Microsoft 365 Business Review

Great apps with good functionality and an easy initial setup

What is our primary use case?

We use all aspects of the solution, including SharePoint, Outlook, and Office - whole nine yards.

We're using SharePoint as cloud storage. We are usually using Microsoft Office. We're using Microsoft Project. We are using Microsoft Teams. We're using Skype for business. We're using Excel and Word. We tend to use everything more than average users are using its capabilities.

What is most valuable?

The integration between all of the apps is helpful. 

We're using Excel quite a bit, including Visual Basic, including macros, including all kinds of features there, to do reporting and to generate various reports. This is being used, it is good, and its functionality is great.

Microsoft Project is also used quite a bit and we like how easy it is.

However, some things and applications are still not up to speed. For example, I'm talking to you through a Jabra earpiece. If I speak via Skype for Business, and I want to end the conversation, I can press a button on my earpiece and it drops the call. Skype on Teams doesn't work this way.

I find Microsoft Office 365 initial setup is very easy.

The stability is pretty good.

What needs improvement?

Microsoft has different tweaks on various interfaces. If you look, for example, at where the button to update Microsoft Office software is in Word, Excel, and Outlook, they're in three different places. They need to standardize the design in a lot of ways.

Once you update Office, there's a button which takes you to the Microsoft website that is supposed to show what is new in the latest release of Office. It hasn't been updated for at least half a year. Right now, what's listed there is from February.

Teams is, in some respects, lagging behind Skype for Business in some telephone-related features. For example, if I'm talking to you through our Jabra earpiece and if I speak on Skype for Business, and I want to end the conversation, I can press a button on my earpiece and it drops the call. However, Skype on Teams doesn't work this way. This is the telephony side and integration with voice devices could be better.

In Excel, Microsoft is creating better programming functionality, which would allow you to programme without actually programming, which is easier than Visual Basic. They call it Labmda functionality in a beta release, but they have not released it yet. I wish that it would have been available already.

The Office solution has collaborative capabilities, however, it's not as advanced as, for example, Google Docs. 

If Word colaborative work on a document works in most cases. However, in Excel, two people can work on the same document, however, it's not truly in real-time. 

The product can get expensive. You do need to pay for features and add-ons.

For how long have I used the solution?

I would not be able to pin down exactly when we started using 365 Business as we have been using Microsoft projects for 25 years. However, when it switched to 365 Business, we started using it. That was a couple of years ago.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The solution is fairly stable. There are no bugs or glitches. It doesn't really have the best real-time collaborative aspects, however, that's more functionality as opposed to stability.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We have about 100 users on the solution so far. We haven't come across any issues with scalability so far.

How are customer service and technical support?

We have connections to a person who worked at Microsoft, and often, when we have questions, we direct our queries to him instead of Microsoft directly.

How was the initial setup?

We found the initial setup to be quite simple and straightforward. It's not overly complex.

I cannot recall the exact amount of time it took to deploy the solution.

The solution basically maintains itself. It's on the click-to-run version. It does its own updates. I'm trying to be on the biweekly schedule, so that, as soon as they released something new, I'm grabbing it. Sometimes, however, for example, this feature with lambda programming, which was to be released in March, has not come yet.

Beyond that, if any maintenance is needed, we have an IT department that can handle any tasks related to that.

What about the implementation team?

I was able to handle the setup myself. It didn't require us to find an integrator or consultant to help us. It was pretty easy to handle in-house.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

The solution can get quite expensive once you add everything that you need as an organization. You do need to pay for product features and add-ons.

What other advice do I have?

We are using the latest version of the solution.

We are currently migrating to the cloud. Most of it's SharePoint, however, it's still a mix of on-prem and cloud. We have to do a complete migration to the cloud eventually.

While there may be some open-source tools on the market, we find that you do get what you pay for and Microsoft does offer quite a bit. In general, I'm mainly used to Microsoft and have been happy with it. I'd recommend it to others.

I'd rate the solution at a nine out of ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Hybrid Cloud
**Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner
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