Microsoft 365 and Office 365 Enterprise have several plans to choose from. If you’re on one of the lower-level plans, you may want to consider an upgrade for a variety of reasons.
There are important features that Microsoft adds to its 365 platforms that can mean reduced security risk, more robust user productivity, and tools that you can get for less by upgrading than you can get from a third party.
The new year is a great time to review your cloud infrastructure, streamline your systems, and consider upgrading to Microsoft 365 Business Premium or an enterprise license.
Additional Features, Including Azure Virtual Desktop
When upgrading from a lower-level Microsoft Business plan to a premium plan, you get additional features that can enhance productivity and support a hybrid workflow.
Additional features you’ll get when upgrading include:
- Microsoft Intune
- Azure Information Protection
- Conditional Access
- Azure Virtual Desktop (formerly called Windows Virtual Desktop)
We’ll go into several of these below. Here we’ll discuss the benefits of having Azure Virtual Desktop.
Many companies are now working with hybrid teams that work both in the office and at home. The number of remote employees globally is expected to double this year. As the pandemic hangs on, companies are already planning to make the switch permanent.
Azure Virtual Desktop allows companies to run virtual desktop instances, making not only applications but the entire Windows desktop accessible from a cloud environment. This enhances a hybrid workflow because employees can use any device to log into their “computer” and pick up right where they left off when working from a different location.
During the first nine months of 2021, there have been over 500 million attempted ransomware attacks, which is an increase of 148% over the same period last year. IT security is an area where companies need to continue to focus if they want to avoid costly and damaging consequences.
Microsoft Business Premium offers a slew of advanced security features that make it worth the upgrade. These include features such as:
- Microsoft Defender for Office 365, which provides protection against dangerous email attachments and links
- App protection for Office mobile apps that restrict copying or saving company information to unauthorized apps
- Rights management that travels with a file to enforce protections like “do not copy” and “don’t forward”
- Pre-breach threat resistance policies
- Microsoft Defender antivirus
- Unlimited cloud archive and long-term preservation policies to protect Exchange emails
Azure AD Conditional Access
Azure Active Directory (AD) offers access protections for your valuable cloud data. It allows you to prevent hackers from compromising passwords by using real-time machine learning and other identity-focused features to protect company resources.
Some of the advantages of using Conditional Access include:
- Contact-based adaptive policies that can block unauthorized access
- Multi-factor authentication safeguards
- Identity governance controls across hybrid working environments
- Guarding against leaked or stolen credentials
According to IBM Security, compromised credentials are now the #1 cause of data breaches globally.
Remote Team Endpoint Device Management
Every company should be using an endpoint device management system. This allows companies to manage the security of all the various devices that have access to company assets, through apps, cloud logins, and remote connections of other types.
Companies are dealing with more endpoints than ever before (mobile devices, tablets, remote employee home PCs, IoT devices, etc.) and without any visibility into those devices, companies are at a much higher risk of a data breach or malware attack.
Microsoft 365 Business Premium comes with Intune, which is a robust mobile and endpoint device management application. Just this one application alone can make the cost of the upgrade worth the additional cost.
Using Microsoft Intune allows companies to manage all devices with access to company data. This includes employee-owned PCs or mobile devices as well.
Some of the advantages of using Intune include:
- The ability to remotely manage application updates
- Grant or block access between an endpoint and your resources
- Keep non-managed mobile devices from accessing your accounts
- Lock or wipe a device remotely if it is lost or stolen
- Simplified controls allow you to manage consistent policies across all devices
- Manage remote employee PCs easily and automatically install Office, Windows 11, or Windows 10 updates
Consolidates Your Security & Device Management
If you are purchasing different technology and device management solutions separately, you could save money by consolidating those into one subscription plan.
This also makes for a more fluid environment with all your systems working together to protect your data and assets. For example, security policies that you apply to documents in the Office applications can follow those files when they’re accessed by other devices and be enforced through Intune’s endpoint management. No workarounds needed – all systems are fully integrated since they come in one Microsoft 365 plan.
How Could You Benefit from An Upgrade of Your Microsoft 365 Plan?
C Solutions can sit down with your Orlando area business and help you review the benefits of upgrading to Microsoft 365 Premium licenses and the potential savings that upgrading may provide.
Schedule a free consultation today! Call 407-536-8381 or reach us online.