Office 365: What you should know??

The topic of cloud computing continues to dominate the IT landscape. Cloud computing allows organizations to get fast access to computing resources, without constantly having to invest in new infrastructure, train new personnel or license new software. With the benefits of cloud in mind, many IT and business leaders no longer ask themselves whether to move to the cloud, but rather ‘how’ and ‘when’, and are looking for answers. So, let’s explore Microsoft’s new Cloud offering “Office 365”

What is Office 365??

“Microsoft Office 365 is a subscription service that combines the familiar Microsoft Office Web Apps with a set of web-enabled tools that are easy to learn and use, that work with your existing hardware, and that come backed by the robust security, reliability, and control you need to run your business.”

In simple terms it is set of services hosted online (or as they say today “in the cloud”) and you can subscribe for them based on your needs.

The Microsoft Office 365 service offering combines the familiar Office desktop suite with the latest, cloud-based versions of our next-generation communications and collaboration services: Microsoft Exchange Online, Microsoft SharePoint Online, and Microsoft Lync Online. These services work together seamlessly to provide the best productivity experience on PCs, phones, and browsers*. Office 365 is powered by the same Microsoft email and collaboration products that businesses have been using for decades

What is included in Office 365??

The following are part of Office 365

– Microsoft Office Professional Plus

– Microsoft Exchange Online

– Microsoft SharePoint Online

– Microsoft Lync Online

Why Office 365?

Microsoft Office 365 takes the industry’s most recognized set of productivity and collaboration tools and delivers them as a subscription service. With our cloud services, your organization can lower overall costs and deliver the right set of tools for the right users, all with appropriate layers of security and compliance. Microsoft is a trusted provider—millions of customers use the Microsoft Business Productivity Online Services suite today. And, Office 365 includes a financially-backed service level agreement, allowing you to feel confident that you chose the best cloud solution.

Cost savings.

In these difficult economic times, many customers look at online services as a way to shift from the large, ‘lumpy’ capital expenditures associated with upgrading every few years to a more predictable monthly operating expense. In case studies of Microsoft Online Services customers, companies have claimed between 30-50% cost savings.

Focus resources on high value-add projects.

The simplified administration and offloaded operational maintenance of the cloud services enable you to make the most of your IT people resources, to focus on projects that are core to your business and drive competitive differentiation.

Gain greater efficiency in your processes.

More efficient processes can be enabled through the elimination of multiple infrastructure platforms, by moving to one cloud solution. Or being able to execute business processes more effectively by being able to reach all parts of the organization, enabling better collaboration between teams who are distributed throughout the world.

Drive greater value from IT investments with latest technology.

Provide your employees with access to the latest technology making them more productive, and quickly leveraging your IT investments. It not only makes your employees more productive, it maximizes the value you get for your investment. Online services can greatly accelerate this process. And the ability to purchase exactly what you need now and expand later if necessary enables you to ‘right size’ those investments.

How Office 365 works??

The Microsoft Online Subscription Program allows you to quickly subscribe to Office 365, deploy services, and manage your user licenses through a simple online management tool.

Various plans offer different combinations of services and products to meet the needs of your organization.

• Microsoft Office 365 is licensed on a flexible, per-user per-month subscription plan with predictable annual costs and without a contract, enabling you to scale the services when it makes sense.

• Microsoft manages the IT infrastructure and activates the software so that you can very quickly deploy Office 365 services. Only a PC, Internet connection, and browser are required for activation.

There are three versions for Office365;

1. Small Business,

2. Enterprise

3. Education

Small Business Definition: Organizations with 1–25 users (max 50) and virtually no IT department

Enterprise Definition: Organizations with more than 50 users (bigger companies)

The Enterprise edition comes in 4 flavours (E1 – E4), while there’s only 1 Small Business plan (P1).

    

       

Office 2010 – Co-Authoring 21st century documents

Every small business owner has his or her eye trained on the economy. Amid positive signs that the Great Recession has ended, entrepreneurs everywhere are watching for optimistic indications that consumer spending has increased and that business is rebounding. Yet people are hesitant to invest in software’s and tools to ensure smooth functioning of their businesses. There is a new term doing the rounds in the IT space and that is the “21st Century Documents”. So what are these documents?? 21st Century Documents are simply documents that look professional, i.e. they look like someone with design skill created them, i.e. they have more formatting applied to them than just bold, italics, and underlines. Office 2010 brings the ease of authoring 21st Century Documents with a great amount of ease and co-authoring is just one of them.
In the newly launched Office 2010 software and its online counterpart, Office Web Apps, there’s a feature called “co-authoring” which lets multiple people edit the same file at the same time. This feature in true sense defines 21st century document collaboration.
In traditional collaboration, documents were shared via e-mail attachments. Tracking versions and edits from multiple authors is difficult and time-consuming for users. E-mail systems have to contend with storing multiple copies of the same document, not to mention increased network traffic as documents are sent repeatedly. Co-authoring addresses these issues by making it possible for multiple users to work on a document, at any time, without interfering with each other’s changes. This approach streamlines many common document-collaboration scenarios.
Co-authoring is currently available for the following:
  • Word 2010
  • PowerPoint 2010
  • OneNote 2010
Co-authoring is easy to use from the end user’s point of view. When a user wants to work on a document in he or she merely opens it, as usual. If another user already has the document open, both users are able to edit the document at the same time; access to the document is not blocked and no error appears
For example:
  • Two or more authors are working on different parts of a composite document. While one author works on his section of the document, another author can work on hers, without either interrupting their work.
  • Several authors are working on a composite slide show. Each author can add slides to the presentation and edit them, instead of working in isolation and trying to merge several documents and make them consistent all at the same time.
  • A document is sent out to several experts and stakeholders, each of whom has some edits or additions. No user’s edits are lost, because they are all working on a central, server-stored document.
In Word 2010 and PowerPoint 2010, saving to a document notifies other users viewing the document that there are new edits. Those users can refresh their view immediately to see those changes or continue their work and refresh later to see the latest edits. The authors can also see one another’s work, and everyone knows who is working on the document. With OneNote 2010, shared notebooks enable users to share notes seamlessly. When a user edits a page of the notebook, those edits are automatically synchronized with other users of that notebook to ensure everybody has a complete set of notes. Edits made by multiple users on the same page appear automatically, enabling near real-time collaboration. Versioning and other shared features in OneNote make it possible for users to roll back edits, show what edits are new, and determine who made a specific edit.
So why wait switch to Office 2010 and start authoring “21st century documents” J