So you checked my start with yourself and build your team article, right? But now what? Well, now it is time for the third part of Digital Transformation seriesMicrosoft 365 explained. This is the suite where all comes together and gives you the opportunity to transform your business. Well, at least you have a chance with these capabilities to do so 😉

I have one question first, sorry. What do you think about a series of a modern intranet with Office 365 / Microsoft 365? The series would cover how I would build a modern intranet, what services I would use, which services are essential, which services to introduce first and last etc. I created a quick survey based on Microsoft Forms and I would love to see your feedback! It is important to me that I create content you enjoy! Let’s continue.

Preamble

Microsoft 365 is a complete, intelligent solution, which brings together the best of Office 365, Windows 10 Enterprise, and Enterprise Mobility + Security, that empowers everyone to be creative and work together, securely. That’s what Microsoft says 🙂

You can jump to the specific segments in this article with the links below:

Let’s take a closer look into that and try to understand what it is all about and how it comes together. Microsoft is not promoting as a marketing bundle (but it sure is at least a little bit one), but they say it will help us building the modern workplace.

Okay, but first we have to clarify one major difference upfront. There is an enterprise and a business version. Microsoft 365 Enterprise is designed for large organizations and integrates Office 365 Enterprise, Windows 10 Enterprise and Enterprise Mobility + Security. Microsoft 365 Business is designed for small- to medium-sized businesses with up to 300 users and integrates Office 365 Business Premium with tailored security and management features from Windows 10 and Enterprise Mobility + Security. It also comes with a different feature-set.

Let’s try to understand it in more details. What are the key areas of Microsoft?

Key areas of Microsoft 365

The 4 key areas of Microsoft 365
The 4 key areas of Microsoft 365

Now we are way smarter, right?

Uhhhm, not really
Uhhhm, not really

You are right Jake, not really 🙂 Well, that’s what I thought. Microsoft 365 is even more complex than Office 365 just because there are so many components included. Let’s check out the services inside of it. Maybe that will help us to get a clear big picture.

Microsoft 365 components

On a very high level view there are three packages. Office 365, Enterprise Mobility + Security and Windows 10.

Office 365

If you follow my blog you most likely know what Office 365 is. Simply speaking, it is a set of services provided by Microsoft. If you are not that familiar with it yet, you can check my series on Mastering common challenges in Office 365 to learn more about a few different services you get. Depending on Microsoft 365 Enterprise or Business you get a different set of services and capabilities in Office 365. If you only buy Office 365, there are different plans which offer you more tools and more options. The same is for Microsoft 365. To compare the enterprise plans you can check the official source from Microsoft.

To only name a few pretty good ones:

I linked those services to the articles I wrote in the past. Go check them out and learn more about those if you haven’t. There is also a really funny article which shows you several services in one article. English version: How to use 7 tools to create 1 simple survey German version: Wie benutze ich 7 tools für eine einfache Umfrage

Enterprise Mobility + Security

As in the Office 365 suite, this package has also different plan options if you buy this suite only. Again this is also the same for Microsoft 365. The EMS suite has several key areas as well.

Enterprise mobility + Security suite key areas
Enterprise mobility + Security suite key areas

To go into details in this article wouldn’t make sense. It has too much to offer and it is as complex as Office 365. If you want to see a separate article or even a series for this, please let me know on Twitter or in the comments below! There are only one or two things I don’t like that much in this suite. First is the name. The name “Enterprise mobility” is too much related to phones. At least to me. I would prefer something like Endpoint Management + Security. We’re talking any device, Windows, Mac, iOS and Android right? So that is an endpoint and we’re managing those. Well, #JustAnIdea.

The other thing is the component Azure Active Directory Premium P1. You can check the details in depth at the official Microsoft source, but to make it short: I am not that happy with the Advanced group features. Don’t get me wrong, I like the feature, it has potential and is helpful, but I think that it is necessary to manage your subscription and tenant. Therefore I would expect it to be included in the basic version of Azure Active Directory. On the other side of the coin, I understand that this is a selling point of the suite.

