Category Archives: Cloud

Office 365 is changing: are you ready?

Office 365 is changing: are you ready?

Office 365 is changing: are you ready?

05 May, 2022

In August of 2021, Microsoft announced the New Commerce Experience and their first notable price increase in more than a decade.

The company is citing its extensive development of the platform, and associated applications, as the reason for the change – noting that customers now receive significantly more value from their subscriptions than they did 10 years ago.

For example, Microsoft has since added 24 apps to the Office suite (such as Teams, Power BI, Visio and OneDrive). They’ve also made more than 1400 new features available, and extended their use of advancing technology (including automation and AI) while taking huge steps to improve security.

Additionally, Microsoft will now include unlimited audio conferencing for Team meetings to support the remote work revolution we’ve seen in recent years.

What our clients need to know

A 15% price increase came into effect on March 1 for all licenses except Office 365 E5. We will make this new pricing available to all our existing clients, and new clients can request a copy.

Although the price hike is quite significant, the biggest change is actually the enforcement of annual agreements. Microsoft used to base monthly pricing on annual agreements but didn’t charge you more if you chose to pay monthly vs annually. Now, you’ll pay 20% more if you choose to have a month-by-month agreement versus an annual agreement.

It’s important to keep in mind that you cannot remove any licenses until your renewal period when you choose the annual agreement option. You can add new licenses at any time though.

While Microsoft originally offered a 72-hour grace period if you change your mind after signing an annual agreement, this has now changed to 7 days. This means you have 7 days to cancel an annual agreement once you sign, otherwise you will be locked in for the year and the total annual licence cost will be due.

Is your Microsoft subscription right for your business?

This pricing change reinforces how vital it is to ensure you are selecting the best Microsoft licence for your business and users.

If you’re concerned about over-spending on Microsoft licenses, or want to make sure you’re getting the most value out of your subscription, speak with an IT expert.

We are more than happy to evaluate your business needs against existing licenses, and determine whether or not you should consider a different licence type.

You can also engage us to manage the licence for you so you don’t have to worry about payments, upgrades, adding new users, and so on.

To speak with an IT expert from Empreus IT Support about Microsoft licences, call 6189 1322 or contact us.

Cloud 2018: Should your business really move to Cloud this year?

cloud systems canberra

Cloud 2018: Should your business really move to Cloud this year?

Cloud 2018: Should your business really move to Cloud this year?

20 Mar, 2018

With promises of improved collaboration, efficiency and productivity, it seems every business in Canberra is considering a move to Cloud computing this year.

But is Cloud really any better than investing in an in-house server? Especially when servers can now be configured to allow for remote and collaborative working as easily as most Cloud solutions.

To help you make the best decision for your business, it pays to consider the pros and cons of each.

Cloud Only

Cloud is an exciting revolution in technology, and is changing the way many of us work on a day to day basis.

However, moving your entire business operations (including all of your files and software) to the Cloud can be risky and very expensive.

The pros of a Cloud-only approach include:

  • No need for expensive onsite hardware or capital expenditure, and no future requirements to upgrade your server
  • No electricity costs for use of server (minor)
  • Can scale easily, depending on the needs of your business
  • Team members can access files from anywhere, provided they have an internet connection
  • Data is backed up at very regular intervals, preventing data loss

The cons of a Cloud-only approach include:

  • Very expensive – both in initial set up and ongoing monthly fees
  • Requires complex configuration and testing
  • Higher risk in storing your private files on a public Cloud Network
  • May need to set up a VPN on a private server anyway to ensure better security
  • Lack of control over the processes and hardware your provider uses (can result in an increase in costs)
  • Loss of access to files if your or your Cloud provider’s internet goes down
  • Limited by the speed of your internet connection

Moving your entire business to the Cloud really depends on what type of business you are running. If you are not comfortable having sensitive business files in someone else’s domain (regardless of how secure they promise it to be), then a total Cloud solution is not for you.

In-house Servers Only

In-house servers are the tried and true way of storing your company’s files, and making them accessible to your team.

Regardless of the hype of Cloud, it is absolutely possible to make it easy for employees to work remotely, simply by creating and allowing login to a Virtual Private Network (VPN) that runs off your server. This approach not only ensures the integrity of your data, but offers all the bells and whistles of improved collaborative and productive working via file sharing.

The pros of an in-house server only approach include:

  • Data integrity and security is maintained
  • Physical control is retained
  • No need to rely on internet connection for access
  • Runs off a local network speed rather than internet speed

The cons of an in-house server only approach include:

  • Reasonable capital outlay to purchase and install equipment
  • Requires space onsite or ongoing cost of space in a data centre
  • Harder to scale as your business expands or contracts
  • May be vulnerable to data loss if proper backups aren’t in place

With advancements in technology however, servers are no longer the huge, bulky systems they used to be. And quite often, a reasonably small server is more than enough to meet most business’s needs. Keep in mind that it must be set up properly by a qualified IT professional, otherwise you may not be able to reap all the benefits.

The Sweet Spot

Every business is different, so there is no simple “right” way to choose between a Cloud solution and an in-house data storage solution.

At Empreus IT, we often recommend a hybrid approach, which allows you to enjoy the best of both worlds while minimising the disadvantages.

For example, we could help you set up and use an in-house server that protects your business files, and limits access only to company employees. We can also create a Virtual Private Network (VPN) that allows for remote sign in and collaborative working.

In addition, we can help you understand and make use of quality Cloud products, such as Office 365, Azure, AWS, or Google Cloud, which take collaboration to a new level with a nifty set of tools that are ideal for use during specific projects.

And remember – regardless of whether you choose Cloud or a local solution – both still require an experienced IT professional for set up and ongoing maintenance and support. Cloud providers only offer the space you need; they’re not in the business of visiting you on site to ensure you’re Cloud-ready, or your Cloud is working the way it needs to.

Empreus IT offer a range of support services, including IT Installations, IT Support and Managed IT Services. Our job is to get you to where you want to be, and then protect you from risks and problems before they impact your business – which can save you thousands of dollars and countless headaches in the long run.

For more information on Cloud, in-house servers, or adopting a hybrid approach, please call Empreus IT on (02) 6189 1322 or contact us.