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Dmitrijs Krupnikovs
Director of business development at SIA BELAM Riga
Real User
Top 20
Great apps with good functionality and an easy initial setup

Pros and Cons

  • "The initial setup is very easy."
  • "Teams is, in some respects, lagging behind Skype for Business in some telephone-related features"

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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Stephen (Office)
President at Farstar SAC Consulting Inc
Real User
Good uptime, easy to onboard new people, and easy to set up

Pros and Cons

  • "As a small business, the big thing for us is the ability to onboard new people easily. So, it's a matter of minutes to add new users, buy a new license pack for them, assign the licenses to them, and get them logged on. It takes 10 to 15 minutes."
  • "In Teams, it is a little tricky to set up a guest or to become a guest on someone's domain, but if people do that, then you have an improvement in the shared access. The real pain, which is not a big thing, in Teams is if you're a small business user, it is really hard to get somebody on a different domain into your list of contacts. You can't just chat with them or start an instant meeting. That is easier to do with Zoom, which I also use. The real issue in Teams is that if you're not on the same domain, a lot of the good functionality falls apart. You have to actually be a guest in the other person's domain. I have a large customer, and they created a guest account for me in their domain so that I can chat with people inside their organization as though I was inside their organization, but not everybody is willing to do that. Some of my customers are Aerospace and Defense, and nobody gets on their domain."

What is our primary use case?

I'm using all the fundamental stuff such as Outlook, Teams, PowerPoint, and Word. I use Excel an awful lot for data analysis.

What is most valuable?

As a small business, the big thing for us is the ability to onboard new people easily. We have people come on board for both short and long term projects. Getting them a corporate identity through email is important and it needs to be painless.

Through the admin portal, it's a matter of minutes to add new users, assign a license or buy a new license, and get them logged on. It takes 10 to 15 minutes. 

What needs improvement?

A lot of the administration is done through the web interface, and that can be a little clunky sometimes. It is changing. They have a legacy interface and the new interface. So, it takes a little while to get used to one over the other, but it is not a huge thing. In the end, it usually works out.

In Teams, it is a little tricky to set up a guest or to become a guest on someone's domain, but if people do that, then you have an improvement in the shared access. The real pain, which is not a big thing, in Teams is if you're a small business user, it is really hard to get somebody on a different domain into your list of contacts. You can't just chat with them or start an instant meeting. That is easier to do with Zoom, which I also use. The real issue in Teams is that if you're not on the same domain, a lot of the good functionality falls apart. You have to actually be a guest in the other person's domain. I have a large customer, and they created a guest account for me in their domain so that I can chat with people inside their organization as though I was inside their organization, but not everybody is willing to do that. Some of my customers are Aerospace and Defense, and nobody gets on their domain. So, if you're in two different domains, the communication sucks, and you're better off picking up your phone, which is bad. If you go back to the old model of Skype, you could add people, and then you could chat with them whether they were in your domain or not.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using this solution for about five years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It is quite stable. I had no issues, and uptime is good.

How are customer service and technical support?

I haven't really dealt with tech support. It has been more around admin and billing, but it has been good. I probably needed some help from tech support a long time ago. They have multiple ways to connect. They can connect with you by email, or they can do a Remote Desktop or RDP. You can basically send them your cell phone number and tell them when you're ready for a call, and they'll call you. So, it has been really good.

How was the initial setup?

Setting everything up initially was pretty straightforward. I didn't get the domain name through Microsoft, but I was able to link everything to a domain that I had purchased from a totally different organization. 

Essentially, I got the exchange servers connected to a domain that I had purchased from somewhere else. It was pretty easy. The most complex part was where you have to go and set up some of the detailed information relating to the domain name. You have to change some mappings and settings in the MX record when you link it to the domain. You have to go back to where your domain is being hosted and modify the MX records based on the information that Microsoft gives you. It validates that you've got it right and tells you what is working or what is not working. It tells you which settings are or are not correct. So, even though creating MX record entries is a little bit complex, they walk you through it really well

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

I have one of the higher level business licenses, and then I have a number of very basic, lower-cost cost subscriptions for our short term team members. We're a small organization of a dozen people.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We considered Google but almost all of our customers are Microsoft shops.

What other advice do I have?

I come from an organization of 1,200 people, and around the time I was leaving, everything was being migrated to Office 365. The fact that Teams is bundled with the package now is a big thing because a lot of larger organizations are using Teams, so it lets you connect to them rather well.

