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We have exciting news for Microsoft Online Services customers. We are in the process of updating pricing for Hosted BlackBerry Service for Exchange Online to make this service available free of charge. Starting today, BlackBerry mobile e-mail for new Exchange Online customers is now free through our Business Productivity Online Suite (BPOS). For existing customers, we expect to be able to provide more information later this month on how you can take advantage of this change.
In addition, this free hosted BlackBerry service from RIM, called BlackBerry Business Cloud Services, will be available for free to Office 365 customers after the RIM service launches later this year.
Blackberry-maker Research in Motion (RIM) will introduce a new BlackBerry cloud-based service later this year. The service will be hosted, licensed and supported by RIM who have committed to offer their new BlackBerry cloud based service for Exchange Online starting at $0 per user per month.
This is a good deal for customers. We want people to have the best productivity experience across the PC, phone and browser, and this agreement shows our commitment in action. Here are just a few benefits this new service model will bring to customers:
The Hosted BlackBerry for Exchange Online service is free; we're cutting the price for new and renewing BPOS customers to $0 starting now. So, with the cost of your regular wireless bill, connecting your phone to BPOS or Office 365 will be free - whether you have a Windows Phone, BlackBerry, iPhone, Nokia E Series or any other phone with Exchange ActiveSync.
RIM's BlackBerry cloud based service will provide more of the latest BES capabilities to Microsoft Online Services customers. For example, administrators will be able to create and manage more device policies, change device passwords and settings, and search across large numbers of BlackBerry users at one time. And, BlackBerry users will have access to self-service functions to manage and secure their own BlackBerry devices online.
In addition, we are confident that this approach will give Microsoft Online Services customers the best BlackBerry service possible directly from the company responsible for BlackBerry technology.
As we launch these services, customers can be assured we'll continue to deliver a holistic experience - from service to support to the admin console. To get BlackBerry cloud based service in the future with Office 365, customers will be able to simply indicate their service need in the Microsoft portal, and a seamless single sign on to our partner's portal will provide access to manage their devices.
BlackBerry service will be available with Office 365 for enterprises with our multi-tenant service. Because of the unique requirements of customers using dedicated infrastructure, we will continue to provide hosted BlackBerry service for them in the future.
We look forward to working with RIM and to delivering a great, free service with more functionality to Office 365 customers.
-Allen, Office 365 Product Manager
Isn't this all a bit anti-competitive on both MS and RIM's part? Every other hosted exchange provider still has a license fee that RIM charges that they need to ultimately pass onto their end customer.
we have just stuck to the iphone and use imexchange 2 to sync tasks..........
Does hte BETA of Office 365 support BES? If so, what is the procedure for enabling a user account?
It’s been a while since we’ve fired up the Q&A section. We’ve received a bunch of great questions the past few weeks about what features will be available with Microsoft Office 365, and I wanted to share the answers broadly. For those of you with further questions or who want the nitty gritty details, check out our Office 365 Service Descriptions . These documents cover each of the services in Office 365 (Exchange Online, SharePoint Online, Lync Online and Office Professional Plus) as well as information about our support and security. Enjoy!
1) I have several other personal e-mail addresses that I want to access from Office 365. Will I be able to sync these with my Inbox in Office 365?
Yes. With Office 365, you can sync up to 5 other e-mail accounts (Hotmail, AOL, Yahoo, Gmail, etc) to your Office 365 mailbox. For the most part, all you have to do is enter your e-mail address and password in Options under “Connected Accounts.” This article provides an overview of the process (note: the article uses the name “Outlook Live”, a previous name for the Office 365 mailbox, but the information remains the same.)
2) Are contacts shared across the same domain with Office 365? Our company has a large number of contacts which they would like to share with each other with updates being reflected to everyone when they're made.
Yes. Office 365 provides External Contacts for your company. These contacts are displayed in your global address book and can be added to distribution lists and email groups. All changes to a contact’s information (name, email, phone, etc) will be immediately available to everyone in the company. These contacts cannot sign into your domain and do not cost you anything to setup. You can also maintain private lists of contacts that are not shared across the company.
