95% of feature/function questions we get are answered in the service descriptions here http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=13602 If you are evaluating Office365 you need to review these :) I send the link to these out at least twice every day, realy really useful information.
Great Lync Tour Video
Check this out!!! Mindmap and amazing list of Office365 links https://www.nothingbutsharepoint.com/sites/devwiki/articles/Pages/SharePoint-Online-and-Office-365-Resources-Mindmap.aspx
This is a common question for most customers, so have a read of our latest whitepaper on migration considerations and best practices - http://bit.ly/HHhSWB
Have you been waiting for enterprise cloud services to evolve so that you can put large ammounts of data in the cloud? Wait no longer, as we've reduced the price of Sharepoint storage by 92% whilst increasing the maximum storage per tenant to 25TB. Go large!!!
Check out the new archiving capabilies in Exchange Online and Office 365 to give your users bottomless inboxes and never deal with a corrupted PST again!http://help.outlook.com/en-us/140/ms.exch.ecp.enablearchivemailbox.aspx
If you need above and beyond what is included, check out our archiving partner LiveOffice for their certified solution for Office 365 - http://www.liveoffice.com/technology/office-365-archive
Looking into the cloud and worried about bandwidth planning with all the traffic going outside your networks? Check out the latest beta2 of the Exchange Client Network Bandwidth Calculator - http://blogs.technet.com/b/exchange/archive/2012/03/09/exchange-client-network-bandwidth-calculator-beta2.aspx
Right here http://www.microsoft.com/casestudies/Case_Study_Search_Results.aspx?Type=1&Keywords=office365&LangID=46
For many free services (and this includes enterprise services that are thinly rebranded consumer offerings), I would argue that you are the product...or more accurately the information you input to that service is the product. Would you give that information away normally? What is the value of that information to you and your organsiation? Wouldn't you rather have it in a service where that information was not mined as a resource? Food for thought
Great video http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=LxcRAmlQ-6c
This question comes up a lot, and I categorise it in 3 points
1. The cloud on your terms : we can do all cloud, all on-prem and most importantly a hybrid of the two. Hybrid cloud deployments are the most popular way to deploy cloud services.
2. The best experience across all devices : what is the use of a browser platform that corrupts your documents and loses data? You have to be able to open that excel file on your phone, on the web, and on your desktop without affecting file fidelity
3. Innovation : Cloud Voice, Video Conferencing, Cross development with on-prem and Azure, combined with the decades of usability enhancements that have gone into office. Would you pay for Word 1.0 from us? No? Then why pay for another product that gives word 1.0 functionality, when you can get Office 2010 for equivalent price.
...and remember, we dont charge you for mobility, offline, or single sign on, and you dont need to deploy a new browser.
For valentines day, remember that style matters http://blogs.technet.com/b/whymicrosoft/archive/2012/02/13/are-you-missing-something-important.aspx
We've just added new features to our kiosk offering that make it even more compelling : you get a 1GB inbox that you can access over the web or via your smartphone - full task and calendar support included, starting at $2.35 per user per month. If you have a part of your workforce that can take advantage of this there is a significant opportunity for savings. If your paying another vendor $5 per user per month for just webmail, maybe you should have a look at this option :)
Following on the heels of a successful Open Beta program, RIM has announced that their BlackBerry Business Cloud Services for Office 365 has officially launched: http://press.rim.com/release.jsp?id=5359
Please visit http://www.blackberry.com/cloudservices for additional information and steps on how to enable this service with their Office 365 tenant. One of the most compelling features of this service is that it can be used with either a BES or a BIS data plan. If you are already on a BES data plan there may be an opportunity to move to a BIS plan and save money with this option : on average the saving can be anything from $10-$15 per user per month, which would more than cover the cost of any of the Office365 email plans.
Food for thought.
The release of RIM’s upcoming BES in the cloud, BlackBerry Cloud Services (BBCS), is just around the corner. Many customers are asking how they can access this new offering for free from within their Office 365 tenants. Below is a quick tutorial to help save you hours of documentation searching.
Read for yourself here
The Offfice365 Trust Center provides information on our new Security and Privacy controls and information http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/office365/trust-center.aspx#fbid=rgEaWS1YYOA
In addition,The Cloud Security Alliance published the Cloud Control Matrix, to support consumers in the evaluation of cloud services and to identify questions prudent to have answered before moving to cloud services. In response to this publication, Microsoft has created this document to outline how we meet the suggested principals and mapped them to the International Standards Organization (ISO) 27001:2005 and ISO 27002. With this standardized response we would like to empower customers with in-depth information to evaluate different offerings in the market place today.
