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87 posts

Master Geek


  # 267943 29-Oct-2009 08:43
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freitasm: ...For the record I am moving my account from Google Apps Premiere to Microsoft BPOS. Enough of sync not working to my smartphone - or even between two PCs.


Interesting. Did you decide to suckup the 5-seat minimum or find 4 friends? :)

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  # 267945 29-Oct-2009 08:45
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imd6662:
freitasm: ...For the record I am moving my account from Google Apps Premiere to Microsoft BPOS. Enough of sync not working to my smartphone - or even between two PCs.


Interesting. Did you decide to suckup the 5-seat minimum or find 4 friends? :)


Since my blog post on Google Apps problem I was contact by Microsoft (the BPOS team in Redmond), Rackspace and Telecom New Zealand.

I waited two weeks for Google to come back with at least an explanation - if not a solution. It didn't happen.

So I took the offer from Microsoft to have my previous trial extended. After this I will suck up and pay for the five licenses. Better pay for something that works than pay for something that is just being hyped...





 
 
 
 


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Master Geek


  # 267946 29-Oct-2009 08:49
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Thanks for saying.

I did think Tes09 was a little unsubtle.

Having said that, I'm probably about tot go through the exercise of trolling through the comparative options available for my own benefit. Any objections to that being shared here?

924 posts

Ultimate Geek

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  # 267949 29-Oct-2009 08:51
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freitasm:
imd6662:
freitasm: ...For the record I am moving my account from Google Apps Premiere to Microsoft BPOS. Enough of sync not working to my smartphone - or even between two PCs.


Interesting. Did you decide to suckup the 5-seat minimum or find 4 friends? :)


Since my blog post on Google Apps problem I was contact by Microsoft (the BPOS team in Redmond), Rackspace and Telecom New Zealand.

I waited two weeks for Google to come back with at least an explanation - if not a solution. It didn't happen.

So I took the offer from Microsoft to have my previous trial extended. After this I will suck up and pay for the five licenses. Better pay for something that works than pay for something that is just being hyped...




My company is a MOS reseller/partner and I've also passed on a complaint to Microsoft regarding the 5 user restriction. In my opinion, MS needs to get as many small companies on to MOS as possible, regardless of the size of the company. That's one of the main reason so many people start with Google Apps - it's just so easy to sign up, even with just one or two accounts.

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Master Geek


  # 267954 29-Oct-2009 08:56
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amanzi:
My company is a MOS reseller/partner and I've also passed on a complaint to Microsoft regarding the 5 user restriction. In my opinion, MS needs to get as many small companies on to MOS as possible, regardless of the size of the company. That's one of the main reason so many people start with Google Apps - it's just so easy to sign up, even with just one or two accounts.


Good for you amanzi. I think you're dead right. Eliminating any barrier to uptake no matter how apparently insignificant would not only be a good marketintg ploy for MS in NZ but also a genuine positive micro/SME business benefit. Much better than any number of SME-aimed roadshows and newslettters!

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Master Geek


  # 267955 29-Oct-2009 09:00
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I'll actually stick my neck out here and suggest that Microsoft's on-line offering -- if they smooth out the pricing and provisioning hurdles a bit, will easliy overtake and beat into a Netscape-Novell-cock-shaped hat Google's current eminence in the cloud apps biz.

 
 
 
 


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Ultimate Geek

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  # 267956 29-Oct-2009 09:03
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imd6662: Having said that, I'm probably about tot go through the exercise of trolling through the comparative options available for my own benefit. Any objections to that being shared here?



The only technical issue I've encountered with MOS Exchange is one that affects Outlook 2003 and shared calendars. Outlook 2003 doesn't cache shared calendars locally, so every time you open a shared calendar, there can be a delay of 10-15 seconds as it retrieves the entire calendar. Outlook 2007 can cache shared calendars locally so there isn't an issue.

87 posts

Master Geek


  # 269903 4-Nov-2009 09:44
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Well I went and did a bit of surfing to look for options, and there were plenty.

I still like the idea of having the Outlook/Exchange interface and capability so MS Online Services looks good but there is still the 5-seat minimum and the provisioning is ghastly! I know it sounds petty, but I don't want a Windows LiveID, and I don't want to have to grapple with long and cryptic portal URLs, and I don't want to get stuck in the "maze of twisty little passages that are all alike" which constitutes MS strong password policies. If obstacles like this daunt me -- experienced if not expert -- then they will easily deter uptake by real business users.

With a little more effort I did get the Gmail thing to work with Outlook, so that's actually much better than using Gmail's web interface. Haven;t been able to verify Mauricio's suggestion that the Outlook Sync facility is in fact available FOC -- looks like just a tril to me unless you have Google App Pro (or whatever the pay-for one is called). Also I guess there is still the slightly sanctimonious prohibition on bulk mailing which could a big limitation for anyone that actually uses this as part of their operations.

There are of course, heaps of Hosted Exchange offerings, I managed to dredge up at least 16 NZ-based ones without trying to hard. But these are aimed at businesses (and perhaps at larger rather than smaller) and cost will be an issue at anything from $5 to $64 per mailbox per month.

I also found at least one (though there are certainly others) option for non-Exchnage hosted mail services. One I like the look of (AND I HAVE NO PECUNIARY INTEREST IN THIS) is the offering from Net24: 5 mailboxes for $5 per month. I have previously used their VPS services and while I didn't work them hard so I can;t say how fast/reliable they are I was and still am a real fan of their drop-dead simple provisioning model. I may even put my money where my mouth is.


