Customer Reviews: Office 365 in Business
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICEon September 15, 2012
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
The book has lots of info for how Office 365 "helps teams achive greater success", and is the major theme of how Office 365 is better than just Microsoft Office. In fact it says you don't need Office 365 if you're not working in a group. The whole book sections are based on sharing and coordinating in office 365. So if you think that your office is having collaberation issues that a more central office software product would help, maybe this book would help you decide if Office 365 is for you. But the more I looked at this, the more I realized that I don't need this book.

I guess since it's aimed at the businesses rather than techs, I expected a "Office 365 for dummies" type book. Instead, it feels more like an Office 365 advertisement. Because of that, I really can't suggest it to any of my clients. Then it doesn't get technical enough for my needs as a tech. So I'm really not sure if it has much of a place. It does have a lot of info, but I think people need to know the pros and cons--and the pitfalls of a platform. There is a chapter on the disadvantages of Office 365, but it's not enough to keep the book from sounding like an extended sales pitch. I mean, it ouright says that if you don't need collaberation, then just stick with Microsoft Office--as if it were the only other option.

So I'm not sure what else to suggest in book form, but I suggest you find a more balanced viewpoint when deciding if Office 365 is right for you. Personally, I've found that the product and the book is not right for any of the businesses I work with.
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on November 28, 2011
I really wish that the "Search Inside" preview had included the book's introduction - then I wouldn't have bought it. Here is what is in the opening paragraphs:

"[The book] is not intended for technical people who want to learn how to use Office 365 for teams and teamwork. It is not intended for technical people..."

They aren't kidding. This is really just a very basic how-to end-user manual with a lot of fluff. I'm sure it has its niche, but anyone looking to install or support Office 365 should consider a Sharepoint 2010 Administration book instead.
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on December 22, 2011
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
As someone that has attended many seminars and watched several presentations on Office 365, I was interested to see what this book would offer. It should be clear going in that this book is not really intended for a very technical individual or someone that is an administrator of Exchange, SharePoint, etc. The intended audience is more for those making a business case that may or may not have a large IT department.

You will learn about the basics of Office 365, how it may benefit your organization, and what you can likely expect. Kroenke and Nilson do a good job of explaining what living in the cloud with Office 365 would be like. They explain some business problems that you might experience and how Office 365 can help to resolve them. I would consider this more of a introductory guide to Office 365 and it does an excellent job of introducing the reader to the product. It's not high level concepts. It's about explaining why you might consider Office 365 and what additional benefits you'd gain.

It's an excellent read for anyone that has very little knowledge on Office 365. I would recommend signing up for a trial of Office 365 so that you can try out some of the concepts presented in the book. Overall, a good read.
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VINE VOICEon September 8, 2011
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Normally, tech books are dry and boring. This really isn't.
This is a great overview of the features of Office 365.

Basically this is the future of "renting" software.

Software stored and served by Microsoft, for a monthly, per user fee, which basically includes the full Office suite of products.

The book details each program, Word, PowerPoint, Sharepoint, etc. and provides real world office examples of how some communication break downs occur, when people are trying to work collaboratively.

I'm not going to go into the details of each program and how it works, but suffice it to say, that the book does a good job of explaining how shared files, calendars, and project management information can be improved upon through an online collaborative and shared application environment over the internet.

Microsoft is not the only player in this field, but this book provides a nice communication tool for managers at all levels of small and large companies, to get a better understanding of how it could improve communication within any business.
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VINE VOICEon October 7, 2011
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
My dear hubby is the MS Office 365 guru in the household. Even with detailed background and knowledge of Office 365, he found value in this book, especially noting that he learned tips and tricks that he did not expect. He worked through a chapter every other day, and he learned something each and every time.

Know how to use Lync or Sharepoint effectively? Conduct a remote presentation? Set up an internal wiki? If not, maybe you should.

Highly recommended for anyone considering using Office 365, particularly for small businesses.
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VINE VOICEon November 17, 2011
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Collaboration, collaboration, & more collaboration.
This self-directed tutorial workbook format probably succeeds at its aim: To intruce Microsoft Office 365 to a new user. However, I think that any organization will want more after this introduction. That is not to say that the book doesn't succeed. I think it largely does. But this book is about introducing collaboration skills needed to make Office 365 (the cloud version of Microsoft's products, in short) more efficient and effective.

The problem is simply that, in order to be efficient and effective will require more than this book (any book) can do for an organization. However, if you are an organization that is in need of greater collaboration in projects, more effectiveness in what those projects do and to have them happen on time, this little book will show you how by something built into Office 365: Workflows. I have to give it five stars for doing this. No, it won't fix serious problems in some organizational structure, but it will put you on the path and let you start benefiting from the collaboration wonders of Office 365.

You'll learn to share documents, secure your communications, manage and share calendars and tasks, conduct video meetings, and ... most importantly ... you'll learn about Workflows. Workflows are part of the Sharepoint tool and allows a company/organization to know exactly where a project is at (waiting on an approval?, Needing modification?, etc) as the Office 365 program is geared around this concept of collaboration and workflow efficiencies.