Adds Lync for Mac, Windows Phone 7.5 support, Sharepoint BCS and more
Check it out
You can attend from anywhere and access a rich online experience where to learn about our Future of Productivity vision and business productivity solutions. Experience valuable sessions through the virtual Auditorium, Exhibit Hall, Networking Lounge and Resource Center to learn, explore and interact with Microsoft and our business solution technologies! This year we have collaborated with some of our key partners who are participating in the delivery of the content throughout the event. This event is targetted at Canadian organisations with 250+ seats.
Register here : http://event.on24.com/r.htm?e=367734&s=1&k=CE74D1504692A54DA4BC4CACBA912C62&partnerref=ssp
Yes, and this is a scenario that we will be growing over the coming months. Steve Fox has a great blog and presentation that shows how you can integrate Sharepoint Online and Windows Azure with Business Connectivity Services.
We had 22 sessions on cloud integration and hybrid cloud at the Sharepoint 2011 conference http://www.mssharepointconference.com/pages/sessionspage.aspx
Seems pretty fundamental, right? If you are going to provide document editing capability across mobile, workstation, and browser devices a basic expectation would be don't compromise or corrupt the original. Unfortunately with many solutions this is simply not the case, but with Office365 you can edit with confidence on whichever platform you choose.
Have a look at what I mean in Word web app vs Google Docs (this isn't canned, its the same document rendered on your browser by each solution realtime)
and again with Excel web app vs Google Spreadsheets. This one is nasty
I know I'm biased :) You decide which one you'd want to use.
Yes you can, and you do not need extra licences for the first 50 external users (as that is included in both Sharepoint Plan1 and Plan2). If you need more than 50 external users you can purchase additional external user licence packs in blocks of 50.
For more information check out this link http://community.office365.com/en-us/f/152/t/6880.aspx
With the latest mango update for WP7, we showcased the seamless integration with Office 365. This led to a customer asking if the Exchange integration will work on an iPhone/iPad without 3rd party apps, if there are restrictions (e.g. no tasks), and how they can set it up.
Since iOS implements our ActiveSync protocol, it’s as easy as 1-2-3 and users are able to use the built-in productivity apps for email, calendaring, contacts AND tasks*. At the same time, IT Pros can secure and manage these devices via IT policies for such things as device lock, remote wipe, etc.
Now if you are interested in a full mobile productivity experience including working with your documents in full fidelity, check out the below video from our Office Mobile team:
“Microsoft Online Services helped us reduce our total cost of ownership for email by 40 percent, thanks to savings in hardware costs and software licensing” - Costas Papaconstantinou, Director of Management Information Systems at European University Cyprus
If you are using Google Apps and would like to upgrade to Office365, you should register for our November 15th Technet webcast
"Attend this session if you or your organization is considering migrating to Microsoft Office 365. Kanwal Khipple clearly explains the differences between Google Apps and Office 365, as well as compares the benefits, limitations, and costs of Office 365 and Google Apps. Knowing the clear benefits, Kanwal also walks you through how to migrate from Google Apps to Office 365. Learn the best practices and gotchas before you begin your own migration."
There is a new site (not affiliated with Microsoft) that provides an open discussion of the cloud and cloud privacy from a Canadian Law standpoint. Check it out
See also my earlier post on Cloud Privacy
So you have heard that we support a wide spectrum of smartphone platforms including BlackBerries, and want to know what polices can be managed by IT? While every smartphone on the market today is an ActiveSync device other than the BlackBerries, each manufacturer can choose which aspects of the ActiveSync protocol to implement (e.g. disable camera, internet tethering, etc.). There is a great community driven matrix worth reviewing over on the TechNet Wiki - http://social.technet.microsoft.com/wiki/contents/articles/exchange-activesync-client-comparison-table.aspx
Yes absolutely! Among the ones in the public domain, below are my Top 3 Customer Recommended resources:
Below is an example of a video tour covering some of the new capabilities in Outlook 2010:
The ITPACs that we're using at our generation 4 datacenters are something that I find amazing - this short walkthrough shows what goes into an ITPAC and how we cool it. Cool stuff
Recently we released the new Lync client for the Macintosh platform and customers have asked if it will work for Lync Online and Office 365? Yes, but we will need to make two minor updates:
Today we launch the Office365 DIY Troubleshooter : the Troubleshooter pinpoints key technical support issues and provides immediate solutions without the need to post questions to the community or submit a support request ticket. The tool’s cool and modern interface conveniently displays hundreds of possible help and support assets (i.e. Help topics, KB articles, videos, wikis, blog posts) from within the Office 365 suite. As you move through a list of troubleshooting options, the tool dynamically displays funneled-down content to lead you towards the answers you need.
