Microsoft 365, not to be confused with Office 365, is a complete solution for business that enables collaboration, creativity and mobility through digital transformation. It is a suite of services – including Office 365, Windows 10 Pro, and Enterprise Mobility + Security (EMS) - offered at different levels via a number of subscription plans.
There are a number of benefits to moving over to Microsoft 365, and they are all geared towards making your business run smoother and more effectively. Here are a few of the highlights:
Scalable pricing that is offered month-to-month makes it easier for businesses to pay only for what they need. One invoice and payment cover the entire Microsoft 365 suite, calculated per-user per-month and according to the plan that you choose for your business. If a user leaves the business, the monthly subscription can be altered immediately, without the hassle of seeing out a lengthy contract. No budget are wasted and you only pay for what you need.
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Enhancing productivity is something that all businesses strive for, after all, most business strategies are geared towards achieving this seemingly elusive end goal. With Microsoft 365 you can make it simple for users to switch on when they need to, switch devices if they have to and work from anywhere in the world. Everyone can access the work they require as all obstacles that can otherwise hinder productivity have been removed.
Business continues as usual, even if your office becomes unobtainable. One login gives you access to the Microsoft 365 dashboard, which gives you access to everything you need to get your work done. You choose the applications you require and they are available to the users that need them – as determined by you and your business security policies. No more navigating disparate pieces of software, or remembering multiple passwords. Teams are connected throughout the “always up-to-date” business solution, seamlessly integrated and ready to perform any business tasks from anywhere in the world.
Microsoft 365 brings employees together. With teams already connected, communication and collaboration happen effortlessly. Employees are fully enabled to work productively together by being able to share documents, schedules, chats, data and more, with everything integrated into one system. Multiple users can work together on one document without being restricted by a location or time zone, updating one another in real-time without the hindrance of trying to coordinate workflows.
Users can work offline where necessary, and all work, calendar updates, emails and documents will simply sync once they are connected again. Each employee will be working with the same experience as the next, ensuring that every change they make is progressive and powerful, working towards the same end-goal.
One of the primary benefits of Microsoft 365’s cloud-based solution is the opportunity to keep security at its highest. Consider for a second how much business data is located on different devices throughout your company. Maintaining optimal security for all those devices would otherwise seem like a monumental task, but it is managed in one place and kept up to date at all times.
Permissions can be set and adjusted easily; access is fully controlled at all times; data loss prevention policies can be put in place; Office 365 Advanced Threat Protection protects against attachment viruses, ransomware and the like, plus there are a number of biometrics put in place to ensure that only the designated person who is meant to access a system can do so.
Data breaches due to system vulnerabilities are a leading cause of drops in productivity. Having “always on” security removes the headaches associated with keeping anti-virus software updated, plus the need for cancelling subscriptions if an employee loses their laptop is no longer required. Everything is managed through a centralized source. Data and files cannot be lost, the employee simply logs onto Microsoft 365 using another device and business can carry on as usual.
A lost or stolen mobile, laptop or device can be locked down with the click of a button, ensuring your IP and data remains safe and secure.
Centralized management simplifies IT to the nth degree. Maintenance on Microsoft 365 systems is managed through the cloud and will update all systems on the subscription at once. Automate the deployment of all apps to Windows 10 machines keeping everyone on the same system at all times. Any configurations in terms of access, security etc. are managed across the board and carried through to all devices.
All security updates or upgrades happen at the click of a button. Adding new users or removing old ones is seamless and quick. All of this without the need for on-site servers and bulk machinery to power your business. It’s all managed through the cloud.
One of the realities we face with technology is that we need to stay up to date to remain relevant. To be competitive, to be able to work effectively and to keep business operations streamlined, working with the latest advances in technology is your closest ally.
Part of today’s relevance is offering employees the opportunity to work remotely. This kind of flexibility is highly sought after and Microsoft 365 provides the solution by having your entire business online, all the time.
Flexibility for your business is perhaps not something you consider as a prerequisite, but “being flexible” offers a number of benefits in many different instances. Being flexible is a means to achieving balance, and it’s high on your employees’ list of what they look for in prospective careers.
Flexibility to work and also have a home life balance. Flexibility to work remotely, while still being able to meet goals and be a part of the team. Flexibility to update a document from your laptop, desktop, tablet or phone, without encountering a single obstacle on the way. Flexibility to work on the go, while still being on schedule.
Flexibility is more than just a buzzword, it’s a way of ensuring that business can adapt to suit any and all circumstances.
One of the questions on many businesses lips is that of business data: where will it be stored? Microsoft has a number of data centers located all around the world, including Australia. Each one meets the most stringent of requirements to ensure that every piece of data is kept as secure as the next. They align and are in complete compliance with international data protection laws that extend to transfer and storage of customer data.
