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Office 365 Q&A from Space Age Webinar


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We hosted a webinar in June 2012 around the launch of Office 365 in South Africa.
Many questions were asked and this presentation is a summary of all those questions. To download go here:

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Office 365 Q&A from Space Age Webinar

  1. 1. Office 365 in South Africa Questions & Answers extracted from a webinar held by Space Age Technologies 25 June ‘12Office 365 Webinar Questions Share on: Page 1
  2. 2. Table of Contents• What are the available plans for Office 365? and across multiple devices?• What are the main architecture options? • What is the experience like on a tablet?• Mapping available Office 365 plans to the various • Do we still need to backup? architectures • How do we share documents?• Pros vs. Cons of traditional Office vs. Office 365 in a • Our current CRM system is based on our current Office nutshell version, will the CRM system function automatically with• What benefits does the desktop subscription to Office 365? Professional Plus offer? • How does Office 365 compare to Google Apps?• Is the 8$+3$ for archiving option still available? • Some specific answers about Google Apps vs. O365• The data center is in Ireland, will it come to South Africa? • How good is Office 365?• What are the top three Office 365 concerns of clients and • What, if any, are the best stages in a businesss life to what are our strategic answers? consider moving IT services to the Cloud?• What are the hidden costs and is bandwidth an issue? • Will all my IT services, over time, move to the cloud?• Security concerns • Will IT support providers still have a role to play in the• Confidentiality and ownership of data increasingly cloud-connected world?• Loss of control • What are the hidden costs and issues of the initial upload• Uptime availability to the cloud?• Security – How secure is my data in the cloud? • Is there a license discount when moving to Office 365 from• Synchronization – How does synchronization work the normal desktop Office applications? between on-premise services and the cloud? • Summary• How can Office 365 be used in rural mostly offline areasOffice 365 Webinar Questions Share on: Page 2
  3. 3. What are the available plans for Office 365?• Exchange Online• P1 for small businesses, adds Lync and SharePoint and Word, PowerPoint, Excel and OneNote to edit and create online• E1 and E2 for midsized businesses gives all of the P1 with more granular control.• E3 and E4 for enterprises, offers unlimited archives (100Gig soft limit) and Office Professional Plus• E-plans also all offer the possibility of adding K-plans to them for low IT usage users.Office 365 Webinar Questions Share on: Page 3
  4. 4. What are the main architecture options? Online The Hybrid and Federated solutions both bring This is the most basic form, everything is online. up the question of reliance of the office for You have a login username and password giving authentication and a solution for that is now you access to your mailbox, files and here: documents. Everything available in Office 365 is MS is bringing Azure to SA and with the available online. additions it has made you can now run a Federation machine in the cloud: you can make On Premise server - Federated Solution a copy of your domain controller and put that into the cloud as well Use your own domain identity and connect that and then there is no more reliance on the to the Office 365 cloud and then use your own internet connectivity into the office. So if the network login to connect to Office 365. All the connection does go down people in the office services are hosted in the cloud. are as affected as before: can mail between themselves and those outside the office will On Premise server and online hosting - Hybrid connect to the azure cloud to authenticate and Solution then on to Office 365 where they will be Allows to put some mailboxes online and keep unaffected by the outage except when mailing some offline or have some SharePoint sites on those inside the office. premises and online as well.Office 365 Webinar Questions Share on: Page 4
  5. 5. From Space Age Technologies’ SharePoint Client siteOffice 365 Webinar Questions Share on: Page 5
  6. 6. Mapping available Office 365 plans to the various architectures The P1 plan for small businesses allows you to use the online option only. For E1-E4 plans the other 3 options (federated, hybrid, with azure) are also available. Pros vs. Cons of traditional Office vs. Office 365 in a nutshell The pros and cons are the same as for any other cloud based system: • Pro: less concern with maintaining infrastructure, opex vs. capex, pay for what you need, and only when you need it • Cons: control, IT feels like theyre losing control, there may be some hidden costsOffice 365 Webinar Questions Share on: Page 6
  7. 7. What benefits does the desktop subscription to Professional Plus offer?With the E3/4 plans you also get asubscription for Pro Plus, it is a substantialjump in price. In addition to Office beingavailable on a month by month subscription italso adds InfoPath, SharePoint Workspace andLync 2010 to the package. Is the 8$+3$ for archiving option still available? The $8 plans for Exchange Online are still available (they are equivalent to an Exchange Only E1-plan). In the Exchange online plans archiving is included. However if you run Exchange locally and want to archive your documents in the MS datacenter you can add it for $3 per user for this.Office 365 Webinar Questions Share on: Page 7
