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On 13 October 2020, Microsoft will stop supporting Office 2010. This is because all Microsoft products have a support cycle that runs for a set number of years after the product is released. Once a product reaches ‘end of life’, businesses still using Office 2010 could run into problems, as Microsoft will no longer release updates or bug and security fixes, and they won’t provide technical support.

October 2020 might seem like a long time away, but believe us, the time will fly! So, if you’re still using Office 2010, you should think about upgrading sooner rather than later. There are some very important reasons for this, as if you don’t upgrade you could experience:

  • A higher risk of cyber threats such as viruses and malware infecting your systems.
  • Incompatibility with third party software such as accounting and anti-virus programmes.
  • Potential issues with sending and receiving emails if you’re still using Exchange 2010 (support for this product ends earlier, on 14 January 2020)
  • A decline in system performance over time, hampering productivity and efficiency
  • Increased IT support costs and downtime if Office 2010 fails
  • Possible lack of compliance with GDPR, which obliges businesses to put appropriate systems in place for protecting sensitive data from loss or theft.

Your upgrade options

A simple option is to upgrade to Office 2019. This works in much the same way as Office 2010 and can be purchased as a one-off, with one computer per licence. However, we recommend you upgrade to Office 365, a cloud-based solution which offers a much wider range of features and benefits for your business.

Office 365 offers a choice of plans to suit different business types and sizes. Office 365 ProPlus is a popular choice for many smaller companies. Like all Office 365 plans, it offers the advantage of being priced by user, rather than by computer, so you don’t need to pay for more licences than you need. Each user can install Office 365 on up to five desktop and mobile devices, and it’s easy to add or remove licences as your business needs change.

Just like Office 2010, Office 365 ProPlus gives you access to standard Office applications including Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook.

However, Office 365 ProPlus doesn’t include Exchange, so if you’re currently using Exchange 2010, you’ll need to find a different email solution. Or, you could choose one of the Office 365 Enterprise plans, all of which include a cloud-based Exchange server (so you can get rid of your physical email server to boot!). The Enterprise plans offer a wider selection of business services than ProPlus, plus advanced security and analytics features and compliance tools. Enterprise E3 and E5 also include standard Office applications, which aren’t available with E1. You can read more about the plans, their features and pricing here.

The upgrade process

Upgrading from Office 2010 to Office 365 can be a little complex, which is why it’s important to start planning now. There are several key areas you’ll need to look at before proceeding, such as:

  • Deciding which Office 365 plan is right for your business
  • How many licences you’ll need to buy (are you planning to take on more staff in the future?)
  • Whether your current PCs and other devices meet the system requirements for Office 365
  • Whether your business-critical applications are compatible with Office 365
  • Your email set-up if you currently use Exchange but want to move to Office 365 ProPlus
  • Whether other aspects of your IT infrastructure should be upgraded at the same time, e.g. do ageing PCs or printers need replacing?
  • A training plan to get your team members up to speed with Office 365.

Need a little help? Jalapeno are on hand.

It can be a daunting task to upgrade to Office 365, especially if you’re not currently using any cloud-based systems. Jalapeno Business Services are here to help. Our experienced engineers can manage the process from start to finish – identifying your requirements, supplying and installing Office 365 and supporting your staff as they learn how to use it.

Upgrades can be complex, but it’s our aim to keep hassle, disruption and downtime to a minimum. We can even arrange to carry out your upgrade out of hours, so you don’t lose any trading time. And of course, there’ll be a robust project plan in place, so you’ll have a clear view of costs, timelines and tasks.

Book a FREE systems audit today

A great place to start is our free systems audit. We’ll assess your current IT set-up and recommend the best Office 365 plan for your business needs. At the same time, we can advise you on any other changes to consider which will improve system performance, boost efficiency and save you money in the longer term. Get in touch today to book an appointment with a friendly and qualified engineer.