There has been a lot of noise in the news lately about Microsoft Office 365 and the cloud but how does this impact you and your business and why should you be planning for the future direction of the business software industry?
First of all Microsoft has made it clear that they are putting their money behind software solutions that operate in the cloud, are device independent (can be accessed via a web browser, mobile device or tablet) and can remove the need for on-site hardware and management. The operating system market is not an area of growth for them.
Second, Microsoft for Operations is the beginning of the total end to end solution that incorporates the Enterprise business operations and transaction flows into the cloud in addition to the already present Microsoft CRM which is integrated with Outlook.
Third, why not leverage the Microsoft Stack and all the products that are built to integrate and exchange data. After all, most business users use Office – Outlook (And Exchange), Word, Access and Excel. Many people use SharePoint for storage of documents and knowledge sharing as well as Lync for communication. The purchase of Linked In and other Sales and Marketing Solutions by Microsoft is proof of the commitment towards creating a complete business solution.
A big advantage of this is no more upgrades and that everyone is running essentially the same version of the software which makes for easier resolution of issues and rapid deployment and training. The only issue is if you have custom software and need your own a private cloud for only your “slice” there will be a higher rental cost.
What you gain is less overhead and management, better security, easier deployment of applications to users, better integration that allows you to work from anywhere (which can be a great way to remove any risk associated with a local site disaster)
Even if you dip your toes with certain standalone applications such as Dynamics CRM 365 for Sales, Marketing or Customer Service, they are all administered and configured via a common portal. Adding applications is a simple purchase and check out procedure and there are a variety of add-ons and accelerators that allow for easy setup and configuration of a solution that has you up and working in much less time with significantly less implementation costs.
If you haven’t looked at the cloud or want to know more we can help you navigate this new world and help you plan and make good solid business decisions on what is best for your business. Just ask us.