Get answers to the most frequently asked Office 365 questions that the Office writers heard at TechEd North America 2013.

In our previous post TechEd North America 2013 wrap up: Part 1, we recommended some sessions you should watch online if you missed them in person, and we provided links to the posters we had available at the TechExpo. In this post, we answer the most frequently asked questions that we (the Office Content
Publishing team) were asked while talking to customers at TechEd North America 2013.   

Without further ado:


What is Office 365?

Office 365 refers to subscription plans that include access to Office applications plus other productivity services that are enabled over the Internet (cloud services). The other productivity services include Lync web conferencing and Exchange Online hosted email for business.

Many Office 365 plans also include Office 365 ProPlus, which is the desktop version of the latest Office applications. Users can install Office 365 ProPlus on up to 5 computers and devices. All Office 365 plans are paid for on a subscription basis, monthly or annually. For more information, see the service descriptions.


What are the benefits of using Office 365?

Office 365 is easy to set up and use– you can set up new accounts in seconds and you can get updates to your Office automatically.

Office 365 is flexible–you can use it as a stand-alone or in a hybrid mode with your on-prem servers.

Office 365 is affordable – you can significantly reduce your IT expenses by relying on Office 365 servers.

Office 365 also provides 99.9% availability with the highest possible standard of security.

You can also still store your data on your local client, if you have Office installed, you can edit the files locally too.

For more information, see What is Office 365 for business.


How is my data kept secure in Office 365?

See the Office365 Trust Center for complete information on this, but to summarize:

  • Your data belongs to you, Microsoft does not scan emails and documents for advertising purposes.
  • Office 365 is compliant with industry security standards (like ISO 27001, HIPAA, etc.) and the compliance is verified by third-party auditors.


How will I get support if I move to Office 365?

Office 365 page on TechNet has lots of links to documentation on service descriptions, dedicated plans, Office 365 ProPlus,SharePoint Online.

Office 365 Community is also an excellent place to find troubleshooting information from other users.

On Office 365 Marketplace you can find expert help.


What’s the difference between Office Web Apps and Office 365 ProPlus?

Office Web Apps are browser-based versions of Office applications that allow users to open Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote documents in your web browser. You can use Office Web Apps to work and share Office files from anywhere with an Internet connection, from almost any device.

For more information about Office Web Apps, see Office Web apps and the Office Web Apps Service Descriptions.

Office 365 ProPlus is available with some of the subscription service plans in the new Office. The Office 365 ProPlus is installed and runs on the local computer and therefore doesn’t need constant access to the internet. Here are some quick facts about Office 365 ProPlus.

You can read more details in Overview of Office 365 ProPlus.

Office 365 ProPlus:

  • Includes the full versions of Office applications.
  • Installs and runs on the local computer
  • Can install on up to 5 different devices with a single license
  • Doesn't need constant internet access to use. Just every 30 days.
  • Lets you keep data on-premises
  • Can use many of your existing processes and tools to deploy it throughout your enterprise

To learn more about Office 365 ProPlus, check out the Garage Series for IT Pro season 1 and the TechEd NA 2013 session Deploying and Updating Microsoft Office 365 ProPlus with Click-to-Run - Session #OUC-B302 (with Daniel H. Brown and Jeremy Chapman).


How do I manage identity in Office 365 (because I’m already using Active Directory)?

If your users are already in an Active Directory locally, you can use the Directory Sync tool to keep your AD synchronized with Office 365. To get more information about this, see Directory synchronization roadmap.


What is FastTrack?

FastTrack is a quick and easy way to deploy Office 365 in three simple steps. In step one, you start using Office 365 as a pilot for one user. In step two, you deploy to the rest of your organization in a few days. In step three, you can explore how to enhance your Office 365 with optional scenarios. These steps allow you to quickly onboard to Office 365 by using the pilot, and then easily transition to production implementation.

Want to take Office 365 for a spin?  Try the 30-day free trial for:

Office 365 Midsize Business Trial (ideal for 25-250 users)

Office 365 Enterprise Trial (ideal for more than 300 users)

(Note that both trials offer 25 users licenses)

Or get started with a small FastTrack pilot in your organization.

 
Do you have more questions about Office 365?  

See the Office 365 for business FAQ for more answers.