Traditionally, getting your on-premise infrastructure up to scratch with certifications like Information Security Registered Assessors Program (IRAP) was difficult. Outsourcing your hardware means that this is taken care of, no more maintaining, and updating hardware and software.
|CIS Benchmark||CJIS||23 NYCRR Part 500||BIR 2012 (Netherlands)|
|CSA Cloud Control Matrix||CNSSI 1253||AFM + DNB (Netherlands)||C5 (Germany)|
|CSA-STAR-Attestation||DFARS||APRA (Australia)||CCSL/IRAP (Australia)|
|CSA-Star-Certification||DoD DISA L2, L3, L5||AMF and ACPR (France)||CS Mark (Gold) (Japan)|
|CSA STAR Self-Assessment||DoE 10 CFR Part 810||CDSA||Cyber Essentials Plus (UK)|
|ISO 20000-1:2011||EAR (US Export Administration Regulations)||CFTC 1.31 (US)||Canadian Privacy Laws|
|ISO 22301||FedRAMP||DPP (UK)||DJCP (China)|
|ISO 27001||FIPS 140-2||EBA (EU)||EN 301 549 (EU)|
|ISO 27017||IRS 1075||FACT (UK)||ENS (Spain)|
|ISO 27018||ITAR||FCA (UK)||ENISA IAF (EU)|
|ISO-9001||NIST 800-171||FDA CFR Title 21 Part 11||EU-Model-Clauses|
|SOC 1||NIST Cybersecurity Framework (CSF)||FERPA||EU-U.S. Privacy Shield|
|SOC 2||Section 508 VPATS||FFIEC (US)||GB 18030 (China)|
|SOC 3||FINMA (Switzerland)||GDPR (EU)|
|WCAG 2.1||FINRA 4511||G-Cloud (UK)|
|FISC (Japan)||IDW PS 951 (Germany)|
|FSA (Denmark)||ISMS (Korea)|
|GLBA||IT Grundschutz Workbook (Germany)|
|HDS (France)||MeitY (India)|
|HITRUST||My Number (Japan)|
|KNF (Poland)||NZ CC Framework (New Zealand)|
|MAS + ABS (Singapore)||PDPA (Argentina)|
|NBB + FSMA (Belgium)|
|NHS IG Toolkit (UK)|
|RBI + IRDAI (India)|
If you’re considering Microsoft 365 for your business, it is an exceptional fit, especially if you currently run a business that falls into or comes close to one of the following categories:
Unfortunately, there are some instances where Microsoft 365 won’t necessarily be a good fit for your business. This is rare, but there are circumstances that will prevent your business from receiving the full benefit of Microsoft 365:
The best course of action when choosing to migrate to Microsoft 365 is to do so with the help of a certified Microsoft partner, such as Powernet, who will handle the details of the migration for you. You can do it yourself, but a partner has ample experience in this type of deployment and will be able to guide you through the process with ease.
Before migrating to Microsoft 365, it’s wise to do an audit of your business to determine what needs to be put in place before you can move forward with your new business solution. If your business is already running on Office 365 for business, adding licenses for Microsoft 365 is a simple process. You can assign licenses to all employees in the business or only a select few. Same as if you are starting from scratch, not leveraging from Office 365.
We’ve put together a basic Microsoft 365 migration checklist that will make it easier for you to make the move with full confidence:
The Microsoft 365 migration duration depends on a number of factors and is different for each and every business. Some of these factors include, how many users will be added, how many apps need to be deployed, your speed of connectivity, what systems need to remain in place etc.
Managing the migration process through a certified Microsoft partner will ensure that the procedure is carried out by professionals who understand the migration process and are properly trained to roll it out in a number of different scenarios. They will be able to offer the best possible solution for your migration that is also carried out in the least amount of time. In addition to managing the migration, they can also manage your IT infrastructure for you, post-migration.
Microsoft 365 offers a comprehensive software package, that many already know in part as Office 365. It is a complete productivity suite that houses everything a business needs to carry out operational tasks effectively and professionally. This is coupled with security best practice and the Windows 10 operating system to offer a solution that covers every angle of business.
With the Microsoft 365 software at your fingertips, you have all the tools you need to work from anywhere at any time, while still collaborating and communicating with your team mates, no matter where they are located. Each app can be deployed with your migration, or you can choose only what you need based on your business requirements. You can also manage the access control to each application, ensuring that employees only have what they need in order to meet their respective obligations. All applications are integrated into your overarching suite of services, so each document or task follows your team and is accessible by all.
Take some time to find out more about each application and how it can benefit your business.
The productivity suite of products offers you everything your business needs in order to be operational. They are the same Office tools that have been used for years, except they are running on the most up-to-date version and take into account proper, effective business management on today’s technological landscape.
Word has always been the leader in word processors that allows businesses to deliver top notch, professional documents, formatted to perfection. Built-in spell-check is your safety net that helps you deliver content that is free from grammatical errors and spelling mistakes. Colleagues can collaborate in real-time by viewing and editing shared Word documents via tracked changes or comments. Set language preferences or find a synonym for that word you’ve used too many times. The end result is always a perfectly constructed document that adheres to your business preferences and branding guidelines.
