What is Office 365?
So you have probably heard of 365 but are a little vague on what it is? Don’t be, we hear it all the time. Historically, Microsoft Office products such as Word and Excel were delivered via a DVD disk where you installed the product and entered a license key. Similarly, collaboration services such as Exchange for email and SharePoint document management were installed and maintained on servers inside your organisation. Files and folders were kept on the same servers accessible for everyone in the organisation to access.
Then along came the Cloud and Microsoft has practically reinvented itself because of this. Cloud simply means the delivery of software and services online. That’s all the cloud is in a commercial sense, a distribution channel for services and intangible products. You now download the software, and services are hosted via website instead of installed on servers in the office. The whole thing was made possible with the advent of high speed Internet and bandwidth, which empowered websites to respond quickly and efficiently to user input and number crunching.
Everyday consumers now purchase Microsoft Office such Word , Excel PowerPoint etc. either directly on line or in retail stores. In stores product is simply activation key (numbers) over packaged on a plastic card enclosed cardboard envelope. They simply log on to office.com, enter the key, then download their copy and install in on the computer. This new service falls under the banner Office 365
Click on any of the links above to find a description of the 365 product in layman’s terms with a link to Microsoft for further information. Or scroll and browse the services below.
Premier e-mail service with Exchange online
Connect with Outlook
Connect to your Exchange mailbox with Microsoft Office Outlook on PC and Macs. Mailboxes e comes with 50 GB of mailbox storage for each user, with an additional 50 gigs storage using in-place archive now kept online. No more messy archive PST file to look after. Depending on your subscription, you can have unlimited archive storage.
Take email on the go. Exchange Online supports mobile access for all phones and tablets that have the ability to receive email including Apple iPhone, iPad, Android and BlackBerry devices. You have full synchronisation with email, calendars, contacts, tasks and even notes
Built in protection
Gain peace of mind knowing all Exchange mailboxes come with Exchange Online Protection that includes premier anti-malware and anti-spam protection. Exchange now has advanced protection against spoofing and managing message reputation.
Check email online
Don’t have your computer with you? Check and send mail from anywhere with an internet connection on any computer using the Outlook Web Application. Users have full access to inboxes, calendars, and contacts in any web browser.
Share Outlook Mailboxes, Calendars and Contacts
Eliminate the need to ask a colleague about their availability for your next meeting. Exchange Online gives users the power to share their Outlook Calendars with their teams. Entire mailboxes can be shared with other team members which can invaluable for example to personal assistants managing schedules and appointments.
Keep inboxes un-cluttered
Exchange Online uses an In-Place Archive that automatically places old messages into an archive for the user to view at their convenience, keeping the inbox clear for recently added and important messages.
Multiple email addresses and shared mailboxes
You are not limited top one email address per user. Users can have as many alternative email addresses known as Alias’s. There is also the shared mailbox feature which allows you to have secondary mailboxes that do not require a license. A typical use for these are generic addresses such as email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
The new Outlook 2019 option of Dark Mode. Click on the image to enlarge.
Outlook Web App or OWA which can be viewed in all popular browser. Click on the image to enlarge
Hold on to edited and deleted Mail
The In-Place Hold feature allows the user to keep deleted and edited messages from the mailbox. Deleted items which can be retained for up to 6 months before permanently deleted
Avoid data loss
Avoid losing sensitive business data with data loss prevention (DLP) policies based on regulatory standards including Personal Identifiable Information (PII) and Payment Card Industry (PCI) that protect sensitive data.
Office 365 provides robust email services with Exchange, document management with SharePoint, and audio visual commutation with Skype for business and Yammer for socials posts. Missing was a central platform where all of these functions could be merged into a single desktop work space at a fraction of the price of CRM platforms such as Slack. Enter Microsoft Teams.
The components of Teams and what they do
You designate a team to manage a project which could be a major marketing campaign or organising the office Christmas party and you assign a group of people to manage that project. Traditionally that would be done using a combination of email messages between members, storing and locating files in shared folders and telephone calls. That approach been replaced with a single interface that handles project collaboration and communication in one simple interface.
In Microsoft Teams you simply create a team with the project title and add the members. Members can then add posts on the subject as you would using Facebook, gather files in one place, open chats with one another, make audio and video call with each other and schedule appointments. Email messages can be even be dropped into posts based on relevance. And all of this can be done from any geographic location, with a Team member in Auckland corroborating with other members in Brisbane – on a PC or Mac, tablet or mobile phone.
Divide Teams in channels
The project can be divided up into channels, as many as you want. Each channel maintains its own file locations and post relevant to that element of the project. This makes it easy for the Teams to manage the various elements and task at hand
Divide Teams in channels
The project can be divided up into channels, as many as you want. Each channel maintains its own file locations and post relevant to that element of the project. This makes it easy for the Teams to manage the various elements and task at hand.
Create conversations and post content
As with social media platforms conversations can be created in the channels with posts grouped together maintaining a timeline of events. This does away with the cumbersome email trails and missing attachments.
Store and share relevant files to channel
Leveraging SharePoint technologies, Teams allow members to group and share documents in a single location. Like SharePoint, documents can be easily shared co-authored, apply alerts and maintain version history.
Chat allows members to ask simple questions and converse informally with out picking up the telephone. Chat history is maintain for reference if required
Leveraging Skype technologies, members can conduct audio calls with each other on their computers including conferencing with multiple members. This can include external organisations and partners.
Similarly video calls can be made between member again including conferencing audio visual conference calls. Teams can easily be deployed in the board room with the screen divided up to include all participants. This to can include external organisations and partners.