What is Office 365 ?

What is Office 365 and the growth of Office 365:

Cloud computing is the buzz word in IT industry now. Every major IT product company is trying to provide the best cloud solutions to its consumers.

Cloud computing can be classified into the below 3 models.

  1. IaaS [Infrastructure as a Service]
  2. PaaS [Platform as a Service]
  3. SaaS [Software as a Service]

A great Cloud offering under the model SaaS from Microsoft is “Office 365”.

In the recent days, I found lot of misconceptions about Office 365 among the Exchange admins and the end users alike.

One of my friends recently asked “what is Yammer?”. One of the organizations recently provided Office 365 business plan subscriptions to its employees and many asked if it would allow them to access mails in their mobile device because the very word cloud means mobile access to many. Most Exchange admins feel that Office 365 is only Exchange Online and they often fail to understand the underlying AD Azure.

So in my words, here it goes ….

Office 365 is a brilliant cloud offering from Microsoft which refers to “subscription plans” that include access to “Office Applications” and major “Productivity Services” that are enabled over the Internet (cloud services) like Exchange Online, Lync Online, Sharepoint Online, OneDrive for business etc.

From an enterprise IT admin perspective, Office 365 has two major classifications:

  1. Business
  2. Enterprise

Business plans basically provide access to Office Applications via Internet to the business users. The applications can be installed (Click To Install over Cloud) in one or more devices (smartphone, tablet & computers) or accessed online via various browsers like IE, Chrome, Safari etc. The office applications included are MS Excel, MS Word, MS PowerPoint, OneDrive and MS Outlook. (Skype for business & OneNote are included in some plans)

Enterprise Plans provide both Office applications & Productivity services over internet. The productivity services from Office 365 are Exchange Online, Lync Online, SharePoint Online, Delve (Information Discovery within Office 365), Sway (Digital story telling app), Yammer (Social network in a professional environment similar to “Facebook At Work”) & OneDrive for business (Cloud Storage like DropBox).

Hence an organization can use Office apps from Office 365 subscription & the email service can be from On-Premise Exchange Server 2013. Some organizations can completely use Office 365.

The authentication for Office 365 users are provided by Azure Active Directory (AAD) similar to Exchange users getting authenticated by On Premise Domain Controllers running Active Directory.

More info on …

https://products.office.com/en-in/business/microsoft-office-365-frequently-asked-questions

Growth of Office 365:

Cloud offerings from Microsoft has picked up a great momentum in the last financial year and it is growing even faster this year. In the last 2 years, I have witnessed 80,000+ mailboxes of an IT organization getting migrated to Office 365 within 6 months and one more organization embracing Office 365 Office apps for the whole organization. A humongous scale of adoption for MS cloud platform clearly indicates the reliability, scalability, business continuity provided by Microsoft Cloud Platform.

The earnings release data from Microsoft release for Q1 FY16 clearly shows the industry acceptance trend for Microsoft Cloud offerings like Office 365 & Azure. A few Excerpts are given below.

  1. Office 365 consumer subscribers increased to 18.2 million, with approximately 3 million subscribers added in the quarter
  2. Office commercial products and cloud services revenue grew 5% in constant currency with Office 365 revenue growth of nearly 70% in constant currency and continued user growth across our productivity offerings
  3. Commercial cloud annualized revenue run rate exceeds $8.2 billion
https://www.microsoft.com/investor/EarningsAndFinancials/Earnings/PressReleaseAndWebcast/FY16/Q1/default.aspx

With fast track deployments and easy to migrate options, Office 365 is equally embraced by Start Ups in India and enterprises across the globe. Thus Exchange Administrators like me are all geared up to embrace cloud faster than ever before having 18.5 million users already in Office 365!

Why wait to experience Office 365 …. Follow the below link …

Office 365 Guide for Exchange Admins

 

 

 

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