What is Microsoft Office 365?

By: Marlon Marescia Viewed: 153187 times    

Office 365 is Microsoft’s next generation of its Business Online Productivity Suite (BPOS). BPOS has been around for a few years and is Microsoft’s Hosted offering of Exchange Online, SharePoint Online, Office Live Meeting and Microsoft Office Communications Online. Office 365 now includes the following products: 

  1. Microsoft Exchange Online – This is the hosted version of Microsoft Exchange and provides businesses with an enterprise level email system with virus protection 
    backups and 25GB of storage. 
  2. SharePoint Online - Microsoft’s Online version of SharePoint 2010. It is a cut down version of the SharePoint 2010 Enterprise, but includes many more features than SharePoint 2010 Standard and is outstanding value. 
  3. Microsoft Office Professional Plus – Microsoft has been attempting to offer Microsoft Office as a subscription for some time now, but it has never been a successful offering. With Office 365 I believe they have created a compelling offer for businesses. Users of Office 365 Enterprise can now install the latest versions of Microsoft Office Professional Plus as part of their monthly Office 365 subscription. 
  4. Lync Online – Many businesses today use video conferencing, VoIP, desktop sharing, instant messenger, and online meeting software. The brilliance of Lync Online is it offers all these services and more in a single integrated environment. On top of that Lync offers additional features like seeing the availability of a colleague from within SharePoint, starting an instant message conversation with a colleague while co-authoring a Word Document or booking an online meeting right from within Outlook. Never before has businesses had so many communication features offered in one familiar solution 
  5. Microsoft Web Apps – Microsoft has included Microsoft Web Apps as part of Office 365. This is Microsoft’s online version of Outlook, Word, Excel and PowerPoint. A user does not require any of these Office products installed on their computer to open and edit Office files. 

Office 365 is a software as a service solution licensed on a subscription basis. For business there are two main editions: 

  • Office 365 for Small Business - $6/user/month 
  • Office 365 for Enterprise - $24/user/month.

The game changer for business is all these products (except Microsoft Office Professional Plus) are hosted online by Microsoft. This means businesses don’t have to worry about installation, license fees or maintenance. A business can instantly start using these products with confidence knowing they will always work. As part of Office 365 Microsoft also offers: 

  • Virus protection
  • Spam protection 
  • Backups 
  • Money backed service level agreement 
  • 24/7/ phone support for Office 365 Enterprise Edition or community support for Office 365 Small Business Edition

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