With SharePoint Online it’s easy to share and manage documents with colleagues. Once you have a Team Site you can add users and set their permissions. Now the Team Site members will be able to share documents, images, lists, blogs and much more, with both internal and external organisations, which are password protected. You will also be able to manage meetings and track key project milestones and schedules using the shared calendars. You can even save documents directly from one Microsoft’s Applications to SharePoint Online.
Lync Online is an Instant Messaging client for the working environment. It enables staff to instantly see if their colleagues are available (from many of the Office 365 Applications) and start an instant conversation, so that decisions can be made much quicker than by email for example. Once a decision has been made this could be acknowledged with a confirmation email.
Microsoft is holding an invitation only press event on Tuesday 28th June at 4:00 p.m . BST (10:00 a.m. EDT) to officially launch its cloud hosted productivity suite. Office 365 is still currently being fine tuned and is still in beta today.
Office 365 consists of cloud hosted versions of Exchange Online, SharePoint Online and Lync Online. Customers who wish to can also opt to have Office Professional Plus which is locally installed on a PC and has a paid monthly subscription. The service will compete with a few similar services including Google Apps.
Storage options vary by plan, but on average each a user gets around 1GB of which is pooled, each site collection can use upto 50GB. The company as a whole can use upto 1TB worth. Users also get a large mailbox that can hold upto 25GB worth of mail. The user is also able to send attachments that are upto 25MB in size. Users can also opt to purchase additional SharePoint Online storage space in GB increments, charged monthly.
Students have the option for a free 25GB online storage allowance on Windows Live SkyDrive.
Backups will be something on most people’s minds in the unlikely event that all data is lost. There are data protection services provided to prevent the loss of SharePoint Online data. Backups are performed every 12 hours and held for the following 14 days.
Security components are part of SharePoint Online to help protect the environment from viruses, while also maintaining uptime and the best possible performance.
For the majority of organisations and businesses, branding of SharePoint sites will be essential. There are a few strategies to implementing branding on SharePoint sites, including but not limited to, master pages, page layouts and CSS. Master pages define the shared elements to the site, such as logo, navigation and footers, while page layouts offer a powerful and flexible way to mange the overall look to the sites pages. CSS is used to control the overall display of page elements, including images, fonts, layouts and page structure.
This article goes into detail about SharePoint customisation. It’s split into three articles.
Part 1: http://www.sharepointpromag.com/article/sharepoint/sharepoint-branding-101-how-to-implement-a-custom-branded-site-129843
Part 2: http://www.sharepointpromag.com/article/sharepoint/sharepoint-branding-master-pages-136262
Part 3: Coming Soon.
Another useful article I read about SharePoint Branding can be found at: http://www.heathersolomon.com/blog/articles/brandsppart2.aspx