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Sarah Bunt

Microsoft Delivers Long-Awaited Office 365 E5

Article originally published on crn.com/news by Joeseph Tsidulko - December 01, 2015

Office 365 e5

Recently, Microsoft released the latest and greatest enterprise edition of its Office 365 cloud-based productivity suite, promising partners that the product's added capabilities would create entirely new opportunities for them to drive business.

E5, the long-anticipated release of the enterprise-grade version of the world's leading office productivity and collaboration SaaS suite, introduces first-time functionality into Office 365, including cloud-based calling and web-conferencing, security and compliance features and an eDiscovery tool.

While partners were expecting most of the new capabilities -- Microsoft discussed the product extensively in July at its Worldwide Partner Conference and has been briefing partners since — the channel finally got a look at how E5 would be packaged and priced.

[Related: Equinix Cloud Exchange Debuts Direct Access To Office 365 Through Microsoft ExpressRoute]

Phil Sorgen, Microsoft's corporate vice president of its Worldwide Partner Group, told partners in a blog post that "the new Office 365 unlocks a whole new suite of capabilities for our customers, and a whole new opportunity for our partners."

Those innovative tools will be available as standalone features, or as the Office 365 Enterprise E5 package, said Microsoft's channel chief.

"For partners, this means one thing – opportunity," Sorgen blogged. "There are a few specific ways you can maximize this opportunity with new and existing customers."

Among them, partners can upsell to existing customers the web-conferencing and cloud-based communications tools. Or they can leverage the security, analytics, insights and compliance features to win new customers, Sorgen said.

Ric Opal, vice president of Peters & Associates, a Microsoft partner based in Oakbrook Terrace, Ill., told CRN that partners must now start thinking about how to capitalize on Microsoft's innovations.

"We have to figure out how we're going to leverage the new features Microsoft released in E5 and differentiate ourselves," Opal said.

Those capabilities are raw ingredients that partners must use to carve out their own positions in the market and drive healthy margins, he said.

"The true trick is figuring out from all the stuff they dropped how to weave your value proposition around their innovation," Opal told CRN.

Matt Scherocman, president of Interlink Cloud Advisors, a Microsoft partner based in Cincinnati, said E5 is a major upgrade, not just a gradual evolution, of the enterprise product.

"If you look at what they added, like end-user and organizational analytics, that stuff wasn't in [the edition] before this one," Scherocman told CRN. "It's cool that it’s a whole separate product. The cloud-based phone functionality didn't exist before, and now it's in E5."

While partners who sell on-premises phone systems might not see that as much of a benefit, for "those who don't, it’s a natural add-on that we can start selling as a package," Scherocman said.

"The key here is that Microsoft continues to innovate the platform," he told CRN.

The two most-surprising elements of E5, Scherocman said, are the enhanced eDiscovery capabilities, which help customers prioritize the most-relevant documents they query; and the ability to open e-mail attachments securely in a virtual machine, making sure the attachments and links are safe.

"I think it will help get rid of a lot of malware and issues that people have with their PCs," Scherocman told CRN.

Sorgen encouraged Microsoft's partners to team with their peers who specialize in such areas as security, eDiscovery, business intelligence and communications and take on joint engagements to expand their practices.

"This is perhaps our best opportunity yet to convince customers that the benefits of the cloud far outweigh the risks," Sorgen said.

o365 free trial

 

Sarah Bunt

On-Demand Webinar: Microsoft Azure Real World Scenarios [with Demo]

microsoft azure on demand webinar

Want to get one step closer to cloud readiness?

Learn how to embrace the power of Microsoft’s cloud computing platform in this on-demand webinar.

Please join Microsoft and Microsoft Heartland Area Partner of the Year - Interlink Cloud Advisors as we showcase the impact the Azure cloud platform can have across a variety of workloads through a live demo.

Designed for all business and IT professionals, this session will walk you through the Azure platform and how you can use it to can extend your data center, while working seamlessly with your existing tools and infrastructure. 

view webinar slides azure purple

We'll cover some of the most common workload scenarios and questions, including:

  • Speed to market - quickness of setting up and provisioning a server with Azure [demo]
  • Protecting data with off-site backups
  • Business continuance and disaster recovery
  • Cost-effective, on-demand dev/test environments
  • Funding available from Microsoft

Whether you have already started moving workloads to the cloud or are just getting started, this webinar offers some best practices and insights into promotions that can further accelerate your cloud projects.

