Office 365 and Parallels Desktop for Mac Business Edition: Why They Work Well Together

When IBM created the first mainstream personal computer, it caught on with businesses and hobbyist communities and software companies naturally created new software to reinforce this existing market. 

This is still largely the case today. Add to that the approachable price point, the durability, and all the options available to the breadth of users, and it’s no wonder most companies still lean toward the PC for general population use. That said, Apple products appeal to individuals, educational institutions, and creative types and with the popularity of their mobile devices, the Mac computers have also risen in popularity and have begun to creep into the corporate world—especially with the introduction of BYOD policies. As such, IT has had to figure out how to support this “new” OS. 

So, what’s the issue? Not every software product is available for every operating system—or at least, not with all the same features. And that first surfaced as a challenge with the world’s leading office application software, Microsoft Office. Organizations continued to roll out Office 365 to the wider employee base and people wanted the complete suite of features across OSes. 

But let’s back up a sec. There are a few reasons why businesses today unilaterally embrace Office 365. A big one is that it provides a cloud-based platform, which enables secure access to organizational data from any device, anytime, anywhere. This can be a big benefit for those organizations that have employees working both on-site, at home or at remote or satellite office locations. 

Microsoft Office 365 is also a complete platform. For many businesses, Office 365 offers everything employees need by way of communication and collaboration tools, including email, social network, instant messaging and online meeting, personal cloud file sharing and enterprise portal platform. And it enables teams to work together on shared projects. Office 365 also makes it possible to share content with external partners, which is extremely important to some organizations. Finally, while there are a fair number of alternatives to Office 365, it is the most well-known platform and the familiarity across most organizations may be reason enough to stick with it!  

The rub: The Mac and Windows versions of Office 365 are not identical. They are not terribly different either, but the macOS version of Office 365 does not include the database software Access and Microsoft Publisher. Now, for many, this is not a deal breaker. After all, how many of us develop a database (rather than just use an existing one)? Well, the need taps a much smaller market than, say, those looking to create documents, spreadsheets or presentations, but it’s a gap nonetheless and one that affects a handful of people. So, while some folks will hire a professional to develop a database rather than doing it themselves, there will be those who want to have hands-on access to this software and will sorely miss it. The same can be said for Publisher. While fewer people need the design tools provided by desktop publishing software, there are those who use it and may feel a bit miffed that it’s not included in the macOS version of Office 365. 

So, what is an organization to do? Well, it’s quite simple, really. Parallels Desktop® for Mac Business Edition has been designed to deliver access to the complete Office 365 suite of solutions, including Publisher and Access, via the Windows edition of Office 365 through the virtual PC OS that lives on the Mac. Ultimately, Parallels software introduces the best of both worlds to IT departments and end-users alike. It enables employees to choose their preferred operating system (in this case, Mac) and run business-critical applications, securely, and without trade-offs!