Microsoft have recently released two editions of its new and improved online productivity suite, Office 365. Available in two editions ‘small business’ and ‘enterprise’ this makes it easy and cost effective to go “into the cloud” without losing the familiar Microsoft server and client applications. The release of Office 365 will include email, communications, collaboration and both Office Web Apps, the enterprise edition will include all of this as well as Office 2010 Professional Plus.
Here are a few reasons as to why industry experts are saying Microsoft got it right this time.
One of the most important factors in choosing a cloud service, security is one of the main reasons as to why many companies hesitate to move to the cloud. Microsoft’s online services are designed with security in mind. Applications in Office 365 are accessed through a 128-bit SSL/TSL encryption so if a transmission is intercepted by someone without authorisation it will not be readable. Security measures are applied in accordance with the Microsoft Trustworthy Computing initiative, using Forefront Online Protection for Exchange which protects mail messages from malware, and it uses anti-spam filtering and antivirus with multiple virus engines. Microsoft also carries out regular security audits.
Although security is the most common mentioned area of concern in regard to the cloud, a close first is the reliability of the cloud. Microsoft has multiple datacentres, located all over the world, hosting redundant network architecture. If there is an outage at one datacentre there will be another that can act as a backup.
Microsoft Office 365 are certified to comply with government and industry regulations. You can be rest assured that Microsoft Office 365 are compliant with ISO 27001 standards and completed SAS70 audits, achieving the EU Safe Harbor Seal. There has also been added controls to help customers comply with HIPAA and FERPA.
With today’s economy many companies are not able to upgrade all of their desktop systems to the latest operating system, however this isn’t necessary when it comes to Office 365 as Microsoft’s online service support is compatible with all windows models, Apple Mac and Google Chrome.
If you’re looking for the benefits of Exchange Server 2010 but without the cost and over head of installing it in house, then you need to invest in Exchange Online giving you a tonne of benefits such as;
- Restoring Deleted Items
- Permanently deleted items can be recovered
- Request that a mailbox can be recovered for 30 days after deletion
- Connect to Exchange Online Via Outlook 2007 or 2010
Make collaboration easy with SharePoint! With 500MB of storage per account and a quota of up to 100GB per site collection your company can have up to 1TB of total storage. The use of SharePoint sites work with all Microsoft Office 2010 applications including;
- SharePoint Designer
- SharePoint Workspace
The use of Microsoft Office 2010 applications and SharePoint allow two or more users to edit the same document at the same time. If you don’t have Office installed, you can use Office Web Apps to work with your documents within a web browser. PowerPoint is also supported with broadcasting which lets you broadcast your slideshows across the internet even to people who don’t have PowerPoint. SharePoint also allows you to manage documents offline and have everything automatically synchronised back to the server when you reconnect.
Office 365 communications service is Lync Online this is providing users with instant messages, audio and video calling between PCs, web conferencing, and presence. Using Lync Online users can send IMs, presence status and monitor another user’s presence. Using IM conversations users can share and transfer files. Lync Online allows users to attend online meetings with audio, video, and web conferencing using the Lync client or using a phone with a PSTN audio conference service. Data sharing, including desktop and application sharing, whiteboard capability, and document sharing, is supported.
Office Web Apps
Part of Office 365 is Office Web Apps, however this doesn’t take the place of full – featured Office applications instead it supplements them. For example, sophisticated document creation and manipulation, you need a rich local application. But there are times when you’re away from your Office-equipped computer and need to do a quick edit. This is where Web Apps would come in, no matter where you are or what computer you are using you will always have access to Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote where you can create or edit content and post it to your SharePoint site or save it in your SkyDrive folder.