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Microsoft 365 came about in 2017 as a combination of Office 365, and the EMS (Enterprise Mobility and Security) suite. The basics of M365 have not changed: it’s still all about mobility and security. Although the product hasn’t changed much, the reasons why you should migrate to M365 have become more compelling.
The ongoing rise of enterprise mobility keeps spinning up new management and security challenges. BYOD has become the default, bringing a whole new stack of privacy and security challenges. A core pull factor to upgrading to Microsoft 365 is the strong need for security, information protection, and compliance solutions. The robust security features incorporated in Microsoft 365, from malware protection to compliance capabilities, ensure your data is safe.
An overview of Microsoft 365 vs Office 365
The below table summarises Microsoft’s offering across all major Office 365 and Microsoft 365 plans. As you can see, the main differences between O365 and M365 are the following products and features:
- Windows Defender
- Windows Autopilot & other automatic installation and management tools
- Microsoft Intune
- Advanced Threat Analytics
Let’s delve into each of these five areas one by one and establish why they matter (and whether they matter for you).
Many people are trained to believe that Microsoft’s built-in security is not enough and that you should always install third-party antivirus software. Simply put, that’s not the whole story. Windows Defender is the logical choice for a Windows environment: it is built right in, offers blazing-fast performance, and has top-ranked antivirus protection.
If security is such a big priority that you can’t afford to spend time configuring the basics, then Windows Defender is a must. It doesn’t preclude using other, more advanced protection tools (which we’ll address later), but it’s the right place to start for enterprise security.
AutoPilot sounds like good marketing – ‘run your Windows desktops on autopilot’ or some such spin. In reality, it’s much more practical than that. Windows AutoPilot is you can image a geographically distributed end-user fleet, with no local, on-ground support. AutoPilot is the key to competent, central deployments.
It works perfectly with the rest of the M365 suite to allow coordinated deployment at scale.
Microsoft Intune, or Windows Intune as it was formerly known, is nothing new. Many of us will remember when it was the cloud-based ‘poor cousin’ of System Center; now, it is a fully-functional enterprise mobility management platform, extending into Apple / iOS ecosystems with ease.
Even comparing Intune head-to-head with independent, purpose built mobility management systems on a platform such as G2 Crowd leaves the Microsoft champ looking very, very strong. If you operate a Microsoft shop, then Intune is not only the obvious choice: it is the best choice for enterprise grade, capable mobility management.
Advanced Threat Analytics
Windows Defender – or any antivirus, for that matter – is insufficient protection for a high-risk enterprise today. Attackers these days are so sophisticated, they don’t operate precisely the same ploy across every landscape, which marks it impossible for a standard algorithm to detect suspicious behaviour. Advanced threat analytics allows your security platform to learn, analyse, and identify suspicious device behaviour in real time.
Many vendors provide threat analytics, but most of them require a specialised skillset and completely different licensing, increasing total cost and creating all kinds of trouble for a security administrator managing a Microsoft environment. Once again, Microsoft has the obvious choice ready to go, inhouse.
Business Drivers for Microsoft 365
Let’s take a step away from the individual technical features of M365. What outcomes do a C-level team want to see before signing off on a fairly significant purchase such as an enterprise-wide Microsoft 365 subscription?
Work from anywhere
A key advantage of upgrading to Microsoft 365 is the ability to work remotely. The fact that Microsoft 365 incorporates all office 365 applications, in addition to improved integration of enterprise mobility and security means that your users can access their applications, securely, anywhere they like.
Many companies require their employees to work in teams. Microsoft 365 is adapted to suit this need through collaboration features which let individuals work and edit the same document in real-time. With features such as content sharing, team chat and shared calendars users can rest easy knowing they will always be in sync with their team.
Enable the Modern Workplace
As work-lifestyle trends move towards greater flexibility, users want a choice of where and how they want to work, while delivering increased productivity for the business. At Experteq, we define the Modern Workplace as an environment where time, place, and device are not barriers: they are choices. The Modern Workplace designs technology around people, rather than pushing people into cubicles with dusty desktop PCs connected to inflexible corporate networks. Microsoft 365 comes closer to realising this vision than any other vendor’s productivity platform to date.
Is Microsoft 365 the right choice for you?
If prioritising security, mobility, and a people-first approach is key to your organisation, Microsoft 365 (M365) could be the strategic solution you need. It has played a pivotal role in the transformation of both government and private sector enterprises, enabling them to achieve their goals with efficiency. M365 is particularly beneficial for scenarios such as managing multiple care facilities without onsite IT support or navigating public service departments through governmental changes without sacrificing compliance, offering customised solutions for these complex challenges.
When selecting the most suitable M365 plan, it’s essential to evaluate your organisation’s size, potential growth, and the specific nature of your operations. M365 caters to a diverse range of entities by providing specialised plans for nonprofits, schools, and frontline workers, ensuring a good match for any organisation’s needs. Critical factors such as the scope of your typical tasks, budget constraints, and the necessity for system compatibility across various devices and locations should influence your decision. Whether your requirements are basic, like email and document management, or more complex, such as conducting large meetings and creating presentations, M365 offers a spectrum of plans to accommodate your needs.
If leveraging Microsoft tools is integral to your workplace and you aim to upgrade your IT infrastructure, we’re here to assist in navigating your options. Understanding your specific requirements and ambitions allows us to recommend the M365 plan that best aligns with your current needs while also facilitating future growth and success. Get in touch with Experteq today and explore how we and Microsoft 365 can help.