Many of our clients want to make the move to Microsoft Exchange Online, for a number of reasons. They want to give their end-users the collaborative power of the cloud, the flexibility to access their data anywhere, and up-to-the-minute access to the latest updates. In short, they want their email service to keep up with the pace of the new mobile workforce.
However, there are a few potential issues that tend to give our clients pause. They want to be sure that:
- Their cloud data is as safe as their on-prem data, or safer.
- They achieve a high level of end-user adoption.
- Their migration is problem-free.
These goals can be met. With the right guidance, you realize the benefits of Microsoft Exchange Online with high security, thorough end-user adoption, and a painless migration. Watch the webinar below or keep reading:
The Microsoft Exchange Online Security Advantage
With Microsoft, the interconnected nature of the cloud isn’t a source of insecurity—it’s a source of strength. Given the size of its cloud services, Microsoft has a tremendous amount of experience with malicious actors that they constantly use to improve their security.
Microsoft analyzes 400 billion emails per month and analyzes 6.5 trillion threat signals every day. This experience is combined with exercises in adversarial hacking and distilled by artificial intelligence.
The end result? When you run email with Microsoft in the cloud, you’re not alone. Advanced Threat Protection “detonates” each attachment and URL and screens the results against all the guidelines Microsoft has established. Rather than interconnectivity being a drawback, it’s an asset.
With the new Dynamic Delivery feature, emails aren’t stalled while they’re being scanned. Instead, recipients of an email get the chance to access the email’s text content immediately and are notified that the attachment is on its way, pending security approval.
This provides great protection, especially when it’s used in conjunction with Microsoft’s approach on MFA (Multi-Factor Authentication). Enterprises don’t always use MFA, simply because user adoption is poor due to the perceived inefficiency. This is why Microsoft enables conditional access policies that can dictate exactly when MFA is required. For example, employees on a company LAN could be allowed to skip MFA completely, whereas employees accessing the cloud over a phone could be required to go through MFA procedures each time.
Understand how End-Users Leverage Cloud Technology
Understanding how end-user adoption works in the cloud era is key to success. It’s a different landscape. Whereas products like Outlook used to be completely re-hauled every three years, now the updates are quick and incremental. This requires a new protocol which requires a constant focus on the end-user perspective.
- First, end-users need to be informed of changes as early as possible.
- Secondly, these features are best presented in the context of real use cases, rather than through abstract examples.
Ideally, end-users should be exposed to real-life scenarios that demonstrate how new features will make their lives easier, rather than just different.
This approach to training will prove more effective with more active sponsors, and with clearly-defined metrics of success. Throwing a bunch of information at your end-users can work occasionally, but it’s always better to have peer-supported learning with clear goals.
At this point, it’s worth noting that this is all assumes that the migration process was seamless. This is not always the case.
Making Sure Cloud Migration and Security Go Together
The aforementioned security benefits of Microsoft’s cloud services aren’t a given. They can be available in every environment, but they need to be configured correctly, or your setup will be vulnerable to malicious actors. As with any large-scale migration, there can be unforeseen challenges that complicate the journey to the cloud.
Most IT teams are capable of handling this. However, the reality is, most IT teams don’t have the time. Giving your IT team the job of migrating to a new email system while managing the old one—as well as everything else—is a sure-fire way of increasing the risk of misconfiguration or worse.
This is where we come in. With our new Office 365 Accelerator program, we work with enterprises at every stage of the process, combining our expertise with theirs to accomplish a smooth migration. Rather than coming in with a pre-set procedure, through workshops and information gathering, we develop an adoption plan specific to the needs of your people and environment. After the migration is completed, we stay on and help initiate end-user training, while providing ongoing support to take care of any post-adoption hiccups.
To talk more about how we can make sure you reap all of the benefits of Exchange Online, contact us.