Microsoft’s Office 365 platform is becoming the cloud service of choice for hosted Exchange at businesses of all sizes. Here are 5 important things you may not have known about this popular service.
- Microsoft does not protect your email
- Office 365 isn’t just about email
- Office 365 can help you become compliant
- Perpetual licenses are becoming obsolete
- You really can access almost anything, from anywhere
While Microsoft provides the same standard email retention policy on Office 365 as it does with on-premise Exchange servers, that is as far as it goes. Data retention should not be confused with backup and if an email message or mailbox has been removed from your system for more than 30 days, there is no way to recover that information. Ransomware is now also targeting SaaS data, like Office 365 and Google’s G Suite.
What to look for:
Find a cloud-to-cloud (C2C) backup service (like our Cloud Protection & Recovery Service leveraging Datto) that can provide adequate backup and recovery tools that meet your needs; be sure it protects not only your email but your OneDrive and Sharepoint files as well. Also research robust email filtering solutions as the spam and virus filtering built into the Microsoft cloud service is limited at best.
Office 365 includes not only email with hosted Exchange and the Microsoft Office standard suite of applications (Word, Excel, etc.) but a number of other useful tools as well. Among these are the popular OneDrive personal cloud file storage service and SharePoint Online which brings departmental and team organization to the cloud; if you are looking to make your files more accessible internally and externally, they are viable solutions. Other tools are included with the different plans, including Skype, Microsoft Teams, Yammer, and Sway among others, that can greatly enhance your business processes, automation and collaboration.
Businesses of all sizes that have the Department of Defense as a client are now required to comply with DFARS 7012 and NIST 800-171. There are a lot of security requirements built into both of these that are important when it comes to handling Controlled Unclassified Information (CUI); fortunately it is possible to implement security solutions that satisfy these requirements by using Cloud Solution Providers (CSPs) like Office 365. If you need to comply with these regulations, see if moving some of your IT infrastructure to Office 365 can make life a little easier and help you avoid losing business by not complying.
Microsoft is making a concerted effort to push customers to a subscription-based model for many of their products and nowhere is this more evident than in Office 365.
What it means:
By having customers pay for their access to Microsoft Office, Exchange mailboxes and more, this has allowed customers to more budget more accurately for these items and turn it from an occasional capital expense (forced by compatibility or obsolescence) into a monthly budget item. A happy side effect is that users always have the latest version of Microsoft products that are up to date and more secure.
Office 365 provides not just web access to your email. They have fully functional versions of the Office suite available as web-based applications; also, on both the iOS and Android mobile platforms, there are Office applications that can access files stored in OneDrive live or in offline mode. This means a large number of users can do their day to day business from tablet or smartphone and don’t need to lug laptops around. Mobility is truly realized by embracing everything Office 365 has to offer.