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  # 269907 4-Nov-2009 09:49
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Microsoft announced a price reduction yesterday - in New Zealand it's about 35% off. Also the web access is not hard - https://mail.apac.microsoftonline.com/ doesn't seem so bad and if you use Outlook then you don't have to worry about it...

As for the Windows Live ID, you only need it for the account administrator. Everyone else from there just use your own domain name in the account if wanted.




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Master Geek


  # 269908 4-Nov-2009 09:54
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Yeah yeah .. like I said it's petty... and it's just my opinion of course. Thanks for the heads-up about the pricing change.

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Ultimate Geek

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  # 269920 4-Nov-2009 10:17
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imd6662: ... but there is still the 5-seat minimum ...

I've discussed this with Microsoft and they are unlikely to change this policy any time soon. One of their arguments was that if you want less seats then you can look at the free Office Live services which has stripped down versions of BPOS.



imd6662: and the provisioning is ghastly! I know it sounds petty, but I don't want a Windows LiveID, and I don't want to have to grapple with long and cryptic portal URLs, and I don't want to get stuck in the "maze of twisty little passages that are all alike" which constitutes MS strong password policies. If obstacles like this daunt me -- experienced if not expert -- then they will easily deter uptake by real business users.

I agree that the initial setup is more complicated than Google Apps, but once it's set up the URLs are easy to remember:

https://mocp.microsoftonline.com - Customer portal for initial setup of your MOS account
https://home.apac.microsoftonline.com - Company portal for your BPOS account

https://mail.apac.microsoftonline.com - Web mail.

https://admin.apac.microsoftonline.com - Admin site for your BPOS account.



As for the password policy - I'm a fan of forcing complex passwords, so in my mind this is a good security feature.





imd6662: With a little more effort I did get the Gmail thing to work with Outlook, so that's actually much better than using Gmail's web interface. Haven;t been able to verify Mauricio's suggestion that the Outlook Sync facility is in fact available FOC -- looks like just a tril to me unless you have Google App Pro (or whatever the pay-for one is called). Also I guess there is still the slightly sanctimonious prohibition on bulk mailing which could a big limitation for anyone that actually uses this as part of their operations.

The Outlook sync is a Google Apps Premium feature only, but if you're a business and you want to have some assurances around uptime and additional business-only features, you would probably pay for the Premium account anyway.

imd6662: There are of course, heaps of Hosted Exchange offerings, I managed to dredge up at least 16 NZ-based ones without trying to hard. But these are aimed at businesses (and perhaps at larger rather than smaller) and cost will be an issue at anything from $5 to $64 per mailbox per month.

It's very easy to set up a hosted Exchange environment to resell, but you need to be comfortable with the SLA provided and be sure that there are backups in place. Also, the MOS option has a lot more features than any of the other offerings I've seen. The single-sign on app and the integration with Exchange, Sharepoint, Office Communicator are only found with MOS.




87 posts

Master Geek


  # 269924 4-Nov-2009 10:24
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amanzi:

As for the password policy - I'm a fan of forcing complex passwords, so in my mind this is a good security feature.



Yeah well maybe. However the result for me is that I now can;t get into the trial of deskless worker that I signed up for and I have not the faintest idea why or what to do about it. IT Pros need to get their heads out of their architectures and consider things from lay user points of views. IMO>. :)

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  # 269925 4-Nov-2009 10:28
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amanzi: https://mocp.microsoftonline.com - Customer portal for initial setup of your MOS account


Just to complement... One thing you have with Microsoft BPOS is the ability for one account owner to maintain multiple domains through a single login - this is done through the MOCP site.

The acount owner can then create multiple domains and assign an Admin for each. This is good if you need to create multiple domains for different companies under your main company - or if you are like me even to create multiple domains (my own, my wife's), but have all paid through a single account.

Once you create the domains on MOCP then you only need to maintain the specific domain through the admin site - add users, aliases, change spam white lists, configure Sharepoint, Unified Communications, etc.

There's also the Deskless version which is very cheap (under $4 per seat) but is just hosted Exchange with a smaller mailbox.





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  # 269926 4-Nov-2009 10:28
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amanzi: 
imd6662: and the provisioning is ghastly! I know it sounds petty, but I don't want a Windows LiveID, and I don't want to have to grapple with long and cryptic portal URLs, and I don't want to get stuck in the "maze of twisty little passages that are all alike" which constitutes MS strong password policies. If obstacles like this daunt me -- experienced if not expert -- then they will easily deter uptake by real business users.

I agree that the initial setup is more complicated than Google Apps, but once it's set up the URLs are easy to remember:

https://mocp.microsoftonline.com - Customer portal for initial setup of your MOS account
https://home.apac.microsoftonline.com - Company portal for your BPOS account

https://mail.apac.microsoftonline.com - Web mail.

https://admin.apac.microsoftonline.com - Admin site for your BPOS account.





Alternatively, you can always setup a URL redirect - from memory a lot of the domain registration companies will give oyu URL redirections for free with your domain registration.


If your company has a website - include a page of links for your users?

As for the password policy - I'm a fan of forcing complex passwords, so in my mind this is a good security feature.



+1.  A lot of users will simply use the browsers "remember password" option anyhow.

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