No presentation is complete without PowerPoint – the ideal way to communicate your ideas or present new information. With loads of pre-defined presentations built in, you can create a professional, fully-operational presentation with a few clicks. Simply add your own content and imagery and choose your effects, colors and styling. Graphs and videos can be added at the click of a button, or you can pull in data from Excel or Power BI to complete the story you want to tell. Teams can collaborate on your presentation using co-authoring and comments, fine-tuning your PowerPoint presentation to perfection.
Excel is the best way to organize your data into usable and insightful information. Pull data in from other sources such as Power BI or any other analytical tool for easy reference and organization. This tool has been used for years to create manageable, user-friendly ways to view data, create spreadsheets and perform a number of different calculations.
Excel allows you to get a view of your data that is easy to read and work with, while being easy to understand by businesses and users across the globe. Using a variety of formulas, charts and formatting tools, you can create professional spreadsheets that offer insightful information for the entire business. Sharing is simple allowing the entire team to collaborate on a single spreadsheet or complete workbook.
OneNote is an easy-to-use organizational tool that keeps all your notes, to-do lists and notebooks in one digital space. Differentiate between different notebooks with colorful tabs and clever, simple filing systems. Edit notes with highlights or scribbled notes and share them with your team.
Access is an application that is only available on PC. It gives businesses another smart way to create applications that are customized for the business, as well as being easy to navigate and understand. You don’t need to be a developer to use and benefit from Access, which is what makes it so appealing to businesses that don’t have an in-house development capability.
Templates offer you a starting point for your application creation, or you can use a multitude of design tools to create your own from scratch. As your business grows, you can edit your application and help it grow with the team. It can also be integrated with other Microsoft 365 applications to visually interpret data, information or any other company assets.
Collaboration is a definite buzz word in business of late, but for good reason. Without collaboration, teams work in silos, which gives rise to multiple obstacles that could easily be overcome with communication. Having the right tools at your disposal to ensure collaboration and communication will bring your teams closer together, getting them fully involved in projects together.
These tools have been built with exactly that in mind: to keep conversation flowing, ensure that all team members are involved at all times, and to ensure that there are multiple opportunities made available for collaborative efforts.
Business grade email and calendar offer the solutions you need to maintain complete control of where you’re supposed to be and what you’re supposed to be doing. Sync your emails, contacts and calendars across all devices, ensuring that you’re always working on an up-to-date system, no matter where you are.
Hassle-free scheduling is easy to manage, and you can have the peace of mind that your information is completely secure at all times. Should you happen to lose your mobile device, you can remote wipe it from anywhere to ensure that your private business information is always kept secure, no matter what.
Each and every email can be categorized according to your own unique system of storage, and you can format them exactly as you see fit. Send messages up to 150MB in size and benefit from a substantial storage.
Manage everything from an easy-to-use administration center, including the addition of new email users, and complete management of existing users. Malware protection and anti-spam are part and parcel of the deal. Archiving is available on certain subscriptions, plus you can integrate LinkedIn and your Office 365 connections to get comprehensive insight into your contacts.
SharePoint is your business’s personalized, customizable intranet, that is ready-to-use and completely mobile. Connect your entire team across multiple locations, without the need for network cables. Seamless collaboration is the key with SharePoint, giving rise to the opportunity to share documents, applications, resources, data and company updates.
By integrating other applications, SharePoint offers businesses the chance to create powerful digital experiences that are almost limitless in their potential. Keep your entire organization informed and engaged at all times, while promoting productivity and a cohesive work ethic. Instill productive processes within the business that are easily carried out, no matter the level of complexity.
What is a suite of applications and services without a social network? Yammer is your business’s enterprise social network that helps you engage your teams and keep everyone involved at the same time. Build a strong community of team members by having a relaxed environment that is open for communication and the transparent sharing of information.
Share ideas, resources or interesting information that your team can benefit from. Get feedback from colleagues through comments and keep the flow of conversation moving consistently as you integrate Yammer into all your business platforms.
As with all aspects of Microsoft 365, Yammer is secure. Comprehensive analytical data and insights can be pulled from Yammer to ascertain usage levels, reach and activity within your business’s social network.
Team work is made so much easier with the use of Microsoft Teams. As the name suggests, it brings your team members together in one space, no matter where in the world they may be located. Teams is a shared workspace that is the foundation for collaboration and communication. Here your teams can hang, talk, share ideas, change ideas, share files, folders or anything that is required to get the job done.
Included in Teams is the ability to host web conferencing, online meetings and group chats. Built-in Office 365 applications make it easy for team members to work on a single document together, make changes to a presentation in real-time, or make last minute updates to a strategy before sending off to a client. Plus, it is completely secure and managed under your business’s chosen administrative control.
Teams can expand to incorporate 10 people or 10,000. It’s a completely custom solution that will fit the needs of your business and the ways that your teams work.
Where communication is concerned, real-time is the best way to ensure that ideas remain fresh, and conversation is relevant. Microsoft Teams is the perfect way to bring your team together to quickly ask a question or get involved in lengthy discussions. Using video calls or voice calls, you can reach out to team members and pull them into a debate as if they were in the same room with you.
