Office 365 First Impressions

First impressions after a long day exploring Office 365

  • Working from trial of basic level Office 365 plan
  • Looking as both trainer and likely small business user
  • I will comment further – these are my initial thoughts

Strengths

  • From the end-user/skilled user perspective – much of whats good in SharePoint as made it into the online version. For me as a Trainer, this will help demonstrating and explaining features – from a hopefully stable cloud environment – give recent issues I have had with training environments  and SharePoint instability
  • Lync – for communications including video – will report further after I have tried this
  • Ease of set up  – high level of  transfer of skills from SharePoint 2010
  • Mobile phone sync – will report further after I have tried this
  • Outlook strongest of cloud based Office apps – Word and Excel appear adequate but missing some stronger features – will report further after I have tried this more extensively

Weaknesses

  • No KPIs or business intelligence that I can see in SharePoint at the base level
  • Only Three stage workflow at the basic level – but you can make a custom site column using check boxes, define three items, add site column
  • The cloud based office applications are useful up to a point. I had added a complex spreadsheet as a content type earlier. From my laptop I tried to create a new document using the content type but couldn’t with only the web-based excel.
  • I also tried opening word and excel documents uploaded previously. I could view in one case but not edit, in the second file (more complex) I could do neither.
More as I progress
Overall, lots of potential for small and micro  businesses with staff in the field, away from a home base.
Steven Knight