Your Mac, Office 365 and OneDrive Business

It’s odd to think that a Microsoft product such Office 365 would work nicely with your Mac but in my case it certainly does. Office 365 is a relatively new product. It’s about a year old. It’s finding it’s niche really but it’s niche is going to be quite broad. It’s an ideal product for a small, if even a one man firm, to that of a medium sized business. It brings to the table Enterprise class capability for such businesses that at no time would have been able to access them. It does this in a cost effective manner also. It is actually a very reasonable product price wise for all that you get.

Hosted e-mail

One of the first things that took me to Microsoft is that I needed hosted email for my web business domain. Although I could have built my web site on my Office 365 system, at the time it was way too new for that. Nobody knew how to do Sharepoint web development. All the developers steered me to WordPress and that was more than fine.

However, there came a day that I wanted my email hosted on my business domain. For some reason I thought of Microsoft and that’s what led me to Microsoft. I ended purchasing Microsoft Office 365 Small Business Premium and sure enough they were able to host my email which now uses my business domain.

A Moment of Trepidation

In the beginning, I wasn’t sure about my decision to buy Office 365. Dealing with Microsoft support was rather chaotic. A bottle of Tylenol was needed at your side to get through a support call.

This is by no means any longer the case. Support from Microsoft is superb and the support people bend over backwards to ensure that you’re happy. I knew 365 was a new service when I took it, I just didn’t realize how new it was. With time, support has sorted out and a support experience is both educational and it gets the job done. As time passes, I realize there are many things that 365 can do for me and I have moved beyond what I originally went there for.

Exchange Solely syncs all my Devices

The first thing I employed extensively from my Office 365 system was Exchange but not just for email but for sync of all my devices. I do not use iCloud for anything now. There’s is no problem with iCloud. It’s just I have 365 and solely take advantage of that.

Exchange does my business email and syncs my Mac with my iPad and iPhone. It’s flawless. Everything is always in sync and properly in sync. There are no duplicates of any kind and I never think of this now. Thus far, I would say I’m getting great traction from my 365 system.

OneDrive Business

Formerly Skydrive Pro it has been rebranded OneDrive business. When I was was operating singly, it really hadn’t grabbed my attention. I was a touch confused about it and OneDrive, the consumer level product. When you’re more than one, or even possibly as just a single operator of a small business, OneDrive Business is in some ways the glue of the operation.

OneDrive Business is much more than Onedrive as it is integrally integrated with Sharepoint. It allows you, in a very controlled fashion, to have a document library of 25 gigs storage. If there are two people, you would buy a license for the second who would then have their own 25 gig storage space. The system allows you to easily manage your documents in the cloud and transfer those documents to another. Rather than using email, where multiple versions could get confusing, using OneDrive Business avoids that enhancing productivity dramatically.

If you’re a Windows user it is heavily integrated into Microsoft Office applications where they would open to a file associated with them. However, even if you don’t have the Office suite, you do have Office Cloud based apps. These are amazing in the power they deliver through the cloud.

Mac Integration is Coming

Although Office 2011 for the Mac is not currently heavily integrated as is it’s Windows counterpart that is coming according to Microsoft. My understanding is they are hard at work on this which when delivered will be exceptional. The Mac, in no way, should play underdog. We pay equally for the service which is marketed to Mac users. Further, there are many small business operations based on the Mac that could really benefit from this service.

A System with Breadth

I’ve touched the surface of Office 365 in this article, the value of OneDrive Business and the benefits to the Mac user which are many. Mac users may not appreciate this yet but if you’re a small business the benefits of the system slowly start revealing themselves to you. The breadth of the system also becomes more apparent and if Mac integration is pursued by Microsoft more fully, which I suspect it will be then likely this might be your business solution of choice.

At the consumer level there are certainly advantages with Office 365 Home Premium but the scope of this article isn’t intended to address that. What I’d like to do though is keep you up to date with the development of Office 365 and explore more of that which is there. In a number of articles including “Getting the Most from Office 365” and “Microsoft Outlook for the Mac” I’ve addressed some aspects of Office 365. I plan on continuing to do this.

Whole books have been written about Office 365 including “Office 365 For Dummies” which cover the broad scope of the service offering. In articles, though, one can address specific or general interests more clearly but these books certainly help in wrapping your mind around the product. For me, I initially thought what have I gotten myself into. Now, with some time, I know I have the ideal product to meet my needs. Do I use other products in my workflow that are solely Mac enabled. Most certainly such as DEVONthink and OmniFocus. However, Office 365 OneDrive Business meets a completely different need ideally and now I know I’ve chosen the right solution for my business cloud computing needs.

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