Part 2 of 7
Online Resources to Discover and Learn about Office 365
Outlook is your Personal Information Manager, a central location for emails, calendar, contacts and tasks which can be synchronised to your mobile device(s). Outlook now connects and synchronises with Exchange, seamlessly enabling connections with a variety of mobile hardware and Operating Systems. Outlook can be configured to access not just your own Mailbox, but also ‘Shared’ organisational Mailboxes and Public Folders, for example; info@…. or a shared (public to the organisation) Marketing Folder. Sharing enables you to ‘Send on Behalf of’ or ‘Send as’ the Shared Mailbox.
Any user, within your organisation, can also be given ‘Delegate’ access permissions to a colleagues Mailbox, for example; a PA who needs access to a Manager’s Mailbox to administer their calendar or email.
Calendar contains your own calendar and, where permissions have been given, colleagues and other public and shared calendars.
Contacts can contain your specific Contacts as well as the Organisation’s Global Address List.
Tasks can be created by you, assigned to, or from, a colleague, progressed and completed.
All of this can be configured to your working style and /or company policy by the use of folders, categories, flags and conditional formatting.
As a core feature of Office 365, Outlook is one of my favourite tools. I particularly like it’s use of Categories and Flags which help to highlight content of interest or tasks to target for completion. As mentioned above it is a central location for information and as such it’s direct integration with, for example, OneNote where I can write notes for a meeting and then link to the meeting appointment in Outlook is a real benefit to not forgetting to raise a topic or idea in the meeting.
Microsoft Support for Outlook can also be found in the links above, so what follows are Outlook specific
Some of my favourite 3rd Party sites are listed below
What is Exchange?
Exchange Online is actually the email server that processes email and allows it to be retrieved by Outlook. It’s a hosted messaging application, providing organisations with access to email, calendars, contacts and tasks. Exchange Online supports remote access for users from desktops, laptops, tablets, a wide range of mobile devices such as Apple, Android, Blackberry and of course Windows and is most commonly accessed using Outlook or Outlook Web Access.
Most users’ interaction with their email, calendars, contacts and tasks will be via one of the Outlook apps as mentioned above, so the link below is to a useful general support site, but showing an article about Exchange Online for reference.
SharePoint made a first appearance in 2001 and it has been developed significantly since that time. A basic installation of Sharepoint can be set-up and configured by a trained IT Administrator, however for more visual changes and tweaks it is best to seek help from a Sharepoint specialist.
What is Sharepoint? It is a web-based collaboration tool integrated with Office 365 for business where multiple individuals and teams need to work on documents at the same time Sharepoint comes in different editions; SharePoint Server, SharePoint Standard, SharePoint Enterprise and SharePoint Online. It is the latter which is most typically bundled with Office 365.
SharePoint Online is used for collaboration, file hosting, document and content management reasons, and is updated on a frequent basis as is all of Office 365.
It is tightly integrated with other tools, especially Outlook (via Exchange), so that you can be notified when new files are added and changed on Sharepoint.
Some of the most popular uses of Sharepoint include:
- Intranets, for example storing and sharing policy, finance and HR information.
- Project sites, for storing and communicating project information. These sites can be set up individually, or automatically after you set up an Outlook ‘group’.
- Sales bids/new business, when working with groups of people together to create a bid or proposal.
It’s also worth noting that organisations should be careful when considering simply moving all files from a file server to Sharepoint. We recommend really assessing the business benefit of a complete move of all file data. More often than not, we see better results when file servers are used alongside Sharepoint for certain scenarios.
Microsoft support for SharePoint is excellent source for developers and end-users.
Wikipedia is a good source of general knowledge as well as IT and its page about SharePoint is an excellent example of what is on offer.
Author; Derek White, Consultant Support and Training Officer at Smartdesc
For more information about migrating to Microsoft Office 365, click here.