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Author: Tobias Zimmergren
http://www.zimmergren.net | http://www.tozit.com | [@zimmergren](http://www.twitter.com/zimmergren)

Introduction

o365

This is the first post in a series about Office 365. In this series I will cover the aspects of Office 365 briefly and of course dig deeper into the SharePoint-bits. The article series is meant to give you a heads up about Office 365, and of course give you the information you need to get started with the services offered!

Related articles in this article series

Part 1: What is Office 365 and how can my organization benefit from using it? Part 2: Getting started with Office 365

(This section will be updated as new articles are produced)

Office 365 – An overview

In this first article in a series of many, I will cover some of the fundamental aspects of what Office 365 is. We will take a look at why your organization might want to start looking at Office 365 and we’ll take a look at what services are included in the package(s).

What is Office 365?

If we’re talking about Office 365 in general it’s all about being connected and be able to work virtually anywhere. In my personal opinion, it’s a huge step in the right direction for getting all those on-premise installations out of the door and into a hosted scenario where you don’t need to consider the hardware and maintenance as much.

With Office 365 we can basically ease our IT-departments of the pain of administration and support for these types of servers – no hardware and no patching or upgrades needs to be taken care of. Microsoft will do this for us which is totally awesome.

Put simply its a secure and reliable Microsoft-hosted solution for collaboration, communication and productivity!

One of the best things is that you can in a matter of minutes have your organization hooked up with all the core services of any organization – connectivity!

How can my organization benefit from using Office 365?

For small to mid-sized organizations I have already seen an upturn in the feedback and demand for a package deal like Office 365. For me and my organization, there is no better solution to keep my communication and collaboration a-float. I basically clicked a button and then I had my Exchange Server for e-mail and a hosted SharePoint team site up and running within minutes.

Most importantly, you don’t need to worry about purchasing costly servers and spend hours, days or weeks configuring, monitoring and maintaining those machines. With Office 365, all the administration and management of the hardware is taken care of by Microsoft in their data centers across the globe.

Key points include

  • Hosted services
  • Reduced costs
  • Reduced routine management of your environments (Patching, Upgrades, Hardware, HW Failures etc…)
  • Increased availability

What services are included in Office 365?

The following awesome services are included in Office 365 in general (See the plans further down in this article):

  • SharePoint Online - Intranets
  • Extranets
  • Collaboration, connectivity, productivity
  • Exchange Online - E-mail, calendars, contacts and tasks
  • Cross platforms (PC, Web, Mobile)
  • Collaboration, connectivity, productivity
  • Lync Online (The new version of OCS) - Communication capabilities like chat, audio- or video calls.
  • Collaboration, connectivity, productivity
  • Office Web Apps - Online version of Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote
  • Totally awesome.
  • Collaboration, connectivity, productivity
  • Office Professional Plus - All the familiar Office applications you’re used to playing around with is of course included

What about the pricing?

If you cut down on costs for purchasing and maintaining hardware, eases the burden of administration and skip the old licensing details – then what am I actually purchasing?

The answer is: A subscription.

In Office 365, just like in BPOS, you purchase subscriptions and only pay per user in your system.

Here’s a simple schematic from the Office 365 web site* over what the pricing currently looks like for the Enterprise-edition of Office 365:* image

There’s an overview of the different plans on the Office 365 web site, where you can compare the different versions of Office 365 and conclude which one fits your organization.

So what are these Office 365 plans that I’m talking about?

In Office 365, you’ve got a few different options for what services to include in your subscription. This varies depending on what plan you sign up for:

I want to try it out, now!

So you’ve decided to at least take a look at Office 365? Good for you.

SIGN UP FOR THE OFFICE 365 BETA http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/office365/online-software.aspx

Summary

Speaking generally, Office 365 gives you the advantage of collaborating and connecting your organization and being more productive without the hassle of the on-premises servers. This ultimately gives us the ability to focus on our actual business, instead focusing too much on our internal IT.

This is meant to be a small intro to what Office 365 is. If you want to learn more in-depth about all the awesomeness that comes out of the Office 365-package, please don’t hesitate to visit http://office365.microsoft.com for further details!

Enjoy.

0 Comments 12 June 2011
Tobias Zimmergren

Tobias Zimmergren

Hi, I'm Tobias. I am a Microsoft MVP for SharePoint and I use this site to share my thoughts on tech with you on topics like SharePoint, Office 365, Azure and general web development.

  Malmö, Sweden

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