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Launching into a New Year

5 Jan 2018 by Dan Clark

Welcome to 2018!

2017 was a huge year for Quadrotech. We took a look back at some of the highlights just before the year ended, but it turns out, it didn’t stop there.  After Thomas’s blog was written and posted, we got more great news. We on-boarded our largest Radar customer to date (with just under 100,000 Office 365 seats using not only our Reporting and SharePoint modules, but also our Security and Audit module). We also won the largest Flight Deck project in our history, and a new customer project using Archive Shuttle has just set a new record for largest project in our portfolio.

2018 Focus and Trends

As Microsoft Office 365 and Microsoft Azure adoption continue to grow, it’s clear that there are some specific challenges that customers face when moving to the cloud, adopting the cloud, and continuing to optimize cloud usage. Early last year, Microsoft hit over 100 million monthly active Office 365 users. So, what are the challenges organizations might face?

Migration

Migrating to Office 365 is more than moving email, or an archive such as Enterprise Vault, or grabbing all those PST files and eradicating them. Orchestrated migrations with the ability to perform advanced workflows are critical, especially as migrations become more user-centric. In 2018, we’ll see far more complex migration needs for customers spanning more systems, and hybrid will continue to be a big focus as organizations decide to leave some data on-premises.

Adoption

Understanding user adoption is key, being able to bill usage to departments is important, but it’s no longer about the core workloads like Email and SharePoint. Teams, Groups and Skype for Business are growing in popularity. The delivery of key adoption metrics is crucial for understanding and justifying Office 365 investment, and identifying potential lags in uptake. Radar Reporting offers hundreds of reports across Office 365 for both core workloads, and newer services, like Groups, Yammer, and Teams (coming soon!).

Security 

The cloud offers a very different paradigm to on-premises managed infrastructure. As one of our larger customers once said, “Our datacenter is like a castle. Anything goes wrong, we can just pull up the drawbridge”. The ‘Cloud Office’ (Gartner’s term for Office 365 and the competition) doesn’t have that same concept. Office 365 Security and Azure Security require an entirely different approach to on-premises systems. You can’t physically see the infrastructure. You don’t control the network links or power. That physical sense of security is gone, but that doesn’t mean that your level of protection is diminished.

Security (whether that is data at rest or data in motion) is going to be a big topic for 2018. Radar for Security and Audit has already been picked up by Gartner in a report describing essential Office 365 tools.

Management

IT works best when it’s transparent. That’s an easy statement to make, but what does that mean in reality? It’s a user-focused approach. The closer you can move business processes to the end user, the less ‘red tape’ a user has to go through. This reduces time, resources (as this is typically brokered by an IT helpdesk or IT service function), and frustration.

Let’s take an example: on-boarding a user. If you are a multi-national organization of 2000 employees, how do you create a new Office 365 user? Normally you submit an IT request, and the user would be created. The likelihood is that HR will be requesting the user, but IT will typically have to implement the change after approvals or other mechanisms or policies have been implemented.

Now let’s extend this further. What if I am a sales manager in Germany, and I want to onboard a new employee on my sales team, have them HR records created, an Office 365 User created after a Director has authorised it, and email the user with some introductory training videos? Do I have to drive that process via IT or another department, or could I just start that workflow myself without involving IT?

There are a variety of common administrative tasks that do not need to be manual. Instead, why not use a tool that enables you to delegate control and streamline Office 365 management?

Autopilot is a sophisticated solution to streamline Office 365 administration. It is a SaaS application that brings the familiar ideas of hierarchical on-premises Active Directory Organizational Units and Group Policy Objects to an Office 365 tenant. Autopilot can be used to maintain compliance, complete administrative tasks, and delegate control of Office 365 to other users in an organization, with enhanced security and flexibility.

I don’t know about you, but we’re looking forward to everything that 2018 will bring.