Microsoft 365: Platform Bundle or Modern Workplace Game Changer?
In a nutshell, Microsoft 365 is a cloud-based integrated platform that provides access to Microsoft Office applications, the Windows 10 operating system and EM+S (formerly known as Enterprise Mobility Suite). The amalgamation of these services brings together the productivity of Office 365 in tandem with the security of Windows 10 so that organizations gain peace of mind in the protection of their data while enhancing employee collaboration and productivity.
Here is what you need to know to decide if moving forward with Microsoft 365 makes sense for your business.
How Secure is Microsoft 365 (MS365)?
It may seem logical to think that data stored in a privately controlled data center is more secure than data stored in the cloud, but this isn’t necessarily true. There’s a broad range of security features to benefit from by storing your data in a cloud service like Microsoft 365, and when done right, it’s more secure than keeping your data in on-premises servers.
Reducing Risk Profile with Windows 10
Windows 10 is the latest highly secure operating system from Microsoft, providing an enterprise management solution for effective mobile device management across the organization. It facilitates the management of business applications and company security policies without compromising users’ privacy on personal devices.
Thanks to automatic application and universal policy enforcement functionality, your organization’s risk profile is reduced, even across employees’ personal devices if used for work. It seems like Microsoft 365 has cracked the code for keeping both end-users and organizations simultaneously secure.
MS365 Cyber Security Intelligence
Microsoft 365 customers benefit from cyber security intelligence that’s gathered from threats against all customers utilizing Microsoft 365, rather than reacting to just individual cyber attacks, which is how on-premises servers operate. In this way, an attack launched against any organization on MS365 serves to functionally inoculate everyone else against the attack. I guess the old adage, ‘safety in numbers’, is a reality when it comes to Cyber Security on Microsoft 365.
In Microsoft’s cloud environment, managing tasks relating to hardware, patches and operating systems is automated to facilitate the scale of the cloud environment and as a result there is little to no human intervention required to complete these tasks, reducing the likelihood of falling prey to spear-phishing.
Microsoft 365 Enables the Modern Workforce Employee
Microsoft has invested in some exciting technology whereby an employee can begin writing a document on the desktop at the office, then make edits to the same document while in the waiting room before an appointment and if desired, he/she can complete the document from their laptop at home later that night. A truly enabled modern workforce with endless and secure accessibility.
Each time the employee picks up right where they left off regardless of the device, all thanks to the accommodating capabilities of Microsoft 365. This functionality applies to Word, PowerPoint and Excel so employees can truly work remotely with secure access to the documents they need, while also being able to collaborate on such documents within singular documents or as a group in Microsoft Teams.
A Tested, Modern Collaboration Platform
Microsoft 365 enables employees to easily share files or folders with specific people in a way that makes sense for the situation at hand. Employees can send links to share files or folders to enable varying degrees of access (read only or read/ write permission) inside or outside your organization. It’s easy for employees to view the permission they’ve granted and update it if necessary.
Not only can employees share files and folders with one another, but they can actually work on the same document at the same time. MS365 captures the essence of bona fide collaboration with this feature, enabling users to collaborate in real-time, regardless of physical location to increase efficiency and meet deadlines. This saves lots of time as employees no longer have the back and forth emailing numerous versions of the document or documents in question.
Microsoft 365 Current & Up-to-date Infrastructure
As a Microsoft 365 customer, your business will benefit from Microsoft 365 updates, designed to ensure the integrated platform stays current, secure and healthy. For some updates, the user receives a notification when an update is available with the ability to choose when to run these updates so that there’s no impact or downtime necessary.
Users can simply schedule the update for a suitable time, perhaps when they’re leaving for the day, so that the updates can be performed before they arrive back at work the following day. Microsoft is testing and pushing the limits on their software updates before release, so you can expect a typically seamless and positive experience.
With Microsoft 365, IT departments benefit from centralizing updates where they can centrally schedule updates and push them out to all devices at a scheduled time. Critically, users often experience little to no changes and IT departments have peace of mind that bug fixes have been implemented, applications are up-to-date and all is in proper working order.
7 Ways to Work Smarter in the Cloud with Office 365
Don’t miss your chance to learn how Office 365 can help your organization work smarter in the cloud with this informative eBook. Download your copy of the eBook now to learn:
- How to turn data into valuable insights.
- How to synchronize your business across locations and devices.
- How to collaborate in real-time to make the cloud work for you.
Should I use Microsoft 365?
