January 25, 2016
The direction of the technology industry is clear. More and more companies are migrating to the cloud, and software developers are following suit. Instead of selling disks and licenses, many companies have shifted to a software-as-a-service model in the cloud, which gives customers access to software through their web browser or internet connection. In this model, customers no longer need to purchase new versions, manage updates, or deal with end of life (EoL) technology. Microsoft Office 365 (O365) operates on the same principle.
What is Microsoft O365?
Now, companies are able to subscribe to O365 and receive the full suite of Microsoft Office through the cloud. It is always updated, available on any device, and perfect for a mobile workforce. While O365 can be beneficial to a wide range of industries and sizes of companies, there are four key use case scenarios we identified which demand Office 365.
Office 365 Use Cases
1. Companies Frustrated with their Exchange Server
Once upon a time, businesses would staff a designated exchange server specialist to ensure the email application is always in peak condition. Today, many companies have eliminated this position in favor of more IT generalists, but the problems with exchange servers are still prevalent in IT environments throughout Chicago and beyond.
When an exchange server reaches maximum storage capacity, it can crash. These servers are not immune to complications that could cause the capacity to quickly fill. For example, if backups fail, the server will fill with transactional logs and it will soon be rendered inoperable.
The single most important application for many companies is their email, and it remains mission-critical to business operations. Office 365 eliminates the need to manage the exchange server and eliminates the possibility that the server can experience downtime.
2. Companies Looking to Reclaim Resources
The email application can be very resource-intensive in some IT environments. Office 365, by contrast, requires no hardware on-premise.
In an Exchange environment, you could have two to four CAS servers plus additional mailbox servers. This could total six to eight servers. When switching to Office 365, these servers can be reclaimed and used in other areas. This could result in 1TB worth of storage, 8-10 CPUs, and 40GB of RAM reclaimed and available to be used elsewhere in the environment. In data centers utilizing virtualization technology, those resources go right back into the pool to be allocated to other applications appropriately.
3. Companies Looking to Avoid Exchange Upgrades
If a company is using Exchange 2010 or other EoL solutions, the IT director will need to oversee upgrades approximately every three years. Each upgrade cycle is expensive and creates a long period of downtime. Using O365 eliminates the massive exchange upgrade entirely. Because Office 365 is available through the cloud, users will always access the latest version of the software.
4. Companies with Remote Workers or Temporary Employees
A company with remote or temporary workers can maintain user accounts that are mutually exclusive from the active directory environment. For example, say there was a construction company with standard full-time employees but also a significant number of temporary subcontractors. The construction company can place their full time employees on the active directory, and they can use email through O365. However, suppose that same company also wants these temporary subcontractors to have an email address that includes the company name. Using Office 365, the IT director can distribute a temporary email address. These addresses are then housed in isolation within Office 365, and they wouldn’t need to be housed on the private Exchange server. They can be managed in O365 with unique management policies.
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