Lately, you may have heard yet another acronym being mentioned in the Microsoft world - BPOS. But what exactly is this mysterious BPOS?
Before we dive head first into the world of BPOS, it's important to understand Microsoft Online. Microsoft Online is software hosted by Microsoft and available for customers to use on a subscription based service. Essentially, it's a Software plus Services offering from Microsoft - Microsoft hosts software and data in our data centres, which customers can access via the web (using either a web browser or a desktop software application) from their own machines.
There are massive benefits for customers using the Software plus Services approach of Microsoft Online, including:
Latest Business Productivity Capabilities
- Discover the latest in business-class email, Web conferencing, instant messaging, document collaboration and workflow
- Get the benefit of the latest messaging and collaboration features, which are designed to work together seamlessly
- Build your own solution with individual services or purchase as an integrated suite
Ease of Use
- Your end users have a unified experience to access all of the hosted services you're using
- Administrators only have one place to go to manage subscriptions and to configure all Online Services
- End users have the ability to access the service securely, anywhere without the need for a VPN connection and through a wide selection of mobile devices
Privacy & Rapid Disaster Recovery
- Secure Internet protocols including HTTPS and HTTP over SSL to access your services
- Redundant network architecture capable of disaster recovery
- In the event of data centre connectivity issues, services switch over to a backup data centre
- Online offerings integrate with on-premises servers and applications so that organisations can run some applications internally and others as hosted services
- Leverages tools such as Active Directory synchronisation so you can make online, on-premises or hybrid deployment choices by service, user roles and geography to best meet organisational needs
- Quickly enhance or expand your IT capacity by adding new services without having to invest in the development of new skills or deploying new hardware and software
- Free your valuable IT resources from routine management tasks to focus on core business initiatives that can deliver a truly competitive advantage
Business-class Security & Reliability
- Microsoft Online Services run on a global network of world-class data centres
- Our data centres and services are protected by multiple layers of security and operational best practices
- Microsoft Online Services guarantee a service level agreement of 99.9% uptime
- Managed by rigorously screened and highly trained staff
Overall, Microsoft Online allows customers to adopt and deploy new technologies quickly and without the upfront costs of an on-premise deployment. By using the hosted services from Microsoft Online, customers can be more flexible and adapt quickly to business change, while simplifying system management and maintenance.
So now you know all of the fantastic benefits of the software plus services strategy of Microsoft Online, it's important to understand which products are currently available through Microsoft Online:
Connect with colleagues and customers through real-time meetings, training sessions, and events using only a PC with an Internet connection. Hosted Web conferencing services from Microsoft Office Live Meeting give your employees the power to collaborate wherever they are, to set up project meetings, brainstorm ideas, and collaborate on whiteboards without the cost and hassle of travel!
Share documents, contacts, calendars, and tasks in a single location. Based on Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007, SharePoint Online delivers rich collaboration capabilities that enable team members to flexibly and efficiently collaborate, find organizational resources, search your intranet site, and manage content and workflow.
Provide employees access to e-mail, calendar, and contacts from virtually anywhere, at anytime, on desktops, laptops, and mobile devices—while helping to protect against malware and spam. Exchange Online can be rapidly deployed, flexibly expanded, and is designed to be securely administered using a powerful yet easy-to-use Web-based console.
Enable users to find and rapidly connect with the right person from the applications they use most. Office Communications Online provides streamlined access to rich presence and instant messaging capabilities that are centrally managed by IT and work seamlessly with a range of Microsoft Office system programs.
Protect your electronic communication and email using our services to filter viruses, worms, denial of service attacks and spam, to encrypt data, to satisfy retention requirements for compliance and to preserve access to email during and after an emergency.
As mentioned above, these products are available on a subscription model, charged per user per month:
Office Live Meeting - from £3.01 per user per month
SharePoint Online - from £4.85 per user per month
Exchange Online - from £6.69 per user per month
Office Communications Online - from £1.67 per user per month
Exchange Hosted Services - Filtering from £1.03 per user per month, Archiving from £6.00 per user per month
So now you understand the basics of Microsoft Online, it's time to talk about BPOS.
The Business Productivity Online Suite (BPOS) combines Office Live Meeting, SharePoint Online, Exchange Online and Office Communications Online into one single suite of products, purchased together. The real benefit of BPOS is the cost saving - a customer purchasing these four Microsoft Online products separately would pay from £16.22 per user per month; however the cost of BPOS is from £10.04 per user per month - saving more than 38%!
The four Microsoft Online products combined together in the Business Productivity Online Suite give customers effective messaging and collaboration capabilities for their business.
Getting started with Microsoft Online and BPOS couldn't be easier - a 30-day trial is available from the Microsoft Online website. Check back soon for my upcoming blog post walking you through the sign up process step by step.