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July 23 2012

Three Reasons You Should Switch to Office 365

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Office 2013 will soon be here, along with a new and improved version of the cloud-based Office 365. If you’re looking to upgrade, you have to decide whether the traditional desktop version of Office is the way to go, or if Office 365 is a better fit for your needs.

Office 2013 is impressive, but Office 365 is a better value in most cases.

1. Cost
Microsoft hasn’t yet shared what the price tag will be for the new Office 2013. But, unless it follows the same bold path laid out in offering Windows 8 for a mere $40, history suggests the new productivity suite will start somewhere in the $150 neighborhood.

Office 365 plans start at $4 per month. Small businesses can get access to Exchange, SharePoint, and Lync in addition to the core Office productivity applications for only $6 per month. Larger businesses that want to take advantage of Active Directory integration can do so for $8 per user per month.

Breaking those down, it takes more than three years to reach $150 based on the $4 per month plan, and more than 18 months under the $8 per month plan. The 18 months is less time than a business typically gets out of an investment in the desktop Office software, but it also comes with more than the software itself.

Of course, those are the current subscription prices and plans for Office 365, so those figures are subject to change as well.

2. Updates and Maintenance
What else do you get with your Office 365 subscription? An IT department. Sure, you can set up your own Exchange Server, SharePoint Server, and Lync infrastructure. You can manage and maintain the desktop Microsoft Office software, and install the patches and updates every month yourself. How much will that cost?

Consider that implementing the same capabilities in-house requires servers, and network infrastructure, and IT personnel to install, manage, update, and maintain it all. Plus, you still have to buy and maintain the Office software itself.

With Office 365, Microsoft takes care of all the dirty work so you don’t have to. Updates, patches, and upgrades just happen in the background without you needing to worry about it. When the server crashes, its Microsoft’s problem. When a hard drive needs to be replaced, Microsoft will handle it. You get the benefits of using Office without any of the headaches of updating and maintaining it all.

3. Accessibility
Office 365 lives in the cloud. That means you have access to Word, Excel, Outlook, and other Microsoft Office tools from anywhere you can get a Web connection, and from virtually any device–Windows or Mac desktops and laptops, Android devices, iPhones, iPads, and other smartphones and tablets.

Office Web Apps provide basic features and functions for free.This isn’t quite the selling point it once was for a couple reasons. First, even with the desktop Office 2013 suite Microsoft is pushing users to save files to the cloud-based SkyDrive, or to a SharePoint server by default. So, there’s no reason the data can’t be accessible regardless of whether you choose Office 2013 or Office 365.

The second reason it may not be all that compelling is that Office Web Apps are already available for free from the SkyDrive site. So, even without Office 365 users can create, view, and edit Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote files from the Web.

For businesses, though, SharePoint, Active Directory, and other elements of Office 365 that go beyond simply creating and editing Office documents still make Office 365 a better value.

Your mileage will vary of course. There are a number of factors involved in calculating the cost of purchasing, installing, configuring, updating, and maintaining Microsoft Office and the accompanying back-end services versus the ongoing subscription costs associated with Office 365. Office 365 is a solid service providing tremendous bang for the buck, though, so it won’t be easy to beat the value it brings to the table.

July 18 2012

Can’t wait for Office 2013? Try it now for free!

Office 2013 Customer Preview Installation Steps

The Customer Preview of Office 2013 can be installed in just a few minutes and co-exists side-by-side with an existing version of Office, so there’s no need to uninstall your existing Office. You will need either Windows 7 or Windows 8 as your installed operating system to get started. The final version of Office 2013 will be able to be deployed via the Office 365 cloud or traditional enterprise software deployment methods, but the Customer Preview steps below are designed to install from the cloud to make it quick and easy to get started with testing.

NOTE: Microsoft Office Professional Plus 2013 Preview is also available for download using a traditional MSI-based installation package. Please note the traditional installation does not support fast cloud-based streaming of the installation or side-by-side operation with older versions of Office, and you will need to uninstall existing Office programs on your PC if you use the MSI-based installation approach. You can download the .MSI installation bits here if you prefer.