Live stream meetings for other team members not on-site, dial into conference calls or host standard weekly catch ups. Plus, you can communicate from multiple devices, including your mobile phone when you’re on the move. Make and receive internal phone calls using cost-effective VOIP solution, connecting directly with co-workers.
Part of the Microsoft 365 E5 solution, you can combine your phone system and Microsoft subscription into one. This ensures your employees work out of the one platform. Dial out of Microsoft teams or skype for business to connect with your clients.
Office 365 Video allows businesses to create a video channel that houses all curated video content from the business. Team members can post and view video content of training material, workshops, business information etc.
Office 365 Video will soon be replaced by Microsoft Stream, which is discussed in a little more detail further down on the page.
Microsoft Delve is an extensive search functionality that operates across all Office 365 applications. It allows businesses to organize the information that appeals to the user into an attractive, user-friendly and interactive dashboard. Users can pull information from OneDrive, SharePoint, Yammer and Microsoft Exchange into a custom data visualization profile.
With the use of machine learning, Delve will also suggest content and items that it thinks may be of interest to you, which are displayed on this profile page or dashboard. Recently accessed documents are also visible here, as are documents from other team members and colleague profiles. Personal profiles are curated using elements such as skills, profile information, images and projects.
Documents in shared folders are accessible from Delve, all of which is kept completely secure. Delve becomes more useful the more it is used. The machine learning capability will continue to provide suggested content that matches your search histories and preferences and the profile page will continue to be updated with fresh content if you’ve been active on the application.
Power BI Pro is extremely powerful business analytics and intelligence on another level. It’s the ideal tool to measure any metrics across your entire organization, as well as represent data in vivid visuals that can easily be shared throughout your business. This analytical solution offers developers the ability to measure the efficiency of their applications. Using Power BI, analysts are able to ensure the user-friendliness of designs, forms or customer-facing collateral. It’s also the preferred choice by IT, as it can ensure that all business data is kept secure at all times.
Power BI allows businesses to pull in multiple streams of data from different sources. Spot trends, identify obstacles in user-flows, make more informed decisions about the way your business operates based on insightful data. Power BI has the capability to create visual dashboards and fully interactive reports. All team members can collaborate on your visuals, which are stored in accordance with your business’s specified governance.
Make educated decisions about the next steps in your business, based on the information that tells the true story about how your business operates.
MyAnalytics is a standard inclusion for businesses using Microsoft 365. It’s a smart way to enhance productivity by reporting on your current working habits. MyAnalytics will help you visually see where time is being wasted or overspent, so that you can reduce unnecessary meetings or unproductive hours and exchange them for more valuable use of your time – both work-related and personal.
Data presented by MyAnalytics is the ideal way to visualize exactly how you spend your time, who you spend most of your time with and how many hours you should be spending on certain tasks. It even shows you how many hours you work outside of standard work hours, so that you don’t ever-exert yourself and lose out on essential personal time. You can track and optimize this easily with MyAnalytics via the user-friendly dashboard, as well as manage it privately in your own capacity.
Business compliance cannot be overlooked as a part of the Microsoft 365 solution.
Advanced eDiscovery builds on the initial Microsoft eDiscovery tool that discovers electronic information that can be used in legal cases that the business might be involved in. eDiscovery is a part of the Office 365 suite that helps businesses search for documents or content in Microsoft Exchange mailboxes, OneDrive, SharePoint, or even in Skype conversations.
The content found is stored in the Security & Compliance Center, and it can be further analyzed using Advanced eDiscovery. This application offers businesses case tools that can help initiate content searches that may be of aid in any internal and external investigations that the business might be involved in.
Using Advanced eDiscovery, the business can find, preserve, analyze and export the sourced content in its native format or in a modified version that is easier to review. This tool ensures that the relevant content is kept safe and secure until required by the business for any legal proceedings.
Customer Lockbox allows users to control how Microsoft support technicians access their data. No one will be able to access the user’s personal data without their approval. When a support request has been lodged, the user has full control over whether or not the support technicians can access their data or not. The Customer Lockbox ensures that a data access request will be sent to the user to request access, without automatic access being granted. The request includes the user’s name, service request number and the duration of time that access is required.
Requests can also be rejected, and if no response is received within 12 hours then the request is automatically declined. Upon approval, the support technician can access the user’s data and make the required fix. This additional layer of security ensures that personal data is always preserved.
Advanced Data Governance is an essential part of business governance that ensures that all business data – no matter what volume of data – is always maintained and managed under the most stringent, compliant conditions. Businesses rely on data to run optimally, but the amount of data can become overwhelming to manage manually. A comprehensive data governance system needs to be implemented to ensure that important data is preserved, while redundant, obsolete data is removed.
Using machine learning, Advanced Data Governance makes policy recommendations based on the general business requirements. It also offers automated data classification that makes your data easier to manage. When unusual activity takes place, such as multiple deletions, the system will alert you to the activity to ensure that no data amendments have taken place in error. Compliance standards can easily be applied to on-premises data too.
