Office 365 Deployment Basics for Enterprises

Plenty has been written about Office 365, but if you were to choose one word to best describe it, most people would agree that word would be “collaborative.” Office 365 is a cloud-based solution that has been designed to boost productivity through a line of collaborative Microsoft Office-like tools that users can access when online. With Exchange, SharePoint, Office and the unified communications service, managing a Windows environment has never been easier or more centralized.

Business Dedicated Features

  • Cloud-Based Exchange: Exchange Online is actually Office 365’s e-mail and planning service. Using this tool, users have access to emails, contact lists and calendars from their computers or smartphones. Microsoft offers protection against viruses, 25 GB of storage per user, and the possibility to send file attachments up to 35 MB.
  • SharePoint Collaboration: SharePoint is a team site that lets multiple users work collaboratively on the same document, at the same time. For example, say you’re working on a PowerPoint presentation, Sharepoint allows you to work on the text while another team member can build a chart for the same presentation, each user working from their own browser.

Deployment Plans for Enterprises

According to Microsoft, there are two ways to deploy Office 365:

  • Basic Deployment – This process involves creating new users and new mailboxes in the cloud. Coexistence is possible with the enterprises existing infrastructure and does not require a phased migration.
  • Advanced Deployment – This plan involves synchronizing existing user accounts from an on-site Active Directory and sharing a domain namespace with an existing mail solution for mail routing. At this stage the goal is to have your IT investment coexist with Office 365.

Remember to thoroughly plan the migration, update your team about the changes and educate them on how to handle the problems that may occur during the process.

Depending on your business needs you should decide first what plan to deploy and whether it is the right time for your organization to move to the cloud. Office 365 is the most discussed and embraced new technology in enterprises, and it continues to draw debate as to if we are seeing the “beginning of the end” for on-site Windows servers. However you see the debate it is undeniable that remote working and mobility are driving IT departments to look to the cloud, so that organizations have to access to the best available technology to compete.