Microsoft 365 Business Basic – A Great Entry Level Product​

The entry level Office 365 subscription from Microsoft is a great way for a new business to start its journey into cloud computing. Office 365 is Microsoft’s productivity software provided via a software as a service subscription. This means that rather than install applications such as Word or Excel locally, you can access the applications via your browser. However, the desktop software is still available should you wish to download it and use it locally. Additionally, there are tablet and smart phone versions that you can use when you are out of the office. All of which means that you can take these productivity tools with you wherever you go.

As this is a subscription service, the included software and versions can change and so it always worth checking the Microsoft web site for the latest information. When I signed up for the service less roughly six months ago the desktop applications were included and yet, now, they are only available with one of the more comprehensive packages. So if the desktop versions of the software are a requirement then it might be worth paying a little extra for one of the other packages.

Even without the Office desktop applications there is a lot included for a very modest subscription. At the point of writing the monthly subscription (albeit you have to sign for 12 months at a time) is only £3.80 per user/month (plus VAT), which is very reasonable for the entry level service offering.

The reason I would suggest that this is worth considering is a starting point is that comes with 1TB of storage on OneDrive which is accessible from anywhere. This capacity is likely to be ample for most start-up businesses and provides a safe and secure location for all the documents you are likely to need to run your fledgling business.

In addition you get access to Teams which Microsoft’s video conferencing and collaboration tool. Whilst not as mature as some offerings in the market place it is a great package that enables high quality online video conferencing and the availability of smart phone versions of the application make it easy to communicate both from in the office and when out and about.

The final key feature that I think makes this a great entry level subscription is the inclusion of Microsoft’s mail solution. Most modern business thrive on the ability to send and receive email and having this accessible via web mail and mobile apps is a must for all modern businesses, large or small. Additionally, with relatively simple configuration you can use your own domain name for you email addresses giving a professional experience at an affordable price.

One final great feature of all these software as a service packages is that your usage can grow as you do and if you need to add more users than you can. This means that you only ever pay for it when you need it and the cost is very much in your control.

All in all, I think Microsoft 365 Business Basic is a great way to get started with online productivity tools. It provides you with a significant amount of online cloud storage, an enterprise level email system and access to collaboration tools and online video conferencing all at an affordable price.

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