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Moving on Up to Office 365

What You Need to Know

by Patrick Renzi

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Moving to Office 365 is exciting, but it doesn’t have to be hard. You have enough on your plate already, so why stress over the unknown? PC Connection, Inc. is a premier Office 365 partner with Microsoft. Our Cloud software practice has taken proactive steps to make it an easy transition to Office 365. Here are some tips to make your transition a breeze.

Clean Up Your Active Directory

Active Directory Federation Services are an essential tool to easily let users access their accounts and subscriptions. In the current iteration, however, it’s a bit all or nothing. Turn it on and all accounts (i.e., inactive users, archived mailboxes, team mailboxes, etc.) will have a full user account assigned and a license used against it. Imagine the unnecessary headaches and complaints if your staff members cannot access their email. Be aware that you can reassign user licenses once every 90 days, however, so these initial setup mistakes are not final.

They Are Mailboxes, Not Users

Now that you are clearing those non-user mailboxes, you have to be thinking, “Why am I deleting my team mailboxes? I thought this guide was supposed to be helpful!” Remember, Office 365 is licensed per user, not per mailbox. You set these up separately—conference rooms, equipment carts, team mailboxes, user aliases, etc. These are all provisioned without the need to create a full Office 365 user.

What “Access to Data From Anywhere” Really Means

Data security is one of the biggest concerns for information officers today. There’s no doubt, the Internet is a scary place. Microsoft proclaims that Office 365 is “your office in the cloud,” and access to your data from anywhere is one of its biggest selling points. On the surface this seems great. Productivity soars when users can work anywhere. Typically, the company would only equip certain users to work anywhere, but now anyone can download and install Office on their personally owned device. Company data sits on a device that your security admins don’t control. Microsoft guarantees the safety of your data at their data centers, as well as in transit. Are there any safeguards built into the endpoint? Only if you license it that way—and that often means adding a service. MDM is a common solution to protect data on a personally owned device. With MDM, IT can require end-users to register their devices before getting access. This is not a perfect solution, though, since it requires another license and another subscription.

I’m not writing this to dissuade you, but this is where licensing is headed for the foreseeable future. I think Office 365 is an incredible platform and we at PC Connection, Inc. want to make your transition as painless as possible. Being an early adopter of Office 365 can be difficult, but it pays to be on the cutting edge.

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