Microsoft 365 has been around since 2017 but many businesses wonder how different it is from Microsoft Office 365 and why should they be adopting Microsoft 365 for their business.
Small & Medium businesses are traditionally used to several tools to run their businesses effectively. Tools like Microsoft Office for document editing, Excel for spreadsheet, PowerPoint for presentations, and then there are tool sets like Skype or Zoom for Audio/Video Conferencing, email solutions from GoDaddy or similar hosting provider, and the list goes on. Not to mention, the numerous whatsapp group running ungoverned across the organization. And most of the time, these solutions are managed by a single or may be two IT support persons who end up with huge bunch of service requests to support everything from connectivity to system updates to installing new software.
Given the current Covid-19 situation, As I write this, millions of people around the world are adjusting to full-time remote work and learning. Working remotely full-time can challenge us as humans because we are hardwired for connection. But human tendencies serve to stimulate development and adjust to our environment, allowing humankind its endless flexibility in adjusting to different situation when exposed for a longer period. And this is exactly what we are seeing today when people are working from home, adjusting to connect to their peers, employers, employees, customers, vendors, partners and other professional acquaintances via different mode of communication.
While this allows business continuity, it can also pose significant risk to your business. Risks that are both intended and unintended which can cause irreversible damage to your business, financials, goodwill or brand. Some of the risks are
Cyber Threats – People while working remotely are vulnerable to phishing attempts, ransomware, spam, malware, viruses, malicious links through email or other modes of electronic communication. Your finance team might receive an phishing email in the name of your “CEO” to release funds to an unknown bank account, and your finance team may not be in the position to verify that request.
Device Management – Are your remote employees devices secures? In the current situation where devices are shared by family members or employees use BYOD (Bring Your Own Devices), how can you ensure that malicious apps done leak sensitive data on your Smart Phone, Tablets or Laptop. And how do you ensure that even important data is used only after authentication and authorization.
IT Management – Not every employee can manage their devices or installed software on their own. Nor everyone will have administrator access to their devices like Laptop, Desktop or even Tablets at times. Imagine the need of army of support staff to help your remote employees fix their problems and getting access to either complicated remote support software or vulnerable free screen sharing tools.
Given these risks, it is imperative that businesses leverage tools that are industrial, proven, simple and easy to use and support automation.
Microsoft 365 is the productivity cloud that brings together best-in-class Office apps with powerful cloud services, device management, and advanced security to transform the way you work. This blog post will discuss 10 reasons why your business needs Microsoft 365 today !!!
- Productivity – Yes, this matters, and makes it to the top of the list. Employee productivity is an important metric for successful engagements. Microsoft 365 gives you the familiar, always up-to-date applications you know on your favorite device. With some plans, you can install Office apps on up to five PCs or Macs and five tablets (iPad, Windows, or Android), and transfer the installation if you switch devices. View and edit files on Windows Phones, iPhone®, and Android phones with Office mobile apps.
- Communication – Remote working can be taxing, human connect is important, and especially when you are part of a team, lack of communication can be frustrating. Microsoft 365 offers business class email and calendaring products that help you stay on top of what matters with a clear, unified view of your email, calendar, and contacts.
- Collaboration – Now more than ever, people need to know their virtual conversations are private and secure. At Microsoft, privacy and security are never an afterthought. Microsoft Teams is a unified communication and collaboration platform that combines persistent workplace chat, video meetings, file storage (including collaboration on files), and application integration. The service integrates with the Microsoft 365 subscription office productivity suite and features extensions that can integrate with non-Microsoft products like Jira, Confluence, etc.
- Identity & Access Management – Microsoft 365 uses Azure Active Directory to manage user identities behind the scenes. Enterprise plans include a free subscription to Azure AD so you can integrate with Microsoft 365 to sync passwords or set up single sign-on. Windows Hello for Business replaces passwords with strong multi-factor authentication on Windows 10. Sign in with your face, iris scan, fingerprint, or a PIN, to authenticate to apps, content, and resources without storing a password.
