Microsoft Office 365 for professionals and small businesses (Plan P1) – Introduction

Introduction

This document is designed to introduce you to Microsoft Office 365 for professionals and small businesses (Plan P1)[1].  The high-level walkthroughs below will guide you through how to sign up for an Office 365 subscription and how to begin using some key features.  This document is not intended to replace more detailed help content available in Office 365 and on the Microsoft Office 365 Community website.

Office 365 for professionals and small businesses is a set of web-enabled tools that lets you access your e-mail, important documents, contacts, and calendars from virtually anywhere and on almost any device. Designed for organizations with one to 25 employees (with a technical limit of 50 users maximum), the service brings together online versions of the best business-grade communications and collaboration tools from Microsoft plus Microsoft Office Web Apps at a price that small businesses can afford. Office 365 works seamlessly with the programs you already know and use — Microsoft Outlook, Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, and Microsoft PowerPoint. This is the much-anticipated cloud service that gives small businesses the capabilities and efficiencies to grow and target more rapid success.

Powerful security features from Microsoft Corporation help protect your data, and it will be backed with a 99.9 percent financially backed uptime guarantee. Office 365 was designed to be easy enough for small businesses to run without specialized IT knowledge.

Why Office 365 for Your Organization

Virtually Anytime, Anywhere Access

Office 365 helps you access your e-mail, important documents, contacts, and calendar on nearly any device from almost anywhere. It frees you to work where and when you choose, allowing you to respond to important requests right away, no matter where you are. Because you can use your mobile device to access e-mail and documents, you won’t have to hurry back to the office (or look for a Wi-Fi hot spot if you are using your computer). When traveling, you can access your e-mail and even edit online documents from most popular Web browsers.[2]

Easy to use

Office 365 is easy to try, simple to learn, and straightforward to use. It works seamlessly with the programs you know and use most, including Outlook, Word, Excel, OneNote and PowerPoint. With Office 365, you can choose which tools to use.

Improved Collaboration

With Office 365, you can create a password-protected portal to share large, hard-to-email files both inside and outside your organization, giving you a single location to find the very latest versions of files or documents, no matter how many people are working on them.

Security and Reliability

Powerful security features from Microsoft help protect your data. Office 365 is backed with a 99.9-percent uptime, financially backed guarantee. Office 365 helps safeguard your data with enterprise-grade reliability, disaster recovery capabilities, data centers in multiple locations, and a strict privacy policy. It also helps protect your email environment with up-to-date antivirus and anti-spam solutions.

[1] Plan P1 refers to Microsoft Office 365 for professionals and small businesses.  References in this document to Office 365 describe Plan P1 unless otherwise noted.

[1] Access from mobile devices requires Wi-Fi capability or depends on carrier network availability.

Overview of Services Provided by Office 365

E-Mail, Calendar, and Contacts

Powered by Microsoft Exchange Online

Office 365 (Plan P1) provides you access to email, calendar, and contacts from virtually anywhere at any time on desktops, laptops, and mobile devices—while helping to protect against malicious software and spam.

  • Easily manage your email with 25-gigabyte (GB) mailboxes and send emails up to 35 megabytes (MB) in size
  • Work from almost anywhere with automatically updated email, calendar, and contacts across devices you use most, including PCs, Macintosh computers, iPhone, Android phones, Blackberry smartphones,  Microsoft Windows Mobile®, and Windows® Phones
  • Connect with Microsoft Outlook 2010 or Office Outlook 2007 and use all of the rich Outlook functionality you already know and use, whether you are connected to the Internet at home, or in the office, or you are working offline
  • Access your email, calendar, and contacts from nearly any web browser while enjoying a rich, familiar Outlook experience with Outlook Web App
  • Use your existing domain name to create professional email addresses powered by Exchange Online (for example, mark@contoso.com)
  • Easily schedule meetings by sharing calendars and viewing them side by side, seeing your colleagues’ availability, and suggested meeting times from your calendar
  • Help protect your organization from spam and viruses with Microsoft Forefront® Online Protection for Exchange, which includes multiple filters and virus-scanning engines

 

Team Sites and Public Websites

Powered by Microsoft SharePoint® Online

SharePoint Online helps you create sites to share documents and information with colleagues and customers.  It lets you:

  • Work together effectively by sharing team documents and tracking project milestones to keep everyone in sync
  • Keep your team’s important documents online so the latest versions are always at hand
  • Provide all team members with online access to critical business information whenever and wherever they need it
  • Easily protect critical business information by controlling who can access, read, and share documents and information
  • Market your small business using a simple public-facing website with a custom domain name (for example, www.contoso.com)
  • Publish, share and edit Access database applications on your Team Site

 

Office Web Apps

Hosted on Microsoft SharePoint Online

Office Web Apps are convenient online companions to Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote® that offer you an easy way to access, view, and edit documents directly from your web browser.

