Friday, 19 June 2009

BPOS – SharePoint Online For Everyone

At last I can see daylight after spending most of the week in an IT Basement working at one of Office Talk’s Public Sector Customer Sites. It was just like the Channel Four sitcom ‘The IT Crowd’ with us hidden away from the real world with no mobile phone signal, no windows and unfortunately no air-con (at least the rightguard seemed to do its stuff). When Office Talk are out assisting with SharePoint Projects it is still quite common to find the IT Department living like Wombles underground, but what about companies/organisations who haven’t really got IT Departments (or even IS, ICT or whatever the latest trendy name for the Computer Department is)? Well, there is now a way that they can still enjoy the benefits of SharePoint without the hassles of an IT infrastructure. Microsoft now offers SharePoint Online as part of their BPOS package. Why did they call it BPOS? It could stand for’ Buy Post Office Stamps’, ‘Best Personal Officetalk Service’ (sounds saucy!) or ‘Blackpool Pier Of Shame’ (for all the Hen and Stag weekends), but it actually stands for ‘Business Productivity Online Suite’. Hardly the most appealing of names but for many companies this could be a package that will let them join the SharePoint Bandwagon. If you sign-up to BPOS you can experience all the joys of Windows SharePoint Services (Calendars, Contacts, Document Libraries, an Intranet, Picture/Video Libraries, Surveys, Alerts, Workflow and much more). This is an online system that you pay for with a low monthly fee and requires no server or IT Crowd in the basement. It is ideal for companies with maybe under 50 employees and with the help of a Microsoft Gold Partner like Office Talk you can be fully up and running in just a few days. Best of all you don’t have to even meet anyone from Office Talk (although we are reasonably clean and quite well presented) because we can do all of the work remotely. You can also sign up for online Exchange as well, but as Office Talk are purely SharePoint Specialists we will stick to the SharePoint side. So where do you find out more about this strangely named product? The best way is to have a 30 day free trial. Just click the link below and you can start the trial immediately and then if you like it you can then sign-up and continue to use and obviously develop your demonstration sites. You can become SharePointers and see what the hype really is about. Trial of SharePoint Online If however, you are not really sure what SharePoint is and have reached this blog purely because you typed in ‘Blackpool Stag Weekend’ into Google (or more worryingly ‘Womble Stag Weekends’) then try the link below to see a demonstration of what Windows SharePoint Services does. Windows SharePoint Services Demonstration If this still isn’t for you then click the following link to learn more about Stag weekends in Blackpool For blog readers that already have the joy of SharePoint my SharePoint tip this week is - If you still have documents on shared drives outside of SharePoint then why not add a link to your Quick Launch bar so they open straight up by just entering the full UNC (\\server\sharename). So that’s the end for this week and I didn’t even mention the Villa’s lack of transfer activity. Hopefully Martin will get busy next week. Don’t forget coming soon the Premiership My Team Performance SharePoint Template for 2009/2010.

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