Cloud-based storage is an essential accompaniment to Microsoft 365, giving you the space you need to store and manage your important files and documents.
OneDrive is the storage solution that allows you to access your files from anywhere, share them with anyone and collaborate on them with ease. It is the connecting point to all your files, giving you access from anywhere in the world that has an Internet connection.
The OneDrive mobile app gives you access on the move from your phone, as well as the ability to capture receipts, business cards and any other documents that you have on hand that need safe and secure storage. Share with team mates and work with them online, via your mobile phone or desktop.
Productivity is best ensured with proper management of teams and resources. Having concrete processes and systems in place is the answer to enabling a productive and engaged workforce. These applications have their place in ensuring this.
Staff scheduling and task management is easier with the use of Microsoft Staff Hub. Schedules can be updated from anywhere at any time, on the go or from your desk chair. Assigning tasks to different team members happens at the click of a button, immediately informing them of the update. Any business needs can be attended to by assigning the relevant team members. These team members can all collaborate, discuss and share opinions and ideas within StaffHub, maintaining momentum on projects and keeping the conversation flowing freely. Proper onboarding and training can be delivered through the application, ensuring that all involved team members have everything they need to execute on the tasks required of them.
Creating access for new employees is as simple as adding their mobile number and creating a digital identity for them. As quickly as team members can be added, they can also be removed, giving you complete control over your scheduling at all times.
PowerApps is the glue that integrates all your applications together, bringing in business processes, data from Power BI, Microsoft Graph and other related services. It’s the ideal way to create solutions for your business challenges, using the applications that your team has devised specifically for your business requirements.
Using PowerApps, your potential to create is limitless. Create mobile applications, powerful forms, business workflows and so much more according to what it is your business needs. You can automate aspects of your business by integrating PowerApps with Microsoft Flow or incorporate rich data by incorporating information from Power BI.
Using PowerApps, your users can create the exact applications they need in order to be able to do their jobs effectively.
Microsoft Flow is all about enabling smooth and streamlined workflows. Using this intelligent application, you can create your own custom workflows using different applications and services. Repetitive business tasks can easily be transformed into workflows with a few clicks. Templates can guide the process in creating your preferred business workflows, and from there you can devise your own from scratch based on certain business requirements.
Examples of Flow templates include: sending email updates to a Microsoft Teams channel, collecting Twitter data, adding Wunderlist notes to an email, creating push notifications or sending email attachments to OneDrive. All of these tasks can easily be automated, freeing up valuable work hours for more important tasks.
Microsoft Flow can easily be integrated with Power BI and PowerApps to create the Power Platform that helps business create extensive business solutions. The functionality can also easily be updated and managed on the go through the use of the Flow mobile application.
Microsoft Stream is best described as intelligent video, the smart video service that allows businesses to create, edit, share and interact with video content across your entire organization. Create a channel for your Stream videos and have them available to you and your team in one convenient location, whenever you need them.
You can watch videos via the Stream application or using any other applications that are frequently used by your team. Features that make it a more user-friendly option include closed captions, face detection features, speech to text etc.
Your communication efforts just became that much more appealing through the use of Microsoft Stream. You will also notice a higher level of engagement and uptake by users through the use of appealing video content that is a great way to educate, inform and communicate important messaging. Workshop material can easily be communicated and shared using Stream, as can team meeting recordings and essential training videos.
Security is one of the prime concerns of all businesses, particularly when it comes to cyber threats and vulnerabilities. Maintaining the highest standards and levels of security is an essential component to the delivery of the full Microsoft 365 suite of services and solutions.
Microsoft has simplified all security measures for the end-user in the Microsoft 365 offering, while ensuring that each component works around the clock to protect all data on your PCs, laptops, tablets and other devices. Most security measures can be managed from the admin center, including applying and managing settings, enabling and disabling features, controlling how data is stored, managing access and so much more.
The number of cyber threats grows day by day, which makes comprehensive cyber threat protection a core feature for businesses today. Threat Protection offers businesses the ability to find and put an end to cyber threats before they cause damage to the business operations or data.
Advanced Threat Protection (ATP) that comes standard with Microsoft 365 is tuned into sophisticated methods of phishing and ransomware attacks. Attachment scanning and AI-powered analysis happens without you even realizing it, as well as analysis of all web links in your emails. Any dangerous threats are immediately discarded, preventing any opportunity for cyber threats to enter your company system. This also prevents users from navigating to unsavory websites that could also pose a threat to security.
Using Threat Protection, you can secure business identities and prevent malicious login attempts. Intelligence solutions can be applied to prevent malicious attacks via phishing or email. Receive alerts when cyber threats are detected and act on them immediately. Any malicious activity within the cloud or within your workflows can also be picked up quickly, giving you the chance to take the appropriate action in time before any damage is inflicted on your data, systems and information.
As the name suggests, Advanced Threat Analytics, gives your business an advanced threat analysis system that protects you from cyber threats and activity. Multiple methods are used to identify different threats and alert the business as to their presence in real-time.
