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The Internet can really level the playing field for professionals and small businesses. It can help you put your business and your brand out there. And it can give you new ways to work with your team and your customers. SharePoint Online in Office 365 makes it a snap to have a professional presence on the Web and use the Web to work together more efficiently—all with a familiar interface with no coding or IT management.
Get a professional, up-to-date Web site—in minutes
With Office 365, you don’t have to hire a consultant or learn HTML to create and update a pro-quality Web site. The first thing you’ll want to do is get your own domain name that helps customers find and remember your Web site. You can use your domain name with Office 365 to project a professional presence.
Now it’s time to build your Web site. It’s easiest to start with one of the many professionally-designed templates included with Office 365. You select and edit your Web site using the Office ribbon that you’re familiar with from Word and other Office programs. You can add and position images and add text and links as easily as if you were creating a Word document. Then, preview your Web site to see how it will look to customers.
One of the best things about a Web site is that you can keep it up to date with new information about your company, including news, events, and new products or services. With Office 365, you can easily edit your Web site without touching a line of code. Preview changes to make sure they look right, save the changes, and your updates are live almost instantly.
Work together on documents
Whether you’re writing a proposal, preparing a presentation, analyzing financials, or creating a marketing brochure, Office 365 gives you tools for working together on documents in a faster and more efficient way than through email.
When collaborating over email, you either have to wait for each member of the team to make changes, or worse yet, work in parallel and merge the changes by hand. With a SharePoint Team Site and you’ll be amazed at how it transforms the process. Everyone can access the latest version of the document in a central location so they’re always responding to the most up-to-date information.
Want to work on a document offline? Use SharePoint Workspace* to sync a document library with your PC. Changes you make offline are synced to the original next time you connect.
Don’t have Office handy on your computer? Use Office Web Apps to work with documents through any Web browser. You’ll see the documents in full fidelity and make edits with the confidence that the original formatting and structure of the document will be preserved.
Creating a Team Site and adding sites to it is easy. Just choose a template from the extensive menu of options and your site is ready to go. You can even set up a Team Site that lets you leave comments and status updates like a social networking site so the team always knows what’s up and who’s doing what.
With SharePoint Online in Office 365, you can get a professional presence on the Web and get new, yet familiar ways to work together—all with the familiar Office 365 experience.
-Allen, Office 365 Product Manager
*SharePoint Workspace comes with Office Pro Plus, which comes with some Office 365 plans and be added onto all others
I am having a small organisation with less than 25 people.
We currently use MS office 2007.
We already have a website and use our company server for the documents .
1. Thus, I can purchase/already have MS office 2007 and rest of the things which come along with office 365 seperately. Then, What is the advantage of opting for Office 365. Is there someting more than I get outlook, word, excel, powerpoint, lync, sharepoint under one package.
2. I understand that with office365, my email and docs will be online and can be accessed virtually from anywhere, anytime. But can we access it anyhow without internet connection(will it be present on local server as well)
Thanks, this is a very useful insight. I'm using the Beta and these web apps and cloud based services clearly are the future! I love it.
Thanks for the Instructional videos they are helpful especially for small organizations.
I do appreciate the video training that has been delivered here, I am so dissappointed in the public site's publishing / editing tools in this beta release.
Unless I am missing something here...I believe Microsoft is asking us to rebuild our existing web presence using these very basic tools for editing!?!? I really hope that I am I have a significant amount of time and resources invested in my small business site. There is no way I would consider switching to a lesser solution and start over on my public site using these tools.
I have another small business that uses Office Live and just learned that will be migrated to this. Office Live was light years ahead of this, as a solution for small business. So - we are now paying more to get less? I will try to remain calm, but its not looking good at this point.
To address @foothipies's first concern I think the Office 365 team should put a video out explain how to keep your current website with an existing web hosting provider and how to remove the public web site from your Office 365 for Small Business account.
