While you might have heard about the work done by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to support global health initiatives and establish growth in developing countries – you might be less aware of the work done directly by Microsoft to support non-profit organisations around the world.
At VectorCloud, we support Microsoft to offer donated or significantly discounted versions of their flagship Office 365 products to eligible organisations across Scotland.
We feel passionately about supporting charitable organisations to get the most from their IT, even if they’re working with limited resources. What’s more, Office 365 doesn’t just have the potential to save money, it’ll go a long way toward keeping you safe from threats that can have big cost implications when you least expect it.
If you’re a charity or a non-profit there’s a good chance that you will be eligible for donated or discounted Office 365 products. You must be UK based and registered as a charity with the government. From there, we will support you to register with Microsoft Philanthropies, who will then verify your application.
The verification process takes up to 20 days – but when complete, you will be granted access to the Microsoft Non-profit Portal. From here you can view the discounts that are available through the scheme.
Of course, we don’t expect you to tackle the process alone, we have supported lots of not-for-profit organisations and charities throughout Scotland from the very first steps of the process. You don’t have to be an IT expert to get what your organisation is entitled to – we’ll take care of that.
Microsoft Office has been a cornerstone of most organisation’s IT for decades – offering benchmark applications like Word, Excel, Powerpoint and Outlook. Office 365 is the next generation of Office – with revolutionary pricing and infrastructure that’s a better fit for small organisations.
In the past, buying Microsoft Office was done as a one-off, a big chunk that you paid to download the applications – which needed multiplying according to how many PCs your organisation had. As such, getting set up came at a big cost – as did renewing Office when it was time for a new version.
Office 365 works completely differently. Instead of big periodic costs that stand to impact your finances – a comparatively tiny monthly subscription is charged. What’s more, that subscription reflects what you use, rather than you having to pay for a suite of products that never get opened.
Office 365 is a ‘cloud based’ service, meaning that only a tiny amount of the information that keeps the applications running is kept on your PCs. This is increasingly the way that large tech firms are delivering their products, as it comes with a huge number of benefits for you:
Disasters come in all shapes and sizes – from human error and cyber-attacks to flooding or fires. When the information you keep is stored on your local computers and servers you’re taking a gamble with your ability to keep working.
Office 365 stores your data away from your site – so no matter what happens, your data is safe – and always just a few clicks away.
There’s a huge emphasis on keeping sensitive data safe from prying eyes – and what’s more, upcoming changes to data protection law will see a requirement for greater security and control than ever before.
Over 60% of small organisations will experience a cyber-breach during 2017 – and the ones likely to be most significantly impacted will be those whose data is kept on their PCs. There are few companies in the world with whom your data is safer than Microsoft, meaning you stay protected and compliant.
How many times have you found yourself unable to work because the document or spreadsheet you need is on a computer somewhere else?
Office 365 does away with that problem entirely – if you’ve got an internet connected device with you, you can create, access or edit anything you wish, whether you’re on your desktop, laptop, tablet or smartphone.
Office 365 lets you work with your colleagues with beautiful efficiency. Gone are the days of having one document or spreadsheet that needs to be emailed around, edited and returned before you can progress with your work.
All your work is kept in your OneDrive – and you can grant access to anyone you wish, letting them view and edit in real time. You’ll even see changes being made as they happen. Integration of Skype for business also means you can message and chat with your collaborators as you work together, so even if miles separate you, you’re always in touch.
There are few pretenders to Microsoft’s email crown, they’ve been doing it from the very beginning – and their Outlook mail system is unrivalled for business.
Access your email over all your devices with simple and easy to use applications, whether you’re on your phone or your desktop PC. Office 365’s intelligent Clutter feature also means you get to see your most important email first – keeping time consuming spam and newsletters at bay.
As the founder or decision maker in a non-profit organisation you’ll be acutely aware that money doesn’t grow on trees – making Microsoft’s new pricing methods extremely appealing.
However, because you’re only going to be paying for what you use – there’s no ‘at-a-glance’ pricelist we can direct you to. Instead, there’s a fairly in-depth process that looks at what you need – with a custom price structure that follows.
Because made-to-measure pricing can be difficult to find your way through, we’ll help you navigate the maze – and don’t forget, we’re not just any IT company, we’ve got 20 years of experience supporting Scotland’s small businesses and charities get the most from the sometimes complicated world of IT.
We’ll work with you, free from jargon or tech-talk, from your registration with Microsoft Philanthropies, calculating the pricing and level of service you need – right the way through to supporting you and your staff get to grips with the last version of Office you’ll ever need.
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