Yes through BIS for email and through RIMs upcoming Business Cloud Service for full BES functionality, as well as natively supporting all Exchange ActiveSync smartphones, browser access, and POP Access for other mobility platforms.
To get started with RIMs Business Cloud today go to https://www.blackberry.com/beta/businesscloud
Do you want to evangelise Office365 in your organisation, or want to include some video in a presentation or introduction session? Matt Hester is doing a great series of video demos that you can download here http://blogs.technet.com/b/matthewms/archive/2011/10/05/technet-video-a-quick-look-at-office-365-part-3-power-of-integration-with-office-365-outlook-and-lync-online.aspx
When I lived in the UK I used to go to YO! Sushi a lot, so I just loved this quote from their IT Manager Billy Waters
"With Office 365, YO! Sushi could lower overall costs and deliver the right set of tools for the right users, all with appropriate layers of security and compliance. The more we looked into the benefits of Office 365, the more we realised that it could have been tailor-made for us - it was considerably cheaper than the other alternatives, far easier to manage and removed, at a stroke, all of our business continuity and disaster recovery concerns. It was, basically, a 'no brainer'."
"And the solution is future-proof. If we went the traditional route, we would have to do the same thing again in 5 years time. This way, we never have to buy a server again!"
Check out the details here http://www.eatoutmagazine.co.uk/online_article/How-Yo!-Sushi-saved-40_percent-by-moving-to-cloud-computing/14793
"With Office 365, we get a unified solution to handle e-mail, planning, collaboration, unified communication and portal requirements. In summary, all the tools for communicating and working together that are the backbone of modern IT infrastructure without the need for specific modifications to meet our specific requirements. We even save a lot of money and man-hours, It is hard to be dissatisfied with that," says Kristian Lilholm, IT Manager for SuperGros.
Read all about it here http://www.microsoft.com/casestudies/Microsoft-Office-365/SuperGros-A-S/70-Savings-Generated-Through-Email-and-Calendar-Service-Rationalisation/4000010542
All November, Microsoft Office 365 is teaming up with the 85 Broads organization to declare this month "Your Office, Your Terms"–an effort designed to educate women on the benefits of working from anywhere and the technologies that help bring workplace flexibility to life. Gain insights and take advantage of resources to help you evaluate the benefits of technology and realities of working remotely. Check out our blog, read the digital toolkit, attend an upcoming event, access the resource list, and return throughout the month for the latest additions!
A common question I get is around what our service availability is and about how we handle any planned or unplanned outages. We have a strong commitment to fulfilling our uptime guaranteer and constantly improving both the service and our communications channels about service availability, and this is why we have a financially backed SLA. Check out this blog post for more information http://community.office365.com/en-us/b/office_365_technical_blog/archive/2011/11/07/service-availability-in-office-365.aspx
“With Lync Online, we can retire the WebEx service and our internal videoconferencing systems. We also expect to reduce travel and long-distance costs, because we can more easily schedule and hold online meetings.” --Cecil Murray, Chief Technology Officer, 1st Source Bank
One of the unique capabilities of Office365 is the ability to deliver a seamless hybrid cloud, so moving to a cloud delivery model does not need to be an "everything on the browser" technology ultimatum. Check out this great post by Dr Rez on how we enable Hybrid Cloud
Check out John Weigelt's piece on clouds and condos as a metaphor - very helpful in understanding Office365 as a public cloud offering and how it fits with private cloud and traditional outsource and hosting options.
Fill in the blank!
We provide native migration and coexistence options for Exchange Server and IMAP mail services, but if you are running other email systems and want a similar rich coexistance and migration experince, our partners have tools that can help get you there
Binary Tree E2E
We are building some of the most advanced, cost-effective, and evironmentally-friendly Datacenters on the planet. This video provides a deeper look at how Microsoft uses secure, reliable, scalable and efficient best practices to deliver over 200 cloud services to more than a billion customers and 20 million businesses in over 70 countries.It provides an understanding at how we view our end-to-end cloud strategy from an infrastructure perspective.
I mean really use Office2010 - OneNote, Word, Excel, Powerpoint, with full document fidelity, automatically synchronising Sharepoint Online.
