Office 365 is mainstream – now what?

Posted by Colm Whelan on Jun 17, 2015 11:16:48 AM

Like a multitude of our customers, you deployed Office 365 in the last 3 years. What happens next?

I’m hearing that new features keep coming but some of you can’t keep up. You need help understanding the roadmap as it relates to your needs, so we’re going to blog about new features, next steps, cautions, success stories, etc. throughout the year. Plus, we welcome topics and suggestions from our readers.

Based on my experience and meetings every day with companies ranging from 100 up to 90,000 Office 365 users. this is what you need to know NOW:

  1. OneDrive - If you haven’t rolled it out, Microsoft will be pushing you to. Be careful, as with SharePoint, it needs governance and compliance planning before implementing. Answers to questions like: Is it for sharing with my team or individuals? Do I use SP or OneDrive? What about all the sync'd data on my devices -- is there a risk? (see Data Protection below).
  2. Yammer - Once again be careful. Is it better than newsfeeds in SP or persistent chat with Lync? Should I use all 3 or just a subset?
  3. Data Protection is here and branded at Microsoft as the Enterprise Mobility Suite ("EMS"). Yes, you need this and you need it immediately. Why? With the awesomely easy access you’ve been providing end users on multiple devices, your data is now at EXTREME risk. Microsoft is adding individual features around data security to Office 365, Selective device wipe etc. but will never really get you to the comfort level you need. EMS will, with the following:

-      Microsoft Azure Active Directory Premium for Single Sign On, Multi-Factor Authentication and advanced security reporting.

-      Microsoft Intune for Mobile device management, Application management and off-domain PC management.

-      Microsoft Azure Rights Management for document protection -- both on premises and in the cloud (on your devices)

What’s coming up

Later this year you’ll need to know about Delve – cutting-edge tech that lets users group related content, such as information about a particular project, for easier search and reuse.

About Delve - coming to market and actually GA. I was involved in a startup 5 years ago where we created this kind of technology. This is the way forward and a shame for me we were too early. So what is it? Delve lets users group related content, such as information related to a particular project, for easier discovery. Delve boards are a tool for combining content rather than relying on separate search and social tools to help users find the information they need.

Office 365 Video - Once again a great leap forward to meet the huge pent-up demand for a scalable solution in the SMB and mid-market space. Enterprise customers invest millions in this type of technology. Look at Polycom, Kaltura, Brightcove and Ramp and learn how much it can cost. Office 365 Video will get you a long way and is included in your subscription. It leverages Azure Media Services for codec.

  • Express Route - already a big success with the Azure platform and is coming to Office 365. ExpressRoute enables you to create private connections between Microsoft datacenters and infrastructure that’s on your premises or in a colocation environment. If you have latency challenges or would prefer a private connection to Office 365, this will be the way to go.

Topics: Cloud, Microsoft, Office 365