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There’s More to The Cloud Than Microsoft 365 (formerly Office 365)

For the typical employee, the cloud = Microsoft 365 (formerly Office 365) and easy collaboration. It means documents saved to shared files. And it means you can access them from anywhere at 2am. But only using the cloud in a 365 context is a bit like only using a Tesla for driving to the supermarket. The cloud has a myriad of benefits that any business would be insane to overlook. Here are four of them.

1. What happens when you move on-premise servers to Azure?

Storing your Business’s data on Azure is a great deal more agile and flexible than being tied to an in house server. So to answer the above, all sorts happens. Most notably, money is saved due to resources being more scalable. Only pay for what you need, as and when you need it. Further costs are cut with a reduction in physical infrastructure. No need for that expensive climate-controlled room. There are also security gains; Azure secures your data with 3 copies on individual nodes. So unlike an on-premise server, it can withstand a fire or natural disaster.

2. How does Azure connect to Office 365?

With Azure Active Directory. It’s an identity and access management service that lets admins tailor access levels to users. Access to everything from apps to files, to folders. It also offers self-service password reset and the generation of different security reports.

3. It’s eco friendly

Scalable, flexible server capacity means there’s no wasted energy. Potentially a small point. But for many businesses concerned about their carbon footprint, it’s as important as any. If only for CSR reasons.

4. And then we have cloud telecoms

IM chat and video calls are already a blessing. Especially given we’re all working from home now. A slightly less obvious communication trick the Cloud pulls is with cloud phone systems. They offer all sorts over their on-premise rivals. Increased reliability and resilience in the face of a power outage. Cloud telephones can integrate with your CRM, text your customers, and of course, equal greater agility/saleability. Only pay for the new users and numbers you add/take away.

Please note, you may wish to consider a hybrid approach if you work with large files. There’s all sorts to gain from moving data off-premise, and into the Cloud. But it’s not for everything. Some files are so large they’ll plague the Cloud with latency. Also, certain files can’t exist within Office 365’s suite.

CAD and other large design files are a great example. These files can take up hundreds of gigabytes. Azure only systems won't be able to handle them and collaborate effectively. For most businesses, a balance must be struck. Yes, use the Cloud for more than writing and sharing documents. The efficiency gains and cost savings will be immense. But usually keeping one foot in the on-premise camp will add to the agility and flexibility your business is looking for.

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