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November 18th, 2010

Cloud computing software, Office 365 In Part 2 of this two-part series (if you missed, make sure you read Part 1 for #1 – #4), we will highlight #5 through #10 on the great things about the cloud-computing software from Microsoft, Office 365!

5. Stable and crash-resistant

Reliability is nearly as important to users as security, since downtime costs money. Microsoft Online Services’ Service Level Agreement (SLA) targets 99.9 percent uptime. To make it happen, Microsoft has SAS 70 and ISO 27001 certified data centers around the world hosting “redundant network architecture,” so an outage at one means instant backup from another with minimal service interruption.

6. Compliant

Microsoft’s attention to detail is evident in the careful transition plan it lays out for users upgrading to Office 365 from its Business Productivity Online Suite. Complying with numerous laws, standards and regulations around the globe requires this same focus. For the U.S. market, Microsoft has even added features to help users comply with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).

7. Compatible

With a sluggish economy keeping companies from upgrading hardware and software, Office 365 seems a no-brainer. It works everywhere, on everything, supporting not only Windows 7 and Vista but the SP3, Home and Media Center editions of XP, too. Users of CRE’s Mac Pro rentals can use the Office 365 applications as long as OS X 10.5 (Leopard) or 10.6 (Snow Leopard) is installed. The online administration portal works with the latest versions of IE, Firefox and Apple’s Safari, while the Outlook Web Apps can be accessed with all those browsers plus Google’s Chrome.

8. Up-to-date on the server side, too

Office 365 provides companies and their users all the functionality of Microsoft’s latest server products. The services run on Exchange 2010 SP1, SharePoint 2010 and Lync. Client software is Microsoft Lync 2010 for Windows and Communicator for Mac, while the enterprise edition includes Office 2010 Professional Plus.

9. Single sign-on

If your network runs Server 2008 Active Directory, you can configure a single sign-on so that users can be automatically authenticated to use Office 365.

10. Office Web Apps

These Web Apps are not meant to replace the full-sized Office applications. For comprehensive document creation, you need a powerful, local application, but when you’re away from your “Office” and need to do a quick edit, that’s where Web Apps shine. They are “special duty” tools offered in the increasingly popular Software as a Service (SaaS) model. No matter where you are, or whose computer you’re using, you can create or edit content with the same familiar interface as Office applications.

At CRE, we continue to make special, high-end tools available to media content creators – Xserve RAID rentals, Final Cut Pro workstations, etc. – while also staying abreast of productivity advances on the Web. Wherever your business is taking you, we can help you get there. Call or e-mail an expert Account Executive, or fill out the Quick Rental Quote form – now!

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