Are you thinking of moving your business to the cloud but not sure how to? Maybe you've heard about Office 365 (now Microsoft 365) but aren't sure how to move everything over without breaking anything. Concerned at how long it might take, potential for downtime and losing your data?!
Well it doesn't need to be with the help of Kapiti.IT. We can move your small business to Microsoft 365 fast and efficiently. We'll plan everything in advance with you, including; licensing, email migration, DNS management and other features you may decide on such as backups, Onedrive, Sharepoint, Office suite etc.
We've migrated a lot of businesses to Microsoft 365, including our own so we know what we're doing. Whether you want to combine your business email, website and storage together under a low monthly fee, or something much bigger, we can work with you.
For those of you unsure if Microsoft 365 is the right way to go for your small business or personal domain name here's some insights. You may already be paying for an Office license yearly which can be bundled with Microsoft 365, then you've got all the benefits of using the worlds largest computer company as your backbone ensuring all your emails hit the inbox, not the spam folder! Are backed up and always there when you need it!
Plus you've got Onedrive for accessing all your files and backing them up to ensure you never lose a thing! Then there's Sharepoint and Microsoft Teams, along with over 100 other tools for your small business such as Power Automate, Microsoft Intune for managing your laptops and company issued devices, plus tons of other features, all for one low monthly fee.
When combining Microsoft 365 with a web hosting solution for your website, or enterprise setup at home / business you've got everything you need to run your business online securely and affordably, allowing you to focus on sales!
Below are some common Microsoft 365 tasks we do for our clients to give you an idea on what we can do/help you with too.
Most of our clients come to us after having a bad experience or are forced to as their hosting provider is shutting up shop. Most likely they've got a domain name with a web hosting provider that's also managing their email. They may be using their ISP who has tied their domain name to a personal email such as Xtra.
We recommend keeping your domain name with a domain provider and managing this yourself for security and peace of mind. This is the lifeline of your business and should never be in control by another entity.
We will get your DNS moved over to Cloudflare or Cloudns allowing us to make DNS changes almost instantly, ensuring zero downtime on any changes made to your existing setup.
We then recommend using Microsoft 365 business for your email. We'll change your MX records DNS to Microsoft email and help move your existing email to Microsoft 365 using a PST export and import.
We'll setup your Outlook with Microsoft 365, and setup any devices you're using with your email addresses. Signatures, mail rules and everything else can be re-added.
We'll then setup the DNS for your web hosting and website ensuring this continues to work as expected. If you'd like us to host your website or manage your website we offer these services too.
Finally we'll setup any other feature within Microsoft 365 you'd like to use. This maybe managing your devices through Intune, setting up a Sharepoint website, managing and syncing backups through Onedrive, or simply using the full office suite.
What is Microsoft 365 for business?
Microsoft 365, formerly known as Office 365, is a subscription service offered by Microsoft that includes a variety of productivity and collaboration tools. The suite includes Microsoft Office apps like Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook, as well as cloud services like OneDrive and SharePoint.
Depending on the plan you choose, Microsoft 365 may also offer:
Teams: A communication platform that integrates chat, video meetings, and file storage
Exchange: A mail server and calendaring server
Power Automate: A tool for automating business processes
Power Apps: A suite of apps, services, connectors and data platform to build custom apps for your business
Power BI: A business analytics tool
Planner: A task management tool
Microsoft 365 is available in several plans aimed at different needs, such as Microsoft 365 Personal, Microsoft 365 Family, and versions tailored for businesses and educational institutions. The service is subscription-based, meaning you pay a monthly or yearly fee to use it.
Why should small businesses use Microsoft 365?
Small businesses can benefit from using Microsoft 365 in a number of ways:
Collaboration: Microsoft 365 includes tools like Teams, which make it easy for employees to work together, share files, and communicate in real time, whether they're in the same office or working remotely. SharePoint also allows for easy sharing and management of documents.
Accessibility: Since Microsoft 365 is cloud-based, you can access your files and applications from any device with an internet connection. This is a big benefit for businesses with remote workers or teams that travel frequently.
Cost-effective: Small businesses often need to keep tight control over their budgets. Microsoft 365 is a subscription service, which means you pay a predictable amount each month instead of having large upfront costs. Additionally, because Microsoft 365 is scalable, you can adjust your plan as your business grows.