I would rate this solution a nine out of 10.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Public Cloud

If public cloud, private cloud, or hybrid cloud, which cloud provider do you use?

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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Learn what your peers think about Microsoft 365 Business. Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: November 2021.
552,695 professionals have used our research since 2012.
RM
CEO at a tech services company with 51-200 employees
Real User
Top 20
User-friendly with a straightforward setup and good scalability potential

Pros and Cons

  • "The initial setup is extremely straightforward."
  • "It's a bit complex in itself when you get into items such as security or compliance."

What is our primary use case?

We primarily use the solution for email, collaboration, some business applications like Sharepoint, and the Exchange server.

How has it helped my organization?

For example, we have depended heavily on it for our remote work capability, we have worked 100% remotely since the Covid-19 pandemic hit.

What is most valuable?

The email on offer is very nice. It's very easy to use. We've enjoyed that aspect so far. It's very clearly laid out.

We can easily collaborate between users with. We can share and work on documents, for example. 

The solution has the capabilities to help me organize my week.

The product is very proactive. They know there are issues before we report them and they alert us to the fact that they are working to fix things.

For the most part, the solution is very user-friendly.

The initial setup is extremely straightforward.

What needs improvement?

Microsoft is having some issues now and therefore it may not be the best time to evaluate them. However, they acknowledge that they have the issues. They are working to fix things.

The stability is a real issue right now. It's something that they need to fix.

It's a bit complex in itself when you get into items such as security or compliance. That said, if you're knowledgeable it's no trouble. We are excited to see the end result after the various roll outs that MS is currently carrying on.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using the solution for years. It's been a long time. I have quite a bit of experience with the product.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The stability is not so good. It's an aspect of the solution we really don't like. They need to work on this. There is some stability, however, there are some issues with integrations. I am assuming that these recent stability issues stem from the various rollouts and integration activities that MS is carrying out to better improve the solution.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The solution scales easily. If you want to add people, you simply add them. However, that means you need to buy more licenses, so your cost will go up.

How are customer service and technical support?

Support can be a bit better, however, they are quite good at being proactive. Usually, they know there is a problem before we do, and by the time we reach out they are working on a fix of some sort.

Some of their support is AI as well, which means that over time, as it learns, it will get better and more effective. Basically, it needs to be a bit more robust. It needs to be more flexible in terms of understanding what you're looking for. That will likely come /improve with time.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We did use Outlook and Exchange, however, the ease of managing a SaaS versus on-prem meant it was more scalable and it's easy to manage. We didn't have to bother with any back-end integration.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is not complex at all. It was straightforward for our team. Basically, you log in online and download the software and everything is basically automatically set up so it's easy. You don't have to worry about complexities.

The deployment just takes a few minutes. It's very fast and easy. Of course, the download time depends on the speed of your internet.

What about the implementation team?

We handled the process ourselves. We did not need the assistance of an integrator or consultant. It was all done in-house.

What was our ROI?

A bit of a tough one to calculate for MS365 but I would say that it is positive, very positive.

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

The licensing is flexible. You can pay yearly or monthly. It's up to you.

The overall cost is relative. There aren't a lot of other mainstream options, except for maybe Google Email.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Google Apps

What other advice do I have?

We are using the latest version of the solution at this point. I cannot recall the exact version number, however. It may be the 2019 release.

Currently, we have about 30 people on our team.

We do plan to continue to use the solution going forward. We have no plans to change to something else.

I'd recommend this solution to other organizations. I would rate it at an 8 out of 10. The collaboration capabilities we have now are amazing. We really appreciate what it empowers us to achieve.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Public Cloud

If public cloud, private cloud, or hybrid cloud, which cloud provider do you use?

