Office 365 not as stable as you would want.
Yes I know I am hitting Office 365 often lately, it just has been taking more of my time than ever before.
Part of this is because people are transitioning from using the older way of sharing documents on network file shares, to doing it online. They also are learning how to use Outlook online, and many of the other interesting features of Office 365. For many reasons this is both helpful and unhelpful.
Take today for example. Today Microsoft had a brief problem with its Office 365 connection. This meant that when it happened there was a flood of calls of people asking what the problem with the portal, email and other related things were. I had to deal with those and so did my coworkers.
Every time that Microsoft has problems, just like every outsourced provider, it can be very frustrating for IT departments. Everything is great when it is working, but when it doesn’t, it can quickly get people angry and frustrated. So the most we can do is try to find a workaround while the problem occurs, and hope that the problem is fixed quickly.
To be fair, online issues happen with any provider. In companies that used Box, Amazon or Google, they also had times were those services weren’t available. So in some ways online services are less reliable than onsite services, and in some ways they are more reliable. It really takes a dedicated IT staff and investment to make the critical difference.
What should you do? Online or on premise? That is a discussion with the needs of your business and your ability to find intelligent IT support. Some issues really need a dedicated and experienced IT person, while others can be handled by a generalist. Unfortunately it is not always obvious which way you should go when you hire.
So is Office 365 worth using? I have said before that I am not crazy about it. I was rather impressed with Box, and now they have something called Box Paper which sounds in many ways better than Office 365. I would investigate other options before just jumping on the Office bandwagon.
However if you already have Windows and your IT staff is most familiar with supporting that, it might be the wise choice. It is certainly the easiest one to find IT staff and employees for.