We utilise industry leading Microsoft Office 365 Enterprise for Non-Profits platform for our email, document storage, collaboration and online conferencing tools. With the features that Office 365 provides, we’re eager as a District to expand the platform to our Groups and Units. For groups and communicating we use Online Scout Manager.
These tools and hosting would normally cost thousands of pounds year but we are delighted to be able to offer it to Groups and units for free!
What is Office 365?
Office 365 provides anywhere access to professional email, calendar, HD video conferencing, and more. Designed to help charities do more good, this fantastic suite of tools provides groups with access to Office Online and Microsoft’s best-in-class cloud-based productivity and collaboration software.
What are the advantages of using privately hosted email?
- All emails are hosted on a private enterprise class server meaning potentially sensitive information is kept safe. Free email accounts are consumer products and do not provide users with the same level of privacy, protection or support.
- Data is backed up so you can retrieve something you may have deleted by mistake.
- With a custom domain name such as email@example.com, Parents and outside organisations can be a lot more confident of your identity when receiving emails. Anyone can set up a free Gmail or Hotmail account with something similar to firstname.lastname@example.org and pose as a leader. We want to make sure our adult members are protected from identity theft and safeguard our young people from imposters.
- A Scouting email address allows you to manage and maintain a Scout-Life balance by keeping your Scouting mailbox separate from your personal inbox.
- It looks professional. Quite often Scouting will lead you to have contact and dealings with public officials, MPs, Coulcillors, Business leaders and having your own custom scout email address will give a much better impression.
- When your group sign up for the system, you will automatically get a address book of all the people in your own group as well Mersey Weaver which will update as people join the organisation and leave – so you can always get hold of the people you need to.
- Centrally managed distribution lists can be setup so that you can be confident everyone who is supposed to receives your email.
What else does my Group get?
By hosting your Group’s email with us, you will receive for FREE:
- a free domain name provided by us (e.g. 1stmoorescoutgroup.org.uk, 4thwidnesscoutgroup.org.uk)
- Secure personalised business class email, calendar, and contacts with a 50 GB inbox (Microsoft Exchange)
- Personal File storage and sharing with 1 TB of OneDrive storage
- Collaboration services to securely store & backup documents (SharePoint). Essential for succession planning.
- Unlimited online meetings, instant messaging, audio, HD video, and web conferencing (Teams)
- Secure social media and networking platform (Yammer)
- Power Automate for Automation of processes and integration with third party services.
- Microsoft Forms for secure data collection.
- Web versions of Word, Excel, Powerpoint and more
- Kanban style management tools to help teams create plans, organise, assign and collaborate around tasks (Microsoft Planner).
- Professional digital storytelling tools to create interactive reports, presentations, newsletters and more (Microsoft Sway)
- District-based technical support when you need it.
- Access to the Mersey Weaver members area based on SharePoint.
- Access to the District Directory
- Full GDPR compliance & alignment.
What is Teams?
Microsoft Teams is a unified communication and collaboration platform that combines chat, video meetings, file storage (including collaboration on files), and application integration. The service integrates with our Office 365 subscription and features extensions that can integrate with non-Microsoft products. Microsoft Teams is a comparable to services such as Slack, WhatsApp and Zoom and is the evolution from Skype for Business. Teams allows communities, groups, or teams to join online voice or video meetings through a link or invitation or host live broadcasts.
Where can I find help?
What is Online Scout Manager?
Online Scout Manager (OSM) is a youth management system and platform for Scout Groups and Explorer Sections. As well as managing personal data it enables leaders to email parents, track badge progress, organise and publish a programme, track growth, manage event attendance, handle payments, claim gift aid, maintain and inventory of equipment and much more!