Deeper Into the MS Cloud

Since writing a piece on my interest in Microsoft’s new cloud offerings, I’ve been spending lots of down-time learning Office 365 (SharePoint Online, Exchange Online and Lync) and MS Dynamics CRM. I’m fine with open source and Salesforce projects, but they don’t motivate me to stay up late investigating something like an integration scenario as Dynamics has been. I’m really into it – exploring how non-profits, professional services, events management, real estate management, plumbing company, and call centers Dynamics solutions work. MS plans to add Intune and CRM to the Office 365 plans in the next 6 months.

Infrastructure Planning – Simplify, Automate, and then Integrate

In March I wrote up: Quick Set Up of Fledgling Biz IT which described the quick brochure-ware site I put up with/for a client. That client and I have been meeting since then to work out his business plan and strategy. Yesterday, I presented a back office infrastructure plan which included everything from who he will use to buy domains, to his webcasting method, to how his accounting will connect to his Customer Relations Management system. Most of the services are cloud-based and billed monthly. Continue reading “Infrastructure Planning – Simplify, Automate, and then Integrate”

Using HubSpot and Office 365

I’m finally signing up a customer/partner with my brother’s (now huge) company HubSpot.com and with Microsoft’s Office 365. We’re going to be linking up MS Dynamics CRM and integrating quite a few services into this new site. You’d think that customer would be run by younger folks but no; this is a company run by a guy around 60 who sees the social media marketing light. I’ve always been a fan of HubSpot’s Inbound Marketing program but have never implemented it until now.

Also, MS Office 365 is launching tomorrow. I’ve been studying and testing this service for months and hope it takes off. It’s essentially all the technology  infrastructure a company needs – offered as a cloud service with a monthly fee per-user payment model. (If you bring on temporary summer or holiday employees, you can pay for a $2 to $24 subscription to onboard each employee for only a month or two.)  I love adding arrows to my quiver.

Started Testing Office 365, Small Business Server….

I admit it; I’m a Microsoft Office Live Small Business fan. It’s like a Version 1 or V1.5 product, BPOS is like Version 2, and Office 365 is like V3. People often say that you should expect Microsoft to have a product down by V3. Office 365 has similar functionality to Office Live Small Business in the Office 365 Small Business edition but with a different interface. Yes, Office Live Small Business has SharePoint Online and Exchange Online functionality – even if no one used it. Continue reading “Started Testing Office 365, Small Business Server….”

Office 365, Intune, and Dynamics CRM Online

Free software isn’t always cheaper in the end.  I’m dealing with a horrible cluster of open source software on one project; we barely get anything done with all the time we spend trying to figure how the software works. My recent web projects have been in Drupal, WordPress, Joomla, and with Microsoft tools. I’ve even been playing with Tumblr and Squarespace. But (and this is hard to admit) Microsoft’s new “cloud offerings” have me going to trainings and up nights studying. Continue reading “Office 365, Intune, and Dynamics CRM Online”