Modern Management with Microsoft 365
M365 is the combination of three products: Windows 10 as a Service, Office 365 Apps, and Enterprise Mobility + Security. Together, they represent “M365”. One SKU, one per-user monthly fee, everything you need to succeed in a cloud-first-mobile-first world. M365 is built for Modern Management.
This is a technical Microsoft term. The traditional management paradigm consists of a digital estate in which all devices are owned, deployed, and managed by the enterprise IT department. Modern Management reflects the reality that workers are mobile and working across both enterprise-owned and self-owned devices and cloud services. This presents unique security and productivity challenges solved by the M365 suite.
M365 enables Modern Management by combining its tools to provide Unified Endpoint Management. To understand the importance of UEM, it’s helpful to take a stroll down memory lane.
Managing the PRECLOUD Digital Estate.
Despite breakthroughs in asset management, there remained a problem. Assets were both on-prem and mobile. And while it’s great to want to go “all cloud”, it takes time to get there. With a mix of CMT, MDM, MAM, and EMM solutions, it was costly and inefficient to manage devices and risks associated with our mobile-first, cloud-first world.
Way back when (so… 1994), enterprises owned all the equipment and it was all secured in the office’s four walls behind a perimeter defense (i.e., firewall). To manage these devices including OS, patching, licensing, etc. we used Systems Center Configuration Manager (SCCM). This is a “CMT” or client management tool. Many firms with legacy tech will still use SCCM with M365.
As employees began to access apps, emails, and files from their own devices, firms needed to enforce standards on those devices, so they employed MDM or “mobile device management” which could require device passwords, lock /locate/wipe the devices, etc. One challenge to MDM was the full access given to IT admins including rights to pictures, texts, etc. The lighter footprint of MAM or “mobile application management” didn’t require employees to give access to their picture, etc. and allowed IT admins to perform remote wipes on just the enterprise apps and data, not the whole device.
Still, a problem remained: device provisioning, deployment, and management across a variety of OS and hardware platforms both on-prem and online. CMTs could do it on-prem, but it was inefficient (i.e., different images for each kind of desktop and laptop). And MDM wasn’t able to fully enroll, configure, and manage mobiles, let alone do so on a variety of platforms like Windows. EMM or “enterprise mobility management” solved some of these problems.
Managing the CLOUD Digital Estate with UEM.
Which brings us to Unified Endpoint Management via M365. One solution, bridging these unique performance, management, and security risks posed by the miscellany of legacy and modern solutions that most enterprises are stuck with today. This is Modern Management.
Office 365 ProPlus
Office 365 ProPlus including Outlook, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Access, and Publisher – installed on up to five desktops and providing end-users with access from any device via web browser and through mobile apps. Office Apps as a service means your apps are always on the latest security patches and, controlled by you, the apps get updated with the newest productivity-increasing features and tools.
Enterprise Mobility + Security
EMS is a cloud-based management and security suite that consists of identity & access management (IAM), mobile device management (MDM) & mobile application management (MAM), information management & protection, and cybersecurity & risk management. These services are provided through a few key tools including Azure Active Directory Premium, Microsoft Intune, Azure Information Protection, Microsoft Advanced Threat Analytics, Cloud App Security, Azure Advanced Threat Protection, and more. To really understand the power and security of these tools requires a lesson on each one. The takeaway for now is that Fortune 500 security is now an affordable service scalable to SMB.
Windows 10 as a Service
As a service means always up to date and on the newest productivity and security releases. Think about the pain of upgrading XP to 7 or going from 7 to 10. What if the onerous upgrade cycle became a relic of the past? That’s the direction we are headed in. Win 10 Ent security is also a force to be reckoned with boasting tools like Windows Sandbox, Application Guard, Credential Guard, and BitLocker disk encryption.
Not only is M365 a UEM for Modern Management, it’s a powerful productivity platform.
Simplified teamwork and seamless collaboration.
Moving to Microsoft 365 allows teams to collaborate more efficiently. Here’s a quick overview of what your business can do with M365:
- Synchronize email, calendars, and contacts via Outlook and Outlook Web Apps; this makes it easy to find contacts, look for meeting times, and schedule meetings without leaving your Outlook interface
- Create document libraries and tasks in SharePoint Online to manage the firm’s files and projects and improve collaboration with built-in versioning, document coauthoring, and robust audit controls
- Set up online meetings using Microsoft Teams that have full web conferencing features, including audio, video, desktop screen sharing, even extensive desktop control
Email, contacts, and calendaring via Microsoft Outlook and Outlook on the Web.
