Ty Anderson

Office 365 Newswire: Small Business Edition! – 1.20.2012

So here I was, coffee in-hand, going through the Office 365 news from the past 7 days when it hit me… there is a theme to be found here. I love it when the content comes together!

Empire State BuildingIf When you read the first heading in today’s newswire, you will learn that 90% of Office 365 subscribers are small business. This should not be a surprise because, in the USA, small businesses comprise 98.2% of all companies (at least according to this infographic). I am certain this percentage is similar throughout the world.

The big, enterprise-class corporations tend to receive 90% of the press… they should too because they have the cash to spend on marketing and building their brands, etc. Small Business

Whatever! Enough with these big companies and all the attention they receive. It’s time small business received their due. This section is for the small business… the hard-working (but small) teams that are trying to change the world but might need some great cloud-based productivity software.

Office 365 small biz topics

I cobbled this section together as a nice reference for any small business considering Office 365. Start at the topic and move to the bottom as I place them in order I think makes sense. But you don’t have to read them in order. You can read them in the order you prefer. Who am I to stop you?

  • Office 365 for individuals and small businesses :: Paul Thurrott reboots his Office 365 account and completely starts over. This time, he is setting it up using the Office 365 P1 service tier… the one targeted to solo-professionals and small businesses. I think Mr. Thurrott’s discussion of the service cost to be especially enlightening. It’s about value people.
  • Microsoft Office 365 purchase and operation step-by-step guides for midsize businesses :: I’ll go on-record and say that Office 365 is a great product. But I will say that the Billing Portal isn’t a great product. I find it confusing to navigate but I’m learning. I think if I had these documents when I created my account, I would have been better off. These documents guide you through the purchase (which is easy) and the Microsoft Online Portal (not as easy). I’m not saying the portal stinks. I’m just saying it isn’t great. I still love you Microsoft so take my comments as friendly criticism.
  • The Essential Office 365 Documents :: Sometimes you have a great idea only to sit around and not do it. Then you see someone take action on your idea and you kick yourself for not sitting around. That’s the case here for me. This is a wonderful blog post that contains links to all the Office 365 documents you would need. Service Descriptions? Deployment Guides? Developer Guides? Yep… they’re here and more. Take a look at this and bookmark it for easy reference.
  • How to add my domain in Office 365 :: In the first item, Mr. Thurott mentions this process is painful. Read this item to learn more about how to add your domain to your account.
  • Office 365 for project managers :: I have a hunch most small business start an Office 365 account to rid themselves of an on-premise Exchange Server. That and the super cheap subscription to Office 2010. But you should also take note of SharePoint Online and learn what it can do for your business. This link covers how to manage your projects with Office 365 and Microsoft Project. It isn’t deep but it covers some good ideas.
  • Office 365 Integration Module for Windows Small Business Server 2011 Essentials :: I have linked to this in a prior newsletter but I am not ashamed to include again here. This plugin to Windows Small Business Server 2011 Essentials allows you to integrates your Office 365 account into the server Dashboard for simplified management of Office 365.
  • Office 365 or Google Docs? A salesman’s day in the life comparison :: This link will take you to an Infographic that compares Office 365 to Google Docs from the perspective of a salesman. If you are comparing the two services, you should visit the page. It’s definitely biased as it was created by Microsoft but it will help you learn the Office 365’s value proposition compared to their major competitor.

Office 365 news and editorials

Judging from this weeks news, Office 365 continues to gain momentum with a new enterprise customer. But Google has momentum too and now IBM looks to offer a “me-too”, Office 365 competitor.

  • Jet Blue embraces Office 365 :: This is good news for the ‘Softies’. This article has a little blurb about JetBlue’s decision and then it moves on to discuss sales figures, and channel partners. JetBlue isn’t the only news here as Patagonia and American Heart Association are adopting Office 365 as well. There is a more in-depth article on the topic here.
  • IBM readies answer to Google Docs and Office 365 :: As I mentioned earlier, file this under “me-too”. ZDNet provides coverage of the topic but I believe this is nothing more than a “give our existing customers something like Office 365 but runs on our platform” play. I’d be surprised if 1) IBM is serious and 2) they gain any traction whatsoever.
  • Microsoft UK will take Office 365 to schools :: I think I heard something about Apple releasing some tools for textbooks etc. I think the education market is only beginning to heat-up and Microsoft is on the offensive. It’s best to start early and have these kiddos using your software for their school projects, etc. The thrux of the issue here will be price.
  • Google Apps wins its biggest ever enterprise deal :: Google went to Argentina and won the business of 110,000 employee company for Google Apps. I don’t know about you but if I had that many users on my software I’d be ecstatic.

Office 365 tips, tricks & tools

I only have one item today and I think it should be classified as a tool… but that is questionable.

  • Stay connected with Office rain or shine :: Here is another Microsoft-created infographic. Did you know 50 million man hours were lost in 2010 due to extreme weather conditions? It’s true. I think MSFT created this to show how useful Office 365 can mitigate the risk of lost productivity. There’s even a PowerPoint broadcast covering “Snowductivity”. It’s a made-up word, and I like that.

Office 365 developer topics

There is no Cutting Room Floor today… can you believe it?

Have a great weekend.

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