With so many different versions of Office software, it can get a bit confusing when trying to figure out which is best for you. For business users, there are two main versions of Microsoft Office, each of which have benefits but with one clear winner.
This is a subscription-based version of the Microsoft Office software. Subscriptions have distinct advantages in the business world:
Your software is always up to date. Why is this important? Technology moves at a rapid pace and it can be a burden on IT departments trying to keep up with all the latest developments and updates. With a subscription, automatic updates remove that burden, keeping companies current with new features or solutions to security issues.
Another advantage to using Microsoft Office 365 is in knowing where you stand with budget, since subscription costs remain the same from month to month. You don’t have to factor in maintenance costs as Office 365 reduces the need for IT Support and server support. Some businesses also like treating their office software as an operating expense rather than a capital one.
Backup to the cloud is also automatic, enhancing security and making more documents available to staff on multiple devices. Of course, Microsoft Office gives you the ability to choose who has access to which documents, so there’s no worry that everyone in your organisation can read, share or change sensitive information.
Those with system permissions can however, collaborate in real time. Collaborative working enhances creativity and gives a boost to productivity. Cloud based Office 365 offers many features and benefits to business users. These include:
- Skype for business
- Video conferencing
- EU compliance for European users
- Teams – creating a shared space for collaborators
- OneDrive storage
Office 365 shouldn’t be confused with Office Online, which is a cut-down version of the software that’s viewable only online. It does however have its uses, as it means Office 365 users can collaborate with others who don’t currently enjoy the full Office 365 functionality that comes with a subscription.
Office 2016 is a desktop version of the Microsoft Office software suite. The software is the same as Office 365, but with restrictions.
A standalone Office 2016 installation, for instance, doesn’t give you access to cloud-based features such as OneDrive storage, real-time collaboration or Skype for Business.
The licence differs too. You licence Office 2016 either as a single user or as part of a volume licensing arrangement, and with a choice of either Windows or Mac versions.
A single user licence covers one computer, whereas Office 365 subscriptions cover as many users as you like. All those users can install the software on up to five devices, giving access from mobile and desktop computers. Volume licensing of Office 2016 gives more versatile installation options, but you still don’t get syncing across devices or collaboration by default. Both those features are important in today’s modern working environment. When the software goes out of date (as they all do), you then need to buy your office software again.
Hybrid arrangements are possible if you’re not yet ready to jump completely into the cloud and Office 365. To learn more about Office 365, please visit What is Office 365.
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