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Office 365 and offline use

Posted on 2012-04-11
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Last Modified: 2012-04-16
If I have office 365 and my broad band line goes down, then I lose complete connectivity to my documents on sharepoint. Can anyone tell me what solution they have in place for such a scenario, I understand the situation of being able to sync parts of sharepoint when you know you will be offline but that is a different scenario I am talking about an unplanned offline situation. I can't see moving every user to have a sync of their personal website and the main company sharepoint site as being an option.
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Question by:Sid_F
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by:Aeriden
ID: 37833457
We have researched this and know this is one of the difficulties of moving completely to the cloud with Office 365 and SharePoint (rather than local copies that are backed up or synchronized to the cloud).  For our customers, solutions include 3G/4G devices or local wi-fi access (city-wide, libraries, coffee shops, homes, etc.).   This includes iPhone, iPad, Android tethering solutions for a month.  In other words, the solution is to get online as quickly/reasonably as possible.  However, if the outage is with Microsoft or a major backbone on the Internet, then this doesn't help (which admittedly is rare).

For some customers, the risk is too much (because connectivity is so poor at their location) and we have moved to a Dropbox approach (which is less ideal if there is a lot of document concurrency use) along with online backups (for versioning).
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by:Sid_F
ID: 37833486
Yes I think this answers the question. A second broadband line or 3g dongle is the way to go
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Expert Comment

by:rdiorio25
ID: 37834239
The only option you really have would be to use sharepoint workspace 2010.

SharePoint Workspace 2010

This should provide you with the functionality you are looking for, it will cache locally and sync with the server when you reconnect.
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by:Sid_F
ID: 37836321
Ok, so if I have all my users caching locally and then their broadband goes down. If several users edit the same document then what happens when the broadband comes back up?
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Expert Comment

by:Bart-Vandyck
ID: 37836378
Also Colligo Contributer supports Office 365 offline

http://www.colligo.com/products/sharepoint/colligo-contributor-pro/

I use it quite a bit!
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by:Sid_F
ID: 37849071
3rd party add on to pay for, a tough sell after selling office 365 as a cost cutting measure!
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by:Bart-Vandyck
ID: 37850143
Yes that is a very good point.   Doubling up on the broadband connection might be cheaper and might give you perfomance benifits while both connections are up.  In any case the costs should be calculated into the 'cost cutting' ....
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by:Sid_F
ID: 37850156
I'm leaving this question open for a little while just to see if anyone has a different solution. Obviously selling in office 365 as a cost cutting measure to a small company and then telling them they need a second broadband line or a third party software is the problem and one I believe is causing small companies to stick with local servers
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Bart-Vandyck earned 500 total points
ID: 37850444
I have seen this issue coming up a few times with smaller companies. However when you look at these small companies they have typically 1 server running  Exchange, SQL , SharePoint, ....  sometimes 2 servers. But they never have redundant servers because of the cost.  If one server goes down they have to call there IT Support, mostly an external company, who need to send someone, repair, restore, etc……This will take hours and hours..

In my opinion you replace the single point failure from the server to the communication line.  The advantage of having the single point of failure on the communication line, if you can call it that, are:

-      You still have the option to go an work on another location (home, rent a office by the hour, etc..)
-      “Who has taken the last backup?”…. Is not an issue because the data is save in the  Datacenter.
-      Likely more people experience the communication ‘outage’ providing  more pressure on the Telecom provider. In comparison with your one server being down.

So yes it is an issue, it is imported to be upfront about it, and may check the track record of the Telecom provider…

In the end I don’t think there is a free solutions to it…. And if the costs for an outage are really thousands and thousands, then a second broadband seems pretty cheap insurance..!
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by:Sid_F
ID: 37850501
All great valid points. I like the second server to backup broaband price comparison, it is a viable one although with Raid 5 and backup power supply in most servers to some extent you are already insured that said a failed motherboard will bring the site down no matter what, with Dell a four hour response time and you are back up. No SLA's in general on small business broadband. I think we could debate it forever! Thanks
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