Sunday, March 29, 2015

by host

Leveraging the power of the internet with BPOS and the other Microsoft Online Services, your IT department can gain efficiency while giving your users a reliable experience they can use on almost any device, from virtually anywhere. But you might be wondering about the practicalities of deployment.

The deployment process has been broken down into four steps:

  1. Verify your domain
  2. Plan your deployment
  3. Prepare for the migration of users
  4. Migrate

At each stage of the deployment process, Microsoft provides helpful resources accessible through the Deployment Central web page. For example, at the site you can open the Setup Accelerator. The Setup Accelerator is an interactive tool that asks you a short series of questions and then generates a deployment guide individualized to your organizational configuration.

When planning a deployment, you will find it invaluable to download the Microsoft Online Services Deployment Guide. This comprehensive manual details the entire deployment process and includes helpful extras, like tips on how to communicate the deployment process to end users.

To streamline the process, you can download a Deployment Checklist, the Deployment Quick Reference Guide and use a Deployment Schedule. These resources break the large tasks outlined in the comprehensive Deployment Guide into manageable processes and timetables.

Microsoft makes it easy for you to connect with peers throughout this process at the Microsoft Online Services Forums. This is where IT professionals can share their experiences of deployment. You can also get linked with a partner who can help you deploy Microsoft Online Services.

Have you utilized the deployment resources and found them helpful? Are there ways we could improve the delivery of information related to the deployment process? We want to know that our resources are working for you. Send us your feedback or share your deployment success story by leaving a comment below.

by Brett

As an experienced Live Meeting presenter, Brett Hill of Advaiya Inc. walks you through the features used to produce a real-time Live Meeting event.  Topics are focused on practical tips and tricks including the following:

  • How to create a poll slide
  • How attendees can get your attention even without voice
  • Private chat with presenters
  • The Q&A feature
  • Screen sharing
  • Handouts
  • Annotations
  • And more… 

by host

This week in BPOS news is a recurring segment on the Microsoft Online Services Team Blog that covers news from all sectors of Cloud Computing and the Microsoft Online Services business suite known as the Business Productivity Online Suite (BPOS). You can read all past This Week in BPOS News segments here.

Last week we announced the latest addition to Microsoft Online Services with the Health Dashboard. This week in BPOS News we feature two more of the latest additions to Microsoft BPOS; Office Web Apps and more customers.

1. Microsoft: Office Web Apps coming to its hosted business suite


Microsoft Office web apps has 20 million users since its release earlier this year. Office Web apps is the newest addition to Microsoft BPOS which already consists of Microsoft properties including SharePoint, Exchange and Live Meeting. Office web apps allow “you to access and work in familiar Office programs virtually anywhere” and could bring a more robust offering to Microsoft BPOS. Watch this video to learn more about Office Web Apps.

The story from ComputerWorld quotes Microsoft General Manager, Betsy Webb, about this newest BPOS revelation.

"We'll certainly be talking a lot more about Office Web Apps delivered through BPOS as part of future capabilities of BPOS."

Are you excited about Office Web Apps coming to BPOS? How will this increase your productivity and collaboration? Let us know in the comments section.

2. Universities Go Back to School With Live@edu


Earlier this week, we highlighted some of our new customers that are coming aboard Microsoft BPOS. Amongst them are some big companies including DuPont, Godiva and Volvo. (You can read more about the Godiva Chocolatier move to BPOS in this Microsoft Case Study.) One large group of new Microsoft cloud acquisitions comes to us in the form of educational facilities through Live@edu.

Live@edu is a cloud computing resource aimed at universities that include Microsoft products like Microsoft Office Outlook Live and online storage capabilities with SkyDrive to name just a few. Some of the universities that are turning to Microsoft’s Live@edu include several California schools, Washington University in St. Louis, Northern Kentucky University and Aston University in the United Kingdom. You can find out more about why Northern Kentucky University and Aston University in the United Kingdom chose Microsoft over the competition by clicking the links. You can also read about all the universities that recently chose Microsoft in greater detail in this Microsoft News Center press release.

What do you think about Universities moving to the cloud? How would you like to see the cloud used by the schools? Leave a comment below.

What are your thoughts about the stories we shared with you this week? Did you see a story you want to share with us? Let us know what other topics you’d like to see. You can comment on this blog post or send an email to our community mailbox. Follow us on Twitter and like our Facebook page.

by Brett

Microsoft Releases BPOS Trial Guide Updates

Microsoft has released a major update of the Microsoft Online Trial Guide.  The reason for the guide goes like this: You get a BPOS trial account.  Then you login to the administration center. Great! But if you don't know the services and don't quite know what to do - where do you go to get help? The trial guide is exactly what you need. It takes you through a step-by-step walkthrough of each of the services and some administration tasks so that at the end, you would have a good idea of how the services work.

What most people don't know, is that there is also a Managed Trial Guide. This guide is available only to BPOS partners and can be found on  The managed trial guide is like an instructor's manual for helping a customer work through the Trial Guide. It contains explanations, extra tasks and checklist you can use at the end of a  managed trial to that shows the customer did in fact complete the tasks in the Trial Guide and Managed Trial Guide.  I was involved with creating both of these documents so can tell you they are designed to support very practical tasks and are not designed to as marketing pieces. Let me know what you think!

by host

In this week’s support video blog post we learn the basic steps to verifying the connectivity between your computer and Microsoft Online. This support video walks us through network verification which includes insights into the Mac OSX and PC networking tools. For Mac OSX we learn how to use three tools including the Ping Utility, Traceroute Utility and the Nslookup Utility. For Windows computers we learn about the tracert Command, ping Command and how to validate the BPOS Path.

This support video then takes us through the steps of carrying out a Network Dump for both the PC and Mac. You can view all of these tips and tricks for network verification in the video below.

Brett Hill

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