Free eBook: Microsoft Office 365: Connect and Collaborate Virtually Anywhere, Anytime
We are very excited to announce that we are able to offer Microsoft Office 365: Connect and Collaborate Virtually Anywhere, Anytime (ISBN 9780735656949), by Katherine Murray, as a free eBook.
For details on this book, including the Table of Contents, see our previous blog post here.
To download your free PDF eBook, click here. Updates to this eBook, as well as additional eBook formats, will become available in the future, so check this blog for updates.
Let’s hear it for freedom. Freedom from your desk. Freedom from those boring managers’ meetings. Freedom to work anywhere, with anyone, anytime, on almost any device. Sounds good, right?
Office 365 is Microsoft’s smart and simple answer to cloud computing. Using the various programs in Office 365, you can do all the tasks you’re used to doing in your favorite Office applications—write documents, create presentations, check email, manage your calendar, crunch numbers, and more—and then share what you create in real time on a team site, design and publish a website, and even create and host live online meetings while you’re traveling on the train, sitting in a coffee shop, or dialing in on your phone.
This book shows you how you can use cloud computing—and specifically, Office 365—to get more done, collaborate more easily, and work more flexibly than you ever have before. From the necessary how-tos about creating and administering your Office 365 account and working with the various Office 365 programs to sharing files with your team, creating a team site, using Office Web Apps, and holding online meetings, you’ll discover how easy it is to work online and off, accessing and sharing your files whenever you need to. After you learn about each of the core programs, you can try strategies for building successful teams, and get some good ideas on practical ways you can put all this cloud power to work.
Who This Book Is For
Microsoft Office 365: Connect and Collaborate Virtually Anywhere, Anytime is all about cloud solutions for small businesses, focusing on the core software services (Microsoft Exchange Online, Microsoft SharePoint Online, Office Web Apps, and Microsoft Lync), and demonstrating ways you can create, manage, and lead teams effectively using the communications and collaborative online tools.
You’ll find helpful ideas and solutions in Office 365 if you
· Own or work in a small business and want to be flexible where and when you work.
· Need to collaborate with others near or far.
· Want to store and work with files online from any point you have web access.
· Lead a team online or face to face.
What Is Cloud Computing?
The phrase cloud computing brings to mind for me the feeling of stretching out on a hillside on a summer day while my sons pointed out the animals and shapes they saw in the clouds above. Cloud computing is a little like that—the ability of your technology to take on the shape you need for the type of project you need to accomplish. Want to put together a project team? You can do that in the cloud so that team members all over the globe can collaborate and communicate easily. Need to create a meeting space for your regional sales reps? You can create a team site for everyone in the cloud, using web servers and software, and you can enable every person to log in from any point they have access to the web.
So where is this cloud? The real definition of the phrase cloud computing simply means the ability to access files and applications online through multiple devices—your computer, browser, or phone. Microsoft has already been offering cloud services through the web in various ways:
· Windows Live SkyDrive is one of the Windows Live Services, a free web-based application that enables you to save, store, organize, and share files easily.
· Microsoft Office Web Apps are available for Word 2010, PowerPoint 2010, Excel 2010, and OneNote 2010, making it possible for you to save and work with your Office files online and collaborate with other authors. Office 2010 Web Apps are free to registered Office 2010 users.
· Microsoft Office Live Small Business is a web-based suite of services that enable you to create and market a website, communicate with others by email and instant messaging, and store and share files online. The basic services are free, and you can add specialty features for a monthly fee.
· Microsoft Business Productivity Online Suite (BPOS) is a suite of messaging and communications programs designed to provide the kind of collaboration support companies need. BPOS includes Microsoft Exchange Online, Microsoft SharePoint Online, Microsoft Office Communications Online, and Office Live Meeting, all for a monthly, per-user fee.
The best news about cloud computing for you as an end user is the added flexibility the services offer you, without additional investment in either hardware or software. You can simply use your web browser—which is open anyway, right?—to get to the files you need to work with, make any changes, and save and share the files as you see fit.
The great thing about cloud computing for companies is that it enables them to expand the services they offer both staff and customers without adding to their own hardware infrastructure. Web services enable companies to connect workers and make collaboration possible on a global scale without adding servers, setting up datacenters, and more. The environment is secure, flexible, and expandable to accommodate as many users as businesses need to support.
Introducing Office 365
Microsoft Office 365 is Microsoft’s latest venture into cloud computing, bringing together tried-and-true programs that make communicating and collaboration natural online. Office 365 includes Microsoft Exchange Online for email and scheduling, Microsoft SharePoint Online for sharing files and creating team sites, and Microsoft Lync Online for instant messaging and online meeting. Office 365 mixes the capabilities of those programs with cloud versions of Office Professional Plus programs.
What Cloud Computing Means for You
Office 365 makes using Office in the cloud a simple, natural, and affordable way to make the most of services you are already familiar with, in ways that easily extend the technology you are probably already using. Sound too good to be true? It’s not. Office 365 enables you to easily and naturally
· Collaborate globally in real time.
· Use programs you already know.
· Create a virtual office where you can work with information securely while you’re on the go.
· Use your PC, browser, or phone interchangeably.
· Keep your information secure.
· Keep your hardware costs down.
· Use multiple devices to access and work with files.
· Create a shared team site.
· Boost productivity by making it easy for people to work together.
· Give users instant access to each other with presence technology and instant messaging.
· Incorporate social networking in your team communication.
