If you haven’t already heard about Microsoft 365, or M365 as it’s typically called, you will soon enough. With Windows 7 being retired at the end of 2019, M365 has been thrust into the spotlight as the most logical solution for small businesses. Still, most small businesses are either in the dark about it or don’t understand its significance enough to take notice.  Luckily, we’re here to fix that.

Microsoft 365: The Basics

Simply put, Microsoft 365 is Microsoft’s fully integrated, cost-effective solution for small businesses. In addition to your standard Office 365 suite, M365 includes Windows 10, access to additional Microsoft business productivity tools, remote user management capability, and increased security tools.

Ultimately, Microsoft took what you love about Office 365 and combined it in an entirely secure Windows 10 centric environment.

M365 vs O365

At this point, you may be asking “Why wouldn’t I just upgrade to Windows 10 and keep using Office 365?”  For an individual, we’d say that’s a perfectly reasonable solution. For small to mid-sized businesses, even if your workers primarily work remotely, M65 may be a better bet.

The thing to keep in mind here is that while Microsoft 365 does include Office 365, they are not the same product and they don’t do the same things. M365 was designed with business owners and IT personnel in mind, not just your average user.

Security is the highlight of M365. Enhanced Windows Defender Security controls, app protection for Office mobiles, and the ability to remotely wipe company data from any device are just a couple of major upgrades found in Microsoft 365 for Business.

Similarly, the Windows 10 environment in M365 is geared towards IT professionals looking to deploy Office apps and manage employee devices remotely. While these features could come in handy to an individual, small businesses and teams will undeniably benefit from them.

The size, industry, and goals of your business will ultimately determine how valuable you find M365. All that said, for most small and mid-sized businesses, it’s a no-brainer.

Why You Should Take Notice

For years, Microsoft’s message has been getting stronger: Cloud subscription services are their future. It has become harder for the average user to purchase Microsoft Office products as a one-time thing. Volume licensing is still a viable option for businesses, but the support and the terms are decreasing in longevity. Microsoft’s roll-out of M365 is by far their most direct way of announcing that they want the subscription business to be their only business.

And that shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone paying attention. A subscription-based model like M365 allows businesses to scale up and down as needed without having to waste money on single-use licenses, while still getting the most current software available. At the same time, Microsoft gets to save money by removing support and overhead on outdated products and services.

Additionally, Microsoft 365 addresses some very real concerns held by business owners. The security built into M365 is likely to greatly reduce the impact made by the 43% of cyber-attacks that target small businesses. This combined with the desire to reduce IT disruptions in the future, positions M365 as a clear solution to some of the costliest tech issues plaguing IT departments.

With more than 40% of the global workforce being mobile, a solution like M365 gives small businesses everywhere the chance to increase time in collaborative activities in a secure and flexible way. Whether you’re convinced or not, it is undoubtedly the product of the future.

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