As an IT Managed Service Provider, we understand that more and more companies are looking at moving their infrastructure from an on-premises environment to a cloud environment, or even making the move to a hybrid environment. With so many options, many companies are left wondering which plan best suits their organization.
This post will discuss how the Microsoft’s Office 365 Enterprise E5 subscription, released in late 2015, can benefit you and your company. We will go over what is offered within this plan and some of the new features which have been added.
Microsoft Office 365 E1 vs E3 vs E5
Microsoft’s Office 365 Enterprise E5 subscription brings back many of the familiar tools and services of its predecessors. These include the latest versions of the Microsoft Office Suite, Exchange Online, Skype for Business, SharePoint Online and Yammer. On top of these, Microsoft has also bundled in new capabilities for Skype for Business such as Cloud PBX and PSTN Conferencing. Also included are new analytics features such as Power BI Pro, which allows users to analyze data in Office 365, and Delve Organizational Analytics. Delve Organizational Analytics highlights relevant information for users based on what other users are doing, allowing you and your colleagues to connect easily. Let us not forget the improvements Microsoft has made to the security side. Within the Enterprise E5 subscription you will also have new advanced security features for eDiscovery, Customer Lockbox and Advanced Threat Protection (ATP).
Office 365 Enterprise E5 Features
As mentioned above, Office 365 Enterprise E5 allows your users to download the latest Office suite. This includes Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Access, Publisher, Outlook, Skype for Business, and OneDrive for Business. Your users can install up to five instances of their Office Suite on both Windows and Macintosh machines. Users can manage their installations from the Office 365 portal. The newest Office 365 E5 subscription offers a lot of great new features. For example, in the newest version of Excel, you can easily format information with tools that can autocomplete data. Users can also incorporate content from PDFs to create unique Word documents. Within Office 365, companies can connect their team so everyone can have access to everything they need.
Included within the Enterprise E5 subscription, users have access to SharePoint Online. SharePoint allows your users to store and work on documents from anywhere. This can be accomplished using both Desktop Applications and Office on the Web. Multiple users can seamlessly work on the same document that is stored within SharePoint and see changes other users make in real-time. Of course SharePoint Online has many more features to it, such as social features, collaboration with external users, Community Sites, Public Sites and many more. SharePoint is a great resource for teamwork and collaboration, allowing users to easily share files securely. You can also create workflows and assign tasks to team members.
Office 365 Enterprise E5 also provides access to Exchange Online, which allows IT Administrators to manage security features and compliance needs. IT Administrators can set up in-place eDiscovery and hold, auditing, Data Loss Prevention (DLP), retention policies and many more. Customer Lockbox and Advanced Threat Protection (ATP) are also included. Customer Lockbox allows IT Administrators to restrict access to their Office 365 Environment from Microsoft Engineers. With Customer Lockbox, administrators can require a two-factor-authentication approval for greater control and security. Of course you do not have to enable Customer Lockbox; this feature is mainly targeted to companies that need to meet certain compliance needs. All of these features add up to enhanced visibility and greater control.
Microsoft is also raising its security with Exchange Online Advanced Threat Protection (ATP). This is a new email filtering service that provides additional protection against specific types of advanced threats. These include protection against unknown malware and viruses, real-time, time-of-click protection against malicious URLs, rich reporting and URL trace capabilities. With Safe Attachments, all suspicious content goes through an analysis that uses machine learning to evaluate the content. Unsafe content is sandboxed in a detonation chamber before being sent to recipients. Exchange Online Protection (EOP) will also be present within Office 365 Enterprise E5 subscriptions and work side by side with ATP. EOP rewrites URLs to go through Office 365 and if the link is deemed unsafe, the user is advised not to click on the link. Along with tracking and detecting unsafe links, ATP and EOP have rich reporting to help companies understand who is being targeted and which types of attacks employees are facing.
Skype for Business will also get several new features added to it. These capabilities include Cloud PBX and PSTN Conferencing. With Cloud PBX now being integrated with Skype for Business within the Enterprise E5 subscription; IT Administrators will be able to consolidate separate PBX systems and move these PBX functions to the cloud. Administrators will be able to manage all their PBX functions from the Office 365 Admin console. With PSTN Conferencing, administrators can enable phone numbers to be added to their users’ Skype meetings. This means that anyone who is part of a skype meeting can join the meeting via landline or their mobile phones. As long as users have a phone or internet connection, they will be able to connect even if they aren’t on Skype for Business. With Skype Meeting Broadcast, users can produce large virtual meetings for up to 10,000 attendees.
Some other new and exciting features of Skype for Business are easy collaboration, anytime IM, and integration with Office Apps. All these improvements create a more seamless user experience accross all Microsoft tools and platforms.
Written by Daniel Matias, Office 365 Tier 2 Technician, SADA Systems
SADA Systems is a Microsoft National Solutions Provider and 2015 Partner of the Year for Cloud Packaged Solutions. SADA specializes in cloud consultation, deployment, migration and change management services. SADA was also recognized on the CRN 2016 Managed Services Provider (MSP) 500 list in the Elite 150 category as a leader in providing managed IT support and services.
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