Mobile Access to Enterprise Data with Office 365 - dummies

Mobile Access to Enterprise Data with Office 365

By Ken Withee, Jennifer Reed

With Office 365, you can finally access your data from anywhere by using your smartphone. Microsoft is taking anywhere access a step farther by integrating the new Windows Phone 7 with Office 365 with negligible configuration.

In the distant past (perhaps a few years ago in technology time), you most likely had to be at your desk in order to access your enterprise data. If you had an important Word document or needed a PowerPoint, then you had to go into your office and copy it to a Flash drive or use a connection, such as Virtual Private Network (VPN) in order to connect remotely.

Being tied to your desk in this manner created a lot of frustration and inefficiency. Companies, such as Go To My PC, flourished by providing remote access to the computer in your office from a remote computer.

And then, all of a sudden, smartphones appeared. Everyone quickly become accustomed to having a small computer with them in their pocket at all times. Need some information from the Internet? Need to check movie times? Need to browse a website or catch up on the latest news? All you need to do is pull out your smart phone.

The only problem was that the corporate environment did not move as quickly as the consumer market, so a gap emerged. Yes, you had the Internet in your pocket, but you still couldn’t connect to your corporate network or access your enterprise data.

Now, for the first time, you can click a button on your phone and instantly browse your enterprise data in SharePoint, respond to corporate e-mail, see your calendars, book appointments, and pretty much do almost everything you would do at your desk. Only now you can do it from anywhere you have cellphone reception. You can access SharePoint by clicking the Office button on your Windows Phone.

You don’t need a Windows Phone in order to integrate with Office 365. Windows Phone provides the richest integration, but you can integrate with your enterprise e-mail, calendar, and contacts from just about any smartphone device.