Spotlight on Office 365

CJ Systems
Your Technology Specialist

When most people hear “Office 365”, they only hear “Office” and think “Word, PowerPoint, Excel”. And when they hear “cloud“, they think web apps only, thinking this is only a browser-based version of Office, similar to Google Apps.

Microsoft Office 365 is a cloud-based service hosted by Microsoft. It brings together familiar Microsoft Office desktop applications with cloud-based business email, shared calendars, instant messaging, video conferencing, and file sharing.
It’s designed to work with the Office you already know so you can get things done faster from virtually anywhere. It provides enterprise-grade tools for a predictable monthly cost and no upfront infrastructure investments, backed by robust security and a 99.9% uptime guarantee.

Transitioning to the cloud also helps open new opportunities to better integrate with business applications. Microsoft Office 365 and Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online together can help your sales, service, and marketing staff collaborate more effectively to better serve your customers and grow your business.

What’s unique with Office 365 too is that it is designed to help you work seamlessly online or offline. If you‘re working on a proposal and want to get feedback from your partner or customer, you can start working on it on your own computer, share it securely [using SharePoint Online] with partners or customers for feedback so they can access the documents and work on it with you online instead of emailing different versions back and forth. If you go offline, you can still access the documents and work on it offline [using SharePoint Workspace], and it’ll automatically prompt you to upload as soon as you have connections again.

What’s also great with that scenario is that when you share a document using Office 365, you can access that [using Office Web Apps] from anywhere using any major browser (Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari, Chrome). When you open or edit a file with the browser, you can be sure that it will not have messed up the formatting you spent hours perfecting. Which is not the case with other collaboration tools.

Another thing unique to Office 365 is that these are all business-grade services designed to give you the reliability and security you expect. Microsoft say they do not violate your privacy or confidentiality requirements by reading your emails for targeted advertising, unlike some other providers.

For SMBs managing IT costs and the fact that Cloud-based data is always backed-up are two of the most important benefits to Office 365, followed closely by security against viruses and spam.

There are a number of different plans ranging from individual packages for Exchange, Dynamics and Sharepoint, through the Small Business P1 package to larger corporate, or just because of the excellent offering, E1 and E3 packages.

For more information click here https://www.microsoft.com/en-gb/office365/compare-plans.aspx

With the main packages you get:

Office 2010 Professional Plus (E3 plan)
• Seamlessly connected and delivered with cloud services – for the best productivity experience across the PC, Mac, Phone and Browser. (Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari, Chrome).
• Pay-as-you-go, per-user licensing
• The complete, familiar Office experience with services integration in Office 365
• A simplified user setup to preconfigure services
• Always the latest version of the Office apps, including Office Web Apps
• ODF support: View and edit ODF documents in Office Web Apps.
• New Browser support: Use Office Web Apps with Chrome and IE9 in native mode.
Business email – Exchange Online
• Cloud-based email, calendar and contacts with protection from viruses and spam that’s always up to date.
• 25 GB Mailbox
• Outlook and Outlook Web Access
• Premium antivirus/anti-spam (Forefront)
• Shared calendars, contacts and tasks
• Mobile email for most mobile devices including BlackBerry, iPhone, Nokia, Windows Phone
• Email archiving and compliance capabilities
• High-quality Office document attachment previewing with Outlook Web App and Office Web Apps integration
Document sharing – SharePoint Online
• Central online content storage and management: Faster and easier access to content, easier file sharing with customers
• People search (SharePoint Online): Faster access to internal subject matter experts
• Post, view, share and edit important documents, insights and statuses with colleagues from almost anywhere
• Keep teams in sync and manage important projects
• Upload docs to the Team Site in a few simple steps.
• Find important documents and people easily
• Stay up to date with company information and news
• Grant access to Team Sites and set permissions
• 10 GB per tenant + 500 MB per user
• External sharing and collaboration through Windows LiveID support for SharePoint Partner Access
• SharePoint Online addition of Business Connectivity Services (BCS) via WCF endpoint
• Site scalability up to 100,000 users
• Ability to connect to lists and document libraries with the Windows Phone 7.5 “Mango” update

Web conferencing – Lync Online
• Cloud-based instant messaging, presence and online meeting experiences with PC-audio, video conferencing and screen sharing.
• Instant messaging and presence – quickly communicate or check someone’s availability.
• PC-to-PC audio and video calling – invite colleagues, customers and partners to Lync Online presentations and virtual meetings that include PC-audio, video and web conferencing.
• Click-to-communicate from Outlook, SharePoint and other Office Applications
• Online meetings with PC-audio, video conferencing and screen sharing – easily schedule online meetings in just a few clicks
• Single-click meeting creation and join from Outlook – External participants can also join via a web browser to view meeting content
• Calendar integration with Outlook and Exchange
• On-the-go communication and conferencing via Lync mobile clients across multiple platforms
• Apple-device integration with Lync for Mac client and iPad access

So, if you’re thinking of moving to the cloud and you’d like to know more about how Office 365 can work for you, and how CJ Systems can help you plan, implement and support Office 365 contact us on 01823 478515 or email info@cjsystems.co.uk today.