Office 365 Versions
Because different types of organizations and businesses have different needs, three different versions of Office 365 are available for end users. These three versions are
· Office 365 for small businesses Small businesses and professionals who don’t have large IT requirements will find just the set of tools they need in Office 365 for small businesses. This version is easy to try (free for 30 days) and then low-cost ($6 per user per month at the time of this book’s publication), and it offers businesses Office Web Apps, Microsoft SharePoint Online, Microsoft Exchange Online, and Microsoft Lync for instant messaging and online meetings.
· Office 365 for enterprises Enterprises have larger-scale IT needs than small businesses or individuals, requiring software that can handle a large number of email accounts, messages, and attachments; provide guaranteed uptime; offer reporting and support options; and deliver Active Directory features that enable a single sign-in for end users. Office 365 for enterprises offers all these features and adds on to standard BPOS services to extend the collaboration and online meeting capabilities. Office 365 for enterprises also offers flexible plans so that businesses of different sizes can tailor the features to get just the kind of cloud support they need.
· Office 365 for education Educational users face a unique set of challenges—they need to provide students with access to the latest software possible, but they have to do it on a shoestring (and perhaps diminishing) budget. Cloud-based services can help users in education save money and give students the tools they need to create projects, collaborate in real time, and learn how to use software in the cloud.
What Does Office 365 Add to BPOS?
Microsoft Business Productivity Online Standard Suite, also known as BPOS, has 40 million users all over the world. This highly successful online software suite offers communication and collaboration features that make it easy to connect in real time and work together on projects large and small.
Office 365 for enterprises extends the features of BPOS by adding Microsoft Lync for instant messaging and online meetings, Outlook Web App for management of email and scheduling, Office Web Apps, and the ability to create reports and administer the account through a web-based dashboard. The educational version of Office 365 also includes the latest version of Microsoft Live@Edu, which offers cloud solutions to thousands of schools and millions of students around the globe.
A Quick Roadmap
Microsoft Office 365: Connect and Collaborate Virtually Anywhere, Anytime is organized in three parts to help you learn about different aspects of setting up and working with Office 365.
Part I, “Finding Your Place in the Cloud,” takes a look at the way people are working in the cloud today and introduces you to Office 365. Chapter 1 looks closely at teams, both inside and outside the office environment, and it takes a look at the way Office 365 offers a greener choice for small businesses. Chapter 2 shows you how to create an Office 365 account and set up a profile, and it gives you a big-picture tour of Office 365 so that you can begin planning just what you want to do with the tools. Chapter 3 is for the team manager or person who will be managing the Office 365 site; you’ll learn how to customize the site, add mobile devices, and set up and manage Microsoft Exchange, Microsoft SharePoint, and Microsoft Lync online.
Part II, “Teamwork in the Cloud,” is your guide to setting up, organizing, managing, and helping your team be successful using Office 365. Chapter 4 spotlights all the team features you can use to get everybody on the same page, calendar-wise; you’ll also find out how to share files, hold online meetings, instant message each other, and broadcast presentations. Chapter 5 walks you through creating, editing, and sharing a team site. Chapter 6 shows you how to create document libraries, share files with team members, and manage the files in SharePoint Online. You’ll also find out about working with file versions, tracking file changes, and comparing and merging files. Chapter 7 shows you how to create and use workflows to keep your team moving in the right direction, and Chapter 8 introduces all things Web App by shining a light on the capabilities of the various tools and showing you how to work with files online, coauthor documents, edit worksheets, broadcast presentations, and share notebooks. Chapter 9 rounds out this part of Office 365 by focusing on mobile technologies: find out how to use the various Office Mobile applications to review, edit, and share the files you develop with your team.
Part III, “Connecting in Real Time,” shows you how to use the communication and instant-messaging options in Office 365 to stay in touch with your team in real time. In Chapter 10, “Email and Organize with Office 365,” you learn how to use Outlook Web App to import and manage contacts, set email preferences, organize mail folders, work with your calendars and tasks, and more. Chapter 11, “Talking it Over with Microsoft Lync,” shows you how to connect in real time to other online users through instant messaging, voice calls, and online chats. You’ll learn how to manage transcripts, invite others to the conversation, and host web meetings. Chapter 12, “Designing Your Public Website,” shows you how to use the web tools in Office 365 to create a website to showcase your products and services and give your customers a sense of who you are and what you offer. Chapter 13, “Integrating Office 365,” presents a set of examples that show how you and your team can use the various tools in Office 365 together to create and share business projects.
About the Author
Katherine Murray has been writing articles and best-selling books about Microsoft Office in all its flavors since it was first released. She’s taught hundreds of thousands of Office users how to be productive (and creative) in Microsoft Word 2010 Inside Out, Microsoft Office 2010 Plain & Simple, and Microsoft Word 2010 Plain & Simple, as well as through her many articles on CNET’s TechRepublic and in Windows Secrets. Katherine is also a member of the Society of Environmental Journalists and writes frequently about earth care topics. Her book, Green Home Computing for Dummies, was published by Wiley in 2009.
Katherine’s blog and website, BlogOffice, has inspired and educated Office users since 2002. Her new Office 365 companion site, Connect & Collaborate,offers an ongoing source of how-to’s, tips, and strategic case studies for Office users and IT professionals who want to efficiently and successfully work in the Cloud. Katherine’s focus is on delivering essential techniques and insights to help members of virtual teams who may be developing workflow strategies and managing projects, as well as those who are tasked with bringing those projects—simple or complex—to completion.