Office 365 has been here now since June 18, 2011. Users are finding training needs minimal as they are used to the Microsoft Office Ribbon, even when they are using sophisticated add-on applications such as Microsoft Dynamics CRM! Desktop and online and server services in the future will be combined, but you will need a proper consultant in order to implement and make full use of the sophisticated features while maintaining a prudent and compliant information technology policy.
Microsoft Office 365 is a full suite of business productivity servers ready to run all of the computing needs of your business regardless of size. The product handles your corporate E-Mail, document storage, project management, scheduling, video teleconferencing, audio teleconferencing, PBX, enterprise voicemail, blackberry services, and integration with Microsoft Office, the licenses of which are also included with the plans we recommend. Soon you will be able to add-on accounting and project management as well. With the Web and I we are already implementing our first integrated accounting solution for one of our clients.. You may need only some of these services, and Office 365 has a plan to suit every user. However we recommend the E3 and E1 plans because they include the latest version of Microsoft Office for your desktop. With Dynamics CRM you will have integrated customer relationship management including Sales Management, Marketing Management, Order Management, and Invoice Management.
The Servers (and Services) Available with Office 365
Microsoft Exchange Online
Microsoft Exchange Online is an email, calendar and contacts solution delivered as a cloud service, hosted by Microsoft. The service is based on Microsoft Exchange server and offers 25 GB of email storage per user. In addition, Exchange online offers users personalized calendars and contacts with sharing capability and 99.9% reliability in online secure back-up. Exchange ActiveSync provides mobile connectivity to Exchange services and mobile email applications. With added E-Fax service your users can each have their own fax number and they can even send and receive faxes from their mobile devices or laptops.
Microsoft SharePoint Online
Microsoft SharePoint Online is a collaboration, sharing, and document editing service using internal and external sites. SharePoint is a great center for your corporate Intranet, and you can store and organize your documents, lists, and databases. Databases of increasing complexity are available with Office 365 including integration with Microsoft’s flagship accounting software, Microsoft Dynamics. One of our clients, First United Services, uses Microsoft Dynamics Customer Relationship Management software to handle client communications, document storage, information collaboration, sales management, order management, invoice management and interface with their soon-to-be-implemented Microsoft Dynamics GP Server solution.
Articles Written by the Web and I about SharePoint
Microsoft Lync Online
Microsoft Lync Online provides communications features including presence information, instant messaging, PC-to-PC audio/video calling and online meetings that can include PC audio, video and web conferencing with application sharing, whiteboards, and other collaboration tools. Lync Online is accessed through the Lync client. Lync Online also supports presence information and click-to-communicate features inside Microsoft Office applications. Currently the Lync components of Office 365 exclude Lync’s Enterprise Voice feature set.
Office Professional Plus
Microsoft Office Professional Plus in Office 365 provides the same client software as the Office Professional Plus product available through Microsoft Volume Licensing.
An Article Written by the Web and I about Microsoft Lync:
Microsoft Office 365: Under the Hood
Office Professional Plus in Office 365 has month-to-month, per-user licensing. It is an “Always On” service that has 99.98% reliability and can protect your data better and more cheaply than your staff can. Most very small businesses can afford no IT staff or servers at all. Office 365 provides server services that were once the exclusive domain of the Fortune 500 companies, who have been using enterprise class software since the turn of the millennium. If you were to purchase the servers, get a full-time IT person, and buy the licenses from Microsoft to do the same thing for a company of ten employees, you would spend $250,000 for the first year alone, and at least $75,000 each additional year. Now take that cost and compare it to the $3000 – $25,000 for the first year and $3000 – $15,000 for each additional year of service for a company of ten. For a sole proprietor like some of our customers are, you will spend between $300 – $10,000 for the first year and $300 – $1500 per year for additional years. These costs assume all of the installation, implementation, and customization costs. The lowest numbers are for the Microsoft Office 365 E3 plan alone.
Office Web Apps are browser-based versions of Microsoft Excel, Word, Access and PowerPoint that enable viewing and lightweight editing of Office documents in Web browsers while preserving the formatting of the original documents. When you have legacy computers or do not wish to tax the speed of the computer you are using, Microsoft Web apps are a great way to access your documents and databases.
For your E-Mail you will be using Web Outlook or your desktop outlook you already enjoy. For those not familiar with Web Outlook, it is Outlook that can be accessed from any modern web browser with all of the features of Desktop outlook and connected to the same information, so you are never away from home as long as an Internet connection is available.
Enterprise users always have access to the desktop edition, but it can be handy. An example would be when you are without your computer at the client’s office. They ask for a brochure that you do not have with you but is on the corporate shared drive for your department. Your client only has Mac computers, and they do not run Office at all. How do you save the day and impress your client? You can either go on their Mac, log in to Office 365 on the Mac Safari browser, navigate to your corporate shared drive, then open the brochure and print the one you need. For our E-Fax users, this can be even easier, they can retrieve any document in their corporate servers on their Blackberry or Windows 7 Mango phones and send it to any fax machine in the world in seconds. Paper records in the home office can be scanned into the Multi-Function Printer and have it sent directly to Office 365 and into the hands of your employees on the road immediately.
Video teleconferencing was always a very expensive but very desirable feature for remote communication with clients as well as staff on the road or in their homes. With Office 365 each employee or client can be connected with a $20 webcam with integrated microphone. Video and audio teleconferencing is a great way to help the environment and your budget by avoiding travel and still meeting. With Office 365, multiple users can edit the same document simultaneously in multiple locations while on video teleconference.
As an added option, Blackberry services will be available, so that you can run Exchange on Blackberry for secure corporate messaging. Remote access to what you need is a big part of Office 365.
Backups are included in Office 365 for Small Businesses, and the Office 365 for Enterprises comes with ISO compliant archiving features, and both editions come with the ability for people in separate locations to simultaneously have open and work on the same document with a picture in picture video conference. All of this securely on your bonded and trustworthy Microsoft-hosted extranet.
With the high costs of IT personnel needed to baby sit servers, as well as the down time and expensive licensing, cloud hosted server services from Microsoft make sense. These are tools of unprecedented power, offering true ERP solutions for small businesses.
Office 365 is the successor to Office Live, which is our specialty. We are part of an exclusive list of Office Live consultants with Microsoft Bizspark Startup grants who can start you out on Office Live today and upgrade you to Office 365 as soon as it becomes available! Take advantage of most of the features of Office 365 by calling us for Office Live now! Call 646-853-0573 and visit thewebandi.com.
New Articles Written by the Web and I about Office 365
Here are more videos about Office 365
Collaboration and Communication Available With Enterprise: Communicate and collaborate with any device and monitor your employees from anywhere in the world.
SharePoint and Office 365, and how you can collaborate as well as track employee productivity.
Lync and Communication including video teleconferencing. Work from anywhere and always contact your employees.
Enterprise Exchange Online and mobile office working. Your employees can help you from anywhere, no more excuses.