What is it?
Microsoft BPOS (Business Productivity Online Suite) is Microsoft’s SaaS (Software as a Service) offering which offers day-to-day messaging via E-Mail, peer-to-peer audio calls, video conferencing, team collaboration via portals, presence availability via Communicator in the form of tools like Exchange Online, Sharepoint Online, Office Communications Online and Office Live Meeting Online. So its four software services bundled together for your daily business and collaboration requirements for large, medium or budding enterprises. These software services are hosted by an array of data-centers at Microsoft's privy sites.
Check out the comprehensive visual demo of BPOS below.
Why enterprises should look forward to it?
- Large, medium or budding enterprises who don’t want to invest in having on-premise infrastructure for their day-to-day messaging via E-Mail, peer-to-peer audio calls, video conferencing, team collaboration via portals, presence availability via Communicator, etc.
- Enterprises can leverage business rich capabilities without the need to deploy and maintain software and hardware on-premise. These services can meet your needs for user productivity, high availability (Microsoft assures 99.5% and above up-time), security (read here) and 24/7 reliability.
- It’s a subscription or pay-per-use based service which means you can back out from using it as per your own discretion. All your data can be backed up on-premise in that case.
- Having said that, even enterprises having their infrastructure present on-premise can look forward to BPOS when they intend to scale up their hosted applications without investing in infrastructure (including floor space, H/W and S/W), reducing expenditure on maintenance and administration, renewing software licenses, etc.
How should I upgrade to BPOS?
- Don’t have an on-premise infrastructure ready: If you are an enterprise or a start-up firm who doesn’t have an on-premise infrastructure, it’s going to be a fast adoption and a learning curve to look forward. All you have to do is:
- Pen down your requirements from the BPOS suite of tools with the no. of users you wish to have. In future, it won’t be difficult to scale up your requirements/users coz it’s a subscription based service and you pay-per-use.
- Go through the buying options carefully Here and select the right plan.
- Register for the service Here and get familiar with the Administration and User center.
- Register your company domain(mandatory) and get it approved via an E-Mail confirmation.
- Check the Administration center, start and configure all the services you need. Make the necessary settings like adding users, giving the requisite permissions to the user, etc.
- For connecting Microsoft Outlook to your Exchange Online Inbox and other configurations you’ll need Microsoft Online Migration Toolkit.
- On the user side, the Microsoft Online Services Sign-In client can be used which acts as a front-end for BPOS services.
- Have an on-premise infrastructure ready: This case deserves a separate blog post from me as there needs to be a clear strategy which an Architect has to design considering existing infrastructure and its tolerable capacity, critical data, security, co-existence expenditure, etc. A lot of case-studies and best practices exist for this case but one of the best amongst those which I found and which all experts recommend - co-existing your on-premise infrastructure with your cloud based service.
Stay tuned on this blog post as I'll be putting up some relevant links here later.
Try a 30-day evaluation of BPOS Here.
About the pricing?
There exists a separate offering for both new and existing customers and both of them are quite attractive. At the same time, it’s important that you think twice before you enroll your users coz its per-user-per-service pricing per month and not all features which we had in our on-premise set-up are there in BPOS. Check the image below for an idea.
|• Entire BPOS Suite which includes: |
- Exchange Online
- Sharepoint Online
- OCS Online
- Live Meeting Online
|• Exchange Online||5$ user/ month|
|• Sharerepoint Online||5.25$ user/month|
|• Office Comunications Online||2$ user/month|
|• Office Live Meeting Online||4.5$ user/month|
Check this calculator for BPOS cost calculation:
BPOS Success story (over Google Apps in a way)
Some of the biggest names in the Fortune 500 list have started taking to SaaS platform and many more are following.
Check out some customer experiences on BPOS Here.
A wild thought I get while writing this – Microsoft just unleashed a wave which it is set to conquer.