As a Microsoft accredited Cloud Accelerate partner and reseller, LeeShanok Network Solutions can help your company transition to Microsoft 365 smoothly. Microsoft Office has long been the leader in office productivity suites. Now cloud-based Microsoft 365 (formerly Office 365) is another revolution in the way modern businesses can procure licensing and centralize administration that offers an excellent mix of financing, flexibility, and features that support their business operations. Advantages are:
Many aging physical and virtualized servers are kept running to host Exchange, the on-premise version of Microsoft’s email server. Migrating to Microsoft Exchange Online allows decommissioning of legacy servers and eliminates the need to keep the operating system updated to protect the security and reliability of a firm’s email server. Exchange Online also allows multiple devices to connect to a company’s server from anywhere without complicated configurations or remote access to a company’s domain.
Licensing for Exchange Online is per user which allows the creation of email addresses. However many Microsoft 365 licenses for Business and Enterprise also come with an Exchange Online license, that may be used to create the email address for that employee, eliminating the need for additional “per user” Exchange licenses. If all your employee has Office 2019 licenses without “Exchange” license included, you can provide them a company email address by increasing the quantity of “per user Exchange licenses” or with a Microsoft 365 Business Basic license.
Microsoft Office 2019 with perpetual licensing is available for purchase and will enable connection to your company’s Microsoft 365 account with Exchange Online and Sharepoint, but will not provide for that employee’s email address in Exchange Online. If you already own Office 2019 Home & Business but your company’s Exchange Online is Microsoft 365 based, you can use your Office 2019 apps but will still need to purchase Microsoft 365 Business Basic for $5/month that includes an Exchange license for you to have a company email address. Or you can add a user to the company’s Exchange Online licensing.
Microsoft 365 is designed to help you achieve more with innovative yet familiar Office apps, combining those with intelligent cloud services, and world-class security.
Microsoft 365 for Business and Enterprise use subscription-based licenses that you pay monthly, and both are available in a variety of “tiers” (see bullets above). Microsoft 365 Business Basic provides only web apps and Exchange Online license, but Business Standard and Business Premium also allow downloading of Office apps to multiple local computers and devices, and both provide the Exchange Online license for an email account.
Microsoft 365 - Apps for Android and Apple iOS allow you to download Office apps to your mobile device and connect to your company account. For instance, with Outlook for Mobile, you can access all your email messages on your Chromebook, tablet, or smartphone, and any email created on one platform is instantly available on all other platforms as Exchange Online is cloud-based. Your email actually resides in the Microsoft 365 Cloud in your company’s account, and you are running the Outlook email client on your mobile devices, accessing the cloud email repository.
Integrated tightly with all Microsoft 365 accounts, apps, and data stores is Microsoft Teams, allowing you to join your company team and create your own teams for instant messaging, web video meetings, and other forms of collaboration with easy access to your Office account, apps, and data.
SharePoint allows your company to host its intranet for employees in Microsoft’s cloud that is accessible from any employee device anywhere. LeeShanok has helped numerous firms migrate their legacy employee intranet to SharePoint.
Most Microsoft 365 subscriptions also include an OneDrive cloud storage account. OneDrive allows saving files to your account in Microsoft’s cloud for easy access from Office apps on any internet-connected device. Check the subscription tiers for the amount of storage included. Enterprise subscriptions include more OneDrive storage than non-Enterprise subscriptions.
Finally, the management and delivery of services for Windows-based workstations can require lots of redundant effort and require a small army of IT, staff, going desk to desk. Microsoft Intune simplifies workplace management, deploying and maintaining Windows installations company-wide as well as creating common Microsoft 365 environments tailored to your business pushed out to employee devices. Our experience with Intune has been good and it really does standardize deployments and saves a lot of time and effort.
Microsoft 365 and Office 2019 come with standard security features built-in. Outlook client connecting to Exchange Online evaluates for basic spam and phishing characteristics.
All Microsoft 365 users should enable MFA (multi-factor authentication).
Companies that experience a lot of spam or phishing emails should consider Advanced Threat Protection (ATP).
For even more configurable protection, see our IT News article on Microsoft 365 Conditional Access.
You can purchase Microsoft licenses directly from Microsoft, from a reputable Microsoft reseller, or from a 3rd party who may or may not be a Microsoft certified partner.
There are web-based suppliers that are Microsoft certified partners, and others that are not. Some offer licenses at deep discounts and claim the licenses are legitimate. There are potential legal and financial liabilities you may face by ordering from a supplier who is not a certified Microsoft reseller or supplies counterfeit licenses:
You can order directly from Microsoft:
Or you can order from a certified Microsoft Partner Reseller like LeeShanok Network Solutions: