Welcome to “Getting Started with Office 365”! I’m glad you decided to take a look at the content I’ve put together. I hope you enjoy it and are able to learn something new from it! If you have any feedback, reach out to me on the contact page on my site and I’ll get back to you ASAP.

Now let’s jump in!

When working with Office 365, there are some things to think about before you jump in. In this first lesson, we’re going to take a look at some of those things. But, I’m getting ahead of myself, first, a brief introduction to myself.

Who am I?

My name is Ben Stegink, I’m an independent consultant/contractor working with the Microsoft intelligent cloud as an IT Pro (a.k.a. NOT a developer). I got my start back around 2005 working with SharePoint 2003. Since then, I’ve worked with every version of SharePoint (2007, 2010, 2013, 2016 and SharePoint Online). Around 2010 I received my first introduction to Office 365 (BPOS back then). It wasn’t until 2012 that I really started digging into the Office 365 suite as a whole. Since that time I’ve broadened my administrative experience beyond just SharePoint and into the Office 365 product suite as a whole, which is becoming more important as you’ll learn. These days, I still do a lot of SharePoint work, both on-premises and in the cloud, but focus more on Office 365 as a whole. I do administrative work for several clients, ranging from 5 or 10 people all the way up to several thousand. I also write and deliver training for Opsgility.

What will we cover?

Office 365 is an extensive product offering from Microsoft, significantly more so than when I got started with it. It is also always changing, like daily! So, while I will do my best to write this course is a way that it won’t be out-dated tomorrow, there is also a chance something may change. There are also area’s where I will input my opinion or experience with things. It doesn’t mean it’s always 100% truth, so don’t email me trying to pick a fight (and I won’t pick on with you if you do have feedback about something disagree with or have a different experience that I did).

This email course is 13 lessons (13 days unless you skip ahead), including this one. Each lesson will look at a different topic related to getting started with and rolling out Office 365.

  • Lesson 1: Introduction (this one) – You already know, you’re reading it right now
  • Lesson 2: What is Office 365, why should I use it? – The benefits, common arguments against and even a few disadvantages of Office 365.
  • Lesson 3: Choosing a license – Business, Enterprise, Government? Essentials, Premium? E1, E3, E5? We’ll help you decide
  • Lesson 4: Creating an Office 365 tenant – How to get started with your very own Office 365 tenant.
  • Lesson 5: Creating and adding users – You have a tenant, now you need to add your users. Important considerations to take and how to go about doing it.
  • Lesson 6: Administering Office 365 – Office 365 has an administrative component a layer above the administration of the products it contains. You’ll get an overview of it here.
  • Lesson 7: The Exchange Admin Center
  • Lesson 8: The Skype for Business and Yammer Admin Centers
  • Lesson 9: The SharePoint and OneDrive Admin Centers
  • Lesson 10: The PowerApps and Flow Admin Center
  • Lesson 11: The Security & Compliance Admin Center
  • Lesson 12: Azure AD and Role-Based Administration
  • Lesson 13: What’s next? – We just scratched the surface of Office 365, where do you go from here?

What exactly is Office 365?

Before jumping in, if you’re new to Office 365 and getting your feet wet, I wanted to first cover what Office 365 is. I’m surprised at the number of people I talk to that are confused about what Office 365 is (and what it isn’t).

Office 365 is a collection of services offered by Microsoft. This includes SharePoint, Exchange, Skype for Business at its core. It may or may not include the desktop installation of Office 2016. There are also other services, features, and technologies that weave their way into the Office 365 platform, but at a high level, that’s what it is. You can access your email, documents, files and have conversations with people leveraging Office 365. It can be accessed with Office 2016 installed on your computer, but Office 2016 isn’t even required to use Office 365. You can simply use your browser or even use Office 2013 and get almost all of the functionality offered by Office 365.

Office 365 is NOT, the newer version of Office for your computer. You don’t install Office 365 on your computer. You don’t have Office 2016 instead of Office 365. As I mentioned, I’m still surprised at the number of people that thing Office 365 is the newer version of Office for their PCs and there is something you must install.


Now that we have that out of the way, in lesson 2 of the course we’ll look at “What is Office 365, Why should I use it?”