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner
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Ivan Davidov
CTO at a computer software company with 51-200 employees
Real User
Top 20
Well-integrated, reasonable price, and good stability, but Microsoft Teams should have better performance and SharePoint should have more features

Pros and Cons

  • "Everything gets integrated. Different services that they provide are well integrated into the entire system, which is the biggest strength of Microsoft products. Everything works together. If I create a Microsoft Teams theme, I get a SharePoint site and planner. Everything, including permissions, is scoped, which is really nice."
  • "Microsoft Teams, which is a video conferencing, chat, and collaboration tool, has some issues with video codecs. It has really bad performance, especially on the Mac OS, and requires a lot of improvements. I'm using MacBook Pro, and the performance of Microsoft Teams is disastrous. It is really unusable. Given our subscription, we get Microsoft Teams for free, but we are often opting to use Zoom or some other tool because the entire computer becomes almost unusable. New age applications should be written in a way that ensures similar performance across different operating systems. I'm not sure how it works on Windows. I assume it works better, but Microsoft needs to ensure that the performance is really good. It should provide the same kind of user experience across different platforms. They can use more efficient development tools when it comes to applications. They seem to be using a technology that uses a lot of resources on our personal computers. I know that Microsoft is pushing a lot of applications to be built in the Office 365 ecosystem, but Microsoft Teams should be a focus because it is a collaboration tool. Its performance and usability need to be better, especially in the times of COVID-19. As a part of management, I use the collaboration tools and video conferencing tools for approximately five or six hours a day. Such issues have a big business impact because the management makes decisions about the tools that are going to be used within the company. SharePoint could somehow be improved or changed to match the features of Confluence from Atlassian. There is an opportunity to do some improvements there."

What is our primary use case?

We are using it for file sharing, office applications, email, and SharePoint.

How has it helped my organization?

We use Microsoft solutions for everything that we do. A part of our software development is done in .NET using Visual Studio and development tools. We use Azure Cloud Platform, and we are also providing services to our client's clients. It would be hard to imagine using something else because we are so used to using Microsoft tools. It is something that you count on having.

What is most valuable?

Everything gets integrated. Different services that they provide are well integrated into the entire system, which is the biggest strength of Microsoft products. Everything works together. If I create a Microsoft Teams theme, I get a SharePoint site and planner. Everything, including permissions, is scoped, which is really nice.

What needs improvement?

Microsoft Teams, which is a video conferencing, chat, and collaboration tool, has some issues with video codecs. It has really bad performance, especially on the Mac OS, and requires a lot of improvements. I'm using MacBook Pro, and the performance of Microsoft Teams is disastrous. It is really unusable. Given our subscription, we get Microsoft Teams for free, but we are often opting to use Zoom or some other tool because the entire computer becomes almost unusable. New age applications should be written in a way that ensures similar performance across different operating systems. I'm not sure how it works on Windows. I assume it works better, but Microsoft needs to ensure that the performance is really good. It should provide the same kind of user experience across different platforms. They can use more efficient development tools when it comes to applications. They seem to be using a technology that uses a lot of resources on our personal computers. I know that Microsoft is pushing a lot of applications to be built in the Office 365 ecosystem, but Microsoft Teams should be a focus because it is a collaboration tool. Its performance and usability need to be better, especially in the times of COVID-19. As a part of management, I use the collaboration tools and video conferencing tools for approximately five or six hours a day. Such issues have a big business impact because the management makes decisions about the tools that are going to be used within the company.

SharePoint could somehow be improved or changed to match the features of Confluence from Atlassian. There is an opportunity to do some improvements there. 

For how long have I used the solution?

We have been using this solution for six or seven years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It is stable if we exclude the issues with Microsoft Teams. I am the technical director of a company that has 130 employees. I don't remember experiencing any kind of issues. There was an outage for a very short period of time about three months ago, but it was nothing bad. Its stability is great.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It is scalable. Everything that we use is based on a cloud source. It is pretty scalable, especially for our needs.

It is used by the entire company. It is an official tool for document management and business apps. We have 130 employees. Its usage will increase. We have the intention to grow as a company, so we will increase its usage accordingly.

How are customer service and technical support?

We didn't have too much of a need for technical support or any kind of support, but when we needed it, it was okay. I don't remember which support plan we are subscribed to, but it works okay. 

How was the initial setup?

It is pretty much straightforward. It cannot be configured for the first time by someone who is not trained to configure it. You need help from basically your cloud service provider (CSP). Your CSP will provide resources to do the initial configurations. Such tools are not easy to configure for the first time, but everything else is pretty much intuitive. If you have an IT background, it should be intuitive and easy.

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

Its price is what you would expect today from a software-as-a-service offering. It is somewhere around $10 per user per month.

What other advice do I have?

I would advise making sure that someone experienced with Microsoft Office 365 platform and ecosystem is leading your organization. Otherwise, find a great partner to help you and guide you through the implementation process.