  • Work with others simultaneously in Excel spreadsheets and in OneNote notebooks while seeing who is editing what parts of the document
  • Access and view Office documents from your mobile device
  • Ensure that viewers experience great fidelity between documents viewed with the Office Web Apps and those viewed in the desktop Office applications

 

Instant Messaging and Online Meetings

Powered by Microsoft Lync Online

Microsoft Lync™ Online helps you find and quickly connect with the right person from within the Office applications you already use.

  • Find and connect with colleagues and customers from virtually anywhere via rich presence, instant messaging (IM), audio/video calls, and online meetings
  • Use the Presence indicator to see when coworkers and partners are online and available
  • Make PC-to-PC audio and video calls with colleagues and customers
  • Conduct rich online meetings—including audio, video, and web conferencing—with people both inside and outside your organization
  • Share your desktop, online whiteboards, and presentations with colleagues and partners inside and outside of your organization
  • Click-to-Communicate with other users of Office 365, Microsoft Windows Live™, and MSN® Messenger

Getting Help

Customers who purchase Microsoft Office 365 for professionals and small businesses have the Microsoft Office 365 Community (www.community.office365.com) available as the primary way to have technical and billing issues resolved. Telephone support for any technical questions is not provided in the cost of the subscription.

The Microsoft Office 365 Community is a single destination for self-help support information and community discussion. The Microsoft Office 365 Community has the latest information to help customers find answers to a variety of technical, billing and service questions via support forums, wikis, and blogs.

The Office 365 Community is a public website (www.community.office365.com) and is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The support forums are staffed and moderated by Microsoft Support Agents. Anyone can view and read the support forums, wikis, and blogs related to Microsoft Office 365.

Peplink Case Study: Toyota Racing

The Pepwave MAX speeds along smoothly with Toyota Racing

Pepwave’s Mobile MAX 700 recently hit the track with the Toyota Racing team.

To connect with racetrack employees, Toyota needed a solution that could withstand harsh environments while offering consistently fast and reliable performance.

Before Peplink, Toyota Racing relied on a satellite Internet connection, which was weather-dependent, sluggish and unreliable.

Toyota decided to give the Mobile MAX 700 a try.

Featuring SpeedFusion, the MAX solution now drives record-setting performance, dependability and durability for Toyota Racing.

  • Deployment:
    • Pepwave MAX 700 on the racetrack and a Peplink Balance 380 at the datacentre
    • Bonded multiple 3G/4G (country dependent) connections  for higher bandwidth and seamless failover using SpeedFusion
  • Winning factors:
    • SpeedFusion delivers more bandwidth and a secure VPN connection
    • Seamless failover ensures high reliability

Fast, dependable, and tough, the Pepwave Mobile MAX 700 is a complete mobile connectivity solution that keeps the Toyota Racing team productive — wherever the team races across the globe.

 Learn more about the Pepwave Mobile MAX models at http://greenappleit.co.za/partnerships/peplink/peplink-range/pepwave-max-mobile-router/

Media Monitoring for Customer Service | Our Social Times

As you may well have seen, Social Media has mainly been used to market business online in order to gain more leads and untimately sales. However, there has been an increasing trend to use Social Media platforms as a Customer Service tool to engage with customers. Thanks to oursocialtimes for a great article showing how the different social platforms are performing in the Social Customer Service space.

Read the full article here…

Looking for a social CRm solutions that will drive leads/sales as well as keep you plugged into Social Customer Service to your customers? Then why not try out Nimble for 30 days, FREE.

Small Business Server Solutions

Designed and priced for small businesses, Windows Small Business Server 2011 is an affordable server solution to help your business run more efficiently. It provides core functionality for:

  • Networking
  • Server and PC Backup
  • Security
  • Advanced e-mail and calendar capabilities
  • Database and line-of-business support
  • Document and printer sharing
  • Remote Access

Windows Small Business Server offers you a server solution with reduced complexity and increased manageability over traditional enterprise servers, helping you to focus on running a more efficient business.

Looking for a Small Business Server Solution for your business? Why not contact us.

Small Business Server Solution

Benefits

Simplify Small Business IT Simplified Purchase and Setup. Identify, purchase, install, and manage multiple components and technologies together in an interoperable single-server experience. Simplified Management. Reduce administration costs by using an intuitive management interface, one that presents relevant system information and a matching set of tasks.

