Has your IT service desk been pondering whether to make the move to Office 365? There are some advantages, including the ability to share and collaborate with those who do not have Office installed on their computers. Office 365 is also friendlier to mobile users, and Microsoft is always adding new features and functionality to the product to make it better. However, it’s not all cherries with whipped cream on top – there are some things about 365 that range from frustrating to worse. Here are several things to ponder before making the switch.
1. You May Not Need Office 365
Users of Office 2013 who only need the ability to share files with others who don’t have Office do not need to migrate to Office 365 in order to do so. With a subscription to SkyDrive, you can simply upload and save your Office 2013 files to the cloud and send the other person an invitation to view the file. Since migration is a considerable chore, this step could save you a lot of trouble, time, and money.
2. Migrating to Office 365 Isn’t Easy
The migration process is long, complicated, not intuitive, and presents certain problems with other software and utilities. Don’t expect your IT team to be able to install, test, and troubleshoot Office 365 in a weekend, add it to the asset management software, and be ready for workers to come in and start using it on Monday. It will take time and there will be considerable configurations and tweaking to make it work smoothly.
3. Configuring Your Outbound Email Addresses is a Pain
If you just start using email with Office 365, it will add the extension @onmicrosoft.com to all your emails. Simply setting your email to accept emails from your domain address will allow you to get those emails, but it will continue to send outbound emails with the extension @onmicrosoft.com. Correcting the problem takes a bit of time, and it isn’t an intuitive process at all. This will have to be done organization wide, which is one of the reasons that installation and troubleshooting isn’t a quick and easy process.
4. Spam Filters Will Need to Be Reconfigured
Users often report getting tons and tons of spam when they first migrate to Office 365. The spam filters are actually quite good, but migration means you have to take the time to reconfigure everything. This means that for the short term, you will be dealing with lots and lots of spam that you had completely forgotten your old spam filters were taking care of for you.
5. You Won’t Have as Much Control
With Office 365, you will no longer have control over your patch management. You will also lose control of when and how you get software upgrades, as well as some other administrative tasks you’re used to being able to take care of in house. Some IT departments will consider this a good thing, as it does lessen the workload. Others will be annoyed at the lack of control.
6. You Will be Paying for Office 365 Forever
Finally, migration means that there’s no longer a ‘one and done’ purchase process. Even though the fees are relatively minimal, there is still an ongoing charge for Office software use that never, ever ends. The Small Business version (for companies with 25 or fewer employees) pays $60 per year per user, while the Small Business Premium package is $150 per year, which includes desktop versions of all the Office apps. The Enterprise version for companies with more than 25 employees pays $8 to $24 per user per month, depending on exactly which package options are chosen.
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