Key areas of Enterprise Mobility + Security

Anyway, to give a brief overview and links to learn more, here a little bit of information. We can cluster the essentials as follows (the clickable links will give you more information directly from Microsoft):

You can also check out the playlist from Microsoft Mechanics about the EMS suite on YouTube. One thing I want to mention here specifically, is Microsoft Intune. If you never checked it out, you should! Perfectly in time, Brad Anderson and Dean Hager are showing us how we can get a better coexistence with Apple and JAMF. If you like to check out the video, here you go:

Microsoft Intune adds now support for automatic enrollment of macOS devices with Apple’s Device Enrollment Program (DEP). Check out the video above. That time is not wasted! We also see here the term “endpoint”. “Endpoint Management” + Security 🙂 #JustTheIdeaAgain

Windows 10

Last but not least we need an operating system for our clients. That’s a surprise, right? 😉

Surprise :D
Surprise 😀

Windows 10 is hopefully nothing new to you, but if it is, there are cool new things if you are coming form Windows 7 or Windows 8. If you want to learn more about Windows 10 Enterprise check out the link.

For example: Windows AutoPilot. This is a service that streamlines the deployment of new Windows 10 PCs. This process can be done when the end-user logs on to Microsoft 365 Business for the first time—without IT ever touching the device—by leveraging centralized management controls of Microsoft 365 Business. You can also use Windows AutoPilot for existing PCs that are running Windows 10 Professional Creators Update (or later) and have been factory reset. (Source from Microsoft)

More details on this can be found here. I personally think, that this is only the start. With this approach we can save so much time. It doesn’t matter if we’re talking 10 client business, 100 clients or +1000 clients.

Why Microsoft 365?

So why Microsoft 365? Why not buy the things you need from the whole package? Why not buy “the best” tools on the market? Is this the way to go? Why Microsoft?

I can’t answer these questions for you, but for me it is the most integrated suite which offers a wide variety on tools for end users and IT, keeps me secure and up-to-date, helps me to become future-proof and I have the option to make my IT-landscape better. Also a mindset change is needed for this decision, but you will see below how I think about it.

Almost every company has a wide variety of tools, but most likely a wide variety of vendors as well. To integrate them, to manage those and to provide an easy and feature-rich IT-landscape is difficult. So it is most likely the question:

Breed vs. Suite or Alone vs. Together

I always explained it with the picture below:

Breed vs. Suite or Alone vs. Together
Breed vs. Suite or Alone vs. Together

To give a little context here: If you have multiple vendors you probably have multiple people working on those. They make them better, integrate them, update the products, that’s all cool, but you probably don’t work together on the future. These people are often heading into different directions, because they only see their “product” or “vendor”.

On the other hand, if you minimize the amount of vendors and products in your IT-landscape, the pure mathematical chance of going into different directions gets minimized. For sure, you have more potential to argue about the direction, but in the long term your users, the IT portfolio, security, the IT admins and owners of the products and much more get’s better and more future-ready. Also I don’t see an argument or discussion as something bad. Often this is really good to understand why you are aiming for this one direction.

One Direction
One Direction – Sorry, I had to 😀

Summary

I hope this article helps you to understand Microsoft 365 more in detail and why you probably should consider this option for your digital transformation. Also, I hope I could make you smile 🙂 and you like the style of my articles.

In case you haven’t checked out Part 1 and Part 2, go for it. This series should help you in your process to get your digital transformation going and I think the first two parts are essential as well. Share this article if you enjoyed to help others on their path. If you hate this article, well… Hope my next article is more appealing to you. 😉

Again here my question from the beginning: What do you think about a series of a modern intranet with Office 365? Which tool to use for what? How they work together and what services should probably be introduced first and last? I created a quick survey based on Microsoft Forms and I would love to see your feedback!

Thank you all for reading, liking and sharing my articles. Until the next time, don’t be AFRAIT

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