Microsoft is making it easy for customers to jump into the Cloud with a new resource designed to simplify the process of setting up Microsoft Online Services.

With the Microsoft Online Services Setup Accelerator, companies that want to embrace the Redmond company’s Cloud-based offerings will be able to essentially get help straight from the software giant.

According to Microsoft, all that customers will be required to do is answer a few questions, no more than eight, and the Microsoft Online Services Setup Accelerator will be able to provide customized instructions for customers to configure the services they need.

“One of the best things about BPOS and Exchange Online is how simple it is to setup and what makes it even easier is the guide that takes you through it,” revealed Simon May, Microsoft IT Pro evangelist.

“The guide is totally customized to your setup too, which I think is a neat way of walking you through. What’s more you don’t need to have BPOS to access the guide, so if you want to see how to set it up before you sign up walk this way,” he added.

In the introductory part, customers need to select one of the three options available: “How do you want to use Microsoft Online Services?”

“I want to explore the service offerings. I want to start a pilot project of one or more services with some members of my company. I want to set up Microsoft Online Services for use by my company.”

After they select a certain option, the Microsoft Online Services Setup Accelerator will aks about the services that customers want to implement.

In this regard, companies can choose from a total of four alternatives: “E-mail and calendaring (Exchange Online); Web conferencing (Office Live Meeting); Online collaboration (SharePoint Online); and Instant messaging (Office Communications Online).”

Of course, it is worth noting that no particular choice will be set in stone. Fact is that the accelerator is designed to be flexible.

“You can always return to the Setup Accelerator and select a different option if the instructions you receive do not match how you intend to use the services,” Microsoft informed.

The Redmond company also provides information on what the specific options available to customers imply:

“Select explore to familiarize yourself with what Microsoft Online Services might look like for your company, using the the default settings, without affecting your company’s existing environment.”

“Select pilot project if you and other members of your company want to experience working together on Microsoft Online Services. You can also do this as part of a phased migration. This option may require some changes to your existing e-mail environment, but all changes can be reversed.”

“Select set up if your company is ready to move to Microsoft Online Services and replace your existing environment.”

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