Office 365 E5: What you need to know and how it makes...

Office 365 E5: What you need to know and how it makes you more productive

Microsoft’s new enterprise subscription is a veritable all-you-can-eat feast, but can your organisation stomach it?

Office 365 E5 with Crayon the Software Experts

Last December, Microsoft introduced its Office 365 E5 suite, possibly the most comprehensive set of productivity tools the firm has ever released. It replaced the previous E4 package as the premium option for Office 365 licensing. If you are a subscriber to this old package, you won’t be forced to upgrade.

It rolls a host of new features into one package and if you have the need for all the tools a competitive cost. So what do you get for the sum of £25.70 per user per month?

The three main areas of Office 365 E5 are: an integrated solution for video conferencing with Skype for Business, analysis tools and data visualisation with business intelligence, and advanced security. Let’s look at those in a bit more detail.

The comms platform

Office 365 E5 offers a platform for communication and collaboration with a simple user experience. Organisations can host online events for up to 10 thousand people with attendees joining from anywhere and from any device to interact in the meeting.

RTC conferences enable users invited to a meeting to join with a fixed or mobile phone through traditional phones without the need for internet access.

The Switchboard cloud service manages calls (receive and send calls, forward calls, voice mail) via Skype for Business.

Analysis tools

Companies can now use information available in the company through Power Pro and Delve BI Analytics reports.

Power BI Pro enables users to publish a number of data models and integrate information from heterogeneous sources. This version increases the limit data capacity to 10GB and provides more power to update data (up to 1 million rows per hour), enabling the use of collaboration tools to share dashboards and custom reports with user groups. This also enables users to sift through corporate information using natural language queries without the need for technical or statistical expertise.

Delve Organisational Analytics is an intelligent search engine that gives users information they need in a simple way. It shows maps of information shared with others as well as published documents within the organisation. It also offers real-time analysis of team interactions, such as hours spent in meetings. This allows companies to better understand how their business operates.

Advanced security

There are new services that offer organisations more control over data security with privacy, transparency and better controls for users. These are: Customer LockBox, Advanced Threat Protection and Equivio Analytics for eDiscovery.

Customer LockBox offers an additional layer of control over ‘back door’ access to your company’s documents and folders. If Microsoft engineers need to view company content when solving a problem, the Customer Lockbox will give even greater control over what that engineer does when inside your infrastructure.

Advanced threat protection 

This offers two types of protection for inbound emails. First is “Safe Attachments”. This does a deep inspection of message attachments including sandboxing of suspicious attachments. The second is “Safe Links”, which provides real-time inspection of links within an email along with reporting of what users have clicked a particular link and who bypassed the security notification.

Equivio Analytics for eDiscovery 

This service allows organisations to identify, retain and export content found in Office 365 if an internal investigation of the company or a legal request is needed. Equivio for eDiscovery Analytics incorporates machine learning and text analysis to decrease risks integral in managing large amounts of data for eDiscovery.

 Should I upgrade?

This really depends of what your organisation needs. Ask yourself this “will the new features enhance your organisation enough to justify the increased cost?” Every organisation needs a number of important features delivered by E5 (email, telephony, PSTN conferencing, office productivity apps, and cloud storage). Put these services together from other sets of vendors and you are likely to spend more and this is before adding other features such as social enterprise, analytics, security, etc.

Want to discuss your options with an expert?

I am the Group Chief Marketing Officer at Crayon. My team are focused on driving enhanced lead generation campaigns and nurturing for our sales organisations across multiple geographies though the utilisation and coordination of all online and offline communication channels. We are driving increased brand awareness in the business's core competency areas of Software Asset Management (SAM), cloud and volume licensing solutions and associated consultancy services. I have over 20 years of senior business leadership experience within direct marketing/direct sales and mass distribution businesses, in both the B2B and B2C markets serving on the boards of both private and public multinational corporations.