Family and friends have been asking me – what does “In the Cloud” mean? To add fuel to the fire, Apple announced iOS5 and the iCloud. First off, these cloud based offerings are not new. Before we get any further, let’s quickly understand this “cloud”.

What is ‘in the cloud’?

In the cloud means your data is stored off-site on a managed infrastructure. In other words, you are out-sourcing your infrastructure team, literally! What out-sourcing?!! Yes, what is wrong with that – it’s just the same with your banks, telcos, insurance companies and any other large conglomerates.

It’s all offshore – not literally, maybe.

In short, not on your infrastructure, not managed by you and no overheads so to speak. Just pay the subscription fees by the month or whatever is on offer and you are ready to go!  It’s all hosted for you!

What is Office 365?

Office 365 is the online version of the popular Microsoft suite of products that we all use everyday – Office Suite, Exchange, SharePoint and OCS (now Lync). It’s all bundled together and made available online for the organizations to get started with at will.

Office 365 to suit everyone – small business to enterprises:

  1. Microsoft Exchange Online – Email & Calendar [25GB mailbox per user]
  2. SharePoint Online –
    1. Office Web Apps
      1. Microsoft Word,
      2. Microsoft Excel,
      3. Microsoft PowerPoint, and
      4. Microsoft OneNote
    2. SharePoint Sites for collaboration within the organization
    3. Public facing website on SharePoint
  3. Lync Online – Instant Messaging, Video Calls, Online Meetings
  4. Office Professional Plus – Subscription based Microsoft Office Suite of Applications on your desktop that integrates with the Online offerings – Exchange, SharePoint, Office Web Apps, Lync (Select Plans Only)


Why Office 365 and not the competition? Stay tuned for the next one