I would rate Microsoft 365 Business a seven out of ten. A couple of things can be better.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Public Cloud
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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OS
Operations Manager at a computer software company with 1-10 employees
Real User
Top 5Leaderboard
Stable with good security and an easy initial setup

Pros and Cons

  • "The solution is very easy to use. It's completely transparent and extremely easy to navigate."
  • "The technical support process could be a bit more secure. The information should stay within the ticketing system itself and not be passed via email."

What is our primary use case?

We are using the product primarily for all of our internal documentation and exchanges. The use cases are nothing special. It's quite basic for the most part.

What is most valuable?

The fact that it's completely on the cloud is one of its most useful aspects. We do not have to manage anything. 

We use the Office and Teams mostly. They are very helpful applications for our office.

The solution is very easy to use. It's completely transparent and extremely easy to navigate.

The stability is quite good. 

We found the installation to be very simple.

The solution offers good security and compliance.

What needs improvement?

From time to time we have some issues with OneDrive. OneDrive is not perfect. It's nice, however, from time to time we have some problems specifically with reloading the replication. We have to set it up again and again. It's not very stable.

The technical support process could be a bit more secure. The information should stay within the ticketing system itself and not be passed via email.

For how long have I used the solution?

We've been using the solution for three years or so. We've used it for a while now.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The solution has proven to be quite stable. Its performance is good. There are no bugs or glitches and it doesn't crash or freeze on us. 

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We don't really scale the solution. We're a pretty small company. We're only three users, and therefore do not need to scale at all. Therefore, I can't really speak to its capabilities. However, in the future, we are likely to expand usage.

How are customer service and technical support?

I've only had one experience with technical support. It was not for me. It was for one of the customers. However, the experience was really, really good. 

Once it was finished, they ask for feedback. Technical support was perfect, however, the ticketing system was not that great. Once you've created a ticket, all the next steps are through email. Yet, if there is an email or something which is private, it should not be sent by email. That's why they have to improve the ticketing process. They should send a link to your ticket via email and always keep the information itself within the ticketing system.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

The company is quite new. Before I was working at a bigger company which was completely different. However, when we started this new business, we decided to make it as simple as possible for us. That's why we decided to move to the cloud completely.

We also use Zoho for the cloud, for all our accounting, and invoicing, and so on. There is no Microsoft offering for that. It's completely separate. There is no link between them.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is not difficult or overly complex. It's pretty straightforward and simple. 

The deployment is quick and only takes a few clicks. Implementation is only a few minutes. From an end-user point of view, it's even faster as it's just a click or two.

We don't need anyone to handle deployment or maintenance.

What about the implementation team?

We handle the implementation ourselves. We have an IT team and we are quite capable of managing the implementation. Therefore we don't need the assistance of any integrators or consultants.

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

We have a license that we pay on a monthly basis.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We did not evaluate other options before choosing Microsoft.

What other advice do I have?

We're just a customer and an end-user.

We are using the latest version of the solution.

We are like customers. Even if we do not sell these kinds of services, when customers ask us for advice, we recommend them to move to Microsoft. One of our business lines is in GDPR. For that, we recommend them to move to something which is completely secure. Microsoft Office 365 is one of them. We recommend customers move to Office 365 for that reason. 

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

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Public Cloud

If public cloud, private cloud, or hybrid cloud, which cloud provider do you use?

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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LM
Technology Solutions Manager at a tech services company with 51-200 employees
Reseller
Top 5
Feature-rich, easy to use, stable, and is priced well

Pros and Cons

  • "There is a lot of documentation available that is easy to comprehend and follow."
  • "I am responsible for handling the licenses and was not happy with the amount of time spent during the auditing process."

What is our primary use case?

We are cloud service providers for Microsoft. We offer it as a service to our customers and we are heavy users of Microsoft products.

We use this solution in our office for email and communication through SharePoint and Teams. We maximize the use of the forms that are also included in Office 365.

As the head of our technology solutions group, I use it also for tracking, and surveys within the team. I share the forms with the team and I am able to receive responses from the team. 

I had used Excel and Word for many years even before I started using this solution.

How has it helped my organization?

In the past, offices had to install their own Exchange, but with Office 365 we can enjoy the email that is bundled with it, which is Outlook. 

What is most valuable?

