Alternatives to Office 365
Office 365 is Microsoft’s subscription based service for Office and has a variety of plans to suit different requirements and budgets. At the lower end you can use just online versions of Office applications and online email, and as you progress up the scale you get to install the applications on multiple devices as well.
Renting of Office by subscription is clearly a game changer for Microsoft but there are alternatives to Office 365 that may be more suitable to some businesses. There are also alternatives to Microsoft Office as a product in itself but in this article we are just talking about alternative methods of licencing and running Microsoft Office.
Using “The Cloud” to work on your documents wherever you are
The corner stone of Microsoft’s strategy with Office 365 is the cloud. Your data is held in Microsoft’s One Drive and accessible across platforms. You can also run the “online” version of the Office applications from wherever you are. The point that this all falls down is that most businesses don’t just use Office, they have other, usually more important, line of business applications that may integrate with Office and that they would also like to run anywhere.
An alternative to Office 365 for true flexibility is Hosted Desktops. A hosted desktop works in the same way as a normal Windows desktop except that it is hosted and therefore available from anywhere via the Internet. The hosted desktop can have Microsoft Office installed on it, but crucially it can also have the company’s line of business application installed as well.
Benefits of Office 365
- Access to your documents via the Internet across devices
- Online versions of Office applications for when you’re not on your normal PC
- Low monthly cost, although annual commitment required.
- Large cloud storage provision through OneDrive
Benefits of Hosted Desktops
- Access to all your Applications and data via the Internet, not just Office documents
- Run full desktop versions of Office from anywhere, even via a web portal, not cut down “online” versions
- Low monthly costs, no annual commitment
- Documents and data available instantly from fast network storage, not slow “cloud” storage
- Same user experience whether running on a PC or a Mac
- Run whatever version of Office you prefer, you are not compelled to use the latest version
- Designed for low bandwidth connections, works from 64kbps upwards. No impact on performance if someone emails round a large document.
- Uses very little of your PCs resources, the device itself doesn’t do much work, so can extend the life of your hardware.
- No need for IT experience or skills
Alternative ways to licence Office
You can of course still purchase Office outright, and a single PC licence is just over £200, so after a couple of years this is more cost effective than Office 365, although this can’t be installed on a hosted desktop and you are stuck with that version.
When using a hosted desktop you can rent Office under the Service Providers Licence Agreement which is a monthly subscription with no commitments or contracts to tie you in.
If you have a volume licence version of Office, this can also be used on a hosted desktop.
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For more information about Hosted Desktops or Office 365 do please get in touch with us by calling 01282 500318 or by filling out our online contact form below and one of our consultants will be in touch shortly. Why not also read more about our hosted desktop service now.
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