Office 365

After years of using email services from Godaddy (and file sharing with both Godaddy and with Dropbox), in 2014 it became clear that the programs we were using with Godaddy and DropBox were not going to work for us any longer.  The email service was getting slower  – the quality of service was still there.  It was time for us to consider using an email system that was based on Microsoft Exchange.  Godaddy now only has Microsoft Exchange email as an option and while the first year might be cheap and Microsoft, on an ongoing basis it is not – today.

If you want to look at the different Office 365 Business Plans, look at the Microsoft site here.

Why Consider Office 365 rather than what I have today? Read about Office 365 benefits here.

Why Microsoft Exchange in Office 365?

In short, it works much better when you have your information on a computer, laptop, phone, iPad and whatever else you are using – even someone else’s computer from time-to-time.

Subscription options

Home Premium

  • single pc and tablet
  • family – up to 5 pcs or macs, 5 tablets, multiple smartphones, cloud services (1 terabyte of storage) – $99/year or $10/month, 60 minutes of Skype time

Small to Mid-Sized Business Plans (including Enterprise Plans)

Business Essentials – core cloud services (email and calendaring), office online, online meetings, instant messaging, video conferencing, $5/user/month, up to 300 seats

Business Premium – all in above for $12.50/user/month

Enterprise – more than 300 users, unlimited users, business email and file sharing, conferencing and productivity, compliance tools, hosted voicemail

education and government – lower rates and specialized plans

System Requirements

business essentials – core and on-line software

  • most recent versions of IE or Firefox, Chrome or Safari
  • OS doesn’t matter

Windows

  • Windows 7, 8, Server 2008 R3 or 2012
  • Office 2013 32 and 64 bit
  • 1GB Ram 32, 2GB 64

Mac

  • 1GB RAM
  • OSX 10.6 or later
  • Internet Connection (as fast as you can obtain)

The parts of Office 365

Office 365 has programs and features and those vary by the level of the subscription.  Below are the ones that most of us use and ask about:

  • email – depending on the subscription of course, but most come with Microsoft Exchange email that you can access through mail programs and also through a great web portal.
  • Microsoft Office (cloud versions and certain subscriptions have the full version included)
  • OneDrive (their version of a drive on the Internet)
    • OneDrive has a client for Windows that works well and synchronizes your files – very similar to DropBox if you have used it.
  • team sites (uses Share Point)
  • Lync Online (messaging)

Office 365 – OneDrive

This is where you can place your files so that they are not stored on your computer or server but in a ‘secure’ place on the Internet.

You can access your files by logging into your email account (which is all web based and is, for those of us used to opening files from a mapped or local drive — like your ‘C’ or ‘K’ drive — weird).

You can install the OneDrive app on your iPad and, depending on your Office 365 subscription, read and update files on your OneDrive.

From a Mac computer, you can only use/view/update your OneDrive files through the web login or portal.

Of course, from a Windows computer (running Windows 7 or 8), you can download the OneDrive desktop app.  This lets you have access to your OneDrive files in a very similar way to DropBox (thus OneDrive, for those that use Office 365, is a replacement for DropBox).

OneDrive challenges

  • When you copy your files to OneDrive, all folder dates are changed

Ready to deploy Office 365?

You can find deployment guidance from Microsoft at this location.  Let us know if we can help with any questions.