  8. 8. The data center is in Ireland, will it come to South Africa? No plans by MS to bring a datacenter to South Africa yet. Were using Dublin and will be for the foreseeable future. International bandwidth is not so much of a problem in South Africa any more. We have more an issue of last mile.What are the top three • SecurityOffice 365 concerns of • Confidentiality clients and what areour strategic answers? • BandwidthOffice 365 Webinar Questions Share on: Page 8
  9. 9. What are the hidden costs and is bandwidth an issue?There are hidden costs with bandwidth, bandwidth will goup. You are traversing the internet for internal mail, youwill bring up documentation in SharePoint which you aregoing to be downloading and uploading, saving back andforth.But there is also always a hidden cost in IT on premise, thehidden cost in the form of downtime, with a cloud solutionpatching will go down. Its extremely difficult for any SMEto have 99.9% uptime. The general cost of maintaining theinfrastructure is no longer a concern. You just pay asubscription per user. Security concerns Office 365 is a public cloud solution, meaning the company Microsoft manages Exchange, SharePoint and all these hosted properties for lots of clients and yes it is potentially a very high profile target for anybody who wants to access your data. But even though we at Space Age are incredibly good at protecting our clients data, we are not sure that we will be able to match Microsofts capability and expertise in protecting the data in their data centers. From a security point of view, Office 365 is a much better option than any local provider could ever offer.Office 365 Webinar Questions Share on: Page 9
  10. 10. Confidentiality and ownership of dataFrom a confidentiality and ownership of data point of view, a very good thing about Office 365 isthat should a company decide to move away from the hosted datacenter its actually quite easy forthem to export that data, run local servers again, like a local Exchange server, SharePoint server,import and rebuild the data and essentially continue running. That is in comparison to quite a lot ofthe other solutions that make it extremely difficult to get data out of the data centers. Yes, instead of a local IT support structure, whether in house Loss of or as a managed service, the control over fixing any problems that may arise is gone. However, Microsoft offers a 99.9% control financially backed SLA which is something nearly impossible to match. If you calculate that back over a year of downtime it comes to about 9 hours for a specific service. Which IT service provider can guarantee only up to 9 hours downtime per year without any higher availability and infrastructure? And that includes all patching work and infrastructure upgrades. If Microsoft can’t deliver then they are going to pay a portion of the fee back to the client.Office 365 Webinar Questions Share on: Page 10
  11. 11. Uptime availabilityThe bigger question from an uptime availability point of view is how reliable is the bandwidth. If theinternet is down there is no access to Office. Fortunately with broadband 3G connections becoming moreand more prevalent, its actually quite easy to have people connect via other devices or go home if thereis an ADSL line and continue working remotely.So yes, the infrastructure does change, but as long as you plan for it carefully, its actually quite easy towork around it and essentially gain so much more in the long run from moving to the cloud. Security – How secure is my data in the cloud? If youre worried about MS internally looking at your data wed be more concerned with in-house IT administrators who know who you are and know what your business is than the IT administrators of the MS datacenter who have hundreds of thousands accounts to look after. They are less likely interested in the data than in-house IT would be. As for general security against data loss, Microsoft is going to do a much better job at securing the data than we, as managed service provider, or the average SME IT person can do.Office 365 Webinar Questions Share on: Page 11
  12. 12. How does synchronization work between on- premise services and the cloud? First off, it doesnt actually synchronize. For However you can synchronize between your Exchange a mailbox is either hosted on premise devices. For Exchange, you keep a local copy of or its hosted in the cloud, so think of a shared your mail in Outlook and you can synchronize email domain in two different forests in a portions to SharePoint or entire libraries in standard traditional Exchange environment; SharePoint Workspace or you can connect the SharePoint unique IDs are assigned to on library in question to outlook like a shared folder premise documents and other unique IDs are just as you wish. assigned to the documents as theyre put in the On SharePoint WorkSpace - that is only cloud so theyre not carried over but there are pertaining to plan E3/4, because those include workarounds if you want to synchronize Office Professional. You can also get Office Pro documents in SharePoint. in another way by signing agreements with For Lync, all services are hosted in one or two Microsoft for enterprise wide licensing for Office places, either on premise - if youre going to use Pro. And then youd have access to sync to or if you want to use Enterprise Voice (Lync as SharePoint workspace. But in any of the plans your PABX); otherwise use the cloud - you can connect SharePoint document libraries everything goes into the cloud. to outlook 2010.Office 365 Webinar Questions Share on: Page 12
