Office 365 For Dummies Cheat Sheet
As with any enterprise software, many different parts and pieces comprise the simple name of Office 365. Getting a handle on all of the moving pieces and jargon can be a challenging task. This guide gives you a quick reference to the products, technologies, concepts, and acronyms that make up the Office 365 landscape.
Working with the Office 365 Suite of Products
The Office 365 service offering from Microsoft encompasses several productivity technologies that have been woven together to provide a seamless solution in the cloud for a modern workplace. Use this reference to quickly get a handle on the four key technologies in Office 365, their purpose, and problems they are designed to solve.
|SharePoint Online||The online version of SharePoint is a server technology designed to drive collaboration and communication in the workplace through its real-time coauthoring capabilities on documents stored in libraries. It also is a content management system (CMS) that helps streamline the process for creating and maintaining intranets and websites.|
|Exchange Online||Exchange, Microsoft’s email server technology, is designed to securely manage enterprise emails, calendars, contacts, and tasks. Exchange Online simplifies the management and administration of this technology, as the heavy lifting associated with servers now is handled by Microsoft. This service allows users to synchronize their email, calendar, contacts, and tasks across many devices, as well as access web-based email where an Internet connection is available, without complicated corporate virtual private connections.|
|Skype for Business||Skype for Business is the enterprise version of Skype, the popular consumer solution for communication and conferencing. It offers robust capabilities for instant messaging, scheduled and ad-hoc meetings, web conferencing, and even live broadcasting over the Internet. With Skype for Business, you can conduct online meetings while employing functionalities useful in a business setting, such as screen sharing, white board sessions, shared notes, and meeting recording. Meeting participants without Office 365 subscriptions can attend meetings through a web browser after installing a plug-in.|
|Office Professional Plus||Office Professional Plus is the bundled collection of productivity applications used by over a billion information workers around the world. It includes Word for word processing, Excel for spreadsheets, PowerPoint for presentations, Outlook for emails, OneNote for digital notetaking, and Publisher for desktop publishing.|
Understanding Key Components of SharePoint Online
SharePoint Online contains a massive amount of functionality. The terms and acronyms can be daunting. Use this reference to quickly understand the components of Microsoft SharePoint.
|Site collection||A SharePoint site collection is a top-level site or parent site that contains other sub-sites. Each site collection maintains its own security settings. Customizations made in a site collection are not available to other site collections. The site collection administrator has oversight of the entire site collection, including the sub-sites below it.|
|Sites or sub-sites||Sites or sub-sites are child sites within a site collection. By default, they can inherit permission settings from the site collection, but the site owner can choose to stop inheriting those permissions. Sites can be customized with a unique look and feel from other sites within the site collection.|
|Lists||A SharePoint list is simply a list of data, much like an Excel spreadsheet. It has rows and columns to organize, filter, and sort data. For example, a registration form for an event, can be captured in a SharePoint list. Its advantage over a spreadsheet is that a form can be presented to the user, making data easy to capture.|
|Document libraries||A document library is a mechanism to store content within SharePoint Online and OneDrive for Business. It’s essentially a SharePoint list, but designed to store documents. It enables document collaboration with real-time co-authoring functionalities, eliminating the need for storing multiple versions of the same document.|
|Wiki pages||A wiki page is a specialized page within a library in SharePoint that allows users to collaborate and contribute content to the page. As the name implies (wiki means “quick” in Hawaiian), content can be updated on the fly, and you can add pictures, text formatting, hyperlinks, and more. Wikis can be scaled for use by a small project team using wiki pages, implemented for the entire organization through a wiki site.|
|Blogs||Blogs in SharePoint simply are sites that contain lists and libraries. SharePoint blogs function the same way any blog on the Internet functions to communicate ideas and information. A SharePoint blog can inherit the permissions from the parent site, thereby streamlining the management of users who have access to a blog.|
|Discussion boards||A discussion board allows for online discussion throughout the organization. It provides a forum for people to engage in a dialogue where they can post questions and replies that can be viewed throughout the organization. While both blogs and discussion boards can serve as a platform for communication, the main difference is that a blog is built on a SharePoint site structure, while a discussion board simply is a SharePoint list.|
Understanding Key Components of Exchange Online
The underlying technology that powers business-class messaging (email, calendar, contacts, and tasks) in Microsoft Outlook or its cloud cousin, Outlook Online, is Exchange Online. However, as one of the services in Office 365, Exchange Online delivers more than just messaging. It enables message policies and compliance, encryption, spam and malware protection, and a host of capabilities for workplace productivity. Use this reference to quickly understand the most common business-class messaging features of Exchange Online.