The system is running all the time and will alert you when an anomaly is discovered, or suspicious activity takes place. This offers businesses the opportunity to divert the malicious activity as soon as possible, preventing security breaches, depositing of malware, or other similar cyber threats from taking place.
One of the primary methods for uncovering threats is behavioral analytics. Analytical data is constantly monitored in an attempt to uncover the anomalies or suspicious activity that is out of the norm. These unusual patterns are flagged immediately, with alerts sent to mobile devices or designated email addresses (if configured) in real-time.
The system also searches for known threats on a consistent basis to ensure that these are prevented too. Advanced Threat Analytics employs machine learning to constantly evolve and offer a better service. It displays a timeline of events that make it easy to report on.
Windows 10 is touted as the most secure Windows operating system ever built. Windows Defender Antivirus is a built-in antivirus protection that comes as part of Windows 10. It offers extensive protection against viruses, malware, spyware and other known and unknown cyber threats.
All your business documents, data, applications and sensitive information are protected with the highest standards of security compliance offered by this antivirus control. It is a standard feature that is already enabled and actively working to protect your business at all times.
Windows Device Guard is made up of two parts: Windows Defender Exploit Guard and Windows Defender Application Control. When run together, it determines what applications can be run on a certain device as per your specifications. Businesses can effectively “lock down” certain applications that have been prescribed as safe by the business’s integrity policies. Any other application will not be able to run on the device.
This type of protection is a highly tamper-proof, double-layer of security that prevents unauthorized applications from being launched on your business devices. This includes malware or any other malicious applications that are installed on your device without your knowledge or consent.
Identity is at the center of security management, and it’s also the most robust way to keep your information and company data safe. By tying identity management in with how you conduct business, everything related to your work can be managed securely using a single identity solution.
Azure Information Protection is an additional layer of security that protects sensitive information from being accessed without authority, whether it be from an internal or external source. Certain functionality can be added to your systems to prevent forwarding, to categorize content as the company’s confidential information, as well as to encrypt email content using Office 365 Message Encryption. This can all be managed whether your business operations are based in the cloud, or in a physical office. The choice is yours.
Office 365 Message Encryption can be utilized inside and outside your business, regardless of whether the recipient uses Office 365 or not. Full flexibility allows you to encrypt and decrypt email messages with full confidence. The process is simple, and there is no need for additional software installations.
Though seemingly small, these added security benefits protect sensitive personal information, that if leaked or breached could land the business in extensive legal battles. Knowing that your business is protected with a more secure access control, you can rest assured that important company resources won’t fall into the wrong hands. This also ensures that all sharing mechanisms are done so safely, whether it’s inside or outside your organization.
Set up complex policies for your organization as well as restrictions, based on your specific preferences. Protect emails from unauthorized access, secure your SharePoint libraries, keep online and offline information safe, use strong, automated encryption techniques to keep valuable information safe, manage sensitive data and decrypt or encrypt information as and when you need to. You can also initiate a new policy whenever you feel the need to, keeping information protection completely within your scope of control. These policies can also be configured, classified and labelled based on their level of sensitivity.
Businesses can select from Azure Information Protection P1 (Premium 1) or P2 (Premium 2). Both offer all of the above-mentioned services, with Premium 2 being a little more extensive. Additional features offered by Premium 2 include being able to create conditions for automatic and recommended classification, automatically applying labels to pre-configured S/MIME protection in Outlook, Azure Information Protection scanner, and Azure Information Protection and Active Directory (AD) Rights Management.
Azure Information Protection integrates seamlessly with Office 365 and works across Microsoft Exchange, SharePoint and Office, protecting SharePoint libraries, sensitive data and all documentation. Choose from default protection templates or custom-build one that covers your business needs entirely. All activity can be tracked, giving you the birds eye view of your business interactions and engagements. You can revoke access where necessary, establish access and also reinstate at will.
Windows Hello offers the latest in personalized biometric recognition. Users can access their devices without the use of a typed-in password, but rather through the application of their fingerprint or through facial recognition.
The feature can be activated and deactivated, depending on the user’s preference for access to his or her systems. The setup is quick and user-friendly. Whether choosing to log in via fingerprint of facial recognition, Windows Hello is three times faster than typing in a password. This security feature can be used for initial sign on to your laptop, tablet or mobile phone, and it can also be used for browsing the web or to validate in-app purchases. A multitude of apps are already Windows Hello-enabled, which means that employees can simply smile and login in a snap. Some of the enabled apps include OneDrive and Dropbox, among many others.
As a further layer of protection, Windows 365 separates user login details from the rest of the data contained in the system, to prevent access to the system should there be a security breach. This isolation of information is carried out through the activation of Credential Guard.
DirectAccess is a secure, remote access control system, like a VPN-access system, that comes into effect when the system is connected to the Internet. It allows users to access the business’s private network resources via a remote connection that is also authenticated and bidirectional. This service is more than a typical VPN service as it is activated by the system as soon as it is connected to the Internet. VPNs are typically user-activated. DirectAccess is firewall-friendly, is constantly being monitored, and is simple to set up, connect and use.
