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16 May 2011

HelpDesk OSP Already Supports Office 365, Microsoft's New Small Business Platform

As the kalmstrom.com products are built on Microsoft's we continuously have to update them to adapt to and take advantage of new technology. Not this time, though. When Microsoft now announces changes in their online SharePoint platform for small businesses, we are happy to say that our application already works with the new product.

The kalmstrom.com incident management tool, HelpDesk OSP, supports both SharePoint and Office Live Small Business, even if nearly all Community Members prefer to use it for publishing from Outlook to SharePoint. Now Microsoft has announced that they will close down Office Live Small Business, probably from November 2011. Instead they offer the cloud-based Office 365, now available in a Beta version. As HelpDesk OSP works with all SharePoint sites, no matter if they are hosted online or in-house, it already supports Office 365.

The reason why Microsoft will remove Office Live Small Business is that they wish to give small companies a more comprehensive, professional-grade set of productivity tools. In Office 365 Microsoft brings together online versions of several communications and collaboration tools, including Exchange Online, SharePoint Online, Lync Online and Office Web Apps. Just like kalmstrom.com Business Solutions, Microsoft has chosen to use a subscription model for their new product.

Community Members can use HelpDesk OSP with Office 365 even today, and very few use Office Live anyway, so we have now removed all references to Office Live from the kalmstrom.com website. From the next version of HelpDesk OSP it will not be possible to connect to Office Live anymore. We will rewrite the manual before the next version of HelpDesk OSP is released, but for now we have chosen to keep the Office Live parts there and just explain that it will be taken out.

We are happy with Microsoft's decision, even if it means some extra work for us to remove the Office Live alternative from our tool. Now Members will get a better alternative than Office Live, and it will be easier to configure HelpDesk OSP when no choice between two platforms has to be made. The continued development and testing of the application will be quicker when we don't have to take Office Live into consideration, and the documentation will also be simpler. Everything points to a great future for both SharePoint and HelpDesk OSP!