Is Office 365 the Right Fit for You?

Did you know that Microsoft, which for many years has been a contributor to various nonprofits and charities, has created a program that provides participating nonprofits with something both useful and useable? 

 

     The effort is called Office 365 for Nonprofits, and delivers eligible organizations licenses for its Office 365.  It’s part of Microsoft’s broader “Technology for Good” program.

     According to Ginny Mies of Techsoup.org, “Is your staff spread across several locations?  Do you have a limited budget for IT support like installations and upgrades?  Are your staff and volunteers requesting to work from personal devices, such as their smartphones or tablets?”

     Mies continues, “Your nonprofit or charity might be ready to migrate to the cloud.  Microsoft Office 365 for Nonprofits allows you to have both the full capabilities and secure environment of installed software with the collaborative, anywhere availability of the cloud.”  Qualified nonprofits and charities can receive donated and newly discounted versions of Office 365 especially customized for nonprofits. 

     What are the benefits of Office 365?  According to Mies, “Office 365 deepens the word processing, data analysis, communication, and productivity features of Office that your staff is already familiar with.  Here are the key benefits:”

     Office Web Apps.  With these apps, you can open, view, and edit documents directly from your home computer’s browser (Internet Explorer, Chrome, Firefox, and Safari).  Your staff can use Office 365 on up to five of their own devices, providing them the flexibility to work wherever and whenever they need to.

 

     Hosted email.  With Microsoft Exchange Online, you can access your email, shared calendars, and contacts from your PC, Mac, smartphone, or tablet without having to set up a VPN (Virtual Private Network) or remote access to your office.  Office 365 provides each user with 25 GB of mailbox storage with attachments of up to 25 MB each.

     Document sharing.  You can easily share documents with your colleagues with SharePoint Online, which is like an online document repository in the cloud.  You can even edit documents simultaneously with others, saving you precious time.

     High-definition collaboration.  Microsoft Lync Online is an all-in-one tool for video calls, web conferencing, instant messaging, and voice calls.  With high-definition (HD) video conferencing, you can meet and collaborate with out-of-office staff and volunteers.

     Security and privacy.  Along with built-in spam and malware protection for email, Office 365 also lets you add security and mobile devices.   If your organization deals with sensitive information, your data will be protected in the cloud.  Office 365 is compliant with industry standards including HIPAA, FISMA, BAA, and others.

     Support 24/7.  Don’t have on-call IT staff?  Office 365 provides 24/7 professional-level support for issues ranging from critical to mild—dependent on the plan your organization has. 

    So just what plan is the correct fit for you?  There are two free donated plans:  Office 365 Small Business for Nonprofits; Office 365 Enterprise E1 for Nonprofits.  To find out if your organization is eligible to receive donated and discounted versions of Office 365, contact us today.

     Brian Proffitt of readwrite.com concludes, “While this may seem like yet-another cynical move by a big corporation to make points for charitable giving, the fact is that Microsoft’s donation to nonprofits is actually providing a lot of good.  The cloud version of Office 365 has a lot of functionality, and nonprofits are still reeling from the global economic downturn and slow recovery."

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