Office 365 and Collaboration

Office 365 is all about collaboration, bringing a modern set of tools to the workforce so everyone can get their best work done. Here is what you need to know about Office 365 collaboration, what it means, how it works and some tips too.

What is Office 365
When people refer to Office 365, most people think of a cloud based version of the Office Suite (i.e Outlook, Word,Excel etc).  Whilst this is a key fundamental aspect, this is just one of the services provided.  Office 365 is a subscription based service provided by Microsoft to encompass cloud-based and some non-cloud based services all within one area.  Office 365 hosts a wide range of services ranging from Email hosting (Microsoft Exchange Online), document management storage and sharing functionality (Microsoft SharePoint Online),  file hosting and synchronisation (OneDrive), communications platform combining workplace chat, video meetings, file storage and application integration (Microsoft Teams),  there are also some more advanced platforms such as Customer Relationship Management (CRM Dynamics) as well as business analytics and integration providing complex reporting (PowerBi).  Depending on the functionality required for your business, you may choose a subscription type which contains the functionality required. 

The good news is that if some users require a higher (or lower) subscription type then you can mix subscriptions too, which vary in price and functionality and entail discounted prices based upon the business sector (i.e Non Profit, Charity, Government, Education etc) which provides for an integrated experiences of apps and services. 

Benefits of using Office 365
Office 365 is brimming with features, here is our pick of top Office 365 features for collaboration:

– Allows for users to Create, Edit and Share for your PC, Mac, iOS, Android and Windows device
– Work anywhere (subject to subscription type)
– Installation on up to 5 devices per user (subject to subscription type)
– Provides Scalability and you can choose different subscriptions based upon business needs
– Collaboration in Real Time
– Receive the latest version releases at no additional cost
– Reduce Server hardware and running costs by no longer requiring dedicated servers for Microsoft Exchange (subscription must include Exchange)
– Advanced Security Features
– Share data with peers securely
– Share Calendars
– Reduces Capital spend
– Guaranteed 99.9% uptime with a financially backed SLA

Office 365 suite applications with sharing functionality

Problems with Office 365
There can be concerns about Office 365, especially when first looking at the cloud and potential pitfalls, which we’ve compiled below.

  • It is unknown if or how much by an annual subscription cost may go up from year to year
  • If there is an outage or an issue with service you are dependent on Microsoft fixing it (in-house IT has no control over when/how it will be fixed)
  • Performance issues are out of your control
  • No direct lines to departments raise issues via website or Email
  • Status updates are difficult to obtain with progress on problems
  • You have no say in backend changes (Security/Updates/configuration)

Office 365 Collaboration
Office 365 have built in the functionality to collaboration data files with multiple people at the same time providing a real-time experience. Gone are the days of having lost or duplicated data whereby multiple users work on the same file at the same time overwriting other peers work, or saving the file multiple times and nobody knowing which file is now the current most upto date version. With real-time collaboration of not only Word documents, Excel Spreadsheets and PowerPoint presentations files, they can now be shared within OneDrive or SharePoint Online and seamlessly edit together. When wanting to work this way, so long as the file has been shared with you and you have edit permissions, Emailing attachments with multiple versions or needing to encrypt an Email containing a confidential file is now no longer required . You and your team can now confidently know that you do have the most up-to-date version of the file in question.

SharePoint sites brings together news, documents and other collaboration options

This is particularly helpful for Project workers, contractors or departments who all regularly need access to the same data and don’t close the file when finished, or if you are on the go and quickly need to see something from a mobile device or tablet.

How to configure Office 365
You must sign-up for an Office 365 Tenant before you can start using any of the services provided by Microsoft Office 365.  Configuring your Tenant generally involves a number of stages:
1. Configuring Cloud Admin Account(s) and roles
2. Setting up and proving ownership of any Domains which you wish to link with your Office 365 Tenant
3. Deciding if you want to integrate Office 365 with an on-premise Active Directory and sync (AD Sync) or if all of your users will be cloud based users
4. Adding all your users and groups
5. Purchasing subscription(s) and assigning
6. Configuring other services (Email, SharePoint, Teams, Yammer etc)

Subscription overview:
Below is a comparison chart of the main Office 365 subscriptions,

