Did Microsoft just enter the telephony game? Plus, everything else you need to know about Office 365 E5

Did Microsoft just enter the telephony game? Plus, everything else you need to know about Office 365 E5

Enterprises now have access to the new Office 365 E5 Suite, Microsoft’s most comprehensive set of productivity, collaboration, analytics, security and compliance capabilities, of any Office 365 plan ever.

And while the premium SKU – which became available December 1, 2015 – brings with it some impressive new features, it’s the attractive price tag and new communications services that are causing the biggest waves. In E5, Microsoft is rolling out Cloud PBX and PSTN Conferencing services, designed to eliminate the need for legacy telephony systems and third party conferencing providers.

Coming in at $35 for the standard E5 plan, Microsoft estimates it costs just one-third of what enterprises are already paying for all the combined services.

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Why you should do more than just licensing with Office 365

Why you should do more than just licensing with Office 365

This is going to sound like a dumb question, but is Office 365 a cloud productivity solution? Or simply an easier way to license Microsoft apps across the enterprise?

Take a look around and the answer isn’t quite so clear.

While using the Office cloud suite has been shown to unlock a more connected, collaborative and efficient business, there is evidence that many organizations are simply not using it that way. Instead, they’ve bought Office 365 simply to take advantage of a more simplified licensing solution.

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How to prepare for Office 365 outages

How to prepare for Office 365 outages

Failing to plan for a cloud service outage is a plan to fail.

And with worker productivity and thousands of dollars on the line for every second of lost connectivity, this worst-case scenario is a costly one – unless the proper steps are taken upfront.

This is one topic top of mind with organizations, especially if you are running on Office 365. So what can they do to prevent and mitigate the risk of downtimes?

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Not Dead…Yet: Accepting the end of Windows XP

Not Dead…Yet: Accepting the end of Windows XP 

Windows XP has been a dominant operating system in the enterprise for over a decade. Finally, though, it’s time to say goodbye.

In April 2014, Microsoft is ending its extended support for Windows XP, which means enterprises that haven’t migrated to a new platform by then will be immediately exposed to a plethora of zero-day exploits. While most businesses are taking steps toward more modern operating systems, such as Windows 7 and 8, they need to be making far greater strides.

Not Ready to Let Go?

Our recent audit of nearly half a million corporate PC devices, featured in our recent Shadow IT in the Enterprise study, found that 58 percent of those devices are still running Windows XP. This is just a 10 percent improvement from a year ago.

The slowest to react are mostly large enterprises with tens of thousands of PC devices in their IT environment and some small businesses whose owners are likely unaware of the risk involved. The next time you’re in your doctor’s office, or some type of small business, take a look at their computers. More likely than not, you’ll see that classic Windows XP Start button in the bottom left corner.

While the XP end of life is more than four months away, this slow year-over-year transition is nevertheless alarming. Microsoft estimates that a full OS transition can take anywhere from 18 to 32 months, which means plenty of organizations will not succeed in migrating all of their necessary devices at their current pace. [Read more…]