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87 posts

Master Geek


# 40094 25-Aug-2009 12:23
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Does anyone have any experience with or views about the Microsoft Online Service suite of offerings?

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BDFL - Memuneh
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  # 250334 25-Aug-2009 12:25
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I have tried the hosted Exchange option. When you sign up you can nominate a partner for your contact - you can choose one you know (I selected Provoke for example).

They have a 30 day trial - you just need to sign up and try. Go for it, use a test domain of yours.




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Ultimate Geek

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  # 250352 25-Aug-2009 14:02
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I recently migrated a small company from Exchange 2003 to Microsoft Online Services.

What info are you looking for?

 
 
 
 




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Master Geek


  # 250415 25-Aug-2009 16:22
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Well.. pretty much like I said.. what are people's experience with it -- does it look like a good alternative solution for small businesses to hosting their own infrastructure? Is it cost-effective fro NZ SMEs?

Had considered the free trial but then you have to sign up for a Windows Live ID (do I really want one?) and go through a ridiculously convoluted authntication process.

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  # 250419 25-Aug-2009 16:24
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imd6662: Had considered the free trial but then you have to sign up for a Windows Live ID (do I really want one?) and go through a ridiculously convoluted authntication process.


But if you want the Google Apps you will have to sign up for a Google Account. Do you really want one?

If creating an online ID is too much of a problem (I can't see any) just get a hosted Exchange from third party providers then - there are lots around. But you don't get a lot of the cool things the Microsoft Online offers.




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  # 250421 25-Aug-2009 16:28
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My experience with it has been very good. I can't say for sure whether it's suitable for you or not as I don't know enough about your company or your existing infrastructure.

As for your comments about the Windows Live ID and the sign up process... I didn't find it very convoluted, and it's no different to using Google's hosted email either. Basically, you need a Windows Live ID for authentication, then you need to verify that you can manage your DNS by creating a verification record.

I can help you set up a trial if you like? Email address is: stuart@amanzi.co.nz



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Master Geek


  # 250422 25-Aug-2009 16:28
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Well actually no... you;re dead right. I didn't want a Google Account but ended up signing up for one to try out what turned out to be a pretty disappointing mail service compared to something like Outlook/Exchange.

I guess the point I'm trying to make is that (for me at any rate) a key success factor for any cloud computing alternative ought to be that provisioning is as easy as consumers have come to expect for any other Web-delivered service. Think of Amazon for example, or -- more technically -- NEt24's virtual server provisioning, or even -- Heaven forfend -- your bank!




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Master Geek


  # 250423 25-Aug-2009 16:30
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Thanks for the offer Stuart. I'm not looking for a specific use, but more evaluating a general option.

Not sure what's happened with my trial sign-up -- I appear to be caught up some kind of SNAFUU related to the requirement to choose a new password when signing on for the first time -- you know the usual drill -- old password not correct, or new password not sufficiently unimaginably weird, or just that I've already had my one free shot at chaning it for today.

Maybe I'll try again tomorrow when I feel better.

Cheers

 
 
 
 


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  # 250436 25-Aug-2009 17:14
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No probs. As a Microsoft Partner I can set help set up the trial, which streamlines the process a bit, but you still need a Windows Live ID.

Don't forget, you still need an Amazon ID to start using Amazon's web services... Any any service which requires modifying DNS records is going to need some form of convoluted verification process. The last thing you want is for the online ID to be weak from a security point of view.

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Ultimate Geek

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  # 250437 25-Aug-2009 17:20
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In case you or anyone else is keen to test out Microsoft Online Services, you can use the following link which creates a 20 seat trial of the Business Productivity Online Standard Suite.


** Business Productivity Online Standard Suite **


The 30 day trial includes 20 user licenses for Exchange Online, SharePoint Online, Office Live Meeting, and Office Communications Online



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  # 250438 25-Aug-2009 17:28
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freitasm: When you sign up you can nominate a partner for your contact - you can choose one you know (I selected Provoke for example).



Ahem... or you could select Amanzi Limited as your partner, for superb support and friendly service! Laughing


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  # 250441 25-Aug-2009 17:38
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freitasm: I didn't see your name when I started the trial. It was just before the beta opened so there was only two or three partners listed there.



There are still only a handful of partners keen on getting involved with the Online stuff.



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Master Geek


  # 250588 26-Aug-2009 08:58
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What a difference a day makes.

It was the (b) password not unimaginably weird enough problem.

Thank goodness Geekzone doesn't adopt MS's strong password regime!!

Anyway, the admin console for the service actually looks pretty good.

I see that there is a minimum 5-seat buy-in thought which I would have thought was a bit of a big barrier for many NZ SMEs.

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  # 250612 26-Aug-2009 10:21
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Where is Microsoft Online Services hosted? I'd heard it was Singapore - does this create any noticeable performance issues over a locally hosted solution?




 

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Ultimate Geek

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  # 250614 26-Aug-2009 10:27
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Yes, the APAC site is hosted in Singapore. I haven't noticed any significant delays with it being in Singapore, and Outlook would be running in cached mode so emails are always accessed from the local cache as opposed to directly from the servers.

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