Why Office 365 is important

Microsoft Office 365 is a fairly new offering from Microsoft which offers unrivalled corporate IT functionality from the cloud with minimal on-site infrastructure or skilled IT resource.  In effect, it provides you both skilled IT resources and corporate IT functionality for minimal cost.

For example, for a small business, having an on-site fully trained Microsoft Exchange expert to implement and support Exchange, as well as providing fault tolerant hardware and backup provisioning, as well as the associated licenses is very expensive indeed.  However, you can get your Exchange services provisioned and supported by Microsoft for £2.60 per user per month.

Other 3rd party providers are available, but typically these are more expensive and do not give you anywhere near as much control or flexibility as Office 365 which actually gives you *almost* full control to your environment which you own and can manage.

Office 365 can also include SkyDrive Pro for cloud-based file storage; SharePoint Online for collaborative working; Lync for communication and Office desktop licenses in the same manner, so it is as applicable for small through to enterprise implementations.  It can be implemented so that it is fully stand-alone and requiring no infrastructure whatsoever, or it can be linked to your existing (or new) on-site Active Directory if required.

What we can offer

We can offer our experience in implementing Office 365 to match it and configure it to your requirements.  Every client is different, some are green-field sites; some have existing on-site eMail and some are using other 3rd party hosters, so we can aid with migration of existing data and co-existence planning for the migration period.

We can also help you with your Active Directory planning and implementation of SSO if required.

Unlike some suppliers, whilst we may be your implementation partner, we will set up your entire environment in your name and ensure YOU own it.  We will document where necessary and train your team to undertake as much of the ongoing support (such as adding new users) as necessary.  We can also provide custom automation scripts to simplify routine tasks and ensure standards are adhered to.  Even as your partner, you will pay Microsoft directly – we do not sit as a middle-man handling your payments, and the price you pay is the price everyone pays as listed on Microsoft websites.  You only pay us directly for our time for implementation.

Post implementation, the entire installation is yours and if you require any further help you may of course request our assistance, but equally you can undertake this in-house or use any other Office 365 specialist.

Other Benefits

Depending on the system implemented, other benefits can be attained and this is best explained on Microsoft pages

  • Flexible Office desktop client licenses
  • Full working Microsoft Exchange, including OWA, mobile devices, shared mailboxes, anti-spam etc
  • Sharepoint
  • SkyDrive Pro
  • Lync
  • Office Web Apps
  • etc

It is also possible to implement and integrate Microsoft InTune as part of an Office 365 rollout which gives cloud based systems management and PC management.

Typical Project Duration

Project duration will vary depending on the complexity of the environment and the project requirements. 

  • Optional:  On-site demo On site demo of the office 365, Q&A session, differences explained etc.  Duration:  0.5-1 day (50% credited if full project undertaken afterwards)

Actual implementation time can vary drastically depending on unique information to your company, so it is impossible to determine actual durations.  The type of information that causes the most changes are:-

  • Number of and complexity of users, share mailboxes, DLs etc
  • Existing eMail setup – on-site Exchange or something else?
  • Existing on-site Active directory, and whether o365 is going to be stand-alone; “Same” Sign on or “Single” sign on
  • Amount of data to migrate
  • Flexibility of users during migration
  • Amount of scripting/documentation/training required
  • Amount of IT resource on-site that will be involved in project
  • Lync requirements
  • SharePoint requirements and if data needs migrating

As an example:

  • c. 50 users; On-site AD; “same sign on” required; On-site Exchange; Lync & sharepoint required without data migration.  This would take c. 1 week to set up everything and migrate a couple of test users across.  The migration if the rest of the users and configuration of their devices could be 1-5 days depending on permissible approach which is unique to each company.
  • c. 50 users; greenfield site, “stand alone” office 365, no data migration.  Expected around 2 days.
  • c. 150 users; complex environment; existing AD; existing 3rd party email hosting “single sign on”; migration of exchange/lync/SharePoint; with challenging user migration approach.  Expect around 1-2 weeks for implementation; with 2-4 weeks for user migration and 2-4 weeks for data migration.  All depends on amount of data and flexibility of company and users during migration.