SharePoint Online for centralized document management.
SharePoint Online is a cloud-based service that helps organizations share and manage content, knowledge, and applications to seamlessly collaborate across the organization.
- SharePoint has often been used by large corporations as intranets and document management systems but it can be just as useful for SMB and midsized companies
- A simple SharePoint site for managing your team or projects doesn’t have to involve a lot of work; Microsoft 365 provides built-in guidance to help you add task lists, calendars, document libraries, and other features
- Organizations can set up a workspace in no time; personalize these sites to reflect a company’s branding, and even create public sites to share info with customers or partners
- Co-author documents in real time with coworkers
OneDrive for Business cloud storage and desktop BDR for end-users.
OneDrive offers users a simple way to store, sync, and share various types of files, with other people and devices on the internet with untethered mobile capability, anywhere access, seamless collaboration, syncing, and sharing options.
- Review and edit documents that are shared with you and co-author in real time
- Sync libraries to your computer
- Automatically backup Desktop, Documents, and Pictures folders on your PC
Watch our Microsoft OneDrive Overview video blog.
Video Conferencing with Microsoft Teams
Microsoft Teams enable workplaces of any size to share, meet, and work on files together in real-time through either a desktop app, web-based app, or mobile app.
- Host conferences with up to 250 attendees (or 10,000 with Live Events)
- A host and their clients can call into a conference using a computer, mobile or landline
- All Teams plans offer video conferencing and desktop screen sharing including extensible control
- Stay secure with a variety of privacy and security controls to allow you to manage who participates
A key measure of the value of cloud systems are their ease of use and low maintenance requirements. How does M365 stack up?
If your local Exchange crashes, you’re out of luck until it is fixed. Sending your data to the cloud means your applications, such as email, are always almost available, even if there’s a power outage, fire, or flood at your office.
Working remotely has never been easier. Microsoft 365 makes it easy to connect from anywhere. No need for any special configuration or IT skills. If you have an internet connection, you can work!
Once you’re on M365 you never need to upgrade the software (or any of the servers Microsoft hosts it on) again! When you login, you’re already on the latest version.
Get to all your data and apps on any device with a single username/password combo secured by MFA and conditional access.
Multi-factor authentication compatible with biometrics and Conditional Access that secures your M365 universe and other apps and data by proxy.
Single Sign On allowing you to use one account username and password to login to more than just M365 services but all your other apps and services.
Office Message Encryption for emails and documents including preventing users for forwarding or printing the email (even to PDF).
Creating policies to bolster security while decreasing the effort of end users such as waiving MFA requirement while in a known IP range (like your office).
A platform that is hyper-secure and compliant with the world’s most taxing requirements like ISO, NIST, FedRAMP, and GDPR.
Azure AD Premium.
Securing on-prem and cloud identities for world-class authentication and authorization.
Zero-touch device deployment. Just press button and go. Securely manage apps and data on Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android.
Windows Information Protection.
Prevents the accidental copy and paste of work information into unauthorized files or applications.
Windows Defender Advanced Threat Protection.
Antivirus on a whole new level: agentless, cloud powered prevention and response with unparalleled optics.
Azure Advanced Threat Protection.
Extending world-class security, monitoring, and alerting directly into your on-prem infrastructure.
Cloud App Security.
Discovery of Shadow IT anywhere in the workforce with policy-driven control and direct APIs for manageability.
Data Loss Prevention.
Label documents and emails by sensitivity and build policies around sending and sharing.
Azure Information Protection.
Automatically scan information no matter where it resides, label it, and build policies around the kind of data it is.
This isn’t even everything. You’re learning about one of the most exciting platforms in IT history. Call us for the full story.
Have Questions About Microsoft 365?
Accellis Technology Group is a Microsoft Gold Partner in three Cloud competencies and is Silver in App Dev. We specialize in Microsoft 365 migrations with an emphasis on Modern Management and hybrid Co-Management. If you have questions about Microsoft 365 solutions, we want to help! Fill out the form and a Microsoft-certified expert will reach out at your earliest convenience to answer your questions.