Today I was finally able to set up our test account for Microsoft BPOS and it was definitely worth the wait. I’ve not been playing around with it for long but already I’m highly impressed with the amount of features and how easy it is to use. All the most common options you will need, such as create site, add user, increase storage are contained in easy access menus and are pretty much exactly where you’d expect them to be 🙂
Within 5 minutes I’d added users to the system, created a new Sharepoint Site Collection and then added said users to the Sharepoint site…and I’m no Sharepoint Administrator! I then proceeded to add multiple documents to the Sharepoint site which was easy and very quick-just as quick as an on-premise solution as far as I can tell.
There are some things missing such as Excel Services, forms etc as well as the ability to run custom code, so it won’t fit everyone-but on the whole it covers what people need very well.
Moving on to Exchange, I’ve just signed in to OWA and without having to do any configuration either as a user or admin (other than setting the size of the mailbox), I’m up and running and firing emails off all over the show 🙂
For business that want to run BPOS alongside their existing on-premise installations, it is very simple synchronize your Active Directory (AD) and/or Exchange Global Address Lists as well as migrating existing mailboxes across to Microsoft Exchange Online. These are all done via wizards and having seem them demonstrated at TVP, they’re pretty simple to use.
I’m very impressed with the user interface and the general “flow” of the entire BPOS suite site, from the perspective of both an admin and a user. My gallery of screenshots can be found here.