Three weeks have passed since Office 365’s launch and I’m very happy to share the feedback coming in from customers using Office 365 all over the world. As they see the value of the service for their small businesses, several are outlining exactly where they are saving money. What’s more, companies find Office 365 to be easy to use. In fact, I’m hearing about so many reasons why small businesses are adopting the service that you will see a second post on why small businesses subscribe!
Saving Money and Providing Value for Their Business
While small businesses choose Office 365 for many reasons, Microsoft’s own survey indicates that 9 out of 10 Google Apps customers are using Microsoft Office, making the cost of Microsoft Office another hidden cost in using Google Apps. Meanwhile, many Microsoft customers cite cost savings in adopting Office 365, and others emphasize its strong value. C&I Engineering in the US found Gmail mailbox size to be insufficient, and found the service lacked shared calendaring. Knowing that email was not an efficient way to move and manage documents, they removed Google Gmail and embraced Office 365, in part, due to the suite’s value.
“It’s huge that Office 365 is hosted in the cloud and Microsoft is taking care of it all for just a few dollars a month per user,” says Walther. “It allows me to do my job instead of getting up to speed on something that is not my job. I don’t have the time, patience, or money to build an Exchange Server or SharePoint Server setup for our office.”
–Jared Walther, Business Development Manager and Engineer, C&I Engineering
The growing, thirty-two employee housing firm, Travelers Haven found both savings and value in Office 365 as they increased collaboration within their US-based firm.
“Office 365 eliminates the need to set up our own servers, which we certainly would have had to do eventually. I figure we are avoiding $100,000 annually in hardware, maintenance, software, and the cost of a staff IT person. Office 365 is incredibly easy to set up and use, and it costs as little as $6 a month per person. At today’s employee count we are avoiding about $8,000 a month. Plus, nothing that we could afford would equal what Microsoft has in its data centers. The redundancy, backup, and security are much more than we could ever provide.“
–Elia Wallen, President, Travelers Haven
The Canadian law firm with four employees, Mark Nikel Professional Corporation, also saved money in using Office 365. Attorney, Mark Nikel expects annual savings in IT consulting costs, in avoiding an annual software subscription for mobile, in attorney software, in avoiding fees for a POP3 email service and website hosting, and savings in the cost of a dedicated IP address that he no longer needs.
“On a per-lawyer basis, my IT costs will be a fraction of what any of the other law firms’ IT costs are. We pay less than $100 per month per lawyer compared to thousands of dollars per lawyer at a large firm.”
–Mark Nikel, Lead Attorney and Founder, Mark Nikel Professional Corporation
It’s So Easy to Use
With more than 200,000 organizations participating in the Office 365 beta before the launch, many have found that it is an easy to try out, simple to learn, and straightforward to use set of web-enabled tools that increases their productivity. Elia Wallen of Travelers Haven speaks about his imminent transition to Office 365 and how effective his employees will be in transitioning to the new tool and using it in their work:
“Today, every employee spends at least an hour a day looking for things and playing telephone tag. Using Office 365 will be like having 30 extra hours a day—or having three more people in the office. We will be able to bring a new level of consistency and faster response time to our customers.”
The Office 365 online service now helps Travelers Haven employees easily find what they need and stay in touch throughout the day. This is a big contrast to what Eligeo IT experienced in using Google Apps. Derek Major of Eligeo IT had difficulty sharing information when using Google Apps in his small business:
“Trying to use our existing suite, like Microsoft Office, was really hard because it was almost like patchwork, trying to make it work with Google Apps. So there was a lot of frustration with sharing information such as our calendar and our contacts and even emails.”
In addition, Major and his colleagues noted that they repeatedly needed to repair the layout and design of documents that had been edited using Google Docs. That is not what small business owners Kerry and Jeffrey Stewart of Bea’s Insurance are experiencing using Office 365. They are scheduling meetings without worrying about conflicts or wasting time coordinating. Using Office 365 makes it possible for the Stewarts to interact with their customers seamlessly and support their drive for personalized service.
See how Bea’s Insurance is using Office 365 in this video:
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