Before getting started, review the Office 2013 System Requirements, located here to make sure your system is capable of running Office 2013. The biggest change in terms of system requirements is the Operating System requirements – Windows 7 or Windows 8 is required on client machines to run Office 2013.

1.To start the Office 2013 Customer Preview installation, visit http://office.com/preview
2.If you are a home user, click on the “Sign Up” button. Business users can click on the “Office 365 Enterprise” link to test the most robust business version of the new Office.
3.Complete a new user profile and create a new Microsoft account. Note – If you are currently an Office 365 subscription user, you’ll need to sign up for a new Microsoft account that is different from your Office 365 login credentials to test the Customer Preview.
4.Once you’ve signed up for a new Microsoft account, login to http://portal.microsoftonline.com with your new ID.
5.From the Office 365 Admin home page, click the “Download Software” admin shortcut on the right side of the page
6.Click the “install” button. This will launch the new “Click-to-Run” installer. (What’s Click-to-Run? Here’s a technical overview of this new technology)
7.The new Office installer will launch via Click-to-Run technology.
8.Review the Microsoft Office licensing agreement and click the “Accept” button
9.Within a couple minutes, the core of Office will install and you’ll be greeted by a short introductory video explaining some of the new Office features.
10.Choose a look-and-feel to personalize the new Office client applications.

That’s it! Jump in and start using Office while the rest of Office 2013 installs in the background over the next few minutes via the Click-to-Run streaming installation.

November 20 2008

FREE SQL SERVER 2008 Software

Get the expert training you need to get the most from Microsoft® SQL Server® 2008—and the software—FREE when you enroll and attend select SQL courses at ISInc. With this expert training, you’ll learn to take advantage of the powerful and trustworthy array of new data-driven management solution of SQL Server 2008, plus come away with a free copy of the software.

 

That’s right. Enroll and attend any one of these 8 featured SQL Server 2008 training classes between December 10, 2008* and June 30, 2009 (while supplies last) and you’ll receive a fully-licensed copy of SQL Server 2008 Standard Edition with 1 CAL—FREE.

 

This offer is available for a limited time and only on these 8 courses while supplies last, so act now.  Contact us at 916.920.1700 or via email at [email protected] to register and remember to ask about the free software. You can also enroll directly into a class from the website and just type “FREE SOFTWARE” in the notes field to take advantage of this terrific offer.

 

Qualifying Classes:

 

2778 Writing Queries Using Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Transact—SQL

6158 Updating Your SQL 2005 Skills to SQL Server 2008

6231 Maintaining a Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Database

6232 Implementing a Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Database

6234 Implementing and Maintaining Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Analysis Services

6235 Implementing and Maintaining Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Integration Services

6236 Implementing and Maintaining Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Reporting Services

6317 Upgrading Your SQL Server 2000 Skills to SQL Server 2008

September 17 2008

Custom Training Options

Did you plan on how you would train your employees for an upcoming software migration/upgrade?

More »

February 25 2008

VMware Courses Now at ISInc

We’ve heard from many of our customers about the difficulty they have been having getting training on VMware (travel expenses for training often mean training requests will not be approved). ISInc is excited to announce that you now have a local option for VMware training right here in Sacramento at ISInc.

If there are other VMware courses that you or your organization are interested in, please contact us at [email protected] or by calling 916.920.1700 and let us know. Here are the courses that are currently being offered at ISInc’s facility:

  • Virtualization with VMware ESX and VirtualCenter SMB to Enterprise

Want more information on VMware?

VMware (NYSE: VMW) is the global leader in virtualization solutions from the desktop to the data center. Customers of all sizes rely on VMware to reduce capital and operating expenses, ensure business continuity, strengthen security and go green. With 2007 revenues of $1.33 billion, more than 100,000 customers and more than 10,000 partners, VMware is one of the fastest-growing public software companies. VMware is headquartered in Palo Alto, California, and on the Web at http://www.VMware.com.

February 4 2008

FREE Training With Novell Training Vouchers

ISInc accepts Novell Training Vouchers for all of our Novell courses. If you have Novell vouchers, please contact an ISInc Representative at 916.920.1700 or via email at [email protected] for more information on how to redeem them. Remember, unlike ISInc training vouchers, Novell vouchers have an expiration date so be sure to use them before you lose them.