This workbook ably introduces each chapter with a supposed situation and the steps one would take to use Office 365 in order to use its collaboration tools to accomplish that task with new levels of collaboration and effectiveness. No, it can't possibly be able to know what specific work problems might be at your organization, but I think the average reader will quickly be able to adapt these work-stories to make their implementation of Office 365 much more effective. 5 Stars for that.
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VINE VOICEon October 20, 2011
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Microsoft Office 365 in Business takes a high level view of what Microsoft's Office 365 product offers and how small business can take advantage of this and use Microsoft's offerings in their day to day business.
The book starts out with a quick overview of each piece of Office 365 and also covers the latest pricing (still valid as of Sept 2011) as well as a very brief pros and cons section (the cons section doesn't actually hit all the cons associated with the product and only covers 4 scenarious, the main one being that you are not in-charge of your own data is covered).
The authors have decided to take the approach of business circumstances that might arise in a small business and show you how these can be accomplished using Office 365. It covers most of the areas of Office 365 and the main thrust of the book is Sharepoint 2010 and how that is really the central pivot point around which most of the integrations between the various programs function.
Although the authors are definately up-beat about Office 365 (they actually come across more as cheerleaders for the product) it doesn't actually come across in a good manner in the book and it quickly becomes rather boring.
They do hit on all the major points that Office 365 offers but it's at such a high level that it leaves you with questions at the end of a chapter wondering if you can do x, how would y work etc. The book also completely skips things like how to customize and brand your Sharepoint site and how to use Sharepoint Designer to create new forms or workflows (the book has a chapter on workflows but it only covers the built in workflows and how to configure/alter them using the web interface, which is limiting).
Microsoft Office 365 in Business is really aimed at the small business owner (under 25 employees)/decision makers who don't have an IT person on staff but wants to see whether Office 365 would be a good fit for their business.
If someone did decide to go with Office 365 it wouldn't take them long to be looking for another more indepth book on the subject or hitting the web trying to find answers to questions.
As such I can't really recommend this title unless you are one of the small percentage of people that this book is really aimed at.
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VINE VOICEon September 29, 2011
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
This is a pretty good introduction to all the collaborative features that are included with Office 365. There's a ton of screenshots (more on that in a moment)to guide you through the process of setting up and using the particular features and the tone of the material is light and non-threatening. There's quick explanations on what the features are (by definition) and then how someone would go about using them. There's sections in front of all (excluding the beginning introductory chapters) that highlight typical business scenarios where using the cloud features would come in handy.

Unless you're new to the concept of 365 and the cloud, in general, you won't too much here that will "wow" you or make you want you anxious to try out a feature. I think this book would be appreciated by those who don't want to wade through a bunch of technical information in order to get the information they need in order to use the applications, as well as by those who prefer screenshots over written instructions when figuring out what to do. Which brings me to my next point, which is the retail price for the book: $40? No, thank you. For the price it's going for on Amazon right now? Yes, thank you. The screenshots easily take up half of the page count, which are great if you require them, but may seem like a waste of space for those who already have 365 and are using it along with the book. An example of this is on page 206 (in my review copy) under the section for "Remote Whiteboard Sessions with Logic" where two pages are dedicated to showing you: a figure of a cursor selecting a rectangle, then a screen shot of a the rectangle being added, then a figure with the pen selection being chosen, a figure with the text within the rectangle being highlighted, and finally a figure with an arrow stamp being added. Two pages... for something that could easily be explained in a couple paragraphs utilizing, at most,30-40% of one page.

So, why would you buy this book? 1. For the visual-guided instruction 2. Because the online tutorials I've found so far need some work before they can serve as a decent stand-in for an instructional text such as this. Until then, this should serve you well. Because I already knew what 365 was about and wasn't expecting anything to blow me away, feature-wise, I received what I thought I would from the book, so I gave it four-stars. I deducted a star for the retail price listed, even if it is discounted. C'mon, guys. Seriously. In this economy? Think about the children...
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on April 14, 2012
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Each time I hear about various collaborative software solutions, I think about how cool that sounds. But then as I get into learning about how it's done, I no longer see the practical use.

I had hoped that this book would be the one that would help me see the light, but it hasn't. I can't tell you how this software solution will change your life or your business. I'm not the guy who can tell you whether or not it is better than others of it's kind. I can't even tell you if this book does it justice because I just don't get it.

And maybe that's the point. This book just did not convince me that Office 365 has a place in my business, or any business I've ever worked in over the past 30-plus years.

So why did I give this book four stars? Because it kept me interested longer than any other attempt I've made to understand any collaborative software solutions. It tried. But it's not its fault I didn't get more excited. If anything, I'm convinced that there's no need for me to even try to understand the concept any more.

I'm just going to go back to e-mailing copies back and forth. It's cheaper, and has no learning curve.
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VINE VOICEon March 15, 2012
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
These are well written instructions with plenty of visual aid screenshots to learn the basics of the applications. This is best of all worlds for those who learn in different ways. This really is geared towards the less technically savvy and beginners. Well worth learning the wave of the future.
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