3) What about Calendars? Can we share these with our co-workers as well?
Yes. You can share calendars with anyone in your organization and, if you like, with anyone who has Exchange Online or Exchange Server 2010. To simplify scheduling meetings, you can even give a conference room a calendar, and anyone can view and update that calendar when scheduling a meeting.
4) I run two small businesses that work closely together. They each have their own e-mail addresses and domains; will we be able to instant message, voice & video call and hold online meetings between our companies?
Yes! You can ‘federate’ (or ‘hook up electronically’ as I like to call it) with other organizations that use Lync Online or Lync Server 2010. That means you can see their availability and click to IM, voice and video call and hold online meetings. You can also federate with trusted Windows Live Messenger users to IM with them from Lync.
5) What about users outside of my organization who want to join our online meetings but don’t have Lync Online? Will they be able to join via the web?
Yes. Attendees can join and participate in a Lync Online meeting, even if they are not a subscriber to Lync Online. External and/or anonymous users can join a scheduled online meeting with full fidelity PC-audio, video, and data sharing.
6) Will I be able to connect my iPhone or Android device to Office 365?
Yes. Office 365 supports Exchange ActiveSync, which is available on a wide range of mobile devices, including Windows Phones, Nokia E and N series devices, Palm devices, Apple iPhone and iPad, and certain Android phones. And if you didn’t see the news, we just announced a deal with Research in Motion to provide free BES support with Office 365 for enterprises. You can also access Office 365 mail on your phone through BlackBerry Internet Service (BIS).
7) I want to be able to setup e-mail lists (e.g. <something>@mydomain.com) and have that message sent to several people both inside and outside my company. Is this possible?
It sure is. Exchange Online makes it simple to setup distribution groups for your team. These distribution groups are available through the global address book for the organization to use. By combining this with External Contacts , you can send to both internal and external e-mail addresses.
8) My small business is still in the startup phase, and it's easier for us to pay monthly than up front in a lump sum? Can we do this in Office 365?
Yes. You are not alone, and that’s why Office 365 for small businesses is a monthly service. We bill monthly, and you have the ability to increase or decrease your users at any time. You can also cancel with no termination fee. But we don’t think you will J .
9) I love the idea of using SharePoint to save and share my company’s documents from a centralized location. But do I always have to go to a browser to get to my documents? Do I lose access when I’m offline?
No, you don’t. With SharePoint Workspace (part of Office 365 for enterprises for $24/user/month or as part of Office Professional Plus) you can sync local copies of your SharePoint Online documents. You can work on docs while disconnected, and SharePoint Workspace saves and syncs your updates when you reconnect.
Further, once you sync a SharePoint Online mysite or team site to your SharePoint Workspace, additional features of Windows 7 are also available to manage your online documents right from your desktop, as if they were saved on your PC. A “Workspaces” folder appears in your Windows user folder (C:\users\<username>\Workspaces), so you can view, search and navigate the documents right from Windows Explorer. Best of all, you can pin these documents to your jump lists to access with just two clicks!
10) My company needs to understand how Office 365 complies with ISO 27001/27002 and other standards. Where can I find more information on your security and compliance?
Our Security Whitepaper includes details on Microsoft Office 365 compliance and industry certifications (hint: we’ve most likely got you covered; our engineers take this stuff pretty seriously). You can also find descriptions of each of the major services (Exchange Online, Lync Online, SharePoint Online and Office Professional Plus/Web Apps) here as well.
Yes, it’s a pretty compelling set of features! I know many (many!) folks are on the waitlist for the limited beta, and I can now assure you that you will definitely get an invite to the beta. Thanks for your patience as we continue to gather feedback and test our service. Your beta invites are coming soon!
@Clint: A love the fact that you list 10 items and not one actually refers to the blog's original title.
Plenty have people have asked now if BES Express can be supported by Office 365. The problem (if it has got lost in the pages) is that unless you have a BES license from your mobile carrier... everything that Microsoft is doing with RIM is certainly not FREE and indeed in the UK is so expensive, I could for the same money buy each of my employees a new iphone.
