Single Sign On is a really useful tool to save users having multiple usernames and passwords and enables them to use their corporate login details for other services. Single Sign On is not available with the Small Business version of Office 365, but is available with Enterprise versions. Single Sign On has many benefits, including, policy control, access control, reduced support calls, security and support for strong authentication.
To use single sign on you must:
- Have active directory deployed and running Windows Server 2003, 2008 or 2008 R2.
- Install all required updates for Office 365 from Microsoft.
- Use the Microsoft Online Services Module for Windows Powershell to establish a trust with Office 365.
- Plan for and deploy AD FS 2.0 on Windows Server 2008 or 2008 R2.
The full article for preparing Office 365 and Single Sign On can be found here: http://onlinehelp.microsoft.com/en-us/Office365-enterprises/ff652540.aspx
Another more in depth article can be found here: http://onlinehelp.microsoft.com/en-us/office365-enterprises/ff652539.aspx
Microsoft have today released the first service pack to the Office 2010 suite, details can be found at: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2460049.
Microsoft recommends updating using Windows Update through the Control Panel.
Just a quick update, after using and getting to know Office 365 over the last week, I have discovered the the site wide navigation is not always consistant. Upon entering some parts of the site the top level navigation does not exist and from a users perspective this can be very frustrating. Yes, the browser navigation buttons are available but often with a web application they can have unexpected results or not even function at all. Not a major issue at this stage, but something to bear in mind.
In an article by Michael Otey, the top 10 features of the service are suggested to be as follows;
- Team Sites
- Excel Web App
- Work Web App
- Outlook Web App
- OneNote Web App
- PowerPoint Web App
- Web desing app
- Lync 2010
- High availability
- Browser based access
For the full story, see http://www.sharepointpromag.com/article/office-365/top-ten-features-office-365-136405http://www.sharepointpromag.com/article/office-365/top-ten-features-office-365-136405
Today I read a very good article about how cloud computing can save an organisation a large amount of money. Money is saved by not hosting services on your own site, for example an Exchange Server, and instead hosting it in the cloud.
I also read another article which has the opinion that cloud computing can be more expensive, depending on the type of your organisation. The writer suggests that although the cost of cloud computing is low compared to standalone software, this cost is ongoing rather than a one off payment. On the otherhand although the cost is ongoing you will always have the latest version of available applications, whereas new licences would be required for non cloud computing environments. Some businesses may not require to have the latest version of applications should the version they have perform all the functions they require.
I think that the majority of organisations that could benefit from cloud computing would be large enterprises rather than small businesses. Because small businesses tend to have fewer computers and do not always require to have the latest version of applications, it is not neccessary to subscribe to a cloud service. On the otherhand if they did it would free up IT resources for other work. Larger organisations may be more interested as it would allow more resources to work on other projects rather than maintaining on site equipment that could be done by outsourcing.