Conditional access ensures that the most trusted form of access is used to access business systems. User identity is the leading biometric that is consistent and true, and ensures that a Zero Trust attitude is adopted when trying to access business systems. Conditional access assumes that every resource or document is akin to being on the open Internet, and access needs to be connected to user identities to ensure security at all times. Once this has been put in place, all access needs to be properly verified according to device, app, identification, and risk signals before being granted.
How secure is the cloud? A question asked by many businesses. With Cloud App Security protocols in place, your business’s level of security is completely heightened as well as stable. Cloud App Security Broker (CASB) is your business’s answer to a complete protected environment within the cloud that protects you from anomalies, cyber threats and any unauthorized access.
Integrated with your Microsoft 365 solution, CASB can be deployed easily, offering a centralized management system and automation capabilities. It helps your business identify cyber threats as quickly and effectively as they occur, shutting them down immediately across the suite of cloud-based services.
CASB is unique in that it monitors identities and user actions, keeping tabs on identity-centric activity and employing conditional access. It offers protection across all your applications, data and cloud-based services, with highly configurable security controls. Classify, manage and secure all sensitive information anywhere in the cloud.
Within Azure Active Directory – Microsoft’s identity and access management solution – is a feature called Privileged Identity Management (PIM). Identity is a biometric used to validate system access and these permissions can be granted by a privileged account or administrator. Sometimes these administrator accounts are forgotten about and can become a vulnerability within the business’s security system. The solution to this is to isolate the accounts from the rest of the system information so that if there is a security breach, the access information is not readily available. Privileged Identity Management has provided this solution.
Another level of Azure identity management is Azure Rights Management. This is a cloud-based protection service that utilizes encryption techniques, identity management and authorization policies to keep your files and email secure. This applies across multiple devices including your mobile phone, tablet and desktop computer or laptop.
The information that is protected using Azure Rights Management can be contained both within the business as well as outside the business. It is the protection of company data, no matter where it may reside. Even if protected data is emailed to a client, it still remains under the protection of Azure Rights Management, even if just for legal and compliance purposes.
Device management can often be overlooked when considering company security, but with multiple devices being used to conduct business, it’s in the best interests of the company to put a complete device management and security policy in place. Microsoft 365 makes this so much easier with multiple features that offer the peace of mind you need when managing business from a variety of devices, whether remote or on-premises.
In the mobile-first world we’re living in, Microsoft Intune offers proper support, mobile management and comprehensive protection for users working within the mobile environment. Giving your employees the flexibility to work remotely, or from other devices doesn’t have to come with security risks. Regardless of how complex your mobile work environment is, Microsoft Intune’s cloud-based capabilities can handle it.
All devices used for business purposes can be managed within the admin center, regardless of whether they are Android, iPhone or run on MacOS. Ensure that employees are aware of all risks associated with working on mobile devices by having them accept the company and security terms and conditions before being enrolled on the Intune network.
Microsoft Intune has all the features of Mobile Device Management for Office 365 (below) as well as a few additional capabilities. Users that have access via Intune can have secure and monitored access to company information through certificate, Wi-Fi, email and VPN profiles.
An Intune-managed browser app ensures that any Internet browsing done for work purposes is done so securely, and any required business apps can be deployed to those who need them. All Intune-managed apps are managed under a unique set of protection policies that are geared towards mobile device management. Certain functions, such as restricting copy and paste functions, configuring all URLs to open within the managed browser, and conditional access, all work towards ensuring that sensitive company information is kept safe at all times, regardless of which device it’s being accessed from.
Determine what company resources each user can access and also sort these according to category, only giving each user access to the information they need to carry out their business roles. Multi-factor authentication will add that additional layer of protection and sense of reassurance.
All mobile devices need to be as secure as the entire business system, and this is done with the help of Mobile Device Management (MDM). MDM is built into Office 365 and helps your business manage security policies and all business applications without compromising the user’s personal safety or privacy on the mobile device.
This Mobile Device Management system offers restricted remote access, inbox security technology, credential security control, legacy technology policies and the restriction of legacy technology use. It can be used and managed on Android and Windows devices, as well as those running on Mac iOS.
With MDM, you can relax in the knowledge that your business information, emails and documents can only ever be accessed by mobile phones that have been enabled on the system. So, if an email falls into the wrong hands, attempts to open it will be futile and your business information will remain as secure as if it’s kept under permanent lock and key.
All security policies and access control are managed from the Office 365 Security and Compliance Center, where you can also add additional security policies at will. Device-level pin-lock and jailbreak detection will help you identify when or if any unauthorized access is taking place, even if a company device has fallen into the wrong hands. On top of that, you can also remote wipe any business information from a device with a moment’s notice, while still keeping any personal data and information completely intact.
System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM), is a centralized location that allows the business to enable employees to work on the devices they choose. Enable devices in remote locations while still operating within the security of the business and practices.
