About Microsoft’s new Office 365 service, and what it means to small business – Part Two

Let’s continue with our look at Microsoft’s new Office 365 service that we began last week:

Safety and security:

One concern we hear from customers is on cloud security – how safe is our data if it’s not sitting on our hard drives? Will it always be accessible?

Microsoft, in its marketing literature, promises a “99.9% Uptime Guarantee”.  In addition to that, Office 365 builds on the security protocols that Microsoft has had in place for many years with their widely used Office Exchange servers.  So rather than trusting your data to a new program, you’re actually benefiting from many years of proven security.

Microsoft also offers its Service Level Agreement, which it backs with financial milestones.  Lastly, Microsoft promises that Office 365’s servers are geo-redundant with multiple datacenters, so even if one area of the service runs into issues, your data will keep being accessible through the redundancies.

Subscription plans:

Rather than offering a one-time flat fee, Office 365 is a subscription-based program.  The subscription levels vary based on the level of service required, and begin at $2 per user, per month and scale up to $27 per user, per month.

In conclusion:

Microsoft Office 365 represents an exciting new direction for the Office products, and small businesses should definitely pay close attention to it as a new way of bringing their business closer together.

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