 99.9% of the time).

Plus, the range of cloud delivered software is now as broad as anything you might buy in a shop. The Office 365 package includes email, calendars, conferencing, website building tools and access to the Microsoft Office desktop tools used by millions of businesses worldwide. Other services will keep your computers secure, manage projects, help you stay in touch with your customers, and indeed anything else you can think of – including plenty designed for specific business sectors. Few businesses today can escape technology completely, and few should want to – it’s a key driver of commercial competitiveness. But the cloud can make unlocking that competitiveness simple, flexible and free of upfront expense.

About BCN Group

BCN Group is a dynamic, fresh thinking, independent IT solutions provider covering Manchester, Stockport, Cheshire and the UK. Our key focus areas are virtualisation, storage, disaster recovery, business continuity,consultancy and support services. We have strategic alliances with many of the big known and trusted manufactures such as VMware, Microsoft, Citrix, HP, and many more.

Should you be interested in learning more about Cloud Computing and how it can benefit your business, call us on 0345 095 7000 or email sales@bcn.co.uk.