Logo
Learning Center

// -->

The Benefits of Hosted Microsoft Office

There are three ways to deploy Microsoft Office so that all of your employees have access to it. One is to install it on each employee’s PC; another is to host it on a local server; and another is to sign up for hosted Microsoft Office from an IT hosting company like Iron Orbit.

Microsoft Office is a popular suite of business productivity software. The most commonly-used applications in the suite are Word (word processing), Excel (spreadsheet software), PowerPoint (presentation software), and Outlook (an email client with scheduling and task management features).

Other members of the suite include Access (database software), OneNote (notetaking software), Publisher (desktop publishing), Project (project management software), Visio (diagramming), and SharePoint (a collaboration platform).

Most office workers need business productivity software to be able to do their work. Office is often the first choice of businesses for a business productivity software suite because:

1) Its applications are familiar to most office workers, so there’s no need for any additional training

2) Most businesses and consumers use it, and it’s difficult to access the proprietary file formats of its applications from the applications of other business productivity software suites

3) Its applications are pretty easy to use even for people that aren’t familiar with them, and there are plenty of resources out there (video tutorials, classes, etc.) for people that want to learn more about them and their more advanced features

4) Its applications are sufficiently powerful and versatile

One way to deploy Microsoft Office is to install it on each of your employees’ physical PCs. This process may be as simple as purchasing enough Office licenses for all of your employees, since most Windows PCs come with trial versions of Office preinstalled on them.

Problems with this deployment method, however, include that it can result in your Office files being stored in a decentralized way, on each user’s hard drive, which can make them difficult to secure and back up; and that it only allows your employees to access their Office applications and files from a single device in a single location.

Another way to deploy Microsoft Office is to host it on a physical server at one of your offices. One way to do this is with application publishing software such Windows Server Remote Desktop Services (RDS) or Citrix XenApp; another is to deploy virtual desktops with Microsoft Office installed on each one. This deployment method will centralize your Office files onto servers and attached storage devices, which will make them easier to secure and back up.

Other benefits of this deployment method include that it makes it easier for employees to access each other’s Office files; that it provides everyone in your organization with access to the same version of each Office application, so that there aren’t any compatibility issues, and everyone has access to the same feature set; and that it allows your employees to access their Office applications from any device, including Mac OS X and Linux PCs and Android and iOS smartphones and tablets.

One downside to deploying Microsoft Office on an onsite server, however, is that it requires you to purchase expensive servers and storage devices. You’ll also have to set up and maintain this hardware, as well as set up, manage, and maintain the software of the deployment, including both Office and the application publishing or VDI software. Finally, your employees may not be able to access this kind of onsite Office deployment from any location—they may only be able to access it from the office where the hosting servers and storage devices are located.

Yet another way to deploy Microsoft Office is to sign up for hosted Microsoft Office from an IT hosting company. Hosted Office is centralized and secure and can be accessed from anywhere with any device. It also doesn’t require you to purchase and maintain any expensive hardware or software.

To sign up for hosted Microsoft Office, simply contact your preferred IT hosting company.