Office 365 at the Whiting School of Engineering


What is it?

Office 365 is a set of tools from Microsoft for productivity-type tasks, both personal and collaborative.  This means it incorporates the things you already think of as Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, Powerpoint, Outlook, OneNote) that get installed on your computer, but also extends their capabilities to the internet for easier collaboration. The tools are backed with storage on the Internet so files are easily available from anywhere and can be shared inside and outside JH.  Using the cloud, Office 365 is able to use extra intelligence (by looking at documents and your collaborators) to suggest ways to get things done more easily.  In sum, it includes:

  • Microsoft Office applications installed on your computers (up to five)
  • Microsoft Office applications on your mobile devices (iOS and Android)
  • Microsoft Office applications on the web (for quick edits, or collaborative simultaneous editing)
  • 5TB of online file storage space (in OneDrive)
  • 100GB of email storage space (in Exchange Online)
  • Microsoft Teams, a tool (similar to Slack) for workgroup collaboration
  • Microsoft Flow, a tool (similar to IFTTT) for automating repetitive tasks
  • … a whole lot more (log in to see)

Why?

We understand there is some disruption that come with any change to the tools people depend on.  We don’t take that disruption lightly.  For Office 365, though, we believe there are clear benefits to the members of the WSE community, faculty or staff, researcher or administrator.  Here are a few things we think you’ll appreciate:

  • 5TB of personal OneDrive cloud storage (vs 100GB in Box) – keep large amounts of administrative or research data in a location convenient to wherever you are working
  • Seamless application integration with that storage, rather than through add-ons
  • Collaborative editing inside and outside of JH
  • OneDrive Files-On-Demand for Mac and Windows automatically keeps recently used OneDrive files local to your computer, while keeping older things in the cloud to save space on your laptop drive
  • 100GB mailbox gets new features without having to ask IT for help:
    • Better spam protection – fewer annoying emails!
    • IMAP and SMTP for mailboxes without any extra steps
    • All the old powerful mailbox rules, plus new automation options through Flow and even Azure cloud computing options
  • Easier MS Office installation and activation for offsite devices (no VPN required) – just download and install from MyJH
  • Microsoft Teams combines related tools (chat, conferencing, project-related files) into one tool, in addition to workflow automation options
  • Faster availability of new features and tools with less intrusive upgrades

What Next?