The Ultimate Guide to Microsoft 365 and Exchange Online

Are you having a hard time settling into the emerging work from home culture? Discover why one of Microsoft’s most important subscription bundles could hold the key to safe, efficient remote work.

Over recent months, Covid-19 restrictions have highlighted just how challenging remote work can be. With most of us working from our home offices either partially or full time, it can be difficult to remain productive if you don’t have the right tools. One collaboration platform that many business owners are finding particularly useful is Microsoft 365. Whether you are at home or at the office, Microsoft 365’s extensive array of offerings will ensure your team remains productive at all times.

If you’re not quite up to speed with this powerful cloud service, keep reading to find out everything you need to know.

What Is Microsoft 365?

An evolution of Office 365, Microsoft 365 now includes several handy additional features. To begin with, it’s licensed as a monthly or annual subscription rather than a one time purchase. Secondly, together with the traditional desktop applications, many online services form part of the Microsoft 365 package.

In this discussion, we’ll focus on an essential online service for any business looking to streamline its remote work: Hosted Exchange. However, there are several other useful online services, such as:

  • OneDrive for Business: Offers each user 1 TB of OneDrive storage. It has a Files on Demand feature that allows users to view and manage their cloud storage using File Explorer.
  • SharePoint Online: This online service enables teams to sync information and share files in File Explorer. It’s also possible to restrict the sharing of sensitive information outside the organization.
  • Microsoft Teams: This is a collaboration tool that combines multiple communication platforms, including HD video conferencing, instant messaging, and so on. What’s more, the team-and-channel structure makes Microsoft Teams an incredibly valuable asset for real-time collaboration on projects.

What Are the Benefits of Microsoft 365?

There are various advantages of integrating Microsoft 365 into your remote work, depending on the edition you choose. But if we are talking big picture, a Microsoft 365 subscription has the following overall benefits:

  • Microsoft 365’s subscription model makes it incredibly easy to upgrade to the most recent software versions as soon as they are available.
  • With the Microsoft Enterprise and Business editions, you will have all the management and collaboration tools you need to stay productive, secure, and compliant.
  • You have access to cutting-edge infrastructure without having to incur the cost of expensive equipment purchases.
  • You can install the Office desktop apps on several devices without the potential activation issues associated with software downloads.
  • Being a cloud service, Microsoft regularly patches any known vulnerabilities in Microsoft 365.

What Is Hosted Exchange? As the name suggests, Hosted Exchange is a service that migrates your email server from an on-premise location to one of several distributed data centers. This allows your business to exploit best-in-breed infrastructure that offers optimal performance, reliability, and security. What’s more, thanks to more robust back-end infrastructure and nearly identical user experience, transitioning to Hosted Exchange is seamless.

What Are the Benefits of Hosted Exchange?

  1. Business Continuity: Unfortunately, many small-to-medium-sized organizations typically host their server infrastructure in one vulnerable location. And although this might be good enough in some situations, it’s an approach that exposes any business to a host of frightening risks. However, by exploiting multiple Tier III or IV data centers, Hosted Exchange provides a greater redundancy level than an on-premise solution. Because these data centers are secure and equipped with several power and carrier sources, you never need to worry about losing email access if disaster strikes.
  2. Lower IT Spending: Hosted Exchange eliminates the need to purchase expensive servers, license software, budget for future expenses, or take weeks preparing for an upgrade. Instead, you’ll enjoy reliable email services at a predictable, cost-efficient, per-user monthly rate.
  3. Scalability: With Hosted Exchange, you can either increase or reduce the number of user accounts according to your fluctuating needs from month to month. You simply need to adjust the number of licenses as per your demands.
  4. Flexibility: Regardless of physical location, your remote team members can easily access email on any internet-enabled device. You don’t need to be at the office on a physical LAN or a VPN connection allowing you to stay productive even on the go.

Looking for the Most Reliable Microsoft 365 Support in Raleigh?

Our experienced tech experts at CSP Inc. are eager to help your organization leverage Microsoft 365 and Hosted Exchange to stay productive at all times.

Contact us now to get started!

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