While Microsoft's latest ad campaign seems determined to prove that you don't need Office 2019 and should go with Microsoft Office 365 instead, there are still plenty of businesses that are not quite ready for cloud-based applications. There is a pretty compelling business case behind Office 365: not only do you get the platforms installed on your machines, but you also receive free updates and the ability to access your documents in the cloud. Whether your business is looking for an upgrade to current on-premise Microsoft Office licenses or you're just getting started, here's everything you need to know to make the right licensing decision for your business.
Office 2019 v. Office 365: The Financial Basics
Fundamentally, the programs themselves are the same -- it's the licensing model that represents a key difference. Microsoft Office 365 is a subscription-based product, which means you are likely to pay more for access to the software over time than the outright purchase that you will make with Office 2019 licenses for your staff. If you are starting a new business or need to upgrade without a heavy expense hitting your operational budget, Office 365 may be the best option. If cost over time is the only consideration, obtaining perpetual Office 2019 licenses may still make more sense for your business as this can cover your needs for several years. The challenge with Office 2019 is that you will not receive any upgrades or support for the product as you would with Office 365. One thing to remember: if you stop paying for Office 365, your access to the software suite will expire 30 days after the due date of your missed payment. Price is rarely the only factor in your decision, which leads you to analyze how your staff is likely to be using the platforms in the future.
Office 365 is Best for Collaboration
Office 365 has a number of collaboration tools baked directly into the platform, and others that simply make life easier for staff members to collaborate with peers and with others outside the organization. Plus, you get an additional 1TB of online storage with each account: crucial with today's large file sizes and the need to share information with others. This is especially true if you have younger employees or road warriors -- as Office 365 provides you with on-the-go options for word processing, data management and analysis, presentations and more. Today's employees appreciate the ability to work when, where and how they wish, which is one of the ways that Office 365 adds value to organizations. If you're working without your laptop or desktop, with Office 365 it's easy to grab your smartphone or device and make a quick tweak to files when you're not near a computer. If you're on an unfamiliar machine, you still have the same access to exceptional productivity software simply by logging into the Office.com website.
Maintaining Security Online
Perhaps the best argument for moving from legacy versions of Microsoft Word to Office 365 is the near-constant upgrades that you'll receive as part of the Office 365 ecosystem. Security updates are provided for both Office 2019 and Office 365, but Office 365 is generally considered to be more secure due to the ongoing update schedule. Microsoft has committed to providing monthly security updates for Office 2019 on the second Tuesday of each month. The software giant is also providing five years of non-security bug fixes -- but after that, customers will just have to live with any non-security related bugs that are found.
Office 365 Has Some Cool Bonus Features
If you're still having trouble deciding between Microsoft Office 365 and Office 2019, the nifty new bonus features that are available in Office 365 may tip the scales. Here's a quick rundown of what you can expect to find in the cloud-based version of Microsoft's most popular software:
- Advanced collaboration options that let you see when others are typing in real time
- The ability to send links to files instead of attaching them to emails and messages
- Quickly add reminders to notes from your to-do list, with deadlines and meetings
- Gain access to enhanced charts, graphs and pivot tables
Perhaps the most engaging features for busy staffers is the ability to switch back and forth between personal and business accounts with ease.
Selecting the right version of Microsoft Office for your business productivity needs doesn't have to be difficult! When you understand the various features of the two versions and how they can each benefit your business, the decision should be straightforward for your team. There are many businesses that may not quite be ready to take on the heavy upfront cost of a large quantity of Office 2019 licenses, making Office 365 the ideal choice. Fortunately, migrating between the two can be easily accomplished with the support of your preferred Chicago IT services professionals.