Microsoft Office 365 is an extensive combination of software and services offered by Microsoft. It includes all the applications which are part of Microsoft Office Suite like Outlook, Word, PowerPoint and Excel etc. Besides this, it also includes Microsoft's Server products like SharePoint Server, Lync Server and Exchange Server. These applications are hosted on cloud and can be accessed via internet from practically anywhere in the world.

How it benefits businesses?

Consider a warehouse manager who has his Outlook configured on his computer in his office. On someday, he is in the warehouse and needs to access his email immediately. He can find a computer in the warehouse but unfortunately the mail is on his personal computer and so cannot access his email instantly. In such events Exchange Online allows accessing emails from practically anywhere with the same familiar Outlook experience. Office 365 is a replacement to such small and other major problems of remote working. Not only Outlook, Office 365 also facilitates accessing and modifying documents, spreadsheets and slideshows remotely.


Office 365 encompasses the following tools:

Exchange Online:

Exchange Online is the cloud version of Outlook. It provides Outlook like familiar experience for accessing emails, calendar and contacts. All the data including the emails, attachments, calendar and contacts are hosted on cloud. It also allows synchronizing email with mobile email applications using Exchange ActiveSync services.

SharePoint Online:

SharePoint Online is the cloud version of SharePoint which allows hosting SharePoint sites on cloud.

Lync Online:

Lync Online is basically a cloud based instant messenger. It offers varied communications features like presence information, instant messaging and audio and video calling between two computers. Users can schedule online meetings and share documents, spreadsheets, PowerPoint slides and whiteboard etc. with the attendees during the meeting. Lync Online needs to be accessed through the Lync client.

Office Professional Plus:

Office Professional Plus is the cloud version of Microsoft Office Suite. It includes Office applications including Word, Excel and PowerPoint etc.

Office Web Apps:

Office Web Apps are the browser based versions of software included in Microsoft Office Desktop Suite. These include Microsoft Excel, Word and PowerPoint. These enable users to access and modify documents, spreadsheets and presentations directly from a web browser while maintaining a version wise history of the files.

Office 365 Migration

Office 365 migration refers to moving the enterprise data and information from physical servers to clouds. It requires a special skillset to achieve the migration. Office 365 consultation and migration has recently come up as an interesting area of business.

Source by Amit Wadhwani