Office 365 is one of the better products to have come out of Redmond over the last couple of years. For very little money you have access to some of the best enterprise class products and services on the market which can really transform a business. It is no wonder thousands of businesses have signed up and continue to do so. There is however one pitfall that I have come across in the last 12 months which quite a few businesses continue to fall into – joining someone elses Office 365 subscription.
Let me explain what I am on about. Lets say we have a company called A who does a lot of work with a company called B who has an active Office 365 Small Business subscription. Company A is very impressed with Office 365 and is considering signing up as they feel it would improve their business. Company B suggests that since both companies work closely together it would be no hassle to add Company A to their active subscription. This is the pitfall. Once company A is added to company B’s subscription company B would have access to all of company A’s emails and any documents stored in OneDrive for Business. This is even worse if company A stores any data that is not relevant to company B in OneDrive for Business (I have seen this) as effectively data protection goes out the window.
I have seen IT companies actively encouraging companies to sign upto the same subscription which to me is ludicrous. Yes it makes the IT management simpler but exposes client data to a third party which goes against the data protection act.
So if you intend to subscribe to Office 365 do yourself and your clients a favour and get your own subscription and don’t join someone else’s.
About the Author
Hi I’m Chris Wakefield the owner of ComTech IT Support. I provide Windows, Mac and Linux based IT Support to small businesses in Stirling, Alloa and Falkirk.
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The world is changing people!! Coming to the end are the days when you bought a piece of software which you could call your own and use it as many times as you wanted. Slowly but surely paying a monthly or yearly subscription for software is becoming the norm.
When Microsoft announced the release of Office 2013 they had slowly but surely moved the goalposts (not in a technical way but a monetary one). This was the first time that Office was offered on a yearly subscription having always previously been a box set . Yes you can still buy Office 2013 but not as a disk. You get access to a download that you can only use on one system whereas the subscription allows you to install on 5 systems (Home Premium) along with a host of features not available if you only bought the download.
It is not only Microsoft that has started charging for a subscription as Google are also at it. Google Apps which was once free (personal use) is now offered on a yearly subscription of $50 whilst Adobe are also charging a subscription for their Creative Suite software like Photoshop.
In the depths of online storage Dropbox, Google Drive and the rest charge a monthly fee if you require more storage space then they offer for free.
So where does this leave the consumer? To put it blunt out of pocket. The reason that companies are charging a subscription for their software rather than a one off price is that they can make more money – pure and simple. Is there anything you can do to mitigate this?
Yes and No.
If you have a copy of Microsoft Office dating back to 2000 – 2010 it will still work for a while yet until Microsoft decides that newer formats will not be compatible and you would have to move over to the subscription model. You could switch to an opensource productivity suite like Libreoffice which is free and can do almost everything Office can (besides Outlook). If however you rely on Office in some shape or form you would have to start paying your monthly (Office 365) or yearly (Office 2013) subscription at some point.
It is not all doom and gloom though as subscription software does have its benefits. You will always be on the most updated software as this would happen automatically and in the case of Microsoft Office (Office 365) and Google Apps you can access it through a browser. You would also be able to deal with software budgets better as you know how much is spent on a monthly or yearly basis.
At some point though you will be paying (unless you run Linux of course!!).
About the Author
Hi I am Chris Wakefield the owner of ComTech IT Support. I provide Windows and Linux based IT Support, laptop repairs and computer repairs to both business and personal clients in and around Stirling.
For a list of what I can offer you why not visit my website www.comtech247.net where you will find a list of my services, testimonials, blog and much more.