Join David Rivers for an in-depth discussion in this video What is Office 365?, part of Learn Office 365: The Basics.
- Before we dive into setting up and using Office 365, you might be wondering what Office 365 is exactly, and how it can be used. A simple definition of Office 365 might be a hosted collaboration and productivity suite. Hosted, meaning everything you need is online and accessible from virtually anywhere because it's not installed locally on your computer. Then there's collaboration and productivity meaning you get anywhere access to your e-mails, your contacts, your calendar and web-based versions of the office suite apps like Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote.
Because Office 365 includes SharePoint connectivity, sharing and collaborating on the files you create with these web apps has never been easier. Office 365 is not simply a web version of Office 2016. It shouldn't even be thought of as Microsoft's answer to Google apps. Yes, you do get cloud-based or web-based versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote, but you also get Exchange for your e-mail platform and Outlook web access. You also get SharePoint for document sharing and collaboration, and you get access to communications services that give you instant messaging, HD video-conferencing, PC phone calling and more.
Let's talk about how it works. Office 365 is a subscription-based service, targeted to Home users, Professionals, and Businesses. You pay a monthly fee per person whether it's your own home version or in your organization, which, when calculated, can be far less expensive than running all these apps locally on servers and end-user computers while hiring personnel to administer and maintain them. Then, there are different plans for different home or business scenarios, at different costs.
We'll discuss those plans in greater detail in the next movie. The first person to sign up for Office 365, is automatically made an Administrator with admin privileges. Then, the administrator can define and add new users. Of course, users added to the system, can have different levels of access as well, so you could actually have more than one administrator. The cool thing is, you don't have to be a Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer to be an Administrator in Office 365. One can get by with some fairly basic knowledge of Microsoft Office, a little SharePoint, Outlook, and Exchange knowledge, and little more.
New e-mail accounts can be opened for users and existing e-mail accounts can also be used. Team sites can be created using SharePoint services for sharing and collaborating on files, and instant messaging, high-def video conferencing, live meetings can all be accessed via Skype for Business Service, if you decide to install it. There's also Windows Live and Windows Messaging. All right, let's talk about using Office 365. For people in your organization, they'll access your Office 365 portal, then they'll log in with their e-mail address and a password provided by the Administrator.
They'll change that password when they log in for the very first time. From their very own homepage, users can then access web-based versions of the Microsoft Office apps; Outlook and SharePoint. They can also access Skype for Business and, if on the appropriate subscription plan, web app versions of Word, Excel and PowerPoint for their mobile devices. Some additional key points now. Although Office 365 is cloud-based, allowing you to work from anywhere on almost any device, you can work offline and sync up later with Outlook and SharePoint.
You can continue to use your full-fledged office apps installed locally on your computer and set them up to give you quick access to the cloud; it's reliable. Microsoft provides a financially-backed 99.9% up time guarantee. Office 365 maintains the latest defenses against viruses and spam. With a basic understanding of what Office 365 is, let's explore the various subscription plans that are available. That's all coming up next.
- Logging in as an administrator
- Defining and adding users
- Uploading files to a team site
- Reading and sending email with the Outlook Web App
- Working with calendars and contacts in Outlook
- Editing a team site
- Adding files to OneDrive
- Connecting with newsfeeds, IM, LinkedIn, or a blog
Skill Level Beginner
Q: This course was updated on 07/14/2016. What changed?
A: We added one new chapter on the Planner task management feature, introduced in Office 365 in June 2016.