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Choosing Office 365 for the Enterprise

Microsoft's Exchange, SharePoint, Lync, and Office in the cloud.

Office 365 is Microsoft’s cloud-hosted service that effectively provides Microsoft Exchange, Lync, SharePoint, OneDrive Pro and Yammer on a monthly fee basis. Instead of organizations having to setup, configure, patch, upgrade, update, and backup systems, Microsoft takes care of all of the “backend” server tasks.Organizations can just focus on being able to access and use applications for email, file sharing, web conferencing, video conferencing, audio conferencing, document management, and the like.

Users who are already familiar with Microsoft Office continue to use applications like Outlook, Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. In the past several months, Microsoft has updated Office 365 to have full support for non-Windows-based systems, so a person running an Apple Mac, or a person who uses an iPad, Android device, iPhone, Windows Surface, or other device can now have the same functionality as users who have traditionally run just Windows.

     Sample Screenshot of the Office 365 Email FunctionalityOffice 365 has also evolved in terms of its reliability, security, and the support available for users on Office 365 to be a dependable platform for enterprises to rely on. Office 365 can be said to be a “no brainer” for small businesses, as the time, effort, and cost to setup, manage, and maintain a slew of servers costs the organization way more than what Microsoft can provide the hosted Office 365 services to an organization for on a monthly basis.Mid-size and large enterprises find Office 365 to be compelling where Microsoft keeps Office 365 up to date on the latest Microsoft server technologies along with ongoing patches and updates. This allows an organization’s internal IT department to focus on more business-critical applications and IT services than simply keeping the basics running for email, document sharing, and the like.

    SharePoint in Office 365 - Document Sharing and Content ManagementEnd of the day, after several years of fine tuning, Microsoft Office 365 is now enterprise ready in terms of features, functions, security, performance, and reliability, and the content of this book goes through the most common questions and the real world (not marketing speak from Microsoft itself) answers to these questions.I released a book that answers what I found to be the most common questions I get every day about Office 365, things like "are emails in Office 365 secure", "does Office 365 provide email archiving and eDiscovery", "how much mail can our users store", "what happens if a user has 100gb of emails", "can I do everything in SharePoint in Offic 365 as I do on our inhouse SharePoint farm", "what's OneDrive and how can we do file sharing with it", etc.This is an executive level (non-technical) guide focused to Chief Information Officers (CIOs), Vice President's of Information Technology, Chief Financial Officers (CFO)s, and Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) looking to move email, file sharing, and the liek out of their datacenter and into a cloud-hosted and cloud-managed environment.  The book is titled "Choosing Office 365 for the Enterprise" and is available both in print and in Kindle format off Amazon.comNote:  This book is focused to small, medium, and large enterprises as it relates to Office 365 for Businesses and for Enterprises.  Many of the features in Office 365 vary based on the version of Office 365 license purchased, so while the book talks about specific features and functions, it is important to verify that the specific license you are looking to purchase includes the features desired.Additionally, Microsoft from time to time changes the services and limits of their offering, usually INCREASING functionality such as mailbox size limits used to be 10GB per user, that was then increased to 25GB per user, and is now (at the time of the writing of this book (February/2014)) is 50GB per user.  However those limits and others do change, the best thing to do is reference Microsoft’s Service Description that notes the latest service offerings and limits to service available.

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