Main Office 365 Support Number: (800) 865-9408
General Online Services Support (All Online Services & Billing ): (866) 676-6546
Direct Forefront Online (Anti-Virus/Anti-Spam) Support: (866) 291-7726
You can also log support incidents via the web Administrative portal.
All of these companies have made the journey to the cloud with Microsoft. The List grows daily.
Trying to determine what’s involved in migrating to Office 365? The Microsoft Virtual Academy Office365 provides you an overview of the components that comprise Office 365, including the different licenses available and what’s included with each. From that overview, the next modules go in to greater detail on Office Pro Plus – the version of the Office suite unique to Office 365 – and how to deploy/activate it. Additional modules go in to detail on what kinds of administration you can perform with PowerShell, and an overview of the sign-on options available with Office 365, including directory synchronization with your existing Active Directory, and implementing Active Directory Federation Services (ADFS) for single sign on between on premises and Office 365 cloud services.
Its free, and you earn academy points as you train, which go toward your ranking which equals Knowledge plus Bragging rights if you get into the top 3 in Canada. Go check it out and see whose names are already up there.
Have a look at what we think it will look like : we've done a few of these, but this one is my favorite
I love the 'Harry Potter'-esque moment at 1:50
Yes. I had this question again yesterday so I thought I'd cover it off today.
Litigation hold, also known as legal hold, allows organizations to preserve electronically stored information. When a user's mailbox is put on litigation hold, the user can delete items from their mailbox but the items are retained on the servers in the Microsoft Exchange datacenter. Litigation hold retains e-mail messages, calendar items, tasks, and other mailbox items. Litigation hold also protects the original version of each mailbox item from modification by the user. If a user changes the properties of items in a mailbox on litigation hold, a copy of the item before it was changed is retained.
To see how we do this in more detail, see http://help.outlook.com/en-us/140/ms.exch.ecp.editlitigationhold.aspx
Litigation hold is a feature of Exchange Online Plan 2 and thus is also included in Office365 Plan E3 and E4.
Yesterday we covered an impromptu meeting, today you can see how easy it is to schedule a more structured meeting. No passcodes, no having to manually paste phone numbers, and most importantly one scheduler to cover voice, video and data collaboration. All in the same time it takes you to schedule a normal Outlook meeting.
..that includes voice, video and rich content sharing? Check out this great video demo
The channel they have really is worth checking out, tons of great content here
Fill in the Blank!
There are detailed feature comparisons in the appendices of each of the Service Descriptions which you can download here http://www.microsoft.com/download/en/details.aspx?id=13602
Business Productivity Online Suite Customers will be transitioning to Office365 over the coming months. If you are using BPOS today you can get ahaead of the curve with our Transition Center http://www.microsoft.com/online/transition-center.aspx and you can download the FAQ here http://g.microsoftonline.com/0rmcm00en-us/5008
Email Compliance and Archival has historically been complex and expensive to achieve. Even worse, if you did manage to get and archive setup, actually finding that historical email was almost impossible to do in timely manner without a large investment in expensive custom storage. It was the it project that never stopped getting more expensive and time consuming
With Office365 Exchange Plan 2, you get a 25GB inbox, an unlimited personal archive for your users, and unlimited retention and retrieval for you organisation. Even if your users delete an email it can still be retained, and the organsiation can choose when to destroy emails as well. Your users get bottomless storage, the organsiation gets the retention and compliance it needs, and the IT folks get to go do something other than deploy storage to support the ever growing archive.
All with a couple of clicks in the admin console - its one of those features that we can deliver easily through the size and scale of our datacenter investment, and through role based access control you can even completely delegate discovery seraches to you compliance officers so that IT dont need to be invloved anymore.
A great round-up of why customers are choosing to move to the cloud with Microsoft
You should start by reading the Enterprise Buyers Guide,
then have a look at the Purchase and Support Guide,
estimate what it would cost for your organsisation,
and finally sign up for a tenant here
You can also purchase Office365 though a MIcrosoft Enterprise Agreement : contact your licensing reseller for guidance on how to transition your EA to the cloud.
One of the pitfalls I constantly remind myself about is something called "The Curse of Knowledge" from Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die. Very simply the concept is : The more familiar you become with something, the worse you become at communicating it to someone else because you assume others already have your knowledge. We use Office2010 every day and sometimes we forget that features we take for granted are not universally adopted or understood.
