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With all the excitement around the beta of Office 365, we asked a few of our customers to share their thoughts and experiences thus far on using the Office 365 beta. You can read more guest posts like this one here.
By Francesca Geens, Director, Digital Dragonfly
My company, Digital Dragonfly, is an IT consultancy that focuses on the one-person business. As a solo-entrepreneur, I am my own guinea pig for what works best for my clients. When I launched the business in January 2011, I was eager to hit the ground running with technology that would make me productive and professional-looking and that I could also recommend to my clients.
Many of my clients had successful careers in large organizations and are now going out on their own. They’re used to enterprise-grade IT tools and want the same for their solo businesses. Others are not technology-savvy at all; in fact, many people feel completely bamboozled by IT.
All of us face the same challenges: We don’t have a lot of money or time. We need technology that makes us more productive on the go. Most of us don’t have a dedicated office and either work from home or in shared office spaces. And we want to come across as completely professional.
I’ve been testing a beta version of Microsoft Office 365 for professionals and small businesses and have found that it helps to address all these challenges. For example, Office 365 makes it easier to work from anywhere. All the Office 365 services are accessible over the Internet, so I can get to my email, documents, calendars, and contacts from a mobile device, like a smartphone or laptop computer. I can even borrow a computer and be totally productive. As my business grows and my customer base expands, mobile productivity will be really important, because all my employees will likely be in different locations.
I’ve used Microsoft Office Web Apps to make changes to documents from anywhere. They work just the same as the full Microsoft Office applications on my computer. Being able to view and edit documents online from a borrowed computer is great for my productivity.
For some clients, the big win in Office 365 will be the ability to easily synchronize email across the desktop, mobile devices, and the cloud. For some, it will be the ability to share documents by using Microsoft SharePoint Online. For others, it will be the ability to create a website in SharePoint Online. Others will be quite excited about Microsoft Lync Online. By initiating one-click videoconferencing or sharing documents through Lync Online, you can virtually “be there” with clients—and reduce the need to commute to off-site meetings.
My clients will appreciate having all these tools in one place. Instead of using a mix of consumer tools, such as Skype and Google, they’ll have a suite of enterprise-grade tools in one place, with a single logon to access them.
Office 365 is easy, professional, and reliable. In fact, Office 365 email is much more reliable than other email applications that I’ve used in past jobs in large organizations. Plus, the fact that you can pay as you go is wonderful. My clients don’t have resources to spare on things they don’t really need. Paying only for what you use is a model I’m excited to offer.
With Office 365, my small business can be as professional as any large organization.
To learn more about Digital Dragonfly and their services, visit their website at http://www.digitaldragonfly.co.uk/
The "Cloud" Office (365) will have a value, when it gears up identically as the "Ground" Office.
too much to read no links...
I am considering using lync for online music coaching sessions, but maybe I am dense or setting up lync to work with outside people is not understandable at all. Otherwise office 365 looks promising to me as a sole proprietor .
Each week, we round up industry news and articles that you may have missed. Enjoy this week’s selections
well spoken , i have just downloaded the software to try it out and i am in the same position as you a one man band as they say in the UK, i can see the possibilites its like seeing the futrure
Hi Andrew- glad you enjoyed the post- good luck with the trial- come and tell us how you get on with it!
Tried the 365 trial and attempted to create a new Word doc, save it and come back to review it... a painful, slow, user experience. Little of what has been learned from years of Google Docs usage has been brought into this offering. A step backwards.
The Microsoft Office 365 release on June 28, 2011 has stimulated much curiosity and speculation on the