What is fundamentally behind the Microsoft Office 365 web application is now widely known. But if you are seriously thinking about purchasing Office 365, you will quickly come across a few questions. To make your decision easier, I have summarized the most frequently asked questions for you and grouped them into the following three subject areas:
- Data security in the cloud
- Subscription versus license purchase
- Use of Office 365
Data security in the cloud
1. What is the cloud?
The term “cloud” is a common term for web-based IT services hosted outside of your organization. For example, with Office 365, data is stored and processed on servers hosted and managed by Microsoft, which also host the software. Many services that you use every day are in the cloud, from web-based email applications to online banking systems or even online photo storage. Because this infrastructure resides in the cloud, you can access it from virtually anywhere using a PC, tablet, smartphone, or any other internet-connected device.
2. Where is my data if I use Office 365?
Microsoft operates geo-redundant, state-of-the-art data centers in Amsterdam (Netherlands) and Dublin (Ireland). You can see at any time in which data centers your data is hosted and decide for yourself whether your data should only be stored in European data centers or worldwide. Of course, you can also save data locally on your end device.
3. Is my data safe with Microsoft?
Yes, your data is regularly backed up with Microsoft Data Loss Protection and mirrored geo-redundantly via the Amsterdam and Dublin data centers. Both data centers are ISO 27001 certified, one of the best security benchmarks in the world.
4. Who owns my data if I use Office 365?
Your data remains your property. Microsoft will only access your data to provide the subscribed services in accordance with the data processing agreement. Access or processing for other purposes such as advertising does not take place
5. What about data protection?
Microsoft has put its own information portal online with all the important information.
Subscription versus license purchase
6. What is the difference between a purchased Microsoft Office license and an Office 365 subscription?
With Office 365 subscription plans, you get full, installable Office applications: Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Outlook, Publisher, and Access. You can install Office 365 on multiple devices like PC, Mac, Android tablet, Android smartphone, iPad and iPhone. In addition, you get Office 365 services such as OneDrive for Business, SharePoint Online and Microsoft Skype for Business. With an active Office 365 subscription, you always have the latest versions of Office solutions. (The Office products that can be installed and the services provided depend on the plan subscribed to).
Office purchased individually includes programs such as Outlook, Word, Excel, and PowerPoint for use on a single PC or Mac. An automatic update does not take place. The Office applications available for individual purchase are Office 2016 for Windows and Mac. Legacy versions include Office 2013, Office 2011 for Mac, Office 2010, Office 2007, Office 2008 for Mac, and Office 2004 for Mac. Office 2010 and Office 2007 are compatible with Windows 8.1 and older versions. Office as a standalone purchase does not include any of the additional services included with Office 365.
7. How long does a subscription last?
You have the option to subscribe on a monthly or yearly basis. You can cancel both types on a monthly basis, but the remaining term will not be reimbursed.
8. What will happen to my existing email, contacts and calendar entries if I switch to Office 365?
If you already use Outlook, you can easily import e-mails, contacts and appointments.
If you are not currently using Outlook or operate a complex infrastructure, CONET will be happy to advise and support you in migrating your data.
9. Can I keep using my domain name??
Yes, you can add your domain name to Office 365 to create and manage domain-based email addresses (e.g. [email protected]).
10. What happens to my data if I cancel a subscription?
Your data will remain available on Microsoft systems for 90 days after your Office 365 subscription expires. So you have enough time to migrate your data to other systems. You can request expedited cancellation if you want faster deletion.
Use of Office 365
11. Can I also use my Microsoft Office and Outlook offline with Office 365?
Yes of course. As with your existing Office and Outlook, you can work productively without an Internet connection. E-mails are then sent from Outlook on the next available Internet connection and documents are synchronized with OneDrive for Business.
12. Can users with a previous version of Office open documents I created?
Office 2007, Office 2010, Office 2013, Office 2016 or Office 365 users can open documents without any further effort. Customers using earlier versions of Office for Windows may need to download and install a compatibility pack.
About the author
Josephine Jaguste has been Communication Manager at CONET since May 2016.