Could SharePoint Online via Microsoft Office 365 really be the right solution for your business?
As the UK’s leading SharePoint experts and consultants, we’re often asked whether adopting SharePoint Online (SPO) via the Microsoft Office 365 suite is actually the better solution for some of our clients compared to on-premise and, in many cases, we firmly believe that it is. We thought we’d blog about some of the reasons behind our thinking…
You probably know already that SharePoint Online is a slimmed down version of the main product but we do find that this is actually a good thing for many businesses since the main product can be overwhelming and expansive at times, especially for smaller sized organisations. SharePoint online does include all the main features of SharePoint and it does so without all the overheads of self-managing the infrastructure. Buyers can either purchase the cloud version of SharePoint as a standalone product or, as we frequently recommend, they can buy it as part of the Office 365 suite (in which case you also then gain access to the Office products, Exchange, web apps, Lync and more).
SharePoint via Microsoft Office 365 provides a number of tangible benefits, not least enterprise grade reliability, cross device availability, easy management, agility, scalability and mitigated risk/cost. Using the classic OPEX to CAPEX cloud model, you simply pay a monthly fee per user and, in doing so, you avoid most of the hardware, set-up and implementation headaches that are usually associated with traditional on-premise SharePoint implementations.
Dell released a really useful video on the benefits of SharePoint via Office 365 and you can view that video here.
Many of our clients love the fact that they gain the ability to take a 30 day trial version of the product with SharePoint Online (and you can get that free trial here). We find this full featured free trial is something that’s really useful for SME’s in particular because it allows them to really get comfortable with the SharePoint product in an almost sandbox way and Microsoft effectively does all the set-up for you too. Either you can then easily scale it up from there or, if worse came to worse, you could just switch to a full/traditional implementation of SharePoint without much/any investment having been depleted.
For a number of genuine reasons – and we recently released an exclusive free top tips / best practice guide on this on this subject – many organisations struggle with on-premise SharePoint implementations. Some of the key reasons for this include issues relating to platform upgrades, data storage costs, server sprawl, extranets, security, service availability and general infrastructure and budget limitations. This is precisely why Office 365 is often the best solution since is a completely safe, stable and secure platform that is totally reliable plus it offers full compatibility and compliance, removes all the management of patches and hotfixes, provides single sign-on (SSO), enhances permissioning and much, much more – all hosted and delivered to any device via the cloud. Office 365 is constantly evolving for the better and you even get access to new SharePoint functionality before it’s rolled out to on-premise users which is a great benefit in itself! Talking of users, SharePoint Online has a really fluid, self-service user interface, great personal file sharing capabilities, high storage ceilings, superb search functionality and robust tools for admins to control your whole SharePoint environment at the touch of a button.
Most businesses these days appreciate the massive benefits of being able to support virtually any sized organisation – large or small – without having to invest a great deal of money upfront on storage and hardware infrastructure. Bottom line – SharePoint Online via Microsoft Office 365 could give you a robust enterprise-scale solution that may be a lot more powerful and cost-effective than buying an on-premise version which, although often appealing, could well be overkill for your actual business needs.
“SharePoint Online via Microsoft Office 365 could give you a robust enterprise-scale solution that may be a lot more powerful and cost-effective than buying an on-premise version”
Even if it’s just for your due diligence, we do definitely recommend that you at least look at SharePoint Online via 365 but before you do anything though, we also recommend that you do get expert advice before committing to any solution. In that department, we’re always happy to help. Just click here to book a free and friendly Discovery Call with one of the team where we can give you more granular recommendations and advice based on your precise requirements.Tweet