Cloud and Office 365 – Pillar –2021-04-28T15:05:23-05:00

Cloud and Microsoft 365


Take advantage of cloud

Your company can’t afford to ignore the cloud. Downtime isn’t an option and must be avoided to meet business demands, and costly onsite servers are no longer necessary to run a successful organization. Cloud computing is here to stay, and now, it’s faster, cheaper, and easier than ever for small and medium-sized businesses to take advantage of cloud technology. We provide best-fit solutions for our clients and often advise cloud computing options like Microsoft Azure and Office 365.

Azure is a cloud environment that can host virtual servers with custom specifications and configurations. Office 365 is just one cloud-based service that takes care of the things businesses care about most.

What is the difference between
Office Suites and Office 365?

Office suite purchases are single-payment purchases intended for use on one computer. Office suites include Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote, but do not give access to cloud storage, Office Online, or any Office 365 products. These applications are not updated automatically, so companies must repurchase the latest Office version when it becomes available.

Office 365 provides Exchange hosting, can replace file servers, enhances communication and collaboration, and comes with several cloud-based applications. Office 365 plans are paid for through an annual subscription. Each license allows five installations of Office to avoid versioning conflicts. These plans give businesses access to the desktop and web versions of Office applications, as well as cloud-based storage and services such as Exchange Online, SharePoint, and Skype for Business. With Office 365, a company will always have the latest version of Office regularly updated with new features and experiences.

Generally, businesses are drawn to Office 365 for Exchange Online, an email solution that doesn’t require companies to host their own servers. However, many organizations don’t utilize Office 365’s other apps to help their companies work smarter—for instance, SharePoint enables remote access to your company’s files and eliminates the need for large amounts of onsite storage. Skype for Business facilitates group communication and collaboration.

What are the benefits of
using Office 365?

Which Office 365 apps should
my company use?

Office 365 subscriptions offer access to several cloud applications and services that can increase productivity, ease communication, and encourage collaboration. Below are some key services that may be useful to your business.


With Office 365, your Office apps will always be current and can be installed on up to five devices per license.

Exchange Online

Exchange Online is Microsoft’s hosted version of its email and calendar application. The service offers reliable email, better collaboration, and enhanced security over other webmail platforms.


SharePoint is a cloud-based storage and collaboration platform that functions like an intranet site, allowing users to create, store, and share information. SharePoint is quickly replacing the need for onsite file servers, allowing access to files from anywhere so long as a user has an internet connection.


OneDrive is another cloud-based storage platform that lets users access and share files from anywhere. Think of OneDrive as your employees’ personal drive that also allows them to share individual files and folders with others.


OneNote is a note taking program used by individuals or groups that gathers and organizes notes, drawings, and screenshots. OneNote is easily accessible on all mobile devices.

Skype for Business

Skype for Business is a communication platform that uses instant messaging, video conferencing, calling, and screen sharing to bring employees and remote partners together.


Teams is a communication app that combines chat, meetings, notes, and attachments. The service makes it easier for groups to collaborate on projects and tasks.


Yammer is an internal social network service that allows employees to quickly share files and updates, as well as discuss projects, campaigns, and more.

Is Office 365
right for my business?

Most likely, you’re probably already using some version of Office. So, it’s not a matter of whether Office 365 is right, but rather which parts of Office 365 are right for your business.

You may also be wondering when to move to Office 365. Many companies make the switch when it’s time to replace their Exchange server. Microsoft stopped providing mainstream support to Exchange Server 2010 in January 2015, and extended support will end in January 2020. Migrating to Office 365 will eliminate the need to purchase and maintain hardware and software. Additionally, once you migrate, you’ll never need to upgrade to a new version of Exchange—you’re always using the latest version with Office 365.

Before choosing a path, your company’s C-suite should meet with an IT consultant to develop an Office 365 strategy designed to help you fully capitalize on your technology investment.

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We are a leading cloud and Office 365 provider for small to medium-sized businesses. Our main headquarters is in Houston but we have additional offices in Dallas, Fort Worth, Austin, San Antonio, and Seattle.

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