Microsoft Virtual Academy: Office 365

According to Microsoft’s stats, there are over 1,000,000,000 Office users. That means that one in every six people on the planet uses Microsoft’s software suite in some form. It is an amazing achievement. Say what you want about Microsoft’s methods – if the product wasn’t any good, people would not use it. Simple. There are enough other options out there to choose from.

Office 365 was released in 2011. It is the same Office which you know and are familiar with, only better. Office 365 offers individuals, IT pros, and businesses the Office look and feel, the recognized ease of use, the trademark tools – all powered by Microsoft’s cloud.

Microsoft Virtual Academy (MVA) has over 40 different courses on Office 365, geared toward IT professionals. They have been available since 2013, and they focus on administration, tuning, setup, and customization of Office 365. These courses are here to teach the pros how to make the most of this unstoppable powerhouse of productivity.

Course examples: Support Corner: Directory Synchronization in Office 365, Office 365 Performance Management, Microsoft Exchange Online Services, and SharePoint Online Migration Planning.

Course Review: Administering Office 365 for Small Business

One of the most popular courses is Administering Office 365 for Small Business, instructed by​ ​Chris Oakman and Josh Sammons. This course is meant for an IT pro of a small business, who is interested in implementing the latest techniques which will help save time and money. The course is full of demonstrations, and it helps gives a user the edge on Office 365.

Instructor Josh Sammons

Instructor Josh Sammons

The topics covered in this course are:

  • Overview & Infrastructure​
  • Office 365 User Management
  • Office 365 DirSync, Single Sign-On, & Same Sign-On
  • Administering Lync Online for SMB
  • Administering SharePoint Online for SMB
  • Administering Exchange Online for SMB​
  • Exchange Online Deployment & Migration
  • Exchange Security, Archiving, & Compliance
  • OneDrive for Business
  • Yammer for SMB
  • Troubleshooting and Support for SMB
  • Recommended Resources & Next Steps
Instructor Chris Oakman

Instructor Chris Oakman

This course has no real prerequisites, but it is categorized as a Level 300 course. This means that it is meant for professionals with at least a year’s worth of experience. The course is worth 102 points, and is approximately nine hours long. There are 12 modules in this course, as well as 11 assessment exams. Slides and screenshots of each modules are available, to facilitate an easier learning process. This course is rated 5 out of 5 stars.

Oakman is VP and Chief Infrastructure Officer at Eastridge Technologies, a Microsoft Cloud Champions Club Member. He has over 20 years of experience in the world of IT, with a general focus on small businesses and a particular focus on Public Cloud and Office 365. Fun Fact: Oakman is a veteran of the United States Marine Corps.

Sammons is Small Business Director of Infrastructure at Eastridge Technologies. He has been with Eastridge since 2011, and has 15 years of IT experience, with a focus on small businesses.

Course Review: Office 365 Fundamentals

Another very popular course is Office 365 Fundamentals, instructed by Alistair Speirs, Jeff Medford, Ian Hameroff, and Jake Zborowski. This course explores the ins and outs of Office 365 from the ground up, and provides IT professionals with the tools they need to better grasp it and make the most out of it. It is a powerful merge of office productivity tools and cloud services. Having a solid understanding of Office 365 can do wonders for any business.

Instructor Ian Hameroff

Instructor Ian Hameroff

This course also acts as a prep course for those who are about to sit for exam 71-346: Managing Office 365 Identities and Requirements, or exam 71-347: Enabling Office 365 Services, as part of their Microsoft Certification process.

The topics covered in this course are:

  • Overview of Office 365
  • Office 365 for IT Pros
  • Getting started with Office 365
  • Deploying Office 365
  • Office 365 Service Communications
  • Office 365 Change Management

This course has no prerequisites, and anyone may enroll in it and begin learning. It is categorized as a Level 200 course, and is worth 48 points. The course runs about six hours. It has seven modules, five assessment exams, and downloadable slides. It is rated 4 out of 5 stars.

Speirs is Senior Operations Program Manager for Microsoft. He is also a member of the Office Deployment, Adoption, and Readiness team. He has been with Microsoft since 2007, and has help grow Office 365 from a beta to a service used by millions of people every day, around the world. His focus is on the onboarding and deployment experience, helping IT professionals unlock the capabilities of Office 365 faster and to get more out of it.

Medford is Senior Technical Product Manager for Microsoft. He is also a member of the Office Deployment, Adoption, and Readiness team.

Hameroff is a Group Product Manager at Microsoft. He leads the Office 365 Service Experience team, responsible for delivering end-to-end service communications, product marketing and readiness to support operational excellence across the Office 365 service lifecycle. The team focuses on important post-deployment experiences, including service health and reliability, service communications, change management and roadmap, and service management readiness for Office 365 customers, partners and the Microsoft field.

Zborowski is also a Group Product Manager at Microsoft, with a focus on Office 365.

Instructor Jake Zborowski

Instructor Jake Zborowski

Microsoft Office has been dominating the market for years. It has set industry standards for quality, accessibility, user-friendliness, innovation, and productivity. Now, let the power of cloud computing make it even better, with Office 365. The courses taught at MVA will give IT professionals the edge they need to take Office 365 even higher, and maximize its great potential.

Support and management courses are abundant in the Office 365 section of MVA, and they enable IT professionals to use Office 365 like a professional should, in a way that will benefit any business or organization. Learn how to make the most of your trial or paid subscription, with the Academy’s Office 365 courses.

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