This single administration panel gives your business control over which devices are used, where they are used and who they are used by. This includes servers, desktops, laptops, and mobile devices. You can maintain full company compliance, no matter where your business information is being accessed from and regardless of the device. SCCM allows you to manage everything remotely, keeping business operations completely streamlined and managed on the go.
It doesn’t matter if devices or systems are on company premises or not, SCCM’s cloud-based functionality gives you full control at all times.
With Microsoft’s System Center Configuration Manager, your IT team can only work more effectively. Manual IT tasks are now reduced making work hours more efficient. Software deployment is simple, secure and scalable. This also makes sure that employees are able to access the correct software when they need it, which enhances their levels of productivity while minimizing any time wasted.
All existing Microsoft technologies can integrate seamlessly with System Center Configuration Manager. This includes Microsoft Intune, DNS, Exchange Server and Exchange Online, Certificate Services, Remote Desktop, Remote Assistant, Windows Deployment Services, Windows Group Policy, and Windows Server Update Services.
SCCM can affect every system on your company network, which makes it an incredibly powerful management tool that controls your entire organization. With this in mind, it’s important to map out a strategy and deployment plan to ensure that business requirements are properly met.
CAL stands for Client Access License and is a license that allows you to use the Microsoft 365 commercial software. It gives users access to services on the server. Client Access Licenses ensure that all employees and members of your team are given the appropriate access they require to carry out their roles.
Managing licenses can become a cumbersome task, which is why Microsoft have enabled two means to manage this: device-based CAL (Device CAL) or a user-based CAL (User CAL). Unique business scenarios can also be accommodated with the use of an External Connector (EC) license.
Every employee that requires some form of access to the server will need a CAL. With User CALs, the employee might use one or four different devices for accessing the server, but only one CAL is required per employee. Where Device CALs are concerned, one is required per device, but this can be used by multiple users. If your business has employees that share devices when working shifts, such as in a call center, the Device CAL is your best bet. External Connector licenses are ideal for supporting suppliers, contractors or even clients who might need access to your systems periodically.
This kind of flexibility allows you to choose what suits your business, the business requirements, and also your budget.
SurfaceGo is Microsoft’s answer to portable device in tablet form. Simple, intuitive and easy to use, this device is accessed using touchscreen technology and is powered by Windows 10. Available in 64GB or 128GB, either Wi-Fi enabled or an LTE option in the 128GB.
The Surface Pro 6 is now available, operating on a sleek interface with the latest 8th Generation Intel® Core™ processor and powered by Windows 10. Can be used in laptop mode, studio mode or tablet mode, available with 128GB, 256GB, 512GB, or 1TB solid-state drive (SSD).
The Surface Laptop 2 is now available, offering more speed and style. Intel® Core™ 8th Gen i5 or i7, plus it has the full Windows 10 home experience and comes in 128GB, 256GB, 512GB, or 1TB solid-state drive (SSD).
Surface Book 2 is now available with a 13.5inch display, 120GB and Intel® Core™ 8th Gen i5. This laptop offers powerful performance and up to 17 hours of battery life.
HP Notebooks and Desktops are highly compatible with Windows 10 and Microsoft 365, regardless of which one you choose.
Now that you understand what Microsoft 365 is, the immense capabilities that it carries and how it can benefit your business, which subscription plan is best for you? You can upgrade and downgrade as you see fit and find the solution that best meets the demands of your business. Have a look at the number of users you need to incorporate into your plan, and that can determine whether or not you go for the business or enterprise solution.
Running a nonprofit organization? There is a readily available Microsoft 365 solution available for your business. There is also a solution for education facilities as well as businesses looking to effect digital transformation among Firstline Workers.
We’ve included five benefits for each plan to give you an idea of the key advantages, but there are still countless other business benefits for each option that are not mentioned here.
Microsoft 365 Business is limited to up to 300 users. If your business fits in under that number of users, it could be the perfect option for you.
Microsoft 365 Enterprise is divided into three different varieties:
These are listed in order of capabilities, with E3 being the lightest version and E5 being the most comprehensive. F1 is geared towards Firstline Workers, who have otherwise not been included in digital transformation efforts, until now. Enterprise versions have advanced features including enhanced security and device management.
Now that you are armed to the teeth with everything you need to know about Microsoft 365, which plan will you choose and when will you migrate?
Contact Powernet’s team of certified Microsoft partners to ease you into the process and get your business running optimally with Microsoft’s groundbreaking business solution.
When choosing Powernet as your Microsoft partner, you can be assured that your data is in the safe hands. Our team have been completing successful Microsoft migrations for over 25 years, we take the time to understand your needs, risks and goals.
Our migrations have optional workshops attached to help get your team up to speed and ensure you get the most out of your software. We also offer on going 24/7 support, monitoring and ongoing advice from our dedicated team.
Want to know more about Microsoft 365? Get in touch with one of our Microsoft specialists who will guide you on the best solution for you and your business.
You can reach out via phone on 1300 892 692 or fill out the form below and we will be in touch with 1 business day.
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