Office 365 as a SaaS Provider – Know About Features & Benefits

Office 365 as a SaaS Provider

Ashish Ratan Singh | Published: November 18, 2016 | General, Office 365 | 5 Minutes Reading

In this informative blog, we will discuss about Office 365 as a SaaS provider.
Before we discuss this in detail, let’s take a brief introduction to SaaS.


Software as a Service (SaaS) also known as on-demand software service, is a method of delivering the software/ products over the internet. You do not have to install and maintain the software on your computer and you simply can access it over the internet. It is a software delivery and licensing framework in which a software licensing is done on the basis of the subscription plan.

SaaS is also called Web-based software or hosted software service. SaaS applications are installed and run on a SaaS’s provider’s servers, these providers manage the access to the applications and also manages security, updates and performances of these applications.

As already discussed, SaaS is also known as Software on-demand which means that SaaS users subscribe to the software rather than purchasing it which is usually on the monthly basis, so this would save the storage space of your local drive. The applications purchased are used online and the files get saved on the cloud rather than on the individual’s computer. As these files are stored on the cloud, hence we can say that SaaS is a part of Cloud Computing.

Now after having a brief introduction to Software as a Service. Let’s discuss about Office 365 as a SaaS provider.

Office 365 as a SaaS Provider

Office 365 is a Software as a Service model, as it provides various applications like, Office Professional Plus, SharePoint Online, Lync Online and Exchange Online, etc. Office 365 is a SaaS as it provides software on demand. The subscribers buy the O365 packages on the basis of their business requirements. An Office 365 subscriber can select the software they wish to use and they will have to pay for those applications only. Let’s explore various features/ services offered by Office 365 as a Service.

Following are some services offered by Microsoft Office 365:

  • Office Web Apps: You can create and edit your Word, Excel, OneNote and Powerpoint files online.
  • Hosted email: You get a business email, 25 GB of storage space.
  • Office Mobile Apps: You can access, edit and view Word, PowerPoint and Excel files on iPhones and Windows Phones.
  • Active Directory integration: You can manage user permissions and credentials. You can set single sign-on and synchronization with Active Directory.
  • Simple file sharing: You get services of SkyDrive Pro which gives each user 7 GB of personal storage that you can access from anywhere and it syncs with your PC. You can edit who sees or edits your files and you can share them internally or externally.
  • Public website: You can market your business with a website that is easy to set up also you can use your own company domain name.
  • Web conferencing: You can conduct meetings via internet with HD video conferencing, instant messaging and screen sharing.
  • Advanced Voice: You get a hosted voicemail support with auto attendant capabilities.
  • Intranet Team Sites: SharePoint sites provide you the workspace with customizable security environments for individual teams within the organization.
  • Site Mailboxes: Helps you to store and share email and files in project-specific folders, allowing for simpler team collaboration.
  • Business Intelligence: You can create and manage interactive dashboards with multiple data sources.
  • e-Discovery Center: You get the tools to support compliance. Provides search across SharePoint sites and Exchange mailboxes.

Benefits of Office 365 as a Service

After a brief introduction on how O365 acts as a SaaS provider, now let’s discuss the advantages of this. In the following section, we will discuss the various pros of having Office 365 as a SaaS:

  • Ready to use applications: You get ready-to-use applications so you don’t have to buy, install, update or maintain the software/ applications as it is provided by the SaaS provider itself.
  • Expedited feature delivery: SaaS software are often updated more frequently than the conventional software.
  • Easy Accessibility: Accessing these applications is easy as you can access them from anywhere, provided that the internet is available.
  • Easy Customization: you can easily customize these applications to adjust to your business needs without affecting the common infrastructure.
  • Open Integration Protocols: SaaS applications cannot access your company’s internal data, they offer integration protocols and APIs (application programming interfaces ) that operate over a WAN (wide area network). Mashups in SaaS further differentiate SaaS software from on-premises application as the latter cannot be easily integrated outside your company’s firewall.

Final Verdict on Office 365 as a SaaS

In the above sections, we have discussed how is Office 365 as a SaaS provider & it’s features. We have also learned how is O365 beneficial for an organization as well as a single user. SaaS services are reliable, cost effective and easy to use so this would be the best reason for the organizations which are planning to switch or have switched to Office 365.