  13. 13. How can Office 365 be used in rural mostly offline areas and across multiple devices? That is solved via synchronization as just locally. discussed. Outlook works in off-line mode as it As for other devices, there are ways of does currently with Exchange on premise. If connecting to them. Most of them will require youre not connected you still have access to you to be online because most of them have your mail. SharePoint document libraries can be only the mechanism for interfacing with synchronized to Outlook, which means you can SharePoint through a web browser. keep a local copy of that library and those files Of course for your Mail the mail application and that library in Outlook or in SharePoint would work as it currently does. There are there workspace and Lync maintains a contact list are apps for the iPad that will sync portions of locally for each user. As a user my contacts in SharePoint back to your iPad or your iPhone. Lync are available offline and can be maintainedOffice 365 Webinar Questions Share on: Page 13
  14. 14. What is the experience like on a tablet?Its actually verygood. Tablets areused to consumedata and to accesswhats stored inSharePoint andyour mail is easy .Office 365 Webinar Questions Share on: Page 14
  15. 15. Do we still need to backup? In the sense that most SMEs understand the your data indefinitely, bear in mind this will put it offline somewhere hasnt been there for term backup, no, it doesn’t exist anymore. The affect your mailbox sizes however. a while for big companies. For most SMEs, and Microsoft data centre on which the platform The RTO is one hour, so theyll have your mail many of our clients, all their data still fits on a runs on is all redundant. back in an hour and the RPO is almost tape. And very often if you can do that and put You won’t find any tapes lying around with instantaneous. This has to do with how the it offline its the best solution. your data on them and Microsoft does not do architecture of the environment is built. However their data needs increase too and any system and machine backups. They The SharePoint backups happen every 12 they increasingly need 24/7 availability and synchronize them, duplicate them and hours, and they retain for 14 days. But with need to look at other solutions. Which means replicate them, making them totally document versioning in SharePoint itself, the essentially doing what enterprises have done redundant which means there is no need to previous versions of the document are stored for a long time, using redundancy. Many worry about backing up at all. indefinitely depending on the storage people feel funny about it, as if theyre losing When it comes to backup there are certain availability in SharePoint. The RTO for control. The question asked is, what happens metrics to look for: SharePoint is about 6 hours. And the RPO is if the entire datacenter goes down. And that is • RTO, the recovery time objective and back to about an hour. a mindset shift that we have to get over. • RPO recovery point objective. This is really a mind shift in the way we dont Fortunately for those companies who still talk/concentrate on backup anymore like we want to have some offline backup, there are As it concerns Office 365 you have two options available where specific solutions can primary concerns for backup, being Exchange used to, were doing backup in a different way. Generally enterprises have spent a lot be licenses allowing them to backup data from and SharePoint. the hosted solution to some sort of offline more money in the past on using redundancy With Exchange you have recycle bins and you as the preferred method of keeping data copy. have retention periods which are set on safe, whereas SMEs never really had that As an IT managed service provider we will in deleting items. 14 days for mail items, 30 days option and used traditional tape backups. future monitor less backups and spend more for mail boxes, which is the default and can be time on redundancy for them. Over time the changed, so you can reclaim these mails if you The question of whether data has to be backed up or not had to be answered by big concern for backup is going to fade away as need to. With mailboxes you can also enable people get used to the idea of redundancy. Legal Hold, which means Microsoft will keep companies a long time ago. There is so much data out there, the option to take data andOffice 365 Webinar Questions Share on: Page 15
  16. 16. How do we share documents? SharePoint workspace is made up of two parts. administrators have set up sharing. And you can The first one is a team part where everyone in a share entire sites with individuals or colleagues company or anybody in a particular depending how the sites set up. organizational unit within the company can For example we are using a SharePoint share and use documents and work on Workspace site shared with specific partners, documents at the same time. Its all about who are outside our organization, for them to collaboration thats really what SharePoint does have access to certain documentation about and it does it exceptionally well. And then you Office 365. They login with their own Office 365 have your own site: kind of like "My credentials or their own Live IDs and they will be Documents" but then online in "My Site" which able to get access to that site. This is a separate allows you to store your own private documents workspace set up for sharing externally and you and files and you can also share those. You can will get access to it once you’ve signed up for share individual documents with friends or the O365 trial via Space Age. colleagues depending on how theOffice 365 Webinar Questions Share on: Page 16
