Office 365 Brings Significant New Value to Business Customers Worldwide

Today’s post was written by Kirk Koenigsbauer, corporate vice president for Microsoft Office.

Today, we are excited to announce the availability of several new Office 365 communications services designed to modernize voice, video, and meeting experiences, while saving companies substantial costs in their communication infrastructure. Organizations can now replace their legacy meeting and phone systems with innovative services built on the familiar Skype for Business experience, all naturally integrated within Office 365—the world’s most-used collaboration and productivity platform.

We are also excited to announce significant new security and analytics capabilities aimed at dramatically improving our customers’ ability to protect their organizations and glean insights from data.

Communication-powered Productivity

We believe that the heart of productivity is great teamwork, and the heart of great teams is great communication. Productivity today is centered on conversations—sometimes a quick instant message or call, and sometimes a meeting planned in advance including voice, video and content sharing.

With many different avenues of communication, people need tools that allow them flexibility in how they connect. For years, consumers have embraced new ways of communicating, turning “Skype” into a verb synonymous with video calling. But corporate telephony, including PBX systems, and audio and video conferencing systems, has lagged behind—until now. Having Skype for Business as an integrated part of the work people are already doing in Office means greater continuity as they collaborate and communicate throughout their day.

Built on the familiar Skype user interface, Skype for Business makes connecting with colleagues as easy and intuitive as connecting with friends and family on Skype. With the new services, Skype for Business gets even better, for organizations and their people:

  • PSTN Conferencing provides the flexibility to dial into a meeting from a traditional phone, in addition to the existing ability to join a meeting with a single click on your PC or mobile device.
  • Skype Meeting Broadcast makes it easier than ever to produce large virtual meetings for up to 10,000 meeting attendees, who can join from virtually any browser or device (see it in action). Now Skype for Business truly is a single platform for every type of meeting.
  • Cloud PBX enables companies to eliminate separate PBX systems and transition to the cloud with Office 365 as the central location to manage users for communication and
  • With PSTN Calling, Office 365 customers can also subscribe to Microsoft managed to call plans and phone numbers, starting in the U.S. with more markets coming later.

Watch this video to learn more about how the new Skype for Business capabilities can benefit your organization.

Simplify your infrastructure, lower your costs and empower your people

Microsoft is the only company that has built this combination of capabilities—a cloud business phone system including dial tone, and a complete meetings solution including audio, video, content sharing and messaging service—as a core part of a complete productivity and collaboration suite, available across mobile platforms and at a global scale.

Today, over half of our business customers are currently paying for multiple conferencing solutions, and many are still using legacy PBX phone systems. Now they can simplify their infrastructure with one cloud platform for meetings and voice, ultimately reducing the cost, complexity, and effort of maintaining legacy phone and conferencing systems.

But it’s about more than saving money. People spend nearly a third of their time at work in meetings, yet only 18 percent of information workers actively use conferencing tools that enable rich experiences like video and content sharing. When you consider that nonverbal signals account for nearly 90 percent of the messages we receive during interpersonal communication, it’s clear that moving to modern communication tools can have a dramatic impact on productivity and collaboration.


Desktop sharing during a Skype for the Business meeting.

A Rich Partner Ecosystem

As we release these new capabilities in Office 365, partners will play an integral role in extending the value of our new services. At the forefront are our global systems integrator partners, who have the highest level of experience in delivering communications solutions end-to-end.

We also partner with telco operators who provide secure, high-quality network connectivity and managed services that help customers get the best experience with the new Skype for Business services. These partners include BT Global Services, Orange Business Services, SoftBank, TATA Communications and Telstra.

Key partners like Polycom are delivering innovative new solutions for audio conferencing including the Polycom® RealPresence Trio™ for groups, and Polycom® VVX® desktop phones, which are the first phones qualified for the new Skype for Business services in Office 365.

Application partners like Genesys are also building on our platform to deliver solutions like contact center applications that work with Skype for Business and Office 365.

Deeper value from security and analytics

In addition to the Skype for Business capabilities, we’re releasing new security and data analytics capabilities in Office 365, including:

  • Delve Analytics—Empowers individuals through rich dashboards that provide insights on time and relationships, with the goal of helping individuals get time back and spend it effectively.
  • Power BI—A business analytics service that enables information workers to visualize and analyze data with greater speed, efficiency and understanding through live data dashboards, interactive reports and compelling visualizations.
  • Customer Lockbox—Gives customers new approval rights, transparency, and control over their data in the cloud.
  • Advanced eDiscovery—Integrates Equivio machine learning, predictive coding, and text analytics capabilities, to reduce the costs and challenges that come along with sorting through large quantities of data for eDiscovery purposes.
  • Advanced Threat Protection—Protects against unknown malware and viruses by applying behavioral analysis.

