What is Office 365?

Office 365 is Microsoft’s new replacement to its Business Productivity Online Suite (BPOS), and marks a major shift for the company towards Cloud computing. Integrating seamlessly with desktop versions of its Office Suite 2010, the service makes the familiar e-mail, word processing, spread sheet and collaboration programs available on the web. This means they can be accessed via desktops, laptops and tablets, as well by Microsoft, RIM*, Apple and Android smartphones, allowing users to access their email via the Outlook Web App, work on their Office documents via the Office Web App, or join on-line conferences using the Linc Web App, from pretty near anywhere.

Why should I upgrade?

Businesses will gain many benefits by moving their office functionality to the cloud with Office 365:

  • Office programs and documents can be accessed from anywhere, and it is  easy to ‘jump’ between devices
  • Using the most commonly deployed office software in the world allows easy communication between companies, and ensures  that most people are already familiar with its interface
  • Sever maintenance and software upgrades are handled by Microsoft, removing the need to own and upgrade expensive server hardware
  • The flexible subscription scheme, which allows fewer than 5 users to subscribe, allows small businesses to start paying a fair price for the service and to expand as their business grows
  • Data stored with Office 365 is protected by Enterprise level security - the highest standard of physical and digital security available. With Microsoft providing built-in anti-virus and spam protection on its continuous back-up, geographically redundant servers, you know your data is safe
  • Integrated seamlessly with desktop versions of Office, you needn’t worry about having a non-stop internet connection, as you can work off-line on your desktop and Office 365 will sync all data as soon as a connection is re-established via the SharePoint Workspace offline tool
  • The online version of the SharePoint document management tool is a flexible application that can be made as complex or as simple as required. For example, many users find document management and collaboration to be an overly complex chore, so it is easy. using SharePoint, to set up a simple shared drive that can be accessed by groups of users and where documents can be processed and filed as required
  • Lync Online provides a wealth of communications features, including instant messaging, PC-PC audio/video calling, whiteboards, application sharing, video conferencing and much more. This saves time and money by allowing workers to effectively and efficiently collaborate and communicate with each other and companies to talk with clients and business partners.

The Hive Cloud is here to help you!

We have been working in partnership with Microsoft to beta test Office 365 since January 2011, helping to discover bugs, develop service packs and lending our technical expertise to improving the product and readying it for public launch. We are therefore intimately familiar with this software, with an in-depth understanding of how it works, how it is best deployed, where it really shines, and of any quirks or weaknesses that companies need be aware of.

We think this is a fantastic product that will hugely benefit any small to medium company, and are keen offer our expertise to ensuring that you gain the most from it.

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