Office 365 cloud service of Microsoft was announced to be available in Bulgaria. I quickly went to http://www.microsoft.com/bg-bg/office365/online-software.aspx and checked it up to see what would I receive once I register. It is worth sharing my experience to guys who wonder whether or not to try it out.
It took me 1 minute to fill-in the registration form and then a couple more to wait for the features to be automatically set up for me:
Once the the environment was set, I had a SharePoint Team site configured for me and could create a couple of test documents with Word, Excel and PowerPoint the same way as I would with these applications desktop equivalents:
I Also got an out of the box email account which could be accessed through a secure (HTTPS) connection:
An out of the box publicly visible site, which content could be easily edited within the SharePoint portal:
And finally I took a look at the administrative panel. Turns out you can add your own domain instead of using the domain name that you received when you signed up. On this custom domain you can host a SharePoint site after making some configuration changes. Along with this you can manage/purchase licenses within this panel, monitor your services health and write to support if you need help:
After having said all of the above what remains untold is probably the value of it... Here are a couple of things that come to mind as a start:
- Companies residing on multiple locations can easily use this service to have a central place where they can sync their documentation.
- The ones that do not have an office license (but might still use it :P) can be attracted by the small price (expected to be monthly between 1,79 and 25,50 euro per user depending on the license) and use the office on the cloud.
- No need to be an IT to support your team portal and email server infrastructure, because it is taken care of for you.
- No need to be a developer to put a fairly good looking public web site together.
- Currently there is a trial period and you can register for free.