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Digital Transformation

SharePoint and Business Productivity Online Services (BPOS)

A lot of people are asking about Business Productivity Online Services these days.  Microsoft is betting the farm on S+S/SaaS/Cloud Computing.

Software as a Service has long been a buzz word coming out of Redmond as well as the term “Cloud Computing”. SharePoint Online launched a couple of years ago and now boasts one of the most robust SharePoint offerings worldwide.  Some of the biggest names:  Coca-Cola Enterprises, Nokia, and Energizer have taken the plunge into BPOS-D.

D? Yeah, D as in DEDICATED.  The Online Services that you can sign up for a trial on the web is known as STANDARD.  DEDICATED is for the Enterprise customers who are willing to purchase 5000 seats of SharePoint, or Exchange, or OCS, or CRM, etc.

As the reader may or may not already know, I used to work for BPOS at Microsoft.  Good times!  Brilliant co-workers, wicked architectures and insane timelines.  Coca-Cola Enterprises was one that I worked on which required an amazing amount of work to bring to pass.  I learned more than I ever cared to know about how a flagship global company runs network and web services.  Coordinating with data centers in all parts of the world and making sure all the groundwork was in place before SharePoint even got installed was a sort of magnum opus for me.

Today on twitter someone asked me what the difference was between the BPOS Dedicated and BPOS Standard.  Big difference.  Let me walk you through it:

BPOS-S in a nutshell

BPOS Standard

Not so bad, eh? But wait!  There’s more!

Client Support
  • IE6+ and Firefox2.0+
Data Protection Service
  • Self service document restore with a 30 day recycle bin recovery period
Business continuity and disaster recovery


  • Periodic Security Assessments
  • Continuous Intrusion Monitoring and Detection

Service Level Agreements

  • 99.9% scheduled uptime with financially backed SLA

Directory Synchronization Tool

  • This tool allows you to keep the on-premise and the online Active Directories in sync

Admin Center

  • Centralized, Web-based access for configuration and administration of SharePoint Online.
  • Centralized location for tools download including: Directory Synchronization Tool, Migration Tools, and Sign-In Tools

You can sign up for a trial of this version at

BPOS Standard isn’t too expensive, at $7.25 per month per user.  Microsoft handles everything.

Now–if you want the “Cadillac” of SharePoint hosted offerings, you want to get BPOS-D.  Here is a sampling of what you get with the Dedicated offering:

BPOS Dedicated

BPOS Dedicated offering

But the offering doesn’t stop there.  You can get even more options as listed below:


Bust out your wallet for this version.  Minimum of 5000 seats and your commitment is for a three years.  But you get what you want basically.  Customizations, Enterprise Features (including Excel Calculation Services, Business Data Catalog, Forms Services, etc).  SharePoint 2010 isn’t fully supported yet, so you will have to wait a while if you are looking at hosting your SharePoint 2010 in the Cloud.

Computing in the Cloud is big business and can definitely be a boon to enterprises as they try to mitigate IT costs.

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Richard Taylor

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