Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Microsoft Office 365 Indiblogger meet in New Delhi

The name Blue Frog tripped off my tongue so many times on this day that I was myself surprised.
Generally, the auto wallahs seem to know all places. You can stop one at random and ask him about any
address and chances are he will know it and you would then reach wherever you want to go.
But on this day all of them, yes all of them shook their heads and said that they had no idea where this Blue Frog was or even how far it was. I was stumped as I was on foot after having got down from the metro at the closest  station.
At one point I was standing at the crucial road turning which led to the Blue Frog and it was just about half a kilometer away but there was still no confirmation from any one that this was the right turn.
 After some more confusion and heart ache my daughter Whatsapped the postal address to me and it said Kila, Seven Style Mile etc.
Then everyone around knew where I wanted to go and guided me.
So long story short, after having been lost for the better part of an hour and getting into a foul mood I reached the illusive Blue Frog. What a funny name!
Don't ask why I did not research and find out the exact location before I left home as to where it was. That is
 a story that has to stay untold.
I was warmly welcomed at the registration counter and handed my distinctive  Indiblogger T Shirt.
The Microsoft Office 365 presentation was in full flow. I got the hang of it mostly by listening to the audience questions and their answers. The questions were incisive and technical. They stretched the resource people and kept them on their toes.
From what I understood of the Microsoft Office 365 product, it is a good fit for small businesses. Here Is why I say that:
The upfront cost is reasonable. The same licence can be used to load the software into five devices of the same user.How they propose to ensure that one person uses all five of these devices is not clear to me.
But the presenter insisted that it would be one user, five devices. Not five devices belonging to five different users.
There is a provision to store your data in the Cloud and access it from anywhere in the world using the user ID and password. It is a secure system that is suitable even for financial products.
Another interesting point is that users can work on the documents stored in the Cloud serially or  at the same time without interfering with each others' work.
A document can be checked out by a user. Till he completes his part and checks it back into the Cloud, it shows as having been locked by this particular user for changes (I think).
If this is how it is, it will help with the version control of documents.
I have seen and worked with similar features in WriteRap, an online sharing system used in publishing houses.
The author, copy editor, compositor, proof reader, and indexer all use a common site to access and work on documents turn by turn. The document stays locked for use when one user is working on it.The other user can see the document but cannot make any changes to it till the document has been checked back in  by the first user.
I am not sure if in Microsoft Office 365 there is such a provision of locking the document to ensure version control.
Another attractive but extraneous feature is that Airtel proposes to bundle its internet service with the Microsoft Office 365 product
It would help the small businesses to stay online and do their thing without paying through their noses for internet. Well hopefully. You never know how the prices will be when the actual product is used in real life situations.
Over all good meeting, some learning points, meeting other bloggers and realizing that this is a good thing. It is not just one person sitting and writing on his computer all alone. Slowly it is becoming a community of bloggers who give each other feedback and help the whole to become more than the sum of the individual parts.
Cheers! Keep blogging.


Here's your chance to talk! I would love to know what you think.