October 28, 2016

Microsoft 365: Changing How Business Software is Sold

The world is moving away from the notion of ownership. In the last few years this shift has become a major social change, and has even earned itself a name: “Uberization”—the release of ownership in favor of on-demand access. Many millennials are embracing using a car when needed rather than dealing with another monthly bill and maintenance.  And the same model applies for real estate and hotel needs. Many people have embraced AirBnB for travel while owners have found an expected new income source.

In the software world, we see a growing trend towards "-as-a-service" models for software, virtual desktops, disaster recovery, and other functions. Salesforce.com was one of the first companies to successfully offer a leading Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) model for its CRM offering, and it spawned an entire industry with many other software companies successfully following their model. 

Microsoft was not an early adopter in this market. It continued to sell the majority of its products, especially Microsoft Office® and its Microsoft Exchange® products, as bundles of purchased software. Under new leadership though, the course is changing quickly.  

Microsoft's New Direction

Microsoft built its Azure cloud with the dual purpose of allowing companies to build and host their own applications and as a place to migrate the entire Microsoft ecosystem. It built Microsoft 365® as a direct replacement for Microsoft Exchange®.

And they are making it extremely attractive for companies to make the transition to Microsoft 365®. MS 365 is Microsoft’s cloud based email system. It works much like Exchange did and fully integrates with Outlook, but it is a hosted SaaS system. The system is enterprise-ready and has garnered positive reviews by both TechRadar and PC Mag, as well as tens of thousands of users worldwide.

Microsoft’s has begun to promote MS 365 with significant incentives — offering MS365 with bundles of MS Office® at a price point far less than if one purchased the programs individually.

If your business hasn’t made the transition to MS365, it is time to start your due diligence. MS365 has all of the major advantages of SaaS and includes Office® which is the worldwide business standard. It is also very low hanging fruit to make initial towards steps to the Cloud and relieve the volume on your network including DR. Since email is one of the major entry points for malware and ransomware, we do suggest that you hire a partner than can address the software procurement, migration of mailboxes and the implementation of security components which provide an extra layer of protection to meet your business requirements.