Last updated on January 10th, 2023
Over the years, businesses have been availing Office 365 cloud services due to the many benefits of cloud technology. According to recent reports from Statista, over 800,000 companies in the US are using Office 365 to augment their business productivity.
Features like secure cloud storage, effective collaboration, automatic upgrades, etc., make cloud-based Microsoft 365 among the leading choices of many businesses worldwide. With so many benefits of cloud-based Microsoft 365, shifting your business to a cloud service platform can be prudent. However, for that to work out successfully, you require a knowledgeable and reliable cloud service provider as your technology partner.
Microsoft Cloud Service Provider (CSP) – An Introduction!
Microsoft Cloud Service Provider is a program that enables cloud service providers to manage the entire lifecycle of their Microsoft cloud customers directly. It allows users to subscribe to various Microsoft public cloud services, one of them being Office 365. The program allows a CSP to offer its services and products to the end-users backed with monthly or annual subscription plans.
When you opt for a Microsoft 365 cloud provider, you get multiple benefits that help you stay ahead of your competitors. Here’s a look at those benefits:
Pay as You Use
With Office 365 in the cloud, you get customized packages for the cloud service, negating you to pay a hefty amount for multiple products and services of Microsoft. If you are availing the Office 365 cloud services from a Microsoft CSP, you get the option to choose either a monthly or annual plan depending on your business requirements and budget. Additionally, since there’s no restriction for commitment, you can sign up or exit the subscription anytime – a flexible option when choosing a Microsoft CSP.
Choosing a reputed Office 365 cloud services provider helps you streamline your cloud environment. With round-the-clock customer support, you can quickly resolve challenges and achieve the desired results instantly.
You can contact the customer support team of the Microsoft Office 365 cloud service provider and get immediate assistance on any of your business complexities.
Save Time and Money
Your Microsoft Office 365 cloud service provider can help you bypass the hassle and reduce operational costs. You can ensure an improvement in the performance of your cloud management as the service provider can optimize your Microsoft infrastructure seamlessly.
In addition to the above, the cloud service provider looks after the licenses and subscriptions, helping you save time and focus on the core area of your business. They can also help you get the best deal and maximum output to achieve your business objectives by hosting Office 365 on cloud.
Factors to Consider When Choosing a Cloud Provider for Microsoft 365
If you have decided to avail Office 365 cloud services, choosing the right cloud service provider for your business could be daunting as it has risks and advantages. Below mentioned is the list of factors you should consider before choosing a cloud hosting provider:
1. Security Practices
2. Size of the CSP
3. Service Levels
5. Technical capabilities and processes
1. Security Practices
With the rise in cloud hosting services, cybercrimes are also significantly becoming a matter of concern. That said, your cloud service provider should make business data protection a top priority while offering Office 365 cloud services. To ensure this, first, check if the service provider has a security infrastructure in place. Second, verify if the service provider has enterprise-grade firewalls to secure business data.
In addition, ensure that the cloud service provider has security protocols to control access to provider and customer systems. A reliable cloud hosting provider would use advanced security features like Intrusion Detection and Intrusion Prevention Systems (IDS & IPS).
Apart from the above-mentioned considerations, verify if the cloud service provider offers data backup and has physical security for your data, such as a data center.
2. Size of the CSP
Microsoft is a huge company with millions of customers of Office 365 alone. An appropriate size of CSP provides the right blend of service, experience, and process. With a reliable CSP, your experience of Office 365 cloud services will be better as you can expect a better service from someone who is a direct partner of Microsoft. Besides, a certified CSP, with its dynamic relationship with Microsoft, can help you take the best advantage compared to others.
3. Service Levels
Irrespective of the size and sort of your business, service level is imperative when you have strict needs in terms of capacity, support, response time, and availability. When choosing Office 365 cloud services from a cloud hosting provider, ensure that the service provider has a Cloud Service Level Agreement in place. This is an essential element to consider while choosing a cloud provider.
You must establish a transparent contractual relationship with the cloud service provider as a business. Besides, you must pay special attention to all the legal requirements for data security that the cloud service provider offers, particularly GDPR.
When it comes to availing a cloud-based service, support demands paramount consideration. You must ensure that you get the desired help for your issues and queries by phone, email, or chat. Always ensure that you get the required assistance upfront and ask what form of support you will have access to before choosing a cloud hosting provider.
To avail hassle-free Office 365 cloud services, ensuring your cloud hosting provider has the mechanisms to simplify software deployment, management, and updates is critical. A reliable cloud service provider can provide data transforms and standard APIs, ensuring a seamless connection of your business to the cloud.
Additionally, your cloud hosting provider should be equipped with a system for event management for syncing with the management or the monitoring system. Besides, you should verify if the cloud hosting provider has a documented process for testing, requesting, logging, approving, and accepting changes.
Irrespective of the size and sort of your business, availing Office 365 cloud services could be a significant decision for you. With the five factors to consider for choosing the right cloud provider mentioned above, hope you can select the best fit for your business.
An award-winning Microsoft Tier-1 partner, Ace Cloud Hosting can help you dig deep into the world of Office 365 hosting services and help you get the best out of it.
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