I enjoy using Teams, Outlook, the forms that are provided, and SharePoint because it connects all of us within the team.

We are able to share all of our worksheets, and the collaboration is valuable. This is what makes the Teams feature the part I enjoy the most in this solution.

The storage, cloud storage, and forms are very useful.

There is a lot of documentation available that is easy to comprehend and follow.

What needs improvement?

I have yet to explore all of what this solution offers. At this time, my focus is on learning more about Teams, especially the forms and the collaboration.

The area that consumes a lot of my time is auditing. I am responsible for handling the licenses and was not happy with the amount of time spent during the auditing process.

There is always room for improvement.

For how long have I used the solution?

I started with this company three years ago and that is when I started using Microsoft 365 Business.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Microsoft 365 Business is a stable product.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

I have not yet experienced expanding this solution. It provides me with enough resources and enough service. For now, scalability is not something that I am concerned with.

How are customer service and technical support?

We have not contacted the technical support of Microsoft. We have our own technical support team who can support us.

The last time that I had an issue, it was easily resolved by our team. They were able to resolve it easily.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We also provide Hyper-V. We offer the operating system of Microsoft and bundle it when we offer servers for our customers.

I use solutions other than Microsoft 365 Business. I also use SQL, the Windows Server Operating System, and the CALs. I find that CALs is a bit more complicated but because there is a lot of support available, I am able to figure it out. When I ask for clarification and the correct sizing, they provide me with that.

More of us should be more aware of the usage of CALs and how it really works with the operating system.

How was the initial setup?

I was not involved in the initial setup as we have an in-house IT team who is responsible for the installation.

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

I find the pricing of Microsoft 365 Business to be reasonable. With the other products such as SQL database, they are expensive.

There is a free license with Microsoft, which is the SQL Express. But it would be better if they could improve, or make adjustments to have higher limitations.

The Express is limited based on the capacity of the memory and processor. If my requirements go beyond those limitations then I have to go to the standard edition, which is very expensive.

I would like to see adjustments made to the limitations in SQL Express. It would be very helpful.

What other advice do I have?

I am really very happy using this solution. I am comfortable using it and have asked my team to offer this solution and I have included it as a part of our portfolio.

I encourage my team to offer this solution to some of our customers who are not yet with Office 365.

We have our own management portal and we are partners with Microsoft.

I would definitely recommend this solution to anyone who is not yet using it.

I would rate Microsoft 365 Business a nine out of ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Public Cloud
Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: reseller
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JK
Advanced Technology Executive at a computer software company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Real User
Excellent dictation is one of many valuable features

Pros and Cons

  • "Recording is a major feature for us. Dictation is huge. I use that on client calls when the client is speaking."
  • "Outlook should tie into a backend database and everything should be done in the Outlook screen."

What is our primary use case?

My use case is internally, as a seller communicating with my fellow colleagues. We use the OneNote package for Windows 10 to share internal knowledge. That gets used every day, all day. We use Microsoft Dynamics as our CRM, and we have done something really wonderful and are able to have them all talk to each other. We put in an account code in one area and it is documented in many different areas.

What is most valuable?

There are a couple features that I have found most valuable. Recording is a major feature for us, at least internally. It took a lot of conversations and I can't type that fast. We are able to capture and then go back and repeat. Dictation is huge. I use that on client calls when the client is speaking, I can give you a play-by-play of that conversation, with their permission, of course. Then the obvious features, Outlook and email are just spot on. I never have any glitches there. It's sent and received within the timeline of five seconds and life is good.

What needs improvement?

In terms of what could be improved, it has always been my question why can't we just have one solution? Everything is an add on. You've got Microsoft Office or Microsoft Business, and I think Outlook should be the primary. I think Outlook should tie into a backend database and everything should be done in the Outlook screen. When I take notes, go to the conversation with the client or my client folder, and I've got a notepad in there as I'm documenting notes, anybody in the company should see it. I should not have to then cut and paste my notes and put them into CRM or Dynamics, things of that nature. As an operation tool, there should be just one central place. I don't care where it goes from there, but my boss can then go right to Outlook and click on my customer folder and see exactly what's been happening.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Microsoft 365 Business has been very steady. One of my pet peeves would probably be that as you get over 15 megs in communication between your clients, it does tend to bottleneck a little bit.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

I wouldn't be able to talk to scalability because I work on it as a single user, but I would say that if you and I are communicating back and forth via email and by day five, we've already got five megs of communication going on between us because you've got signatures with pictures and I've got signatures with pictures and it's chewing up tremendous amounts of space. Then it kills the bandwidth. My thought would be, why can't Microsoft Office be as smart as saying, this logo has been represented seven times already in this communication chain, let's just keep the most recent. That would be great. Then as you're sending around version control for documents and you have version two on Monday and you're up to version eight by Thursday, all those versions are still stuck in the email. Why can't Microsoft be smart enough to say, would you like to keep all the previous versions, yes or no? It could eliminate that bottleneck and be a little bit more productive.

