Enterprise Applications: First Look at Office 365 Proves Promising
Microsoft's Office 365 is the company's answer to the increasing demand for anywhere, anytime access to applications and services. It provides small businesses as well as enterprises with hosted instances of the company's Office application lineup, while relieving IT staff of much of the day-to-day care and feeding of those applications. At first glance, the service-which opened as a public beta in mid-April-could be a blessing for organizations that would like to take advantage of the tight integration that Microsoft offers in its desktop and server applications, without investing in the hardware or staff necessary to deploy such tools as Lync and SharePoint. Office 365 encompasses a well-thought-out collection of services that combine flexibility and stability while conforming to real-world business needs for compliance and security. Although hosted instances of the Office server apps are already available from third parties, the Office 365 instances will raise the bar for what customers should expect.