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Five Microsoft services to make any business smarter (including yours)

Tony Bradley | Oct. 28, 2013
Microsoft offers an array of services that address some of the most common headaches small businesses face and enable them to operate like much bigger organisations.

4. Windows Intune
The BYOD movement is particularly advantageous for small businesses, so you need a tool that lets you reap the benefits while mitigating the risks. Windows Intune gives your business a unified platform for managing both PCs and mobile devices running Windows, Windows RT, Windows Phone 8, iOS, and Android. The service lets you implement policies, distribute software, and track device inventory from one Web-based console.

A single license of Windows 8.1 costs $120 in the Microsoft Store. For a little more than that—per year—you can subscribe to Windows Intune with Software Assurance ($11 per user per month), which includes licensing for Windows 8.1 Enterprise (or whatever the current Windows OS is). You can also subscribe to just Windows InTune without the Windows license for $6 per user per month.

5. Bing Webmaster SEO reports
SEO is part science and part dark art. It's also crucial for ensuring your website ranks high and attracts traffic. But understanding search-engine algorithms and mastering SEO can be a full-time job.

Bing Webmaster Tools provides information in a way that non-Web gurus can understand, and lets you see how your Web pages rate. It generates reports based on a set of SEO best practices and helps you fine-tune your website with page-level recommendations. The Bing reports explain any potential issues and show a sample of pages affected by non-compliance with established SEO guidelines.

These five services just scratch the surface of Microsoft's offerings, but using them can save your business money and give you tools to operate more effectively and efficiently. More importantly, they'll put you on level playing field with much larger enterprises, and give your company a strategic edge over the competition.


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