What is Microsoft Office 365?
Microsoft Office 365 is a collection of cloud-based services and subscription-based software bundled together by Microsoft to allow organzations to cost effectively and easily manage various aspects of their information technology infrastructure. By cloud-based, we mean services hosted on Microsoft's servers, freeing the customer from some of the information technology management issues related to these services (server management, server backup and redundancy in case of a failure, etc.).
Depending on the specific Office 365 subscription plan cloud-based services can include email hosting, SharePoint web site hosting, business web site hosting, instant messaging, web conferencing, etc. Subscription-based services may include the Lync client software (instant messaging and web conferencing) and an Microsoft Office subscription licenses (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, Access, etc.). Cost are either paid monthly or yearly. Yearly subscriptions can sometimes be less expensive. An Office 365 subscription plan can either be purchased from Microsoft directly. In this case, the organization would subscribe at Office365.com, and during the registration process list Lemington Consulting as the Microsoft business partner during the registration process. Alternatively, some Office 365 Plans can be purchased through Volume Licensing through Lemington Consulting directly.
How do I manage my Office 365 subscription?
Microsoft Office 365 subscriptions are managed through a web-based interface at MicrosoftOnline.com. From this user interface, the designated Office 365 administrator can manage licensing, email settings, users and groups, domains (email. web site, etc.), view activity reports, find basic support information, and manage anti-spam and anti-malware policies. Users can also access Outlook Web Access, SkyDrive, and Active Directory integration. SharePoint web sites are managed through SharePoint.com and a user's Office 365 login also doubles as a login for SharePoint web sites. The Office 365 portal provides a comprehensive tool for managing your Office 365 subscription.
How do I set the Microsoft Partner of Record for an Office 365 subscription?
The Partner of Record associates a Microsoft Partner with a specific Office 365 subscription. Setting the Partner of Record for your subscription in no way affects the Office 365 subscription costs or services provided. To set the Partner of Record for your subscription, log into your Office 365 account
and go to the Admin section. Once there, click on Billing and then Subscriptions. On the right you will see a link for "Add Partner of Record". Click this link and enter Partner ID 1137798. Click Check ID and then OK.
Does a license to use Microsoft Office come with all Office 365 plans, and what type of Microsoft Office license does a Office 365 subscription provide?
Some, but not all, Office 365 subscription plans include a subscription license for Microsoft Office. Given that Office 365 is a subscription-based service, the Microsoft Office license included with some plans is also a subscription license. A subscription license differs from a perpetual license in that the license only lasts as long as you keep your Office 365 subscription.
The benefits to a subscription license include the ability to upgrade to a newer version of Microsoft Office once it is released at no additional cost. The downside is that if your organization discontinues its Office 365 license for whatever reason, your organization will need to purchase separate Microsoft Office licenses to continue using the software.
A subscription license does not include downgrade rights to use a previous version of Microsoft Office as a Volume License does. This could be a factor in organizations with older operating systems (e.g. Windows Vista, Windows XP) which don't support the latest version of Microsoft Office.
Can I use my own domain for email and can I migrate my existing emails to Office 365?
Yes, Office 365 allows organizations to use their own domain for emails, allowing for continuity in email addresses when migrating to Office 365. In addition, tools existing for migrating existing email accounts and emails to Office 365. With these tools, an organization can seemlessly migrate emails to Office 365 and make the changeover to Office 365 email servers with no impact on operations.
If I don't need all the Office 365 services, can I purchase individual cloud services separately?
Yes, many of the bundled Office 365 cloud services can be purchased separately. These include Microsoft Exchange Server hosting, Microsoft SharePoint hosting, Microsoft Lync hosting, and even Microsoft Dynamics CRM hosting which is currently bundled with Office 365. Microsoft Office 365 provides very cost-effective bundling of these cloud services, so purchasing the cloud services individually may not result in a significant cost savings, and in some cases, no cost savings. However, you always have the option to purchases the services separately depending on your needs.
Can we combine Office 365 plans to meet our specific organizations needs?
Yes, to some degree, combining of Office 365 subscriptions plans is permitted. First, combining plans is only permitted within each of the three plan groupings: Smal Business, Midsize Business, and Enterprise. For example, a small business could purchase a combinaton of plans within the Small Business plan group, but could not combine a Small Business plan with either a Midsize Business plan for an Enterprise plan. The same is true for Midsize and Enterprise plans. Enterprise plans do offer one additional benefit in that you can combine Enterprise subscription plans with standalone cloud offerings such as Exchange Online, SharePoint Online, or Lync Online. Small Business and Midsze Business plans do not allow such combination with standalone plans.