The answer is, “it depends”. Microsoft 365 comes with a wealth of tools that are incredibly useful, but only if they’re actually being utilized. Change can take time, so perhaps it’s worth taking this opportunity to review your existing enterprise applications to decide if they offer the right capabilities and meet the needs of your business today. Over the last few years, there’s been a huge shift in the way we work so it’s important to equip your employees with the right tools, so they can accomplish tasks effectively and thrive in their roles. It’s worth weighing up you organizational needs to decipher if Microsoft 365 is right for your organization.
Microsoft 365: The 5 Question Test
1. Do we have a need to fill with Microsoft 365?
First, it’s essential to ask if your organization has a genuine need for the tools and applications provided with Microsoft 365? The tools and applications are great, there’s no denying that, but if they’re not applicable or useful to your organization then it really doesn’t matter how great they are. It’s worth taking the time to establish if your organization will gain value from Microsoft 365, which includes Office 365 applications, Windows 10 operating system and EM+S (formerly known as Enterprise Mobility Suite).
2. Is Cyber Security a concern?
If cyber security is a priority for your organization, Microsoft 365 can take away the burden of managing disparate systems by enabling you to manage your security controls from within one product. Microsoft 365 facilitates the universal and automatic enforcement of policies to streamline security management. The results? With the security provided by MS365, your organization’s risk exposure will be lowered, even across personal devices that employees use to conduct business.
3. Can we increase productivity with Online Access?
If business travel is a common occurrence at your organization and having the flexibility to work on the same documents across different devices offers value, then it’s worth considering Microsoft 365. This is particularly beneficial at organizations providing flexible working options and looking to facilitate employees’ working on the go.
On the other hand, if your organization is office-based with little to no travel or remote working, then this may not be an applicable benefit to your business.
4. Are the Microsoft 365 features redundant?
Many companies use collaboration software outside of the Microsoft 365 suite and find it works well for their needs. If this is the case for your organization, it’s worth weighing up the benefits of the current collaboration software against the value you could derive from Microsoft 365 to assess the potential benefits of upgrading. If your organization could truly benefit from the collaborative tools provided by M365 and you don’t have an effective solution in place, then Microsoft 365 could be the right platform for you.
5. Will video conferencing and instant messaging capabilities improve communications?
Microsoft Teams is included in Microsoft 365 and provides the benefit of instant messaging and video call capabilities. Teams aims to aid communication across your organization by providing a secure platform for instant messaging/conversations so that employees can get answers to questions more quickly than sending emails. Teams also includes critical video conferencing capabilities which can be launched within Teams’ Channels, Conversations, Contacts and/or scheduled in Meetings.
Are you Ready to Get Started with Microsoft 365?
If you’ve answered ‘yes’ to any or all the questions in the Microsoft 365 – 5 question test, then it is worth having a chat with our Modern Workplace Productivity Consultants at Steeves and Associates – give us a call [1 888 952 8800] or send us a message [contact us]. Let one of our experienced enterprise consultants guide you in assessing your organization’s Microsoft needs and give you a helping hand to make the right decision for your business.
To learn more about Microsoft 365, check out the following resources from Microsoft:
- Microsoft 365 Overview Video
- Microsoft 365 Crash Course eBook
- Microsoft 365 Achieve More Infographic
Ready to get started with Microsoft 365? Let us help guide you to get the most out of your transition to MS365 – firstname.lastname@example.org or 1 888 952 8800.
Author: Steeves and Associates
Steeves and Associates is the first Microsoft Cloud Partner in Canada and the premier Partner of choice for medium-to-large size organizations. As the Hybrid Data Center, Cloud Productivity and Identity Specialists we are a leader, early adopter and implementer of Microsoft technologies with a reputation for innovation, quality, and in-depth expertise.
Known as the “Trusted Go-to-Partner” by both clients and vendors, Steeves and Associates delivers a senior team of enterprise consultants who average 25 years’ of experience integrating, implementing and migrating Microsoft solutions into a myriad of complex enterprise environments. Considered to be amongst the best in the industry, you are in working with the right resources to get your questions answered when you need it most with Steeves and Associates.
Author: Bruce Piper
Bruce Piper is an experienced Solutions Architect with a demonstrated history of working in the information technology industry. Piper is seasoned in Service Delivery, Enterprise Software, Messaging, and Enterprise Architecture. Piper has a Diploma of Technology focused in Electrical and Electronics Control Option from British Columbia Institute of Technology. When not immersed in the world of tech, Piper enjoys traveling the world.