Office 365 – Aspirin versus a Headache?

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Office 365 – Aspirin versus a Headache?

Microsoft is making a big push for Office 365 and is touting the savings being achieved by early adopters. Are the savings there? Sure they are. Organizations can reduce costs significantly. In a recent article in Information Week, ‘Office 365 Gets the Thumbs Up in Kansas City’, Kansas City is expected to reap a savings of $600K per year and have reduced their data center by 26 servers. A very compelling ROI.

Turning the page, let’s look at a different scenario. Approximately 45% of Internet users (not necessarily business users) still use Windows XP or Windows Vista. Guess what – Office 365 won’t work with either of those operating systems. Office on Demand has pretty stringent requirements too and requires Windows 7 or 8 and a modern browser. Have any Google users that would like to synch Gmail to Outlook 2013? A no go unless you use IMAP.

Although these drawbacks are not necessarily business problems, they are if you are analyzing the accessibility for multiple users (think hundreds to thousands) who have multiple PC configurations and the expected ROI. I have never run across a company where every user is using the same configuration and operating system, let alone are all up-to-date and current. Rather defeats the purpose of Office 365 if people can’t access it.

With the new and growing trend for BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) I would be interested in knowing if you are considering Office 365 and if you have identified any issues with the potential mismatch of technical requirements for your end user devices? Has that swayed or delayed your decision?

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