Increase Business Productivity Remote Web Access. Remote Web Access provides a single, simple, consolidated, and highly secure entry point into a small business network. Access files and documents from inside and outside the business through any common web browser. Desktop Synergies with Windows 7 and Office 2010. By combining Windows 7 and Microsoft Office 2010 with Windows Small Business Server 2011, you will have the IT foundation you need to be more efficient and effective, to easily collaborate with your peers, to work remotely, and to feel confident that all your critical business data is protected. Mobile Device Support. Integrated setup features configure collaboration services so that you can easily add Windows Phone or other Internet-enabled phones. Run Business Applications. Supports critical line-of-business applications and runs them on a secure award winning platform. Tailored to Online Services(1). Provides a cross-premise solution, allowing small businesses to retain core infrastructure and enables simple, single sign-on experiences with cloud-based services.

Help Protect Business Data Simplified Backup for Business Data. Businesses can easily backup server and client data to external and/or internal hard drives. Network-wide Protection. Complete, network-wide security with integrated state of the art protection technologies. Client Protection. Monitors client computers for antivirus status, update compliance, and overall security health. Full Client Backup. Performs a daily, automatic, backup of every computer on a network and the server itself.

Greater Business Insight Information Organization. Streamline document access and control information sharing using a centralized data repository that can be accessed from any computer on the network. Enhanced Support and experience for Line-of-Business With Premium Add On Applications. Run a vast number of line-of-business applications on a second server, and enjoy a powerful data management and analysis

Contact us to start enhancing your IT experiance

Kaspersky: Hackers post 450K credentials pilfered from Yahoo

Yahoo has been the victim of a security breach that yielded hundreds of thousands of login credentials stored in plain text. The hacked data contained more than 453,000 login credentials and appears to have originated from the Web pioneer’s network. The hackers, who said they used a union-based SQL injection technique to penetrate the Yahoo subdomain, intended the data dump to be a “wake-up call.”

See more on news.cnet.com at http://ow.ly/cdaO9

Peplink Case Study – MPLS Alternative – Warehouse Specialists Inc

A Reliable MPLS Replacement at a Reduced Cost.

Warehouse Specialists Inc.

Warehouse Specialists Inc. is one of the largest third-party logistics (3PL) companies in the United States. They have over 45 locations with a total of 14 million square ft. of facilities nationwide.

Obtaining Reliable Network Connectivity.

Warehouse Specialists Inc. relies heavily on inter-connectivity between all warehouses to deliver reliable, integrated logistics that allow them to increase efficiency and reduce costs for a wide range of customers. A MPLS network that costs thousands of dollars per month was installed to establish their warehouse network. However, the MPLS had an inherent design flaw. “When our expensive MPLS service fails, our entire warehouse logistics network is offline and that really hurts our business,” said Jason Lamine, Network Services Manager.

An Easy to use All-in-one Solution.

Jason ultimately decided on the Peplink Balance series. “It offered a cost effective all-in-one solution,” Jason explained. “With the Peplink Balance,we’re able to utilize multiple low cost Internet services and realize 100% network uptime while dramatically cutting our monthly expenses.” Using multiple links with the Peplink Site-to-Site VPN Bonding feature, service failures are detected automatically and traffic is switched to a healthy service, achieving the highest network reliability possible.
Warehouse Specialists Inc. installed two Peplink Balance 710 at its headquarters in high availability mode, and deployed the Peplink Balance 380 at branch sites to establish its network. Jason was very impressed with the easy to use Web Admin UI of the Peplink Balance.

100% Uptime. Low Costs. Satisfied Customers.

As a result of installing Peplink Balance routers to replace their existing MPLS, Warehouse Specialists Inc. has seen instant benefits from the ultimate reliability of automatic failover between multiple Internet links, and
they have reduced their monthly recurring network expenses by more than 50%.
Jason is highly satisfied with his experience using Peplink. “Your company is well established and feels very close knit and personable. It’s amazing to find such a great product backed by such a responsive company. Kudos toeveryone at Peplink!”
Want Peplink for your business? Check out http://www.greenappleit.co.za/peplink or contact us today.

Why choose Peplink or Pepwave hardware for your business?

 

Peplink Balance multi-WAN routers are enterprise grade solutions covering everything from home users to large corporations. Peplink Balance routers can support up to 13 WAN connections for unparalleled reliability and 24/7 run-time, which is key if losing Internet connectivity costs your company time and money. Managing each link on the network is simplified by Peplink’s easy to use outbound policy management and multiple load balancing algorithms.