  17. 17. Our current CRM system is based on our current Office version, will the CRM system function automatically with Office 365? As long as the CRM is using Outlook 2010 or 2007 you shouldnt have any issues whatsoever. If youre using Office 2003 there will be some issues connecting to Exchange online but theyre not insurmountable. Its not supported by MS but we are probably able to help you. As to whether the CRM is going to function with the new Office depends on the CRM application. Well have to trial it and see how it works or chat to the people who built the CRM. Many CRMs have custom hooks into MS applications and if these hooks go directly to the Exchange server or directly to specific servers for specific functions then we may have some problems which means that the specific CRM application has to be adapted to make sure the access to the Office 365 servers works. You can generally assume that the latest version of the CRM will work. If it is Dynamics it does definitely work with Office 365.Office 365 Webinar Questions Share on: Page 17
  18. 18. How does Office 365 compare to Google Apps? If you put 50 IT professionals in a room and you they dont replace it. You can get applications ask them this question you will get two first that plug in to do things in GA that could be choices and youll get 50 different reasons why done with SharePoint but youre having to add Google or Office 365 is their first choice. complexity to an offering thats supposed to be We can only speak from my own experience. simple and easy to use. One of our clients used Google Apps and is now The truth about finding out which one is better migrating to Office 365. for you is you would have to try Google Apps Google Apps is a great platform but its not the and Office 365 and then decide which one you same as Office 365. like better or talk to somebody at Space Age to There is no real SharePoint or Exchange look at your requirements and look at what your replacement in Google Apps. Some issues with needs are and compare the features that you calendar sharing were a primary concern for need with each of those products. We have that client of ours. Google Sites + Google Docs experience with both offerings and will be able dont replace SharePoint. They provide you with to advise you accordingly. some of the functionality SharePoint has butOffice 365 Webinar Questions Share on: Page 18
  19. 19. Some specific answers about Google Apps vs O365 Email threads are supported from Office 2010 (as Conversations) and work for any mail received and sent from Office 365 / Outlook, your historic conversation may import correctly too but we would need to check that to confirm.. Archives in Office 365 are separate mailboxes in the cloud which displayed as a separate mailbox on the PC or Mac.. You can upload multiple psts to Office 365. The initial mail set up involves importing a .pst file to the Outlook client already connected to O365, Outlook will sync that mail back to the Exchange server and eventually it will be available in the online version.Office 365 Webinar Questions Share on: Page 19
  20. 20. How good is Office 365?Our opinion: excellent. We wouldnt have been able to create our partner site and wouldnt havebeen able to make it available to partners before Office 365 or at least before SharePoint online.And we were never going to look at SharePoint online except as part of a package like Office 365 sothats fantastic.Mail is actually quicker when not in the office, so when working from home we haven’texperienced the usual slower speed issues.Some things we like:• Archive mailbox, previously not available at our offices due to space limitations on our Exchange Server.• 100gb archive• Lync in the cloud is amazing, weve started using Lync to communicate with clients and it makes life a lot easier. This federation is turned on by default in Office 365 and works very well (albeit slightly different to an on-premise installation).Office 365 Webinar Questions Share on: Page 20
  21. 21. What, if any, are the best stages in a businesss life to consider moving IT services to the Cloud? With regards to Office 365 specifically it’s certainly not also additional opportunities where different business the right moment when youve just purchased functions might want to investigate new applications, hardware and software and you have some life left on so for example HR comes and says I need a new your infrastructure. One of the big advantages of employee appraisal system. When you come to that moving to the cloud is that you can convert your point it probably is a good idea to try and find out if capital expenses to operational expenses but of there is anybody out there that has the perfect solution course thats not going to be a good idea if youve just offered as a SaaS option, where you just link in and purchased all the hardware and / or software. The ideal perhaps pay a monthly fee without having to invest in opportunity to evaluate Office 365 is whenever a big internal hardware and software. For example at Space infrastructure refresh comes up. Age were using an outsourced HR system, and As for moving to the cloud in general and when it is a appraisal system for the last 4 or 5 years and we are good time it depends on what we refer to when we talk incredibly happy that this is not residing only on our about cloud because there are so many different own infrastructure. solutions out there. Office 365 we referred to, then When a business function wants to invest in new theres Azure which gives you the opportunity to move software it’s a good idea to first look at what is your entire datacenter out into the cloud. The same available in the cloud before actually deciding to applies as just mentioned; a good time is when an invest in new hardware and software internally. infrastructure update is imminent. But then there areOffice 365 Webinar Questions Share on: Page 21
