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What is Microsoft 365 or Office 365 Hosting?

Why would you need Microsoft 365 on a hosted desktop?


Microsoft’s Office 365 (now called Microsoft 365) has cloud computing running through it like seaside rock; there’s the 1TB of OneDrive cloud storage, the online versions of Office applications like Word and Excel, as well as all the collaboration tools like Exchange Online email, Teams and Yammer, so why on earth would you need to run it on a Hosted Desktop?

Quite simply, it’s the other applications you use to run your business, the one’s that integrate with Microsoft 365, but don’t have online, web based, versions.   It’s these applications that are holding you back from fully adopting the cloud.

Let’s take an example of a typical line of business application.  It’s a feature rich desktop application, designed to run on Windows.  It’s shared between lots of users in the business with the data/database stored on a central file server.   The application integrates with Microsoft Word creating letters that are saved on a file share on the server and then emailed (via Microsoft Outlook) to customers; and the management team get weekly reports using Excel that has links to the backend data source.  Sound familiar?   It’s a model adopted by thousands of applications and there’s no reason why users can’t use their Microsoft 365 licences on their PCs in the office to integrate with this application.

However, this doesn’t quite give the business cloud computing, the work from anywhere, using any device ethos that everyone’s striving for.  Possibly the application could save the files it creates to Microsoft 365’s OneDrive but you still need it installing on Windows desktops for the users and you also still need a central server to share the database.

Why do you need your business application in the cloud anyway?

There are many reasons companies want to move to the cloud with their business software, these include:

  • Outsourcing the headache of managing IT infrastructure, servers, backups, anti-virus, support, upgrades etc.
  • Getting rid of the cycle of high upfront investment followed by periodic upgrades/replacement of equipment, in favour of fixed monthly subscriptions.
  • The ability to work from anywhere in the world in exactly the same way you do from the office. Your remote workers have the same great experience as desk bound ones.
  • The ability to use different devices.
  • Flexibility to scale up and down without wasting money.
  • Offload IT issues for someone else to fix.

So how can you run your business applications and Microsoft 365’s Office apps in the cloud?

The simple answer to running both Microsoft 365 and your core line of business applications in the cloud is to move your desktop to the cloud instead.  Running a hosted desktop gives you the same experience of running a normal Windows PC except that the desktop operating system, the applications, the database, the file servers they connect to, and Microsoft 365 all run in the cloud.  You just connect to them over the Internet on any device you choose.

This is what a hosted desktop solution gives you.   So now you can run both Microsoft 365 as well as all your other business applications in the cloud, and the best bit about it is that all the support, the backups, the anti-virus, the fixing it when Windows goes wrong, is all included in the price.


What Microsoft 365 Plan will run on a remote desktop?

This is an important question as not all Microsoft 365 plans will run on a remote desktop/hosted desktop.   A hosted desktop is actually a shared computer, you and your colleagues will all be connecting to the same Windows computer.   As Microsoft 365 is licenced per user and not per device Microsoft have needed to build in a specific feature to deal with running Office on a shared computer, this is called Shared Computer Activation (SCA) and is only available on some of the Enterprise plans for Microsoft including Microsoft 365 Apps for Enterprise, Microsoft 365 Business Premium, Office 365 E3, E5, and Non-profit E3 and E5.


Can I use my Microsoft 365 licence with any hosted desktop provider?

Unfortunately, not.   To legally host Microsoft 365 the hosted desktop provider needs to be a Microsoft Authorised Qualified Multi-Tenant Hosting (QMTH) Partner check out this link to see a list of Authorised QMTH Partners in your region.


OK, I want to run my business applications in the cloud, how do I start?

Speak to the technical sales team at Your Office Anywhere, they will listen to your requirements and explain in layman’s terms (or deeply technical if you prefer) how the platform can work for your application.  They can also arrange a demo account so you can try the solution for yourself as well as arranging a test server if you have a bespoke or worrisome application that you’d like to test out first.  Get in touch via our contact page or call 01282 500318.

Where can I buy a Microsoft 365 subscription?

Your Office Anywhere are also a Microsoft CSP and can help with getting you subscribed to Microsoft 365.

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