Presence everywhere definitely falls into this category for me - it is much much more that just Instant messaging, its a feature so integral to the way I and others work that when I dont have it I feel like I am nowhere near as productive. Communicating with people forms the core of how I get my work done, and being able to communicate quickly and effectively means I am more productive. My presence is updated constantly and automatically based on what I'm doing, and others know whether its OK to IM/Voice/Video or whether I'm busy and they can set a flag to see when I'm available. Contrast that to cold-calling someone or blindly emailing : did you ever have an out of office message or automated voicemail that solved a problem for you? Me neither.
With presence everywhere, my key contacts always know how to reach me, regardless of whether its a work or personal matter. I retain control of that presence so I can decide who can interrupt me or not. Its probably one of the most powerful advances in productivity I've seen over the last 5 years, yet most customers dont have access to it. Thats why I remind myself all the time to show how powerful a concept it is...and its not just me : http://lync.microsoft.com/en-us/Pages/videos.aspx?SessionID=1
With Office365 Lync Online, you can build enterprse presence into your productivity too for under CAD$2.50 per user per month, and it will integrate with on premise deployments of Exchange and Sharepoint.
There is a wealth of information about what our services are, how they compare to on-premises services, what our service levels and support lifecycles are etc.... but it can be hard to find them all in one place. This is the most common follow up we send out after a customer conversation.
Consolidated Service Agreement for Microsoft Online Services
Microsoft Online Services Support Lifecycle
Microsoft Online Services Support Lifecycle FAQ
Microsoft Online Subscription Agreement
Office365 Individual Detailed Service Descriptions (great feature/function information with comparisons between on-prem and online services)
This is a common question we get that can cover many different aspects of compliance : security, privacy, industry standards, data sovereignty etc etc. The best way to approach this is to break it down as follows
1. What exact law or statute are you concerned about compliance with?
2. How are you compliant with that statute today?
3. How will you be compliant when using a cloud service?
In many cases we find 2 & 3 above are the same answer, but generally we find IT folks (and as IT sellers we include ourselves in that!) are not equipped to answer these questions.
The good news is there is a wealth of information and guidance on this topic that has been provided by Microsoft and various official bodies within Canada (see below), so our advice when deciding on this important issue is to be educated on our policies and the guidance from Canadian privacy sources, and make sure to involve your corporate counsel/security/privacy officer(s). In most cases we find there is a policy already in place that can address the questions appropriately, there is no impedement to using Office365 services.
Further Information from Microsoft
Security Features In Microsoft Online Services
Privacy In the Cloud : A Microsoft Persepctive
Securing Microsoft’s Cloud Infrastructure
Privacy at Microsoft
Further information from Non-Microsoft Canadian external Sources
Federal Privacy Commissioner : Guidelines for Processing Personal Data Across Borders
Treasury Board Secretariat : Taking Privacy into Account Before Making Contracting Decisions
Ontario Privacy Commissioner : Privacy in the Clouds: Privacy and Digital Identity - Implications for the Internet
Ontario Privacy Commisioner : Modeling Cloud Computing Architecture Without Compromising Privacy: A Privacy by Design Approach
The FAQ section is where we cover some of the most common questions we are asked on a day to day basis.
So, does Office365 = Office in a browser?
The answer is you have to view the browser as one of the many platforms that Office365 will run on. We inhabit a world dominated by the consumption of rich applications across many different client computing platforms, and for each of these we have a version of Office365 that has been developed to take advantage of the unique capabilities of that platform. For example, a browser is perfectly suited to allow multiple users to edit lines of the same spreadsheet concurrently without having to download it. Conversely, a browsers lack of offline capability makes it less suited to use where connectivity is patchy. Office365 delivers the Best Productivity Experience across the Personal Computer, the Mobile Device and the Browser with full document fidelity regardless of where you choose to be productive.
Research In Motion (RIM) has launched an open beta of BlackBerry Business Cloud Services for Microsoft Office 365 – a new RIM-hosted cloud-based service for businesses to extend Microsoft Exchange Online to BlackBerry smartphones and self-manage their BlackBerry deployments in the cloud. You can see RIM’s press release here.
The RIM BlackBerry Business Cloud Services open beta offers early access for Office 365 customers to use their BlackBerry devices in advance of the general availability of the RIM-hosted service expected in January 2012.
