What we have learned from projects is that the organizational conditions – depending on the respective company and the complexity – frequently present the largest obstacles. It is therefore sensible to consider the following general parameters when planning an online project:
How will the organizational processes in the company change, especially in respect to IT operations? In future it will be necessary for departments to collaborate that until now have had relatively few touch points
Data privacy is always an issue whenever it is a question of which data are allowed to leave the company, and where they will be stored. Anyone looking to work with an Office 365 product (e.g. Skype for Business, Exchange etc.) will not be able to escape situations that involve Microsoft synchronization of data taken from the Active Directory (in parts at least) for user accounts deployed in connection with the relevant product. This is an essential precondition. Hybrid scenarios cannot be technically implemented without identity management based on ADConnect.
Microsoft satisfies a large number of data privacy requirements to ensure that information is kept secure. The user data – as an aside – are always available worldwide after login to ensure optimum performance. The Exchange or SharePoint data are stored in whichever data center has been contractually assured (European/American jurisdiction).
Are there legal restrictions in respect to the data that are allowed to leave the company? Are companies contractually obliged to execute a legally compliant form of e-mail archiving?
Do SLA agreements for today’s IT environment exist? It is not uncommon to encounter customer situations in which IT acts as an internal service provider on behalf of the company in order to implement SLAs in cases of malfunction. There are general provisions within the SLA that need to be checked in order to ensure that they match the SLAs assured by Microsoft. This makes certain that response times are adhered to in the event of an error.
Current backup and disaster recovery strategies: Microsoft is materially responsible here. What does this mean? For instance, Microsoft is required to ensure that the data are available at all times, and that they are consistently backed up, in the case of a customer deploying a service like Exchange in Office 365. How does Microsoft do this? Microsoft operates a number of data centers with "several copies" of customer data on a variety of media. It will always have alternative copies that can be activated in the event that one data center or server fails. E-mail elements deleted by the user are transferred to the folder “Deleted elements” from where they can be restored. As a standard, Office 365 does not have an additional backup solution providing the option to restore e-mail content using the history. But external providers do cater to this option with additional backup tools. Here, the cloud provider ensures disaster recovery of complete servers and databases – in this case it is Office 365 and therefore Microsoft. So there is no option for users to restore these servers or databases in situations like this. Microsoft Support automatically fixes any errors that occur. There are extensive, online backup products available on the market for customers requiring more stringent backup strategies, which can be used in combination with Office 365.
User information management and training: It is important to inform users as early as possible that cloud data and products will be deployed in future. There will be changes in the registration process, during login, and in respect to availability. It is therefore imperative to inform and train users to make certain that the project as a whole is a resounding success.