Below are our answers to some common questions we receive on Microsoft Office 365, Dynamics, and the Cloud. If you have any questions that we haven't answered, feel free to contact us for more information!
Office 365 - Should I consider it?
Our answer is yes, with the recent downward pricing adjustments from Microsoft, it's worth consideration. Not only has the cost of ownership gone down significantly, in many cases, your risk is also reduced with the absence of servers, spam, malware and updates.
The top five benefits of Office 365 include:
- No heaving up front capital investment – monthly fee per user
- Fast on-ramping of changes that can be made easily
- You no longer have to worry about redundancy or backups
- Better collaboration tools:
- Email Sharing
- Calendar Sharing
- Instant Mobile Support – Use office on smartphones, tables, etc.
- Document Sharing with version control built in (SharePoint)
- Security and Privacy controls are managed
- The biggest benefit in our eyes is that you can add Microsoft CRM to your monthly subscription allowing you to centralize you customer information while lowering the TCO needed to keep your data clean, accurate and easily accessible.
Should I begin to think about moving my systems (including Dynamics) to the cloud?
Possibly. We've noticed most research firms have had their financial systems in the cloud for awhile now because of the sensitivity of the data. If you are a manufacturer; however, you will likely want to keep your systems local to prevent an interruption of service from happening should your systems go down. These days, we are seeing a growing trend in hybrid systems which combine cloud and on-premise solutions.
Despite which hosted solution works best to fit your needs, our primary goal is to have your systems seamlessly integrated and securely connected without many usernames and passwords to manage.
Three main drivers for moving to the cloud:
Scalability - Cloud computing allows you to easily scale your systems to meet your requirements. If your organization is in a growth mode, you can add capacity without re-engineering your infrastructure and purchasing new equipment. Likewise, if your organization is experiencing a decline, you can scale back to meet your needs.
Business Agility - Cloud computing allows you to add new functionality quickly and easily to address changing business needs. For instance, if you started out with only core financial functionality but now need to include manufacturing, it is easy to add the software/services you require.
Cost - The biggest financial benefit is avoiding large upfront expenses for equipment and software. Also, ongoing system maintenance costs can be reduced when your applications are in the cloud, since you no longer need a dedicated expert to keep your systems running.
The below image represents a list of other big cloud drivers:
There are also many reasons that have prevented companies from embracing the Cloud. Major inhibitants for cloud adoption include are represented in the image below.
If you'd like to discuss cloud options for your business, email us to have someone contact you with more information, or call us at 574-235-8100.