Office 365 is Microsoft's answer to how your law firm can have all of the core applications that your firm depends on, with a new level of mobility, reliability, and security. Could it revolutionize the way you run your office? Maybe. But, at a minimum it could make things that much easier and more cost effective from a strategic perspective. Imagine you and your support staff being able to focus on your cases, your clients, and their needs more clearly while Office 365 allows you a unified technology platform and you’ll begin to see why so many other LA law firms are making the switch.
Office 365: An introduction
A compilation of the core Office applications including the most current versions of Outlook, Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, Unified Communications, Instant Messaging, email hosting, and cloud storage, Microsoft Office 365 is a one-stop solution for anyone who uses their computer on a daily basis and would benefit from a virtual Personal Assitant. Available via a monthly subscription service, Office 365 is a comprehensive business package, which is capable of managing your day-to-day activities for you. If this sounds too good to be true, check out some of its other benefits…
Security and reliability: Security is a big one, least of all because you handle large amounts of sensitive data every day; compromised data just isn’t an option. Luckily for users of Office 365, Microsoft has made security its number one priority and you can rest assured that data controlled by the software is in safe hands. Robust security, and unprecedented access for only authorized users are guaranteed while the programs’ efficiency means that you can focus on looking after your clients rather than searching for missing paperwork.
Continuity and productivity: Don’t be concerned that a subscription to Office 365 will see you having to start over again in terms of office management; the operating system allows you to continue with your existing software packages and services, and will even take over the maintenance of your software. Handy if you’re not as technically savvy as you’d like to be! Not only is continuity guaranteed, but you’ll also save an incredible amount of time that would otherwise be spent training staff on the uses of your new software packages.
Frequent updates and maintenance assistance: The impact from upgrades and updates can have such a negative impact on law firms that all too often these upgrades are constantly pushed back to the point of being behind the times with old versions. Out of date versions of software creates enormous security risks. With Microsoft’s Office 365 you’ll gain access to a virtual IT department, which will immediately negate the need to splurge extra cash. What’s more, all of the software’s upgrades take place automatically, so you won’t be expected to implement any updates yourself.
Compliance: Forget about the headaches of the past with all that’s needed to stay compliant with Microsoft Office licensing. No need to track what versions are on which computer for which user and when they were purchased and what the license actually is. Also, their hosted email program comes with the additional feature of journaling and email archiving so that you can sleep at night knowing that you’re meeting your fiduciary responsibility when it comes to tracking your email communications. Office 365 immediately keeps you in compliance.
Anti-Spam: Office 365 comes with various options to protect you from spam built-in. You can change what actions to take on messages identified as spam, and choose whether to filter messages written in specific languages, or sent from specific countries or regions. You can also turn on advanced spam filtering options if you want to pursue an aggressive approach to spam filtering. Additionally, you can configure end-user spam notifications to inform users when messages intended for them were sent to the quarantine instead
Accessibility: Hosted within the cloud, Office 365 ensures that your programs and documents are accessible wherever there is an Internet connection. This will enhance productivity and increase billable hours because you can securely work from anywhere at anytime and easily share those documents with colleagues and clients.
Cost: Lastly, is the concern of cost. It’s going to be expensive, right? Well, no. A monthly subscription to Office 365 costs as little as $4 per month per user, although this price can go up from there based on the features you need and level of package your firm needs.
As a trusted Managed Service Provider (MSP) for law firms throughout the greater Los Angeles area, we think it’s important for organizations to understand the costs and benefits to every potential technology change and considering a move to Office 365 is no different. Being in business for over 25 years, we've seen a lot of technology shifts over the years and, without a doubt, moving to the cloud has been one of the biggest. That said, moving to Office 365 is a great way to move your firm in this direction while addressing a business need in a most cost effective way.
If you’d like to share your thoughts or have questions, be sure to do so in the comments section below or feel free to send me an email to discuss this in more detail.