SPC14: Office 365 is now a $1.5B business with 60% of the Fortune 500 in there

SPC14: Office 365 is now a $1.5B business with 60% of the Fortune 500 in there

As Jared Spataro noted at the SharePoint Conference 2014 (#SPC14) Office 365 is now a $1.5B business with 60% of the Fortune 500 in there, the fastest growing Microsoft product ever. And there will be more, like OneDrive for Business as a standalone edition, Office Online for private users, Office Graph (a new social API), Oslo (a new social app based on Office Graph), Groups and new APIs to make integration more easy. SPC14-SharePoint-Office-365-jared-spataro OneDrive Standalone Edition OneDrive (formerly known as SkyDrive) is already a part of the Office 365 suite or more detailed of SharePoint Online, presented as a value-added addition to the core application suite. But beginning 2014 April 1, Microsoft will turn that offer on its head: A standalone service will charge for OneDrive itself, and bundle it with the free Office Online suite of Web apps that Microsoft previously introduced. Specifically, from April through September, Microsoft will charge only $2.50 per user per month, a 50 percent discount. For businesses with existing Software Advantage or Office 365 ProPlus agreements the price will only be $1.50 per user per month, Julia White, the general manager of Office, said in a blog post. Each employee will receive 25 GB of online OneDrive storage as part of the plan. “Not only is OneDrive for Business a simple and intuitive file sync and storage solution for employees, it’s a trusted service that provides enterprise-grade content management, compliance, and administrative controls, and it is financially backed by the industry-leading Office 365 Service Level Agreement,” White wrote. Looks like Microsoft breaks its rather complex document management offerings in SharePoint into more flexible, valuable pieces now, using Azure-based services. We have seen the same for lists with the Access Services, that now are hosted in SQL Azure. Office Graph Office Graph is one of the new features Microsoft is highlighting at the SharePoint Conference 2014. It’s a tool and API that allows to create maps of people based on the content that they like, share, comment on or submit. This is an extension of the existing social graph within Yammer and basically allows you to map users based on their activities. Using some kind of search it can extend across Office, providing a unified way to see users in relation to the context of the data they actively work on. Oslo A new app with the codename Oslo is based on the Office Graph API. It is a way to pull together the information from the Office Graph in a way that pushes relevant data to users simlar to a newspaper, e.g. paper.li. Oslo will recognize users, what they are doing and the people with whom they should be connect. It’s a way to push data to users that was once only discoverable through search. While it hasn’t been officially released yet, Microsoft provided several demos and screenshots that show the promise of what is to come. Groups The new Groups essentially expand the idea of Public Groups from Yammer throughout Office 365. This feature is a way to bring people, profiles, conversations, email, calendars and files together across Office 365. It will allow users to create a single group that can be accessed and referenced in multiple locations. This means users can provision a group anywhere in Office 365 with the knowledge that the components required for that team will be configured across the entire environment. The Group Experience seems like a great way for teams to use the best features available across all products and features of Office 365. New simplified Office API Microsoft announced new development tools and updates that make it easier to build apps for Office 365. Most notably, Microsoft is providing a complete new set of Office 365 APIs that lets developers build their apps in “in a simple, RESTful way,” according to Arpan Shah, senior director of Office 365 technical product management. In particular, the Office 365 APIs expose the Calendar, People, Mail, and File Office 365 APIs, which makes it so that users “won’t have to develop against SharePoint and Exchange-specific APIs; you will be able to develop against a consolidated Office 365 API set that spans SharePoint, Exchange, Lync, and Azure AD,” Shah explained. Layer2 will make use of this newly announced API in the Layer2 Cloud Connector for Office 365, the “Swiss-Army Knife” of Office 365 data integration as soon as it is fully available. As OneDrive, the Cloud Connector offers Office 365 and SharePoint Online external data integration by synchronization – not only for files but for lists as well, e.g. to sync ERP/CRM or database queries with native SharePoint lists. While with SharePoint out-of-the-box Business Connectivity Services (BCS) external data is surfaced only in SharePoint, the Layer2 connector offers seamless integration, with all native list features completely available.

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