  22. 22. Will all my IT services, over time, move to the cloud? At Space Age Technologies we believe have significant cloud investments. We over time nearly everything will move may still have some data residing in to the cloud. Not everyone agrees but local datacenters or in company we think it’s just a matter of time, the specific data centers purely from a legal question is, how much time. point of view, e.g. the defense industry Commodity services which are able to needs to store data locally and from an maximize standardized infrastructure archiving point of view, perhaps from a and systems have to move to the cloud, data analysis point of view. If a for example email, security, storing company has massive amounts of data documents online. it might not be feasible to move it all to Then were starting to talk about the cloud, so there are still some financial applications, HR applications, workloads that will take a little bit perhaps even ERP applications, those longer to move to the cloud but we sort of systems were seeing many of estimate within the next 10 years there the vendors starting to really introduce won’t be any serious company that will very good offerings hosted in the even have 10-20% of the current datacenters and that move is going to datacenter investment locally. All the happen in the next 3-5 years, so in 5 rest will move to the cloud. years’ time many of the companies willOffice 365 Webinar Questions Share on: Page 22
  23. 23. Will IT support providers still have a role to play in the increasingly cloud- connected world? The role of the IT support provider will change really start innovating and making a difference over time. Currently most are still concerned in a business. We call that Relevant IT at Space with the maintaining of local infrastructure. Of Age and invest heavily in finding ways to help course reducing that expensive infrastructure is our clients strategize better including IT as an one of the main reasons for moving to the cloud important component. For example how to use so many MSPs see a threat in the cloud. This is BI, business information, to extract actionable why we for some time have already started to and meaningful data making IT speak shift towards the next level of IT innovation strategically for a business. which is to talk more about the promise of IT for We at Space Age absolutely embrace the cloud small businesses. The truth is, most SMEs are and now that we have the path forward, were not getting the full value of what IT promises to seeing it as a big equalizer and a big opportunity do. 70-80% of the money goes towards again to really get a leg up on the competition. maintaining the infrastructure and little is left toOffice 365 Webinar Questions Share on: Page 23
  24. 24. Join our Relevant IT discussion group for CIOs and IT mangers on LinkedInOffice 365 Webinar Questions Share on: Page 24
  25. 25. What are the hidden costs and issues of the initial upload to the cloud?The hidden costs are those not related to Microsoft directly. They do not charge an initiation fee,they dont mind how quickly or how slowly you move the data into the cloud. But for example for aclient of ours we had to charge extra as it involved bringing all of the psts to a central locationbecause we got extremely fast bandwidth here and used the weekend to actually push those pststo the individual mailboxes. The hidden cost then is time and bandwidth.If youve got enough of both its relatively simple to do. You have to import the .pst for a particularmailbox into an outlook client that is connected to that mailbox. This does depend on the capacityof the online Exchange mailbox. Most of the Exchange plans offer enough space with 25 Gbmailboxes across the board for all plans. The E plans offer an additional 100 Gb soft limit (it willgrow to allow whatever you put in it) archive that you can add to it. Is there a license discount when moving to Office 365 from the normal desktop Office applications?There are discounts available depending on various circumstances. Best to discuss this with one ofour licensing specialist.Office 365 Webinar Questions Share on: Page 25
  26. 26. SummaryWhen is it a good time to consider Office 365?At the time of a major IT investment decision point.What are the important decisions to make before starting with Office 365?Which architecture is to be implementedWhich licensing model caters for the needs of your (growing) companyWhich if any partner to use with migrating to Office 365 (You can go directly to Microsoft for the first timebut they advise to use a partner due to the additional support and migration services available)What follows Office 365?Azure - for business continuity or disaster management (is imminent in SA not fully launched yet)private cloud - using your hardware more efficiently by pulling resourceshybrid cloud - scale virtually on demand and only pay as you go as you scale upWhat are the next steps?Wait and see – keep an eye on our Office 365 blog postsSign up for 30 day trial, click on the button ->Consult with a Space Age Technologies solutionsconsultant to design a solution for your companyOffice 365 Webinar Questions Share on: Page 26