Security: Microsoft 365 comes with built-in security features, including data loss prevention, multi-factor authentication, and threat detection. This can help small businesses protect sensitive information without needing a large IT department.
Productivity Tools: Microsoft 365 includes well-known productivity tools like Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, as well as newer tools like Planner for task management and Power BI for business analytics. These tools can help small businesses operate more efficiently.
Updates and Support: With a Microsoft 365 subscription, you always have the latest version of each application without having to pay for upgrades. Microsoft also provides support for its products, which can be very helpful for small businesses without a dedicated IT staff.
Integration: Microsoft 365 is designed to work seamlessly with other Microsoft products, as well as many third-party services. This can save time and reduce the complexity of your IT systems.
Remember, while Microsoft 365 has many benefits, whether it's the right choice depends on the specific needs and circumstances of the business. Some businesses may prefer different tools, or they may find that a mix of solutions works best for them.
What are factors small businesses should consider when using Microsoft 365?
While Microsoft 365 has many benefits, there are also some potential downsides to consider:
Subscription-Based Pricing: While the subscription model can be more affordable upfront, costs can add up over time. If you only use a few of the tools provided, it may be more cost-effective to purchase standalone software or use alternative services. Billing is per user per month, i.e. $18+gst for the most common license.
Internet Dependence: Because Microsoft 365 is primarily cloud-based, most of its functionality requires a reliable internet connection. If your internet service is unreliable or slow, or if you work in locations without internet access, you might experience issues.
Learning Curve: With so many tools available, it can take time for employees to learn how to use them effectively. Training can be time-consuming and potentially costly.
Compatibility Issues: While Microsoft 365 applications are widely used, there can sometimes be compatibility issues with other software or systems, particularly if they're older or less common.
Privacy Concerns: While Microsoft 365 has robust security features, some businesses have concerns about storing sensitive data on the cloud. Even with encryption and other security measures, data breaches are a possibility. Some businesses may prefer to use their own in-house servers.
Limited Customisation: While Microsoft 365 offers a broad range of tools and features, there may be limitations in terms of customisation. If your business has very specific needs or workflows, you might find that Microsoft 365 doesn't offer the flexibility you need.
Potential for Overkill: For very small businesses or sole proprietorships, the array of tools and features offered by Microsoft 365 may be more than what's needed, leading to unnecessary costs.
How much does Microsoft 365 business cost in New Zealand?
The pricing for Microsoft 365 Business in New Zealand dollars is as follows:
1. Microsoft 365 Business Basic: NZ$9.10 per user/month
2. Microsoft 365 Business Standard: NZ$18.90 per user/month
3. Microsoft 365 Business Premium: NZ$33.30 per user/month
4. Microsoft 365 Apps for business: NZ$14.80 per user/month
Please note that these are annual subscription prices that auto-renew. Monthly fees are similar.
Can I host my email with Microsoft and my website elsewhere?
Yes you can. With DNS management we point certain services at certain platforms. For example using MX records we point your email to Microsoft, and using A records your website at your hosting company. Any subdomains or SaaS platforms will likely be setup under CNAME or A records which again we can setup. We recommend using a free DNS management tool such as Cloudflare or Cloudns which we can setup and manage for you.
Why use Microsoft 365 for email vs my web host?
Most web hosts are good at hosting, but when their IPs get blacklisted for spam abuse from other customers they are often slow to react. This means other companies such as Gmail, Yahoo, Hotmail etc will often place your emails into spam folders / junk folders of your customers. Most people don't check these folders, leading to missed emails. Hotmail for example receives billions of emails daily, so isn't going to check that the IP address of your web host has been misidentified as spam, instead relying on spam lookup databases to make a decision on whether to trust or distrust your email. When you use email platforms such as Microsoft, Gmail and Protonmail, these companies have teams that ensure all their IPs are fully operational, never blocked and always whitelisted with other vendors. They also have the technology and resources to ensure emails end up in the right place, the inbox!
For most small businesses, hitting the inbox is the #1 most important factor and this comes at a slight cost, around $9 per user per month for the entry level plan, up to $18.90 per user per month for more advanced features.
There are ofcourse free options from Gmail and Protonmail for businesses but we only use Microsoft from experience, support and security benefits.
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