Microsoft Office for government employees is specifically designed to meet the unique needs of government organizations with advanced IT requirements. Microsoft’s government business tools provide all the features and capabilities of their typical Office 365 services, but in a segmented government cloud community.
This enables government organizations to meet U.S. compliance and security standards. However, Microsoft Office Government plans also feature a slew of other capabilities that can help your organization optimize processes through enhanced communication, mobility, and reliability. How? First, we’ll cover some of the basics of Microsoft Office for government employees, then highlight three of its major benefits.
Who is Eligible for Microsoft’s Government Business Tools?
Office 365 Government plans are available to:
- Qualified government entities. Microsoft Office for federal government employees is the most common use, but is also available to employees at the state and local level, plus tribal and territorial government entities; and/or
- Other entities who handle data subject to government regulations and requirements, where use of Office 365 Government is appropriate to meet these regulations and requirements.
If your organization does not fall into one of these categories, you can still enjoy the benefits of Microsoft Office with subscription-based business plans.
What Options Exist for Utilizing Microsoft Office for Government Employees?
There are three levels of Office 365 Government Plans. Each plan is offered as a monthly subscription and can be licensed to an unlimited number of users—meaning they are ideal for government entities of any size. The most basic option, Office 365 Government G1, includes access to web versions of familiar tools such as Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. The higher tiers, Office 365 Government G3 and G5, offer desktop versions of these Office applications. This is the most prominent difference between them, but the two higher tiers will also offer additional capabilities at each level, which may include:
- A fully-installed Office experience across PCs, Macs, Windows tablets, iPad® and Android™ tablets, and most mobile devices;
- Enterprise management of apps;
- Intelligent search and discovery; and
- Advanced email capabilities, voicemail integration, and business intelligence tools.
Which option is right for your organization will depend on its unique needs and priorities. Keep in mind that you will have access to more features as you move up to higher tiers, but all benefits featured in the remainder of this article are included in each plan.
Benefit #1: Streamlined Collaboration and Business Processes
Microsoft Office’s government business tools allow employees to hold multi-party HD online meetings with screen sharing, note taking, and annotation capabilities. All it takes is a click to start an IM, conference call, or video chat. For government employees that are constantly on-the-go, this can make a true difference in collaboration. Here are some other benefits of Microsoft Office for government employees that enhance communication and streamline processes, resulting in higher productivity:
- Email and Calendars. Business-class email through Outlook experience, which can be accessed from a desktop or web browser. Includes a 50 GB mailbox for each user, the ability to send attachments up to 150 MB, and use of your own domain name.
- Intranet and Team Sites. Experience company-wide intranet that can connect people to the content, expertise, and processes that power teamwork through team sites.
- Office Online. The ability to create and edit in Word, OneNote, PowerPoint, and Excel documents from any modern browser.
- Apps for Office and SharePoint. Both third-party and custom-built apps work with Office and SharePoint, bringing web services right into your documents and sites.
- Online Conferencing. Host online meetings with audio and video using one-click screen sharing, HD video conferencing, and virtual whiteboards.
- Instant Messaging and Skype Connectivity. Communicate using messaging, voice calls, and video calls. Users have the ability to share their video presence, messages, and audio calls with people outside of your organization by using Skype.
- Work from Any Modern Browser. Sync email, calendar, and contacts, access SharePoint sites, and view and edit Office documents with Office Online. This can all be done from a browser on Windows Phone, iOS, and Android™ devices.
- File Storage and Sharing. Each user will have at least 1 TB of personal cloud storage through OneDrive. Share files and work with anyone inside your government organization, plus those outside of it. Find files fast and control who can see and edit files from anywhere, on any device—all while optimizing security.
- Constant accessibility. Know your services are available with a guaranteed 99.9% uptime, financially backed service level agreement (SLA).
- Cutting-edge security practices. Five layers of security and proactive monitoring help keep your confidential data safe.
- Automatic updates. No need to pay for version upgrades. Updates are included in your subscription as new features are rolled out. Save long-term while having peace of mind you’re utilizing the most up-to-date capabilities.
- 24/7 support. Constant access to support for critical IT issues. Ability to make service requests directly through the admin portal for less urgent issues.
Benefit #2: Unmatched Mobility
Microsoft Office for government employees home use capabilities enable staff to work from their house, your office, or any remote location with ease. For government employees that are constantly working from various locations or regularly traveling, this mobility is essential for success. Office 365 Government plans provide users with the Office applications they know and love that are optimized for their devices so they can work efficiently and effectively wherever they are.
Benefit #3: Reliability and Security
For government employees particularly, world-class data security is a must. With Microsoft Office for government employees, data is segregated from commercial data. It is separately stored within the U.S., and access is restricted to only screened Microsoft personnel. Here’s how Microsoft Government plans can offer you increased reliability and security.