Written by Kayvaan Ghassemieh
Hi, my name is Kayvaan, I’m a senior product manager with Microsoft Online Services. As Betsy mentioned in her earlier post, today Microsoft announced Office 365, the next generation of the Business Productivity Online Suite. Betsy talked about all the great new business-class features, efficiency and value that Office 365 will bring to existing and new Microsoft Online Services customers. You may now be asking yourself, “What does Office 365 mean for me as an existing BPOS customer?”
For any Software as a Service (SaaS) provider, it is critical to release updates and deliver changes to services in a way that balances continuous improvement with the flexibility to allow customers to control when releases and changes are delivered. Microsoft Online Services provides this balance by offering all existing BPOS customers up to twelve (12) months to transition from BPOS to Office 365. With that flexibility, you can make the transition to Office 365 when it makes sense for your business.
Your next steps as an existing customer should be to start learning about Office 365 and how to start planning. You can take the following steps right now:
· Bookmark the Office 365 transition center, which will be your one stop shop for ongoing guidance and discussion about the transition. At the transition center today you will find: a checklist to help you start planning, an extensive FAQ and details about Office 365 system requirements. We will publish more detailed guidance to the transition center on a continuous basis.
· If you have questions that you want to ask of other customers or Microsoft subject matter experts, head over to the transition forum on TechNet. I will be joining the conversation there.
· Make sure we have the right technical contacts on file. Microsoft Online Services will be sending important email communications about the transition to your technical contact email. Learn how to check and update.
· Stay tuned! Check the transition center regularly, subscribe to this blog and keep an eye out for notifications in the Microsoft Online Administration Center.
This is an exciting time for Microsoft Online Services and customers. Office 365 is a major wave of innovations to our services and we are committed to making sure that you have the information you need – when you need it – to make the transition to Office 365 when it works for you.
Nice opportunity coming soon for ISV, MVP and other partners ... When will the New BPOS will be launched ? We'll see ... Go to www.microsoft.com/.../office and further with MICROSOFT ! Enjoy future before I.T. comes ! Waow ... TY
Does that mean that we can choose when to transition and could that be on the first day of general availability? Do BPOS customers get early access?
You definitely can choose when to transition within some limits. You do need to transition within 12 months. A few initial transitions will start shortly after GA, and transitions will become broadly available soon thereafter as we scale out the transition process and ensure that it is smooth for you. We’ll have more details on exact timing a bit later.
This is a fantastic development - 3 to 5 years from now we will all be looking back and talking about the old days when all companies of all sizes used to run their own in house servers! I can't wait until all this stuff goes mainstream - no more server builds, no more patch management, no more backup headaches, and built in disaster recovery. Wow, my job just got a whole lot easier!
Where does Intune fit in to the new Office 365 solution with regards to Plans E1 to E4?
Happy to read this news about the upgrade to Sharepoint 2010. Can't wait to use the new Lync app too.
@nick - Windows InTune is not part of Office 365 - it's a seperate offer focused on device management as opposed to productivity.
Question: Are Office 365 accounts based on Windows Live ID? I'm just trying to figure out if Windows Phone 7 device management portal (part of Windows Live) will be part of the experience. Accessible from the Office 365 menus?
Suggestion: Now that Office Live Small Business is being rolled into Office 365, I think there are many OLSB customers who are mom-n-pop shops, small community/team organizations who would be satisfied with Hotmail, Live Groups and SkyDrive. Offer OLSB customers two conversion options Standard - OLSB to Office 365 and a "Basic" conversion. The idea is that most OLSB customers use it for hosted email and web services. The "Basic" conversion option would convert email management to Live Admin Center. And if feasible create a special "web hosting only" option on Office 365 to migrate their existing OLSB website. Just my $.02
Followup question - for small businesses who want to take advantage of voice capabilities..which I understand requires an enterprise level account and on premise Lync server...will there be a Lync server option for the "Aurora" the small business version of Windows Home Server? If not, please consider. Thanks.
@Kayvaan - surely does Windows Intune *fit* together with Office 365 in terms of services that together help customers move into the cloud? Partners are even encouraged to cross-sell Windows Intune with BPOS to "help customers improve user productivity and uptime with reliable and secure cloud services".
So to say Intune is not focused on productivity is probably not really true... I even believe the trademark / tagline for Intune is "Simplify PC management - Amplify productivity". Lots of buzzwords, I know... :)
What I struggle to understand though is what will fill the GAP of cloud-based services for OS and Software deployment, i.e. what SCCM does on-premise. Any guidance on this (or know where to get it)?
I think you are absolutely right that there's a "better together" story with InTune and Office 365. I just meant that from a more narrow definition of what the industry calls "business productivity" apps (collab, email, etc) InTune is not in that category. InTune falls into the desktop managment category. InTune IS the cloud version of SCCM for now. Since @nick was asking how InTune specifically fits into Office365 plans - I answered that it does not (i.e. it's not included in an Office365 plan). But InTune + Office365 is definitely a great story for customers.
Assuming that Office 365 is out in 3-4 months, has anyone seen updated technical specs and IPD Guides for Office 365 (vs the current Wave 12 documentation, which will be obsolete in 3 months)?
Maybe you should call your new service Office 360 (meaning at least 5 days outage a year). Email used to be such a basic thing on the Internet. Since we switched over to BPOS Exchange Online we had two outages lasting 2 days within 6 months. You can just imagine what my customers says.
This query is related to the 12 month transition period for existing BPOS customers.:
-- So what happens if an existing BPOS customer does not transitions to Office 365 within 12 months? What are the related implications?
-- Can a customer continue with existing BPOS subscription for longer time (>12 months) even after launch of Office 365?
Thank you for good article Office 365
Office 365 was opened for closed, or invitation-only, testing last fall. Microsoft says more than 100,000 organizations signed on to put it through its paces.