Office Live web designer is pretty much onpar with Office 365. The primary difference with the web designer is that there are several missing modules that OLSB customers have used to customize their sites and add some dynamic content. ex. Custom Navigation, List Publisher, Form Designer. The good news, missing items can always be added. Hopefully Microsoft will address this before offering an upgrade to OLSB customers.
There is another issue that will affect every OLSB customers migrating to Office 365. Office 365 includes "\Pages\" in the url which will invalidate search engine results/rankings and break links. Is that just a issue with the Beta?
And finally, I cannot see my flash animations on Office 365 web pages. I believe that is due to the "Browser File Handling" setting in Office 365 being set "strict". Will the default setting be changed once Office 365 for Small Business exists public beta?
@JohnCz - Very good questions. I too am a OLSB customer and have spent alot of time creating my public site. I have learned some of the more advanced workarounds on how to get certain coding to work without have the ability to modify headers and what not. I do hope that once this fully launches and we are migrated over to it that the web design tools are at MINIMUM equal to the current OLSM tools. I would prefer them to be more advanced and offer more options. My Comcast Business account designer offers more modules and tools than what I currently got, but I didnt want to go through the hassel of domain transfers.
I agree with JohnCz and Jeffrey. I was told by MS O365 SB is a "direct replacement for OLSB" but it clearly isn't. I can't believe their claim that the current offering is the outcome of talking to real OLSB users. Even the most code averse OLSB users at a minimum added Facebook badges and so on-which isn't possible with this 365 site designer. The OLSB editor was a challenge too, but at least there was enough flexibility to appeal to a broad spectrum of users (3rd party site design/more modules/ability to connect to SP apps)
How many small businesses that might have become enterprise customers are going to go elsewhere because they don't want to pay for a service that offers less than the free service? There are plenty of free site builder/hosts out there-it doesn't seem like a good business decision to invite your captive market to try them out.
"Get a professional, up-to-date Web site"- you've got to be kidding me!
I am a website designer who has been pushing Office Live for years in anticipation of Office 365. I am very happy for the new features, reliability, and guaranteed uptime. My clients require this. However my clients use list publisher, form builder, Business Contact Manager, the events calentdar, and website reports such as visitor reports, etc. These features must be made available in Office 365. I look forward to hearing the details.
Blog integration would be nice...
My proposed new business model will be to design the websites in WordPress, which has many features and now has large corporations with Wordpress hosted sites. I will use Office 365 Enterprise for users. A great reason for this is that they also will need Office licensing, and that comes along as a package.
Watching the Website video shows little more than we all have been using with great success, & reliability for years. Both for ourselves & friends. SO why change something that is proven, rocksolid & works?
If MS wanted to charge a £4/mth hosting fee, for MSOL customers fine, most of us would not complain.
BUT how many of us REALLY need all the new apps & gadgets, most of my friends are NOT interested. They don't mind paying for something they need, BUT NOT for things they do not need!
Note the advise "DO NOT run your business website using a beta version", MSOL is not accepting any new customers, so what do people do?
Then again 'yes' you will have to re-build your site; pardon me what is all this about?
Reading the vast malority of comments form customers as myself, both here & on facebook I wonder where MS got the idea we were all wanting these changes?
Maybe larger businesses do, so set up something for them & charge them and leave us ordinary customers to plod on as we have for years, with websites we like & work faultlessly.
What happens if people do not want all these 'marvellous gadgets'? What happens to the old customers who do NOT want to be 'converted'?
Seems to me this is typical of 'backward progress'. Come on MS you have been our friend for so long, come clean, answer these questions, stop ducking the issues, we deserve more than that.
@ Martin E. Lowe,
You may want to check into whether or not 365 will allow you to do that. In OL you can have a site without e-mail (users), but not e-mail without a site and hosted domain. If your domain has to be hosted with 365 in order to have your domain based user accounts in 365 then your only option would be to iframe the wordpress site onto your 365 site which will destroy any search equity. This may not be an issue with 365, but that's just for a heads up.