|In the business world, email dominates as the primary means of communication. Email in Exchange Online allows you to sync your messages across multiple devices; when you reply to an email from your mobile device, you see the same reply on your desktop application.|
|Calendar||A calendar in Exchange Online not only allows you to store appointments and set up meetings, but it also displays “free/busy” information for people in your organization. Setting up meetings becomes less cumbersome since the “free/busy” information shows the availability of the meeting participants.|
|Contacts||Having a place to store all of your contacts is critical in today’s connected world. With Exchange Online, company contacts are stored in the Global Address List (GAL). The GAL allows you to access, directly from the Outlook desktop application or from Outlook Online, information about people such as organizational hierarchy, availability, and even email statistics of your interaction with them.|
|Tasks||In today’s “always on” world, it’s easy to get distracted and end up doing many things without accomplishing much at the end of the day. Tasks in Outlook allow you manage your To Dos, set flags and reminders, define categories, and even assign a task to someone else and track its status. Just like the other features in Outlook, tasks can be synced to multiple devices and integrate with native task applications for mobile devices.|
Understanding Key Components of Skype for Business
You can use Skype for Business to communicate and collaborate in many different ways. Skype for Business’s instant message feature is a great tool for real-time discussions instead of trading emails back and forth. You can also conduct an ad-hoc meeting with people around the world, complete with recording, polling, screen sharing, and whiteboard capabilities. Use this reference to gain an understanding of the components of Skype for Business.
|Meetings||Conduct scheduled and impromptu meetings and web conferencing from the comfort of your home or office with Skype for Business. During the meeting, you can share either your entire desktop or individual applications to enhance your collaboration. Add interaction to your meeting with a virtual whiteboard; participants can draw, type text, and highlight content. If needed, you can also record the meeting. Skype for Business meeting functionality is integrated tightly with Exchange Online. Setting up a meeting in Outlook with a Skype for Business link only requires a few mouse clicks.|
|Messaging||Instant messaging (IM) in Skype for Business is a great way for information workers to stay connected and conduct real-time discussions. IM text in Skype for Business is encrypted and secure, so it’s an ideal solution for maintaining privacy and security in the enterprise.|
|Voice||With the right plan, Skype for Business can come with enterprise voice capabilities that enable both Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) calling and dial-in conferencing. Users of the service can have a phone number assigned to them, make and receive phone calls from people outside of the organization, have a voice mailbox, and have voicemails transcribed and delivered to the user’s Outlook inbox.|
|Video||For an almost face-to-face meeting experience, use the video capabilities in Skype for Business. Sharing videos during a meeting enhances interaction and minimizes the risk of missing social cues during a conversation. High-definition webcams are available at very low prices, so video sharing in Skype for Business can be a good alternative for in-person meetings that require travel.|
Understanding Key Components of Office Professional Plus
Microsoft Office Professional Plus includes a number of productivity applications that are installed on a user’s computer using the click-to-run technology in Office 365. Installation is fast and simple. When the applications are ready for use, the updates are deployed in the background so users always have access to the latest version of the Office applications. Use this reference to understand the uses for the applications available in Office Professional Plus.
|Word||Commonly used for word processing such as creating and editing documents.|
|Excel||A spreadsheet application used for data analysis and numeric manipulation.|
|PowerPoint||A presentation application ideal for communicating concepts and ideas, sales presentations, and more.|
|Outlook||An application used for email, contacts, tasks, and calendars. Its calendaring features include scheduling meetings (with Skype for Business integration), reserving meeting rooms and other resources, and visibility to free/busy information.|
|OneNote||An application used for digitally capturing and organizing notes.|
|Publisher||An application used for desktop publishing. You can create and share brochures, newsletters, postcards, greeting cards, business cards, and more. It comes with great looking templates, so you can quickly get started without prior desktop publishing experience.|
|Access||A database application used to collect, store, manipulate, and report on data.|
|InfoPath||An application designed to create nifty and useful forms that are used to collect data from people.|
|Skype for Business||When you need to connect with other people at work, Skype for Business is the tool for you. Such features as instant messaging, web conferencing, screen sharing, polling, and whiteboards enhance productivity.|