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    5 Star Lounger Lugh's Avatar
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    Office 365 general commentary

    I don't see any thread about 365, assume this would be the forum for it? Launched around three months ago, it's the 2010 version of what used to be called Business Productivity Online Suite in the 2007 product generation. In simple terms, it's the cloud version of various Microsoft small business products. The obvious competitor is Google Apps, the biz version of Google Docs--my view is that GApps is aimed at price-conscious orgs for whom 365's $6/user/month would be too much.

    We're only starting to embark on moving our info management to 365. Cloud suits us, we're a 'virtual' ecommerce company with all our people scattered worldwide, typically freelancers or independent contractors. We've been using GApps, FTP site, forum and email for operations up to now, which makes things quite sloppy, especially with the degree of duplication, data inaccuracy and lack of easy access. 365 should improve this a lot if we do it well, it's a good looking product so soon after launch, so I'm hopeful the usual MS relentless improvement march will make it really good as time passes.

    Anyone else going this route, please share your overall comments in this thread. How different elements might complement each other, for example, or what the best way to do X should be. You'll probably be familiar with the MS Office 2010 products already, so anything we can share about SharePoint, InfoPath, Lync, and Exchange should be especially helpful to us all.

    http://www.microsoft.com/office365/

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    There are many questions to be answered before anyone should jump into Office 365. Which, if any, of the products are you running onsite? Are you running a Windows domain and do you want single sign-on to your domain and Office 365? If you are running on-premise SharePoint do you have any add-ins which have installed anything into the server file system? Do you already have desktop Office 2010 products installed? Do you have a volume license for Office and are you considering converting some or all to an Office 365 SKU containing desktop products?

    Joe

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    5 Star Lounger Lugh's Avatar
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    We're a small business Joe, if I read your concerns correctly, they seem to apply to medium-large houses who already have a decent existing info infra, and perhaps some physical location centralization too.

    In our situation, 365 can't make anything worse, info mgt is an issue we've struggled with for years. I had a plan to 'sometime' move to SharePoint [from LAMP], but 365 looks like an easier and sooner step for us. It'll be very much a learning experience for a year or so, which is worthwhile anyway for its own sake, but we also have plenty of low-hanging fruit.

    There are probably two different discussions to be had. One for small unintegrated operations like ours, and another for larger and better organized companies, which might also have an IT dept.

    PS drag to resize gizmo [bottom right of Quick Reply window] doesn't work for me--double-headed arrow shows, but click-drag only highlights text all over the page, doesn't move window border. Latest IE9, Win7.

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    There are many small businesses that have one or more of the various server applications installed on-premise that are contained in Office 365. Some of my questions are valid regardless of the business size or current infrastructure particularly those about Office 2010. There are many others once you have made the decision to go with Office 365.

    Be aware of the capabilities available with each Office 365 SKU/pricepoint. If you have Office 2010 installed it may be to your advantage to go with a higher price point.

    Implement and migrate to one piece of Office 365 at a time. While it is time consuming, learn about the functionality and governance issues with each piece. Make corporate decisions about implementation, governance, and usage.

    Joe

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    5 Star Lounger Lugh's Avatar
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    Couple of infos which might help people:

    http://www.windowsitpro.com/whitepap...ice-365-140782
    White paper titled "Best Practices for Migrating to Office 365", sponsored by Quest software, free but registration required. Seems aimed at IT depts.

    http://www.vconferenceonline.com/event/home.aspx?id=405
    Tuesday, October 11, 2011 11:00 a.m. ET - 3:45 p.m. ET
    Webinar titled "Putting the Cloud to Work Now", has three 365-related topics, incl a comparison with GApps.

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