By: Justin O’Meara, Unified Communications Consultant, ICOMM
Microsoft has released the new Office 365 License (E5), which comes with a whole new range of exclusive features. So what are the main changes that you need to be aware of? Here are some key features that have been added and timeframes for their release in Australia.
Following Microsoft’s release of Skype for Business, they have now added a number of new highlights, including:
- PSTN Conferencing provides the flexibility to dial in to a meeting from a traditional phone, in addition to the existing ability to join a meeting with a single click on your PC or mobile device. There is no official release date for this feature in Australia as yet, but it is likely to be during 2016.
- Skype Meeting Broadcast makes it easier than ever to host large virtual meetings for up to 10,000 meeting attendees, who can join from almost all browsers or devices. This means that Skype for Business has now truly become a single platform for every type of meeting. And the best part is that this feature is now live and ready to use.
- Cloud PBX is also now live and enables companies to eliminate separate PBX systems and transition to the cloud with Office 365 as the central location to manage users for communication.
- With PSTN Calling, Office 365 customers can also subscribe to Microsoft managed calling plans and phone numbers. This feature is currently only being released in the U.S. with other global markets due to launch later.
In addition to the Skype for Business capabilities, Microsoft is releasing new security and data analytics capabilities in Office 365, including:
- Delve Analytics empowers employees through dashboards that provide insights on time and relationships, with the goal of helping them get time back and use it more effectively and productively.
- Power BI is a business analytics service that enables workers to process and analyse data with greater speed, efficiency and understanding through live data dashboards, interactive reports and compelling visuals.
- Customer Lockbox gives customers new approval rights, transparency and control over their data in the cloud.
- Advanced eDiscovery integrates Equivio machine learning, predictive coding and text analytics capabilities, to reduce the costs and challenges that go hand-in-hand with sorting through large quantities of data for eDiscovery purposes.
- Advanced Threat Protection protects against unknown malware and viruses by applying behavioural analysis.
With the addition of a whole host of new features by Microsoft to the new version of Office 365 there is no better time than now to evaluate your business’ Cloud Strategy and discuss whether Office 365 and Skype for Business features have the power to benefit your business. And if this is the case it is also worth asking whether the business can potentially look to upgrade some of its existing on premise technology.
If the answer is ‘yes’ on all fronts, the next step is finding a trusted partner who is well equipped to walk you stage-by-stage through the technology upgrade and transition process. They can help you plan and design your Office 365 and Skype for Business solution upgrade – whether on premise, hybrid or completely in the cloud.