If you are a business owner, chances are you may be familiar with the Office 365 suite
of products. Without Microsoft Word, Excel, Powerpoint, Access and Outlook, the modern
business environment would look very very different, and Microsoft’s Office 365 offering
rolls all of these essential tools into one familiar user-friendly package.
What is less known, however, is that there is an enhancement on the market that significantly improves the quality of your Office 365 user experience and gets you much better returns from your investment in the software system.
It leads to a user experience that is much better, and increased satisfaction from everyone who uses the system – as well as improved productivity.
So what is this magic bullet and how does it actually work?
The SteelHead Cloud Accelerator
The product is called the SteelHead Cloud Accelerator (the SteelHead). The product has
been developed by cloud computing pioneers Riverbed, who have spent a sizeable chunk
of the Internet era delivering optimisation solutions to software packages. Riverbed is
essentially a high performance garage for software, rolling the “stock” product in to the
workshop and figuring out how to get every last ounce of performance from the system.
The ability to do this kind of optimisation is hugely increased by the adoption of cloud or
software as a service delivery of the Office 365 software. It means that the fixes that
Riverbed comes up with are able to be delivered seamlessly via the cloud through efficient
downloads rather than inefficient physical delivery.
What the SteelHead does is give businesses a customised and integrated solution to the
Office 365 system. It is purpose-built, and the cloud delivery method allows the
improvements to be delivered to employees, whether they are 100 kilometres away from
their office on The Sunshine Coast, or on the other side of the country.
The SteelHead system is delivered as a software add-on, through a simple licensing
system. It means that the fiddly configuration changes and customisation process is
eliminated from both the RiverBed side, and at your end. The result? A fuss-free
improvement to your Office 365 package.
It is also designed as a per-user billing system, meaning that you never have to pay for
more capacity than you need or use. The economics mean that the model is a “pay as you
go” system, which is especially attractive to small and medium sized businesses because
there is no minimum spend required.
The Impressive Results
Now for some impressive facts and figures…..
Riverbed’s testing and user feedback is a staggering advertisement for the effectiveness of
the SteelHead solution. In terms of speed, once the product is applied, Office 365 runs
over 30 times faster, meaning the system is almost unrecognisable. The stellar performance
doesn’t end there, however.
Bandwidth is the highway along which your data runs. The more you use that highway, the
more you pay, which is comparable to a toll road. Data providers and phone companies
charge for bandwidth and data, which means that minimising how much you use can lead
to serious cost savings.
With the SteelHead solution, the data is shifted from your company maintained servers
(more cost) to the highly efficient cloud, which effectively outsources the highway. This
means that the amount of traffic that your business uses is 97% lower when compared to
an identical system that is not running the SteelHead software.