Come together, right now, over Microsoft Office 365

by Tom Vorves tom4When words and music come together, it's amazing. When the right people and effort come together, this too can be an amazing thing to be a part of.

Collaboration: "To work together toward a common goal.”

Microsoft Office 365 has a collection of collaboration tools that enable a band of people to come together and work on the same document, at the same time. If this is well orchestrated, your team's next PowerPoint presentation could be worked up, proofed and finalized by a group without ever having more than one copy of the document. You can even use Microsoft Lync to chat (or talk) while you collaborate on this document.

"Now that's what friends are for."

Perhaps you need some help with proper wording on that proposal or maybe some spreadsheet formulas are perplexing you. Get on Microsoft Lync, take a look at the 'Presence Indicator' to see who is available, type an instant message and give control of your screen to anyone in your organization instantly. No need to setup a webinar, just a couple clicks and you are in a meeting with as many people as you need, sharing screens, information and love. Now that's what friends are for.

The Age of Collaboration

Business is looking for ways to boost collective performance by enabling employees to access the same pool of information and documents at the same time. Networks of computers and disk drives have turned into a truckload of devices and storage options. Smart phones, tablets, laptops, desktops (I remember those), hard disks, flash drives, email attachments (the worst thing ever) and cloud storage are everywhere, and so are we. We need something to help pull this all together and make it useful and collaborative. That something is Microsoft Office 365 and all the great tools it comes with.

It is true, cloud computing is here to stay. Storing information in a common, easy to access arena, the 'Cloud' has matured. Many of us are using the Cloud to keep our documents handy wherever we are for whenever we need them. But this is simply the beginning. Now that cloud storage is common place, the next step is to use this common storage area together, with each other, now. This is the dawning of the age of collaboration.

The days of sending email with endless attachments and updates are numbered. Do you want to be on the leading edge of collaboration, or left behind with the sad folk who still think floppy disks are all the rage? Many of us would love to get involved in the whole new world of collaborative computing, but do not have a wallet the size of Paul or Ringo. We feel we cannot justify the cost of buying Microsoft Office.

To Buy or Not to Buy

It's time you take a look at Microsoft's subscription software (renting) instead of purchasing. For just a few dollars per month you can have Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Lync, SkyDrive (for storage and sharing), Access, OneNote and Publisher. Or if your company is buying Office 365 for its employees, all the better, the boss is buying!

How about free? Microsoft's free email service has three names:,,, all of which are now the same email service. With this free email service you get Microsoft Office Web Apps. Web Apps allow you to create and edit Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote files from within a web browser. You don't even need a subscription for this option! Sure the Web App tools are not as option rich as the Office Suite of Applications (that's why they're sweet), but for many of us these Web Apps are all we really need. So it would be a great idea for you home computer guys and gals to get a free Microsoft email address and check this Microsoft feature out.

When you log in to your free, or email (not Microsoft Office Outlook), click on the down arrow on the upper left side next to the Outlook logo and select SkyDrive. Then click on the Create button and you can now create Office documents for free.











Go to and learn more about the Office 365 subscription options. An Office 365 subscription is currently only $6 a month for business users and $9.99 a month for home users. You can install Microsoft Office on up to five devices and have access to SkyDrive to store and share all your documents.



Tom Vorves has been in the software training business for 25 years and was named Learn iT!’s Instructor of the Year 12 times! He is ranked #1 instructor for SharePoint Site Administrator classes in California and is the lead instructor for local, national and worldwide Microsoft Office migrations. Tom is ITIL Foundation Certified.