Editor’s Note: Office 365 Serves the Perfect Set-up for a Hybrid Cloud

Productivity and Microsoft Office have become synonymous, and now with Office 365, it’s easier than you might think to help users work more effectively and collaborate from anywhere.

By Mitch Irsfeld

As Katherine Murray writes in the introduction to her newly released ebook, Microsoft Office 365: Connect and Collaborate Virtually Anywhere, Anytime, Office 365 is about freedom; “freedom from your desk; freedom from those ­boring managers’ meetings; freedom to work anywhere, with anyone, anytime, on almost any device.”

Don’t believe it? Just give it go with the Office 365 free 30-day trial. You can set up 25-users with the trial for mid-size business and enterprises. Chances are those users won’t want the trial to end.

But providing that freedom for your users to use their Office tools, collaborate and communicate via software services requires some planning. It is, after all, a cloud migration and will require some changes in the way you manage user accounts and delegate domain names. And, of course, users will have to be migrated. Brian Posey walks through some common migration tasks and shows how Office 365 can ease the path in his TechNet Magazine article Microsoft Office 365: Make a Smooth Move to the Cloud.

In fact, Office 365 can be an enabler and a forcing function for other cloud migration projects. As can be expected with any migration project, there is usually a period of coexistence where on-premises and cloud infrastructures are both in use. And with a hybrid environment, coexistence is the goal. In his TechNet Magazine piece Microsoft Office 365: Stepping Stone to the Cloud, Alan Maddison shows how Office 365 and Exchange Online can facilitate that period of coexistence.

So how do you get started?

No better place to begin than the Introduction for Office 365 Administrators. This site features quick start guides, overview tours, and step-by-step how-to instruction. There’s even information on how to set up a Mac for Office 365.

Then spend some quality time over on the Microsoft Virtual Academy (MVA) training portal. In particular, take the modules in the Office 365 for the IT Pro - Platform and the Office 365 for the IT Pro - Lync Online, SharePoint Online & Deployment tracks. These MVA modules are 200-level courses that allow you to learn at your own pace and build your skills for free.

And don’t forget security. The Security in Office 365 whitepaper provides an overview of the security practices and technology that support enterprise-grade security in Microsoft Office 365 for businesses of all sizes.

After all that, if you still have questions, the Microsoft Online Services Team has published a FAQ about the transition to Office 365 in a blog post. And the Office 365 FAQ remains a great resource along with the Office 365 Community and our Office 365 MVPs.

As many organizations have already discovered, it’s not that difficult to get work done in the cloud. Katherine Murray probably said it best when she wrote, “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.”

Thanks for reading,


Mitch Irsfeld

Mitch Irsfeld*, Editor of TechNet, is a veteran computer industry journalist and content developer who managed editorial staffs at several leading publications, includingInformationWeek, InternetWeek andCommunicationsWeek. He is also an editor for* TechNet Magazine and managing editor of the TechNet Flash newsletter.