Changing the Way You Buy Office

0365 across devices
At Microsoft’s 2015 Worldwide Partner Conference, Microsoft openly discussed plans to replace Enterprise Agreements and most Open Value licensing with subscription based models. Going away are the per-device, traditional “box” software.  For Microsoft, this is more than a change in method, it represents a change for the better in how the company will distribute, update, and enhance MS Office and other products. Forget major releases every 2 years, a subscription model enables continuous incremental improvements and will make Microsoft even more responsive to customers’ needs.

This Change is Good for You, the Microsoft User

In addition to better access to innovation, the new Office 365 Business and Office 365 ProPlus licenses are the best fit for most small and mid-size businesses.

  • Each license covers 5 PCs or Macs, 5 tablets, & 5 phones per user
    Your team can install MS Office on any device they use, giving them the ability to work on nearly any device, from anywhere, at anytime.
  • Local and/or Web Versions of MS Office
    Depending on your license choice, you can have both the local and web versions of MS Office.  Your team has added flexibility and features, and the ability to work securely from anywhere at anytime.
  • 1TB of Cloud Storage
    Keep documents secure, usable, and sharable without messy sync-and-share apps, email attachments, or thumbdrives.
  • License Flexibility
    Adjust your license count, as needed, on a monthly or annual basis, avoiding sunken costs on unused licenses and features.
  • Lower Cost
    Licenses with local and cloud Office licensing are as low as $99 per user per year, about 1/3 less than purchasing Office with Software Assurance or paying for upgrades every 3 to 4 years.

If you are thinking about, or ready to upgrade to your MS Office licensing, contact us for a free license consultation and Office 365 Business or Office 365 ProPlus quote.  We will match you the best license option.

And, through January 31, 2016, you can save at 5% or more on annual prepay Office 365 Business licensing.

The Internet of (Incompatible) Things

Internet of Things.ForbesOne of the scourges of technology for small and mid-size businesses, is how compatible technologies and systems often become incompatible over time. As IT professionals and business owners, we have all seen this happen. An operating system update “breaks” your backup software, which you upgrade only to find out your older tape drive is no longer supported.

As we enter the age of the Internet of Things (“IoT”) in which nearly every device will be connected, expect to see more of the same, only different.  In fact, it is happening already.  In February 2015, we received a Moto 360 as a demo unit. A few of our Android users tried it out and connected it to their phones. Preferring other devices, the Moto 360 ended up in the hands of an iPhone user.  No connection; no support until Android Wear for iOS was released.

Or so we thought. Android Wear required an iOS upgrade that would not fit on the iPhone 5. An upgrade to an iPhone 6S and the latest version of iOS should do the trick. Except the Moto 360 is not compatible with the iPhone 6 phones. Moto 360 support ended with the iPhone 5.

Historically, operating systems and equipment in the PC world had roughly a 3 year life cycle between generations. In the post-PC world, hardware generations are running between 12 and 18 months with major operating system updates and versions every 6 to 9 months.

As we increase the number of attached and connected devices in our workplace and our personal lives, the speed at which compatibility is lost seems to be accelerating.

To be fair to consumers and businesses, device and software manufacturers should publish their compatibility policies. For example, Google could set a policy that their devices will be kept current with only 2 generations of hardware and/or 3 generations of each mobile operating system. This type of transparency will enable businesses to purchase with a forward looking view and accurate expectations. Vendors will benefit as well, as companies may elect to purchase higher end products with a longer shelf life