Beta highlights include:
RIM BlackBerry Beta Zone for more information and to sign up for the RIM BBCS open beta program
Interest and activities around Office 365 has been accelerating exponentially and so we have gotten somewhat distracted. Many customers are trying to make sense of the cloud and understand what it can do for their organizations, so it is timely for us to continue this topic from our previous post.CloudMany vendors will try to over-simplify the cloud as something you access through a browser with your data sitting in someone else’s data-center. For us at Microsoft (field), the cloud is more than simply having your data hosted with us and accessing them through a browser. This is a very limiting view and reduces this metaphor to a single end-point – the browser and all its current limitations. Rather, we tend of think of it as:
“An approach to computing that is about internet scale and connecting to a variety of devices and endpoints”
Personally, having been in the technology industry for over 10 years, I find this is where it gets interesting since it is such a paradigm shift for many CIOs and IT professionals. It is almost like moving back towards the centralized model of mainframe computing, but with a focus on three key benefits – elasticity, agility, and experience.Quite simply, this is a model where we leverage the large scale and resiliency of the internet to dynamically scale up and down based on your needs. IT organizations can outsource the day-to-day mundane tasks of operational maintenance to a dedicated staff and be up and running in a matter of days; allowing them to focus on projects that bring true impact to the business. At the same time, we enable your users to make this paradigm shift with minimal impact on their productivity experience – they can choose how they want to consume the cloud, whether this is through their traditional tools (e.g. Microsoft Office), natively on their mobile devices (e.g. BlackBerries, ActiveSync devices), or through their favourite browser. They are able to do all this without having to change their current workflows or install any third party add-ons. This is especially important in this age of consumerization of IT where we can seeing an increase mixture of both personal and IT-sanctioned devices in the enterprise.From a technologist’s perspective, I often say that it can be summarized into three value propositions at a high-level:
Just like the personal computer and Internet before it, I would dare say that the cloud is quickly becoming a notable change in how we compute – both for the consumer, end-user, and IT professionals alike. Follow us as we continue to explore this interesting model with the upcoming launch of Office 365!
I often get asked by customers and partners what the differences are between traditional on-premise deployments, hosted, or the Microsoft Cloud - "Isn't hosted and cloud simply our servers running in someone else's datacenter?" To answer this, let's briefly break down the three very different deployment models:Traditional On-PremiseMany discussions have been going on for years on this, and for the better part of the past three decades this has been the model of choice for most business customers. Customers have full control over their entire infrastructure and can at any point physically walk over and touch their servers. While this is a great plus, at the same time you must plan for, maintain, and pay for all aspects of your infrastructure such as:
Even for some of the top IT firms in the world, this can easily be a business all on its own and become a significant overhead in cost and resources to the business.HostedSo in an effort to optimize and streamline operations, many CIOs are considering alternative options for basic workloads (email, secured IM, departmental collaboration) - one of the alternatives is to move to a hosted model. Essentially under hosted, your servers are in fact located in someone else's datacenter - your hosting partner of choice. There are advantages to this since it alleviates the need to have a full IT staff manage the day-to-day functions of these servers, but at the same time still provide you with relatively full control of the environment for any customization requirements.The degree of control you have may vary and depend largely on which hosting provider you choose, and this will in turn impact how much flexibility you can have. From a Microsoft customer perspective, there are generally two options for hosting - Partner Hosted or Microsoft Hosted. Most hosting partners will also offer add-on managed services to perform patch management and upgrade projects. However, the costs for these services are usually quite substantial and most hosting partners will only commit to being one version behind the current released platform. For many customers, this is still a significant improvement, and helps to free up operational IT resources for projects that visibly impact the business. Although at the end of the day, we are still left doing capacity planning and budgeting for capital costs every three to six years.CloudThis leads us "to the cloud". There has been a lot of buzz around the cloud and cloud computing for the masses, but what does it really mean for the business and what is the IT value proposition to move to this delivery model?According to Wikipedia:
Cloud computing refers to the provision of computational resources on demand via a computer network.
Cloud computing can be compared to the supply of electricity and gas, or the provision of telephone, television and postal services. All of these services are presented to the users in a simple way that is easy to understand without the users needing to know how the services are provided. This simplified view is called an abstraction. Similarly, cloud computing offers computer application developers and users an abstract view of services that simplifies and ignores much of the details and inner workings. A provider's offering of abstracted Internet services is often called "The Cloud".
In part two of this two-part entry, we will take a look at what the cloud is, why the hype, and explore in detail the benefits IT organizations can gain from the Microsoft Cloud.
Since we have a lean (and mean) team to support our Central and Western Canada customers, we have created this blog to share insights, common questions and answers, and provide our customers will more information on our cloud solutions – mainly the upcoming release of Office 365. Your team consists of Anthony Murphy (Solutions Specialist) and Sam Fong (Technology Specialist), and together we cover the Office365 business in the SMS&P space.