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Archive for November, 2011

Office 365 Technical Update

I attended a great technical session today on Office 365 (http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/office365). Great in sense as I learnt a whole lot from this soon to be new offering in South Africa but not so great from a BI perspective. Here are some of my notes:

  • There will be no Performance Point, Reporting Services or PowerPivot in SharePoint Online. Excel, Visio and MS Access Services will be there but they can only connect to a data source via Business Connectivity Services. PowerPivot is targeted for release in FY12.
  • Existing Enterprise Agreements require a user to have a license for each device on which they want to use MS Office. Office Professional Plus (Office 365 offering) will allow a user to use the same license on up to 5 devices.
  • It is possible to synchronise your local Active Directory with the Office 365 one.
  • Office Web Apps will be utilised if the Office Professional Plus offering is not taken.
  • SQL 2012 features such as Power View, will only be considered a year after the official release of SQL 2012.
  • Windows Intune and CRM Online are not yet ready for the South African market.
  • The primary Microsoft Data Centre is hosted in Dublin, while the failover one is hosted in Amsterdam.
  • Due to all the cloud service offerings, one will need to consider the data cost when looking at Office 365. One may need to include the customer’s ISP during the discussions.
  • Some organisations may not want to store their data in another country. Fact is there is no law prohibiting South Africa organisations from storing their data elsewhere.
  • Project Server is not supported in Office 365.
  • An Office 365 Trial will be available in the next few weeks. One will be able to buy licenses within the first 3 months of 2012.
  • Standard and Enterprise versions of Exchange and SharePoint are not available in Office 365. The Office 365 Plans will determine which services are available in the specific product.
  • There are no out-of-the-box capabilities to migrate on-premise SharePoint sites to Office 365. Some ISVs do offer this service by wrapping the List Service.
  • The maximum size of a SharePoint Online implementation is 5TB. There is currently support for up to 20k users, but this will be increased to 100k next year.

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