Technology is changing the face of how businesses, big and small, compete in the market-place. Historically the latest innovations were only an option for big companies, with big budgets. This is no longer the case. The advancement of digital technologies (like Office 365) have the power to enable a 3 person business to be as productive as a 30 person business. Ultimately Office 365 can give your small business the opportunity to be more agile, more responsive and provide a superior customer experience.
Many SME’s are faced with concerns when considering Office 365. You’re keen to innovate and grow but have likely questioned; will it cost too much? Are we too small to get the benefits? The answer is no. But rather than telling you how great Office 365 is (because we already know), we’ve compiled a list of the top customer concerns, and put them into context:
It seems like a simple concern, but for many of our customers it’s a real one. For small businesses every second counts to stay competitive and being dependent on internet up-time is a tangible risk. The good news is that with Office 365, you can work from anywhere. Even if the internet is down, it doesn’t have to mean your business is too. Staff can simply pick up their laptop, and connect to Wi-Fi from home or the local coffee shop.
And… if there really is no option to connect to Wi-Fi, don’t panic, because with Office 365 you have the option to work offline. As soon as you connect to the internet again, everything you’d been working on will be saved & synced!
As a small business, you need to fully utilise your resource, to get maximum output. Therefore collaboration is essential to every business, big or small. With Office 365, your staff can work together in real time using shared calendars, instant messenger, online conferencing and document management. Even if their projects don’t cross paths, having all applications within one interface can increase productivity by up to 40%. Meaning you get more done, in less time.
The opposite is true, the communication tools within Office 365 are made to empower staff. Skype for Business is they key communication tool within Office 365. Rather than distracting, it actually allows your people to be more productive. You can choose an availability status, so that you’re busy or in a meeting, you won’t be disturbed. Even when your staff are on the road, or at off-site meetings, they can still be reached via Skype for Business on their mobile device. So in reality, less distraction, more action!
Many small business owners want to avoid adding to their monthly out goings, and often believe a one off up-front cost will save money in the long run. As mentioned above, Office 365 should be treated like any other investment, so you need to think about the benefits it will bring to your company rather than just ticking a box.
With Office 365 the benefits are endless, with better accessibility, mobility, security, simplicity and collaboration to name but a few. You’ll also benefit from free updates to the latest versions – so you’ll get the latest Office functionality as it is released, without incurring additional costs.
Greens Food Fare, a 3 user organisation (an Xperience Group customer) is benefiting from increased productivity, slicker processes and better collaboration. Gary Browne, Financial Controller at Greens Food Fare explains “Essentially everything looks much the same on the screen – all the familiar applications. But the functionality is certainly slicker and I’d say the tab system is better”.
Gary concludes that “The main benefit is that it’s great to be able to share, collaborate on and manage documents in the cloud. I can just log in on my phone, laptop, tablet or whatever and be sure of getting instant access to the latest versions of our files. Most importantly, I can be confident that the built-in security plus compliance and privacy controls will keep our data safe.”
Like any other investment, you are right to consider what is and isn’t a good fit for your business. But it’s also important to take your broader business objectives into consideration and think about Office 365 as a tool that will improve inefficiencies, streamline processes and accelerate business growth.
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