Introducing Microsoft 365
As a longtime Microsoft partner, we’re deeply invested in the Microsoft platform and recommend, implement and support all that is Microsoft including the wildly popular Office 365 platform. During this past July at Microsoft Inspire, the annual partner conference, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella introduced Microsoft 365 which includes Office 365, Windows 10 and Enterprise Mobility + Security.
According to Microsoft Corporate Vice President for the Office Team Kirk Koenigsbauer, "Microsoft 365 Business is designed for small-to medium-sized businesses with up to 300 users and integrates Office 365 Business Premium with tailored security and management features from Windows 10 and Enterprise Mobility + Security. It offers services to empower employees, safeguard the business and simplify IT management.” (Koenigsbauer, 2017)
All this sounds great, but what does it really mean for SMB customers? Microsoft 365 Business is a new SKU offered to customers in the same way that Office 365 SKUs have been licensed (via monthly subscription). Additionally, Microsoft 365 brings together features from across Microsoft’s offerings to include device management and security features to ensure your data is protected.
According to the Microsoft 365 Business website, “Microsoft 365 Business was purpose-built for small and medium-sized customers that have little to no IT resources on staff, do not rely on an Active Directory domain controller, and need a solution that provides their employees with the best-in-class productivity and collaboration capabilities of Office 365 and device management and security solutions to safeguard business data and assets across devices.” (Microsoft, 2017)
There is a great table on the Microsoft 365 Business website that provides a detailed feature comparison between Office 365 Business Premium and Microsoft 365, but here are the added features that Microsoft 365 Business provides:
- Device management – single console to manage user and device settings, self-service PC deployment with Windows
AutoPilot, and automatic deployment of Office apps to Windows 10 PCs
- Security – protect company data across devices, secure access to documents on mobile devices, protect Windows 10
devices against malware, viruses and spyware with Windows Defender
These new features sound amazing, but there are some caveats to running Microsoft 365 Business. The Microsoft 365 Business website states, “customers who wish to run Microsoft 365 Business in their organization must be running Windows 7, 8.1 or 10 Pro on their current desktops and do not rely on a domain controller for their organization. Customers who use an on-premises Active Directory must switch to cloud identity and management as part of their deployment. Current Windows 10 Pro PCs should be running Creators Update if they have not already done so.” (Microsoft, 2017)
Microsoft is offering a free preview of Microsoft 365 Business and does not require an existing Office 365 Business Premium subscription.
Koenigsbauer, K. (2017, July 10). Introducing Microsoft 365. Retrieved from Office Blogs: https://blogs.office.com/en-us/2017/07/10/introducing-microsoft-365/
Microsoft. (2017, September 13). Microsoft 365 Business. Retrieved from Microsoft: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/microsoft-365/business
About the Author
Kate Smith, SecurElement’s Director, Sales & Marketing is responsible for SecurElement’s overall sales and marketing strategy as well as ongoing partner relationships with organizations such as Microsoft, Cisco, Barracuda and many others.