I am going to outline some advantages available to current Exchange users that migrate to Office 365.
- If you have Exchange on premise, it is fairly easy to setup a hybrid environment. This means you can have some users with mailboxes on premise and some mailboxes in Office 365 and your end uses experience seamless communication.
- Users in the cloud see the same address book as users on premise.
- Users logon to Office 365 using their email address as their logon name and the SAME password as they do on premise.
- Hybrid configuration allows mail flow between on premise and cloud users to be seen as internal (SCL = -1) if you understand that.
- Hybrid allows free/busy lookups between on premise and Office 365 to work when creating a meeting.
- When mailboxes are moved to the cloud, the Outlook client re-configures itself using the autodiscover service and the same profile is used. This means the Outlook OST file does not need to be rebuilt.
- Mailbox moves can be ramped up to 99% and held there. When you, the admin clicks “finish migration”, the mailbox move is completed within 10 mins or less and the Outlook client is prompted to restart. This allows you control over when the mailbox is migrated. Very important for those “high touch” end users.
- Phones experience the same automatic reconfiguration as the Outlook client.
Other advantages in going to Office 365 with the E3 or E4 licenses.
- 50 GB mailboxes with Unlimited Archive mailboxes.
- An extremely fast installation of Office 2013 (Word, Excel, Powerpoint, etc) that is branded Office 365. We call this a click to run install.
- Up to 5 installations per user of this version of Office. The license is tied to the user’s Office 365 credentials, so the end user can install Office at home, and when they are no longer with the company, their license expires. No more handing out CDs with the product key written on it with a sharpie (Hoping their kids won’t get a hold of it.)
- OneDrive with UNLIMITED storage; OneDrive is built into Windows 8.1 and Windows 10
- Continuous updates to Office 365 online portal (you may know this as OWA) allowing you to take advantage of the latest features without any effort from you, the administrator.
- High Availability that would cost way more if you tried to implement on premise.
- The administrator will never have to worry about backups again.
- End to end encryption is available without having to install an additional appliance such as ZixGateway or Entrust appliance.
- Ability to keep all mail with “in place hold” feature for a desired duration (such as 7 years), including deleted mail which does NOT affect the 50 GB mailbox quota.
- The ability to link URLs (Web addresses) that point to large files stored in your OneDrive rather than using traditional attachments. Can’t attach that 100 megabyte powerpoint or visio document? No problem with OneDrive linking.
I haven’t touched on ALL the advantages, but hopefully this will give you some technical insight to the advantages of migrating to Office 365. In future posts, I will go deeper into these advantages.