 Subscription TypeOutlookWordExcelPowerPointAccessPublisherExchangeOneDriveSharePointTeamsYammerStreamPowerBiMaximum number of users
Office 365 ProPlusUnlimited
Office 365 E1Unlimited
Office 365 E3Unlimited
Office 365 E5Unlimited
Office 365 Business300
Office 365 Business Premium300
Office 365 Business Essentials300
Office 365 A1 (for students)Unlimited
Office 365 A1 (for faculty and staff)Unlimited
Office 365 A3 (for students)Unlimited
Office 365 A3 (for faculty and staff)Unlimited
Office 365 A5 (for students)Unlimited
Office 365 A5 (for faculty and staff)Unlimited
Office 365 Government G1Unlimited
Office 365 Government G3Unlimited
Office 365 Government G5Unlimited
Office 365 Nonprofit Business Essentials300
Office 365 Nonprofit Business Premium300
Office 365 Nonprofit E1Unlimited
Office 365 Nonprofit E3Unlimited
Office 365 Nonprofit E5Unlimited

When working with clients, we often encounter the questions below, which we have bought together in one Office 365 FAQ:

Who manages my Office 365 Tenant?

By default, the person who creates an Office 365 Tenant is in charge.  They will have the logon details and be familiar with who has access/type of access.  Should you require someone to manage it on your behalf, such as the licensing, users, groups, Exchange Online, SharePoint Online, Teams etc on your behalf, Proxar IT Consulting can do this for you – please contact us for more information

Does my Office 365 Tenant Expire?

Your Tenant doesn’t expire but subscriptions associated with your Tenant are typically annual which will need to be renewed

Can I choose multiple different Office 365 Subscriptions?
Yes, you can mix and match Office 365 subscriptions.
NOTE: Some subscriptions have maximum number of users limitations (e.g Office 365 Business, Business Essentials, and Business Premium plans each have a limit of 300 users, while the Enterprise plans are for an unlimited number of users. For example, you can purchase 300 Business Premium seats, 300 Business Essentials seats, and 500 Enterprise E3 seats on a single tenant).

What is Microsoft Office 365 uptime Guarantee?

Microsoft provide a 99.9% uptime guarantee which is financially backed

What is an Office 365 Tenant?

An Office 365 Tenant acts as your business account container whereby you must sign-up for a free account.  During the sign-up you must complete a basic registration with the key point being choosing a business name for your Tenant.  The Tenant takes on the naming convention of “” (e.g  If the Tenant Name already exists you must choose an alternative name.  You can manage your users, groups, Roles, Resources, Billing and subscriptions, Domains, Reports, as well as Email, SharePoint, Teams,  Flow, OneDrive, Microsoft Search, PowerApps, Dynamics 365, Yammer and also Azure Active Directory.

What happens if I forget my password?

You will need to contact Microsoft who should be able to assist you with resetting your account – you will need to prove ownership which Microsoft will talk you through which can take a number of days before access is granted again

What Subscription do I need?

his depends completely on your business requirements – Proxar IT Consulting are CSPs (Cloud Solution Providers) which means we can manage your Office 365 Tenant for you as well as Licensing.  Please contact us for more information

How do I share a file?

Method 1: From within the file
1a. Open the file you wish to share
1b. Go to the top right of your screen and click “Share” or Click on File and click Share
1c. On the Send Link popup, click on the top box “People in ……. With the link can edit” to review/amend the Link Settings
1d. Amend any settings which may be required then click Apply
1e. Type in the person/people who you want to share the file with, then press Enter
1f. Click Send

Method 2: From File Explorer
2a. Open File Explorer and browse the path where the file is which you wish to share
2b. Right click on the file and click Share

How to Share a file or folder for OneDrive within File Explorer
How to Share an Office 365 file (Word, Excel, Powerpoint) within the application
How to share a file within Office 365
Send Link for Sharing a file

2c. On the Send Link popup, click on the top box “People in ……. With the link can edit” to review/amend the Link Settings
2d. Amend any settings which may be required then click Apply
2e. Type in the person/people who you want to share the file with, then press Enter
2f. Click Send

Method 3: From the web

3a. Open a webbrowser and sign into your OneDrive or SharePoint site and browse to the location of where your file is
3b. Click on the 3 dots and click Share
3c. On the Send Link popup, click on the top box “People in ……. With the link can edit” to review/amend the Link Settings
3d. Amend any settings which may be required then click Apply
3e. Type in the person/people who you want to share the file with, then press Enter
3f. Click Send

Office 365 – your collaboration hub

Office 365 brings together everything you need to communicate and collaborate whether you have 5 or 5,000 staff. Office 365 is more than email, it’s SharePoint for group document collaboration, Microsoft Teams for enterprise chat and voice features, OneDrive for personal work document storage, and more besides.

For more information please contact us