Below you’ll find some Peplink Balance key features that will allow you to gain complete control over your network environment…

Check out some of Pepwave/Peplink’s customers:

Complete VPN Solutions:
Peplink offers industry standard IPsec VPN tunnelling and PPTP VPN server capability for secure access between branch offices. Equipment is cross compatible with VPN technology from popular manufactures like Cisco, Sonicwall, Juniper and more. This means you don’t need to replace all your equipment and Peplink gear can be easily integrated into an existing infrastructure.

Most Important: Higher-end Peplink models also support Site-to-Site VPN bonding technology, which allows you to bond and aggregate bandwidth between multiple links. This technology is exclusive to Peplink/Pepwave equipment and would be required at sites where you wish to bond multiple links. This patented technology allows you to use several cheaper links vs. paying more for a dedicated MPLS line.

High Availability Mode:
In a network environment you can have as many ISP connections as you want, but if something goes wrong with your hardware you’ll soon find yourself waiting for a replacement, creating downtime. High Availability mode allows you to create a 1+1 Backup Mode, which ensures that your network will remain active in the unlikely event of a hardware failure.

This specific feature is often utilised in hospitals, schools, banks, military applications and more where you simply can’t afford to have equipment fail. The setup is very simple and essentially clones a matching Peplink Balance router with the identical settings of your main production machine. This feature is found on the Peplink Balance 210, 310, 380, 580, 710 and 1350.

Firewall Features:
Within the Peplink Balance routers you’ll find a firewall capable of allowing or denying specific protocols by single addresses, or across the entire network with full event logging. You’ll also find intrusion detection and DoS prevention for protection from denial of service attacks on your web server.

What if you already have a firewall in place? Higher end Peplink models, starting with the Balance 210, feature Drop-in mode, which allows you to quickly deploy equipment without altering your existing firewall. After enabling drop-in mode place the Peplink Balance router behind your firewall and you can integrate the equipment seamlessly!

Advanced QoS Control:
With advanced QoS controls you can easily configure specific applications or protocols to have priority bandwidth. For example, you could give your VoIP and Web high priority while keeping streaming applications at a normal or lower priority. You can also define management, staff and guest users to manage bandwidth as a general group, or create individual bandwidth limits.

QoS settings are also adjustable based on specific ISP’s so you can keep the same rules across all connections, or favour specific ISP’s for different applications. For example, a lower latency connection may be given higher priority for real-time applications where a higher latency connection with more bandwidth is favoured for video streaming.

Full bandwidth monitoring and alerts:
With more and more ISP’s moving toward tiered based pricing, bandwidth is becoming a hot commodity. Peplink Balance routers allow you to easily setup alerts or completely disable a connection after hitting a set amount of bandwidth. The QoS and Load Balance algorithms mentioned earlier allow you to use the expensive links for specific tasks, and the bandwidth monitoring ensures you don’t get hit with a large data bill.

Data can be tracked in monthly, daily, hourly and in real-time to get an overview of where your traffic is generated. This can be useful if you notice a spike in data usage from a specific IP address. This could identify an employee wasting company time by streaming video, or identify potential malware on a computer.

WLAN Control & Access Points: 

The Peplink Balance 380 and above features a built-in WLAN controller, which allows you to easily manage all your Pepwave AP One’s. You can control up to 500 Pepwave access points with an enterprise license to control every employee’s wireless experience. Pepwave access points can throw out some serious Wi-Fi range when the Powerboost is enabled! This translates into a wireless range about eight times greater than a typical access point.

Below you’ll find a video highlighting key features like multiple SSID support, captive portal and individual bandwidth limits:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=KcUORyToE74

 

Conclusion:
Peplink and Pepwave products are an enterprise grade solution designed for 24/7 use in your business environment. These products are ideal for business, retail, hospitality, education, finance, transportation and more! It doesn’t matter if your office consists of 15 users on a Balance 30, or 200 users on a Balance 580; Peplink/Pepwave equipment can handle the job.

www.greenappleit.co.za/contact

www.greenappleit.co.za/peplink

Green Apple IT Partners with Apple

 

Green Apple IT has partnered up with Apple Inc to provide leading Apple technologies to its clients.

We now offer the following Apple Products : (Click image for more products / models)

 

 

Peplink: Finally a Cost Effective Alternative to MPLS & Leased Lines

An interesting story of how a customer has made big savings with Peplink routers!

There are so many new products available for broadband connectivity right now, Fiber to the Cabinet, ethernet last mile and Annexe-M bonded DSL – to mention just a few, that when it comes to rolling out a new branch office (or indeed relocating a head office), you’d be forgiven for getting a little dizzy in trying to choose which one to use. Check out the full article here.

Want a similar solution to start saving your business money? Contact us and we will gladly assist.