Microsoft 365 is one of the company’s most transformative offerings yet. It aims to help small and medium sized organisations become more productive, more collaborative and more secure. Lofty aims, then!
Nevertheless, with any new platform, there are lots of questions to answer. Just how is this solution going to set out what it has planned? How can you go about implementing it in your organisation?
First, let’s consider how Microsoft 365 manages to deliver productivity, collaboration and security. This is all thanks to the clever layering up of several different Microsoft offerings, all in a single scalable cloud deployment. You get Office 365 for the suite of productivity applications you are probably familiar with, including powerful new collaboration tools such as Microsoft Teams. You get Enterprise Mobile + Security to keep your infrastructure and devices secure, even on the move. And you get Windows 10 as the operating system underpinning it all.
Any PC managed with Microsoft 365 will be automatically protected with Windows Defender, which is a powerful antivirus feature guarding against malware, spyware, ransomware and other threats. Meanwhile, Windows Defender Exploit Guard provides intrusion prevention functionality.
The platform is designed for small and medium sized organisations, which may not have an extensive IT resource in-house, but which nevertheless want to harness the scalability and flexibility benefits of the cloud. Each organisation can purchase up to 300 licenses – and they can also mix and match cloud subscriptions, so Microsoft 365 Enterprise licenses may be added to the same account. We can advise on whether this is a suitable strategy for your organisation.
Not everyone within the organisation needs to have a Microsoft 365 Business subscription, but only those with subscriptions will gain access to the security and management benefits.
As for compatibility with your existing hardware and software; provided you are already running Windows 7 Pro or later, the chances are you are ready for Microsoft 365 already. You might miss out on a small amount of Windows 10 functionality, such as multitouch, if you are running older machines, but this will be unlikely to make a significant difference.
Then it’s useful to think about wider business strategies, and your plans for the future. Many small and medium organisations are in the midst of deploying bring your own device (BYOD) schemes – if you are one of them, is it wise to consider the ways in which Microsoft 365 has been designed to make it easier for your employees to work from their personal devices.
App protection for Office mobile apps is built in across iOS and Android. This includes policies such as the automatic deletion of business data after a predefined amount of time without connecting to the Microsoft 365 service, the requirement that information is stored only on OneDrive for Business (which comes complete with a range of security protections) and requiring a PIN or fingerprint verification to access Office apps. Data can also be prevented from being copied from business to personal apps – essentially, Microsoft 365 enables employees’ personal devices to be siloed. Device Management for Windows 10 PCs, iOS, Android and MacOS enables the seamless centralised management of all endpoints.
If you are ready to get started with Microsoft 365, remember that as a partner, we are best-placed to manage your purchase, and guide you through your deployment. Get in touch with us today.