How are customer service and technical support?

I have to give support a grade 100. When you call Microsoft, you actually get a Zones employee that says, "Hello, you've reached Microsoft's concierge desk." They outsource that to us. I have to say 100 perfect, they were great.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is a one button set up.

What other advice do I have?

I just came from IBM before I rejoined Zones. They are still on Lotus notes there. I would say Microsoft is always on the cutting edge and I feel every time when I come back to Microsoft, Outlook and all the other tool sets engaged in there, that it has always been a better experience. Absolutely.

On a scale of one to ten, I would probably give Microsoft 365 Business an 8, just because of those things that we spoke about. I spend a lot of hours a week cutting and pasting, when I think it should all be connected somehow.

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner
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Calvin David
Director - Digitization at KYC Technologies Botswana
Real User
Top 20
Robust platform for office procedure including document sharing, with excellent technical support

Pros and Cons

  • "The most valuable features are that it is quite robust and is a collaborative model."
  • "I would like to be able to connect Power BI to data sources easily."

What is our primary use case?

We use this solution for our office administration purposes, emailing, and document sharing.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable features are that it is quite robust and is a collaborative model. For example, if I have opened a file in Word or Excel, every member of the organization who is logged in with their accounts at that same time can collaborate on the same document. We don't have to create multiple copies.

I like auto-server mode and the fact that you can unify them under one platform.

The fact that they are able to save directly to cloud storage and collaborate is something that is helpful.

What needs improvement?

The pricing can be reduced.

I don't like the number of email notifications that are sent, it's too often. I receive emails every day. It would be better to have weekly updates with one summary or have the summary every fortnight.

I would like to be able to connect Power BI to data sources easily. The Enterprise level comes with gateway connectivity, and that comes with many permissions. I understand that they are concerned about security, but they don't make it easy to automatically link your Power BI workflow to your apps such as Excel, PowerPoint, data sources, Access, and to your Microsoft flow at an enterprise-level deployment. It would be good to have a back-to-back connection between applications.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using this solution for two years.

We are using the 365 Enterprise, which is the lastest one.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

This solution is quite stable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

This is a scalable solution.

We are a small organization aiming to grow. We have three core users and adding another one at the end of this month.

How are customer service and technical support?

The technical support is very good. When I first signed up, I received a call and they spent close to an hour going over everything, step by step. They were quite helpful and very patient with me during that process. He went beyond his real competency by assisting me. This experience helped me appreciate Microsoft packages and services.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

I have always used Microsoft. I have set up the normal Microsoft Office versions that you can install, such as 2013, and 2016.

Primarily I use two systems, Windows and Linux, but for office administration purposes, Office is the leading solution provider. Linux is mostly for deep development and server setups.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is straightforward.

I had some challenges because I have approximately seven different applications on my computer that are directly related and connected to the cloud. It took me 30 minutes to deploy.

There are many apps on the cloud for 365, but on your device, you are limited to anywhere from nine to eleven.

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

The price just keeps going up and it never comes down, but the service that you receive with the support is worth it.

It works out to be $12.50 per user per month. For us, it will cost approximately $50.00 for four users per month. This doesn't include the cost for other licensing on other app subscriptions.

What other advice do I have?

We have a setup file that we are running on our systems but most of the functionalities and features are from the cloud.

I would recommend this solution. The challenges with technologies are very dynamic. It changes daily based on the requirements and the scope.

If we look at the world right now, we are moving towards digital platforms at our premises due to the non-contact, issues of working from home, being able to pay people, and needing to have meetings.

Proof of concept is okay when you are trying to purchase or have a trial to purchase. You start the first month on a free platform. It is nice because the first month is free.

I would rate this solution an eight out of ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Public Cloud
Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: partner