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Education In America Authors: yomi omika, Darrah Deal, Student Lance, David Miller, David Miller

Related Topics: Cloud Computing

Cloud Computing: Article

Office 365 Is Much More Than Just Online Document Management

Why Microsoft Office 365 Is Better Than Alternate Document Management Tools

Microsoft has been seeing a pretty impressive growth in the adoption of their cloud-based productivity suite, the Office 365. According to the latest numbers, there are more than 70 million commercial monthly active users of Office 365 and Azure Active Directory. For most of these users though, Office 365 replaces the MS Office software tools like Word, Excel and PowerPoint - software tools that are primarily into document creation and management. With Office 365, all these documents are now on the cloud and can be accessed from any where and at any time.

But Microsoft Office 365 is much more than just document management. Commercial Office 365 subscriptions come with a number of other frills like access to cloud storage on the Microsoft OneDrive, Skype call minutes besides integration with emailing, social networking, collaboration on Yammer, SharePoint and Exchange Server.

While most of these frills are mostly known to the commercial Office 365 users, here are a few features that often get missed out while discussing the benefits of using Microsoft Office 365 over rival products.

Data Compliance

If you are holding any kind of customer data (including their contact details, email addresses, bank account details, Social Security, etc.), you are bound by government regulations to adhere to strict regulatory compliance in order to  protect and safeguard this information from unintentional or intentional breaches. The fines for such compliance violations can run into the millions. With Microsoft Office 365, businesses can take advantage of the security and compliance tools that come with various features like access control, Azure rights management, data loss prevention, device management, archiving, retention and permissions. Essentially, businesses can tick all the mandated data compliance requirements with just a few clicks.


Cloud technologies have made it possible for business teams to operate from remote work places and being tied to one office space is no longer necessary. Such distributed work environment has also made collaboration tools like Slack and Trello extremely popular. With Office 365, you have a brilliant alternative - their recently launched Office 365 Groups function links all the email conversations, calendar events, file storage and other collaboration needs to one dashboard on the Outlook web app. If you are already a paying customer for Microsoft Office 365, you don’t have to pay for any of the other collaboration tools. You have a worthy alternative right inside your Office 365 account.

Machine-Learning Research Assistant

Writing a well-researched document or paper can sometimes be a pain with all the dozens of open browser tabs that you have toggle through to find the right content to cite. The latest version of MS Word comes with a smart research assistant that uses machine learning to understand what you are working on and helps you cite information with a click of a button. This is how it works - as you work on your document, the Researcher looks up relevant information from the web and showcases it over a sidebar. You can click and view any of this source without ever having to leave the Office Window and can cite it in your paper with just a mouse-click.

We are merely scratching the surface when it comes to the various features that you may have missed while evaluating Office 365 and its competitor products. Office 365 is extremely powerful and the advantage of a cloud based tool as this is that new features as those mentioned above are added continually to the software without you having to pay for and download a new version.

Competition has a lot of catching up to do.

More Stories By Harry Trott

Harry Trott is an IT consultant from Perth, WA. He is currently working on a long term project in Bangalore, India. Harry has over 7 years of work experience on cloud and networking based projects. He is also working on a SaaS based startup which is currently in stealth mode.