- Security – Microsoft 365 offers organizations a blended package that includes not just Windows 10 and Office 365, but also an Enterprise Mobility and Security (EMS) platform. With EMS, companies can manage their mobile devices, secure data and documents, and investigate advanced threats and other hazards. With Microsoft 365, you can restrict copying or saving of company information to unauthorized apps and locations with App protection for Office mobile apps as well as control who and when someone has access to your business information with security groups and custom permissions.
- Device Management – Intune is Microsoft’s cloud-based mobile device management service. Intune determines whether devices are compliant and sends this data to Azure AD to use when applying conditional access policies. Securely manage iOS, Android, Windows, and macOS devices with a single endpoint management solution. Streamline and automate deployment, provisioning, policy management, app delivery, and updates. Remotely deploy applications that are mandatory to be installed on client systems and prevent installation of unwanted application as well as access to unwanted sites.
- Increased Adoption – When employees switch to the cloud, they want to give users a productivity solution that is minimizes ramp up time. Office 365 offers this experience, because the mobile, online, and desktop applications share a consistent experience with the familiar Office applications, giving users instant facility with the solution. Employees can use Microsoft 365 almost immediately, because Microsoft 365 is built upon the on-premises versions of Exchange, SharePoint, Groups, Teams, and Office. Companies get the simplicity and flexibility of the cloud while improving the functionality that users expect and need.
- Compliance – Your organization’s data may live in a heterogeneous world beyond the Microsoft Cloud, and it’s important to manage compliance across data assets in a unified way. Compliance Manager now enables you to create your own assessments—including on-premises and non-Microsoft applications—against any regulation or standard. This allows you to manage your data protection controls, collaborate between teams, and prepare for audits—all from one cloud-based compliance management tool called Compliance Manager. Compliance Manager can now detect your tenant settings and automatically update the status of your controls by integrating with the Secure Score API. For example, when security-oriented controls, such as Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA), are implemented, the risk assessments in Compliance Manager automatically reflect the updated status.
- Secure Score – The Secure Score is a metric developed by Microsoft to help you understand where your business is now, and what you need to do to improve your security. It provides you with the ability to integrate with other Microsoft products, compare your score with other companies/industries, and identify potential weakness areas. From a centralized dashboard in the Microsoft 365 security center, organizations can monitor and work on the security of their Microsoft 365 identities, data, apps, devices, and infrastructure.
- Total Cost of Ownership (Pricing) – With Microsoft 365, you don’t need to invest in expensive servers to host plethora of applications like Active Directory, Windows Server Licensing, Exchange Server Licensing, expensive VPN from infrastructure point of view. In addition to that, you get premium products like Teams , Planner , SharePoint, OneDrive, Azure Active Directory, Device Management, eDiscovery & Compliance Management & Conditional Access. In addition to that, Azure Active Directory supports single sign on to 1000s of SAAS products with minimal configuration to keep your user experience consistent and security intact, which means, you disable one ID and login gets disabled at all other applications that are integrated with Single Sign On. End Point Management enables you to hire lessor number of support staff by automating application deployment and support services.
How do I get Microsoft 365?
Microsoft 365 is available right now. The current subscription includes applications updated to the Office versions. Of course, the key to the subscription model is that each user will always be using the most current and most secure version of each application because each application is continuously updated. Please feel free to reach out to me and I will help you deploy Microsoft 365 for your business.
How do I migrate my email, calendar & contacts to Microsoft 365?
I can help you migrate your email, calendar & contacts data to Microsoft 365 using state of art tools and zero loss migration. For qualified customers that buy annual subscription, the migration if at zero cost.
How do I migrate my Google Drive, Box or Dropbox data to Microsoft 365?
I can help you migrate your existing cloud storage data to OneDrive or SharePoint at minimal cost.
What are current promotions going on with Microsoft 365?
I can provide One Month of guided trial of Microsoft 365 Business or Six Months of free Microsoft Teams Trial that can be used by up to 300 users.