So I'd like to kick things off here by reviewing some important concepts when it comes to Office 365, and hopefully this will help us set a baseline and understand what Microsoft is referring to when it uses the term Office 365 in the first place, especially as opposed to, say, Office 2016. When it comes to Office 365, we're talking about a suite of productivity applications, and a host of administration tools that let you manage those applications.
So, in terms of both of those things, Office 365 is web-based, it is cloud-based, it is subscription-based. Now, even though I say web-based, I want you to understand that you do still get a local install of Office with Office 365, so you don't have to be connected to the internet to use the suite of productivity applications. Cloud-based really refers to the fact that data is not stored locally. It can be stored locally, but you also have the ability to keep data stored in the cloud, which means that it's accessible by any device, and I'll talk about that more in just a moment.
And finally, it is subscription-based, which means that you pay monthly for the privilege of using this suite of Office applications, and the suite of admin tools that really are mainly the focus of this course. Now, when you sign up for Office 365, you can sign up for one of many plans. How many plans exactly? Well, last count, there were over 20 different Office 365 plans, but in terms of this course, we're going to be signing up for a business plan, and business plans support up to 300 users, so if you need an environment that is going to end up supporting many more users than that, say, several thousand users, 3,000, 30,000, then you'll probably sign up for an enterprise plan.
But, in terms of the topics that we cover here, even though I am signing up for a business plan, again, 98%, probably maybe even 100% of what you see in this course will apply no matter what type of plan that you subscribe to in your Office 365 subscription. Now, I also mentioned a moment ago that you get a local install of Office, and how many can be dependent on the plan, but if we're talking about what we'll sign up for in this course, which is an Office 365 Pro Plus subscription, it lets you use Office on up to five devices, so the concept here with Office 365 is that you're able to access Office anywhere on any device, whether it be a Windows PC, an iPad, or an Android phone.
Office 365, as we mentioned previously, can be administered via a web page, and that will be the bulk of the administration that we'll do here. I'll show you some other techniques, but most of it is going to be through a web page. That's why you don't have to have a lot of administration background in order to administer Office 365. You just need to know which web pages to go to in order to do your administrative tasks. However, that said, Office 365 also supports the use of scripting through Windows PowerShell commands, so you can perform a host of tasks from the command line, and that can be helpful especially as you get from 300 users to 3,000 users.
Now, one other benefit that I'll mention for now is that the software is automatically updated by Microsoft, so as a rule, you're relieved of the longstanding administrative task of pushing out service packs, bug fixes, and even entire product updates. As long as your subscription is active, you get the latest and greatest code. What we also want to familiarize ourselves with in this introductory lesson about Office 365 is that there are core components of Office 365.
These are all of the things, the administrative things, that can also be part of your Office 365 environment, especially from an administrative standpoint. So, you can incorporate Azure Active Directory. you can incorporate Exchange Online, that's a part of many business plans. Skype Online, OneDrive storage, and many others, too many, in fact, to mention here. You can have access to SharePoint Online, Project Online, those are just a couple of the others off the top of my head.
Now. As you continue in this course and others covering Office 365 administration, you will deal with these core components in more detail. So for further information about what's next with Office 365, I just want to wrap things up by directing you to a couple of valuable Office 365 resources. One is a website called community.office365.com. It's actually Microsoft Community, but that's the web address, of course.
The other thing that is helpful or can be helpful is office.com/roadmap. The Roadmap is just that. It kind of gives you a look into the future about what new features and components and services will be part of the Office 365 environment. In terms of the community resource, this is a great place to go ask questions that might be beyond the scope of this course. Now, let me give you a quick example of that.
If you go to community.office365.com, you're taken to this web page, a little bit of a redirect here, but this is the page you should land at. So you can browse lots of Office information and get to community-specific pages for Outlook or OneNote or Access and so on, but in terms of the scope of this course, you're probably more interested in this resource right here, managing Office 365.
So if, after this course, you start to administer Office 365 for your environment, you might be able to get the answer to a question that has already been asked. So, for example, if you are trying to change a plan, how to switch the license without losing the mailbox, that question's already been answered. So you can try to contact Microsoft professional and wait or pay for product support, or you may be able to get that question answered in the Microsoft Community.
So I hope those resources are helpful for you, and I hope that we now have a better understanding of just exactly what Office 365 is.
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If you're preparing for exam 70-346, Managing Office 365 Identities and Requirements, or you just want to improve your Office 365 administration skills, then this course is for you. Instructor Brian Culp looks at three objectives in the Monitor and Troubleshoot Office 365 Availability and Usage section of the exam—analyzing reports, monitoring service health, and isolating service interruptions. By the end of this course, you'll be better prepared to tackle this section of the exam, and will have a better understanding of the troubleshooting and reporting tools available to Office 365 admins.
Navigating the Office 365 reports dashboard
Generating and interpreting usage, email, and auditing reports
Generating and interpreting mail protection and mail hygiene reports
Showing and hiding user-level detail information in reports
Understanding the service health dashboard
Monitoring Office 365 Health
Retrieving data with the Management Pack
Using PowerShell for Office 365
Creating a service request
Using the Remote Connectivity Analyzer, the Connectivity Analyzer tool, and the free/busy troubleshooter