So BIS apparently can be used with BES Express... but can it be connected to Office 365? JD seems to have tried... but really it would be great if Microsoft of RIM could chime in here with a definate answer - that would be great.
Many thanks and I continue to wait until my contract is at an end with RIM and then as Clint so boldly pronounces in a blog that is meant to market the great togetherness with Blackberry... I move to activesync and iphone!
Typical MS spin. Come back with a "huge list of features", "we're answering all your questions" but happen to side step what the actual issue is. Why am I not surprised?
Agree Charlie...as BIS wont wireless sync calendar then unless BES Express introduced for BPOS/365 I suspect I will be joining you with an iphone and activesync!
The base question is can I use my Sprint BB (sprint only offers BIS for free) to sync my email, calendar, and contacts?
Simple question, wonder why no one at MS able to answer?
The whole problem is that the BES Express service is not offered by Microsoft w/ Office 365 but RIM is supposed to offer it later this year. As many have mentioned, that means I can manage email on my BlackBerry but there is no calendar, task or contact sync. That means I'm learning to live without the BlackBerry BES features I like--calendar, task and contact sync--and I'm also now aware that I don't need a BB any more.
It's kind of like ripping off a band-aid all at once where it hurts pretty bad for just a minute but overall it's better and much faster than peeling it off slowly. I now know that I will not use a BB again and will switch platforms..thanks for making it easy to rip off the band-aid, RIM and MS!
I do have a workaround for the calendar sync issue that works with Office 365. It's not as robust as having your calendar synced but at least it's a way to get your daily schedule at the beginning of the day. Check out the post at blog.webactivedirectory.com/.../office-365-and-blackberry-enterprise-server-express.
There has been a lot of debate about the BES-Online service. Office 365 will be offering BES-Online, but it is not available as yet. However, we are deploying Office 365 with our customers, and have some feild experience.
As long as your mailbox is on-premise you can use BES/BES-Express on-premise as well. What some customers are doing is setting up rich co-existence and migrating non-Blackberry accounts to Office 365, while leaving Blackberry accounts on the on-premise Exchange and BES environment. This is a co-existence model, leveraging ADFS, AD-Synch & the Exchange 2010 Co-Existence Server role (which you would need to migrate anyhow). You can turn on archiving and even sync the on-premise Blackberry mailboxes with O365, so that you are ready to migrate once BES-Online works with O365.
Some of our clients also went to BPOS for the free BES, knowing that they would migrate BPOS-to-Office365 once BES-Online is available (a two step process).
Alternatively, you can search for and find Exchange ActiveSync apps for the Blackberry, and effectively move off of BES and use ActiveSync on the BB instead. This has proven to be very effective and provides the rich features you are used to...
RIM reminds me a lot of Palm. Palm had the world eating from its hand, but then gave it all away. Seems to me that RIM's management is still living in '03 and think they can do what they want, when they want.
Instead of keeping a palm -- I mean BB, I'm moving on to a Motorola XPRT as a backup to my HTC Arrive.
With that said, I can see the issues that RIM face. I feel their pain, but they better move a little faster to keep up with the change.
Thanks to the posters who answered the question in detail.
The plan P1 - Office 365 which Allow to have 1-25 licenses, will get the blackberry enterprise express solution?
Same question than Valmore. I'm Cloud Essential Partner and I have many clients who use Blackberry Devices with BIS, and would be VERY interested in synchronising their contacts and calendar with their Office 365 account, with P1 Plan (just like with a gmail or yahoo account)
Of course there is a simple alternative for BlackBerry devices to connect to Office 365. A simple downloadable app called NotifySync, which provides the BlackBerry with ActiveSync capabilities much like on the iPhone, Windows Mobile and Android. Check out http://www.notifysync.co.uk. Security wise you should be happy as its used by the NHS on their secure cloud based Exchange server.
O yes forgot to clarify. NotifySync provides full email folder support and Calendars and Address Books fully sync'd to Office 365