All of the new capabilities are now available and represent significant new value to enterprise customers. We’re excited to see the impact it can have on your organization!

—Kirk Koenigsbauer

Source :

Adding Partner of Record (POR) to Office 365 Subscriptions

IOTAP a Microsoft Cloud Accelerate partner provides you with the sales, support, and technical expertise to help you set up and implement Office 365 subscription. IOTAP has a range Office 365 implementation services that will enable you to maximize the benefits available in Microsoft Office 365. You can add IOTAP as your Office 365 services partner at the time of purchasing Office 365 subscription or at a later date.

Adding IOTAP as the Partner of Record at the time of Office 365 subscription purchase

1. Logon on the Microsoft Online Subscription portal as an administrative user

2. On the Admin page, in the left pane, under Subscriptions, click Purchase.

Office 365 Subscriptions

3. On the Purchase subscriptions page, click Add next to each service that you would like to purchase.

4. In the Order details popup enter the number of licenses you want to purchase and Click Add to cart.

Office 365 Plan E2 1 year term

5. When your cart includes all of the subscriptions that you want to purchase, click Check out.

Office 365 Shopping

7. In the first step of the Check out the wizard, in the right pane, under Partner information, click Add.

Office 365 Review Order

8. Enter IOTAP’s Microsoft Partner ID 1470733 and click OK.

Office 365 Partner information

9. IOTAP will now be added as a partner for your Office 365 subscription

Office 365 Partner Edit

10. Complete the rest of the wizard to finish buying your subscriptions.

Add IOTAP as a partner to an existing Office 365 subscription

1. Logon on the Microsoft Online Subscription portal as an administrative user

2. On the Admin page, in the left pane, under Subscriptions, click Manage.

Office 365 Subscriptions Manage

3. Click the name of the subscription for which you want to add IOTAP as the partner

Office 365 Plan

4. On the Subscription details page, in the right pane under Partner information, click Add.

Office 365 Partner Add

5. Enter IOTAP’s Microsoft Partner ID 1470733 and click OK.

6. IOTAP will now be added as a partner for your Office 365 subscription

Office 365 Partner Edit

Is Migration from Office Live to Office 365 the Right Choice?

Office live has served the small business community extremely well with its simple and easy to use website and communication tools designed for convenience at an extremely attractive price of zero dollars. With just days left for Office Live Small Business (OLSB) services to be shut down, many customers are wondering if migration to Microsoft Office 365 is the right choice. The transition involves a whole set of challenges that small businesses are not ready for and more importantly do not have the time or bandwidth to undertake.   Though Microsoft has provided steps and transition guide small business users are having a hard time understanding and executing them

For those who are at crossroads and deciding whether they should migrate to Microsoft Office 365 or look out for another service, Microsoft created an article in the community site that will help you to take a decision.

Below are some pointers that business should be aware of before taking a decision on migrating to Office 365

  • Office 365 is not free forever. After the trial period of 6 months, the charges are $6 per user per month plus the additional domain cost per year.
  • Your domain will not be hosted with Office 365 it has to be hosted with the default OLSB hosting provider Melbourne IT or another domain hosting provider such as GoDaddy
  • Office 365 website designer does not include all the features of Office Live website designer. Form designer, blog module, analytics are some of the features that are missing.
  • There is alternate website hosting providers that are worth taking a look at.

As Small Business solution specialist and Microsoft Cloud Accelerate partner our suggestion to these customers is that if you are looking at more than just website and want to improve your productivity and collaboration tools then Office 365 is the right choice for you.  Below are some of the highlights of Office 365 when compared with OLSB

  • Email services in Office 365 are provided by Exchange Server 2010 an enterprise leading email service
  • You Get 25 GB of space per mailbox with enterprise anti-spam and antivirus protection
  • No Advertisements which means you stay focused
  • Outlook Web App a rich web-based version of Microsoft Outlook
  • Office Web Apps to access MS Office documents from a browser
  • Multiple email aliases per user
  • You can design your website using Sharepoint Designer 2010 a free tool from Microsoft
  • Complete synchronization of your emails, outlook folders, contacts and calendars on your mobile devices like iPhone, Android, Windows Phones

Apart from the above features Office 365 also provides you with

Sharepoint Online: For sharing and managing all your documents and information

Lync Online: For Instant Messaging, Audio and video conferencing and screen sharing. You don’t have to have goto meeting or webex accounts.

OLSB customers have 6 months of the free trial period during which they can evaluate Office 365 and then decide if it is a correct fit for their business.

IOTAP a Microsoft preferred transition partner from Office Live Small Business to Office 365 has been helping a lot of small business understand the value provided by Office 365 and perform a seamless migration from OLSB to office 365. Visit our Office Live to Office 365 migration page to know more about our services.