Tim Danton: Over the next few minutes we’re going to tackle, quite a basic question but one that can trip up a few people, namely what is Office 365, now I'm going to start with Conor who runs core a Microsoft Cloud partner because Conor I think there still is little bit of a misconception about what Office 365 is.
Conor Callanan: So really two answers for that. One is for SME’s which is, it’s everything you need to run you're business, it’s the latest Microsoft technology to help you run your business.
Tim Danton: Is that then just Office, is it just kind of word and excel then or?
Conor Callanan: No it’s everything, it’s your email system, it’s your file storage SharePoint is more than that though and it is also instant messaging for your business.
Tim Danton: And you said also you got an answer for the enterprise as well?
Conor Callanan: For the enterprise it’s really taking away what is usually considered business as usual and taking and giving it to somebody else to run so you can concentrate more on providing value for your business.
Tim Danton: And then Simon, in one sentence if you can as a challenge, how would you define Office365.
Simon May: To do it in a single sentence is really difficult, but what I would say is that it’s everything that Microsoft knows about productivity all in one complete bundle. It allows you to send email, it allows you to share documents, it allows you to collaborate with people, it also is very familiar to people.
Tim Danton: And how does it actually differ from Office 2010 for example.
Simon May: So Office365 includes Office 2010 professional plus and that means that you can install locally onto the Pc’s in your organization, suite applications which people know how to use and which people trust. It also includes this trusted server components of our collaboration stack, so that’s exchange online, that’s SharePoint online and its link online. And we run those out of the Microsoft data centers.
Tim Danton: I'm going to give you another challenge, exchange online sync online sorry link online and SharePoint online can you describe those in a single sentence?
Simon May: Absolutely, exchange is email, it’s a really great email platform, SharePoint is a collaboration and document sharing platform and link is instant messaging and unified communications for the business.
David Fearon: Can I ask a question to Simon May, and what's the difference between exchange local and exchange Office 365.
Simon May: Essentially it’s that we run the environment for you, we do things like the patching of that exchange books, we do lots of the management, we look after the hardware, but a business or a small business or an enterprise still needs to is the things that matter to that business so create email inboxes for the right people in the organization, determine the right position to place licenses for the organization.
David Fearon: So the basic customization, but you take care of the rest basically.
Simon May: Absolutely
Tim Danton: And we shouldn’t shy away from the fact that you do have a rival in this space which is Google docs and I know that actually David you got some sort of
David Fearon: It was a yeah both the media was originally found and besought on Google docs before office 365 came along yeah.
Tim Danton: So how do you think that the two compared…
David Fearon: It’s really a, from that point of view from a small business it’s really familiarity and it’s really the fact that I've been using office since 1997 I think it is, its just is the fact that you know if you take, somebody sends you a word document you know you can open that word document, if it’s a docx file, you know you can open that file, you don’t have to upload it, convert it and do all that kind of stuff, there's no such a thing that Google docs is pretty good it came along first but I think the fact that we all know how to use office, we all know how to use word, we all know what word and excel are all that kind of stuff, it just, it just works a lot better and there's, obviously there are more products as well, we’ve got the SharePoint online which makes a lot of sense and the link online stuff as well which is a great consent of integration there which you don’t get this with, in our experience with Google docs.
Tim Danton: And that’s pretty worth touching upon share point online I’d say because that’s one of the key ways for people to share their information to stop loosing documents.
Simon May: Absolutely, SharePoint is brilliant for giving you control over documents within an organization. If you think about the normal flow of people looking at the same document they’ll quite often email around within an organization because it’s very disjointed. What SharePoint will obviously do is keep a single version of the document that everybody can update and in fact they can all update it at the same time. But it also means that you don’t end up with fractured copies where somebody has some piece of information that then doesn’t make it into that final document.
David Fearon: That’s but huge important for our business that, and when you get that the process at end where by somebody emails a document around, three different people make three different changes to the three different versions of that document and then reconciling those changes leads to all sorts of problems and from that point of view the fact that you can work on the same document at same time is just, it’s huge time saver and, its amazing.
Tim Danton: On the other side of it is the office web apps offering, as said you want to talk about very briefly what those are?
Simon May: Yes and those are Word Excel and One note which allow you to edit those documents through, just through a web browser and they're really good if you have people working in a what we call a Kiosk scenario. So say for example you have a shop clerk who just had a very, very light PC, just has a browser there that can access their email, that can access documents, that can view things that can make edits all directly within the browser.
Tim Danton: And can you give a brief overview of different offerings there are that so people can buy, because there's just not one flavor of office 365.
Simon May: Absolutely, we’ve given a really good level of customization and flexibility, so if you're a small business there are a particular group of plans just for you, if you're an enterprise there's a particular group of plans just for enterprise and actually if you're an individual there's a group of plans for individuals and within each of those plans there are different levels of pricing, depending on how much of the overall offering of office 365 you need for particular people. And also within your organization not everybody has to have the same level of subscription, so those people who are just clerks working in the shop front maybe don’t need to be able to install office, they have a lighter much more cost efficient licensing than the people in the back end who maybe need the full version office to install.
Tim Danton: And how do you find that works out of practice Conor, what are people choosing through all the different offerings.
Conor Callanan: It depends on the situation primarily but what they end up doing is picking one service that they want to use or one swish that they want to use and then generally expanding on that from there.
Tim Danton: And Conor can you explain just exactly how much it costs.
Conor Callanan: Well D3 plan costs 17pounds 50 and that gives you the enterprise versions of the three products mentioned, SharePoint exchange and link and also a full version of Office professional pro plus to download and install on up to five devices.
Tim Danton: Okay and that’s 17pounds 50 per user per month?
Conor Callanan: Yes.
Tim Danton: And what other offerings are there Simon that people could choose, what if they were to pay slightly less.
Simon May: Well that’s where you can go for all things like the Kiosk offering, which is a couple of pounds per month per user and that allows you to as I say just provide access to the Kiosk version for some people. Some people in the organization might need access to every single product and service, but that’s a decision that each business can make individually.
Tim Danton: So I'm a small business owner or even an IT director of some enterprise I decide to trial it, what's my next step?
Simon May: So you can go to the office 365 website which is Office365.com and from there you can get a 30 day free trial, it will also allow you to pick a partner who just like on a phone call you can work with if you don’t have the right in house skills.
Tim Danton: So Conor how does that actually work out in practice?
Conor Callanan: So if you select core as your partner for your trial we will then support you throughout that trial and it’s in our interest to ensure that you have the best experience and then you go on to implement that trial.
Tim Danton: Okay so after that point then you basically sign up and do you have to commit all your work force to the new Office 365 system? Or
Conor Callanan: The trial provides you with 25 user access so you can trial with up to 25 users.
Tim Danton: Okay and so in fact then you don’t need to commit fully at that stage.
Conor Callanan: No the trial is for 30 days.
Tim Danton: Okay.
Conor Callanan: So no commitment at that stage.
Tim Danton: And once I'm happy, so obviously core has provided a fantastic service and all the rest of it and what's the next step after that?
Conor Callanan: The next step is to primarily, is to change the email flow and that’s a few changes in DNS records and your mail is flowing.
Tim Danton: Okay and the job is done.
Conor Callanan: Yes.
Tim Danton: Okay excellent thank you very much everyone.