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Understanding Office 365: Secure Cloud Data Collaboration with SharePoint Online

Microsoft SharePoint Online Logo

The future of business data storage and connectivity is in the cloud. Cloud computing allows business owners to share data in a protected and price effective – pay for what is used and who uses it – monthly fee structure. The idea of cloud-based collaboration is not something new to Microsoft. In fact, Microsoft has been building an all-encompassing cloud solution for a long time. Through internal development and the acquisition of technology firms, such as Groove, – Groove was a company acquired by Microsoft in 2005. Groove’s technology represents the basis of SharePoint Workspace for the synchronization of online and offline data on a SharePoint site – Microsoft is well positioned to further develop Office 365 for the SMB and enterprise cloud marketplace. Microsoft SharePoint Online is built in to Office 365 as an added value product. The goal is to help client unfamiliar with SharePoint realize its potential. How does it work and how can it make your business more efficient?

SharePoint Online is an evolutionary product of the SharePoint family. SharePoint was origionally designed to be hosted on a private server, but SharePoint Online relieves a business of the need for an onsite server by hosting the service in Microsoft’s state of the art, 2+ billion dollar, Microsoft Online Services datacentres. This dedicated, fully redundant, infrastructure alleviates the need for a business to house and maintain the servers needed to run Microsoft’s SharePoint, Exchange and Lync products. All in an effort to provide enterprise services to smaller clients who would have otherwise been unable to purchase them.

SharePoint Online is completely customizable and provides the ability to:

– Manage and share important documents with colleagues

– Share personal insights and status updates with colleagues

– Keep teams in sync and manage important projects

– Find important documents and people easily

– Stay up to date with company information and news

– Create Microsoft Office documents and save them directly to SharePoint Online.

– Protect sensitive content with document-level permissions.

– Access important documents offline by using SharePoint Workspace.

– Enable real-time communication with colleagues from within SharePoint Online.

– Control service provisioning, monitoring, and reporting to simplify management through a single console.

– Project Professional 2010 synchronizes task status with SharePoint 2010 to enable effective project collaboration with teams.

​Because SharePoint Online is designed as a monthly service the software will always be up to date. All updates and new features are pushed down to the end user much quicker than a traditional software update on a server. This rapid deployment helps increase productivity across the end user team in an effort to help them work better, faster, and smarter.

As mentioned above, SharePoint requires customization. This customization will require a SharePoint developer for advanced integration, but most basic file sharing needs can be configured in a very short period of time. If you have any questions about Office 365, SharePoint Online or any other products or services offered by Microsoft, please contact a Sea to Sky team member for more information or visit the Office 365 website at (http://www.microsoft.com/en-ca/office365/enterprise-solutions/business-benefits.aspx)

– Sea to Sky Team

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