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Is Office 365 the right solution for your business? by Peter Strasser

Microsoft Office 365 takes the industry’s most recognized set of productivity and collaboration tools and delivers them as a subscription service. Combined with hosted versions of Exchange, SharePoint, and Lync, Office 365 is designed to enable users to share, collaborate, and communicate in the cloud.
Many businesses will wonder whether Office 365 is a reliable alternative to desktop office suites and whether their information will be safe. Microsoft provides a financially-backed 99.9% uptime guarantee. Microsoft also includes its Forefront Online Protection for Exchange. Microsoft Forefront Online Protection for Exchange is an internet-based service that helps protect your businesses’ inbound and outbound email from spam, viruses, phishing scams, and email policy violations.
Powered by Microsoft Exchange Online, Office 365 gives businesses access to e-mail, calendars, and contacts from virtually anywhere, on almost any device. This allows users to work from almost anywhere and get automatically updated email, calendar, and contacts on the devices used most, including PCs, Macintosh computers, iPhone, Android phones, Symbian phones, BlackBerry smartphones, Windows Mobile, and Windows Phones.

When it’s time to create documents, Microsoft Office Web apps act as companions to the desktop versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote. View, share and edit Microsoft Office documents on the web with Microsoft Office Web Apps. Using virtually any device connected to the internet, view Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, Microsoft PowerPoint, and Microsoft OneNote documents online and make basic edits on the go.
Office 365 enables you to keep your organization’s work in one place by creating a Team Site that’s only available to users you choose. Microsoft SharePoint Server technology delivered as an online service makes the power of the cloud work for your organization. SharePoint Online lets you create sites to share documents and information with colleagues, and customers.
Even with access to Office 365 from anywhere, sometimes you need to contact someone directly–even if it’s over the Web. Powered by Microsoft Lync Online, you can have a quick chat over a secure IM client, hold online meetings with audio and video, or share your desktop to show an employee exactly what you mean. Lync Online transforms interactions with colleagues, customers, and partners from today’s hit-or-miss communication to a more collaborative, engaging, and effective experience.
When you’re ready to share work with the world, you can use Office 365 to create and maintain a public-facing Web site. The service gives you several layouts, and you can pick from hundreds of themes to match your type of business.

Information in this blog first appeared in the following article:
http://download.cnet.com/8301-2007_4-20074853-12/reviewed-office-365/


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