Sarah Bunt

On-Demand Webinar: Office 365 - Amazing New Features You've Never Seen

O365 On DemandWebinar

On-Demand

Stay up to date on Office 365's new features and functionality.

Office 365 is constantly being updated and improved. The platform’s productivity tools have proven their ability to better connect teams and simplify collaboration in the workplace. Yet, many companies are not taking advantage of all the functionality O365 has to offer – mostly because they don’t know they exist. 

In this on-demand event, Microsoft and Microsoft Cloud Consumption Partner of the Year, Interlink Cloud Advisors will show you just how to move beyond the basics of Office 365 and extend the value to your business. Both existing Office 365 and new 365 clients will benefit from this event.   

In this free interactive session, Interlink will reveal you how to get the most out of Office 365 through product overviews and live demos. You’ll also get the low down on the new E5 licensing options and Microsoft funding that is available to your company. 

view webinar and slides O365

Matt Scherocman - Microsoft VTSP and #1 in the world at helping clients with Microsoft funding – will demo and explain the new features and functionality of Office 365.

Live Demos Include: 
Office 2016, Sway, Delve, Skype for Business, Office Groups, and Admin Portal

You can expect to learn about:

  • New E5 Licensing: Your options
  • Office 2016: New features
  • OneDrive Updates: Improved sync & mobile clients
  • Sway: Quickly present mobile & web friendly data
  • Delve: Unleash the power of proactive search
  • Skype for Business: New options for conferencing & telephony
  • Groups: A new level of collaboration
  • Admin Enhancements: Plus more 

If you think Office 365 was good before, you’re really going to love it now.  

Register today if you want to find out how to get the most out of Microsoft’s Office 365 for your organization.

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Sarah Bunt

On-Demand Webinar: Understanding Microsoft's Enterprise Mobility Suite

EMS On Demand Webinar

Ready to solve the unique challenges of your mobile workforce?

Enable your users to be productive on the devices they love, while helping keep corporate data private.

In this on-demand webinar Microsoft and Microsoft Heartland Area Partner of the Year, Interlink Cloud Advisors, explore the possibilities of Microsoft’s Enterprise Mobility Suite – the only cloud solution built to affordably deliver access to apps and data across all devices, while helping keep your business secure.  

view webinar slides

Cover the different aspects of Enterprise Mobility Suite, including:

  • Control Identities of Users – Single Sign on / Self Service Password Reset / Multifactor Authentication / Security Reporting
  • Mobile Device Management – Bring your own device support / selective wipe/ non-domain PC controls
  • Intellectual Property Management – Lock down files so that only the right people have access, audit and monitor access to protected files, restrict ability of users to do things like cut / paste or printing
  • Cyber Security– visibility into user and network access to protect against attacks, malicious behavior, and security risks
  • Application Management - manage and protect corporate apps and data on almost any device

Register today if you want to find out if Microsoft’s Enterprise Mobility Suite is right for your company.

Matt Scherocman

Data Loss Prevention (DLP) in New Office 2016, SharePoint Online, and OneDrive for Business

Data Loss Prevention (DLP) in New Office 2016, SharePoint Online, and OneDrive for Business

Clients have benefited from Data Loss Prevention (DLP) technology within Exchange Online for years. Microsoft is now expanding the functionality to cover data and documents that may be in Office, SharePoint, and OneDrive. Plus they are enhancing the console where the policy rules are managed so that the policy rules for all of the services are controlled in a single location.

Client can continue to use the templates that Microsoft builds to help them stay compliant with regulations like PCI and HIPPA. Severity levels can also be set – so administrators, for example, could have one set of actions that happen if a user tries to send a credit card number externally and another if they are trying to send a file that contains ten or more credit card numbers in it.

DLP not only is for people who are actively trying to share content that they shouldn’t, it is also for people who didn’t notice that there was a company credit card contained 10 emails down in a thread before they forward it to a new distribution list.

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