@ Anyone with Microsoft who is listening,
The only assumption which can be deduced is that Microsoft is tired of maintaining OL. 365 is obviously the next version of BPOS, and it seems that rather than attempting to market to the current OL customers they have merely been dumped into the melee. The lack of custom modules, business applications, .olp backup solutions, etc. lead one to assume that the web builder was designed by someone who knew nothing about OL. The fact that no direct migration of websites in OL (without having to rebuild) has been offered leads one to assume that Microsoft doesn't care whether or not OL customers come over to this new service. Some of the sites currently on OL have hundreds of pages. The recent loss of new accounts indicates that there is no turning back and that OL will be dead soon. The recent changes made to the availability of add-ons in OL is very limiting to the existing customers and their ability to expand their businesses without moving to another service provider. The lack of response to the many questions asked by OL users in the places where Microsoft has instructed them to ask those questions leads me once again to believe that Microsoft would just as well have us all go somewhere else. If Microsoft had spent any time in researching what OL customers wanted then they would have seen the list of services that current users would like to see from the community forum, none of which have been implemented into the new service. Rather, the research was done with a generic survey asking yes or no questions about whether or not that customers would like particular services. There would have been great marketing potential for the Office Live service as a stepping stone toward the upgraded features of BPOS, 365, or any of the services that OL users had suggested that Microsoft incorporate into the service. The fact that Microsoft ignored those suggestions, ignores all of the questions related to the new forced transition and refuses to communicate any intention of attempting to placate the possibly hundreds of thousands of current OL users is forcing me to move all of my information over to Google. I hope for the sake of all of those that I have come to know in the forum and for the sake of all of the current OL users who STILL have no idea that this is coming, that Microsoft gets all of this sorted out, but as for myself, I have no intention of taking that chance.
Nice post, mine is http://bit.ly/dYPTWK :-)
I am delighted to report, I have had confirmed to me over the last 2 days, by 2 different members of the UK MSO365 Team, the following;-
1/ the final version of MSO 365 could be introduced June-July this year
2/ existing Beta users will be given the opportunity upgrade, and the account will be migrated with all information & data into the new 365 system.
3/ existing MSOL (old system) users will be given the opportunity upgrade, and the account will be migrated with all information & data into the new 365 system.
4/ this includes the website & associated data; once loaded the website is editable in the new 365 program, just as it was in the old MSOL program.
I’m pleased to see the end of these past anxious weeks uncertain of the future wellbeing of my friends ‘old MSOL’ websites.
It is also great to have revived my enthusiasm & commitment to the MS Package both ‘old’ & now the new 365!
@Ken Robinson UK - Is this true? "all information and data" does this mean forms, contact manager, lists etc?
I and many others were starting to look into alternatives if we are forced to start our site from scratch - and they don't have to be free - just CONSISTENT. We went through hell when BCentral services got cancelled but Microsoft redeemed itself somewhat when OL came on the scene. OL is an amazing product that I wouldn't mind having to pay for - it's not broken so it doesn't need fixing. Apart from not being able to hyperlink images more easily without that blue border/having to use code for that, OL's functionality is excellent.
community.office365.com/.../10915.aspx See the OL & O365 Product Manager's comments here.
I am seeing no guarantees - if there are differences in the editing tools - more precisely - modules missing - then how is it possible for an existing OL site to retain the exactly same functionality in O365. Yes "the account will be migrated with all information & data into the new 365 system." - but will it work?
In addition what happens next year? Shall O365 become O366 in a leap year? ; ) No name change was necessary - 'Live' is just fine. Who wants to be in an Office 365/366? The point is these products are meant to increase productivity. Office 182.5/183 would have more relevance communicating getting things done in half the time. Maybe its a big hint - will be in an Office 365/366 rebuilding our sites and figuring out all the changes in the new system.