Making Device Management a Breeze for Medium Enterprises

30th November 2017

Written by Sunny Lakhiyan

Managing a fleet of devices without the resources of a big corporate can be an uphill battle. Device provisioning and ongoing maintenance can easily derail you from your core focus: your business and your customers. Who can blame the majority of medium-sized business who end up with a subpar set-up after struggling to implement supporting infrastructure?

That’s where Microsoft’s new 365 Business product offering comes in. Microsoft have streamlined and packaged a set of products and support designed specifically for medium businesses that does away with these challenges. 

What is Microsoft 365 Business?

Microsoft 365 Business combines a holistic set of business productivity and collaboration tools with enterprise-grade device management and security capabilities, along with simplified device deployment and user setup, in one complete package. A Windows 10 Pro upgrade license is included for those still running Windows 7, 8 or 8.1 Pro, enabling your team to have a complete set of productivity tools as part of the subscription.

Here’s what you can expect when you subscribe to Microsoft 365 Business:

1. ‘Out-of-box’ provisioning

Microsoft 365 Business includes a subset of InTune functionality from the Microsoft Enterprise Mobility Suite offering, allowing small businesses to leverage the same provisioning capabilities the big guys get. This is supported by Windows AutoPilot, an automated deployment service bundled with Windows 10's March 2017 feature upgrade, aka the 1703 Creators Update.  Put simply, your Windows 10 Pro devices can be provisioned with your required applications as an out-of-box experience.  All you need to do is send the device to your users: they’ll connect to an internet connection and log in with their credentials, and the AutoPilot will set the system up for them with your policies and applications. Easy as that.

2. Full mobility

Microsoft 365 Business offers users the ability to work on any device (including BYOD), wherever they want, without having to think about remote access or staying connected to the internet. If their connection is interrupted, their files and inbox sync automatically when the connection is restored. Microsoft 365 Business integrates Office 365 apps, OneDrive for Business file storage and Outlook (among other tools), so your team can work harder, respond faster and be effective wherever they are.

3. All the productivity tools you know and love

Modern productivity tools like video conferencing, instant messaging, and real-time document collaboration enable your team to work efficiently together, reducing the back-and-forth that happens with traditional tools. With Microsoft 365 Business, your team can jump on a Skype for Business video conference to communicate, view files, collaborate, live update any document and plan next steps as if everyone is in the same room.  External parties, regardless of their own Office 365 subscription, can collaborate (if invited) on files that reside on your personal OneDrive or company SharePoint Online.

4. Managed device security

The more devices and apps you have, the greater the likelihood of a security breach. But Microsoft 365 Business, powered by Windows 10, provides automatic and universal enforcement of security policies that will reduce your business’s risk of data breaches. Windows Defender provides protection to Windows 10 computers against viruses, malware, spyware and other threats. It also provides managed device protection for Office 365 mobile apps running on Android and IOS devices. Devices receive the latest updates, and built-in encryption locks down lost and stolen devices. This protects your business data on all mobile devices that reside within Office 365.

5. The ‘extras’

Microsoft 365 Business also offers flexibility, with add-ons such as analytics tools (PowerBI Pro, MyAnalytics etc.) available to suit the needs of your team.

How does Microsoft 365 Business stack up overall against Office 365?

Microsoft 365 Business builds on the success of Office 365 Business Premium Software-as-a-Service. In a nutshell, it’s Office 365 + Windows 10 + simplified licensing, provisioning and ongoing support, in one small-to-medium business-friendly subscription. This is a ‘right-sized’ offering with a limit of 300 subscriptions for each customer. For $27.60/month (NZD) your users get all the functionality of Office 365 and an upgrade license for Windows 10 Pro along with various management service components.

To see if you can switch to this exciting new offering from your current Office 365 subscription, get in touch with Origin.

Sunny Lakhiyan

Network and Systems Manager, Origin

Sunny joined Origin in 2013 as a Level 3 Systems Engineer, and now leads Origin’s Networking and Systems Engineering team of 16 engineers, keeping IT ‘on’ for our customers.

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