Is implementing Office 365 ProPlus unavoidable? I think so. In future, Microsoft will increase the pace and frequency of developments, so that companies that do not remain up-to-date will sooner or later be confronted with compatibility issues. Here, Office 365 ProPlus can be the first step towards Microsoft Cloud.
I can think of a few situations in which companies would benefit from switching to Office 365 ProPlus.
Switching the program for use at home.
Even if the company itself may have to take further action, employees who have obtained Office 365 (including Office 365 ProPlus) will be able to familiarize themselves with the version at home. This way, the employees will be entirely accustomed to the Office 365 ProPlus version when the final switch takes place, ensuring faster and simpler acceptance of the new applications.
Preventing conformity risk
It used to be impossible to implement an Office 365 ProPlus package purchased with an E3 or E4 license in a virtual RDS or Citrix environment. This changed in August 2014. Any customer still holding on Office 2013 licenses or downgrade rights to Office 365 ProPlus licenses (via SA) will find they are no longer compatible from 1 September 2015. Customers able to demonstrate purchase of the correct licenses after 1 September 2015 may be required to purchase a new Office license for on premise use, which will involve directly using Office 365 ProPlus.
Strict regulations for data in the public Cloud, a leap of faith
Many companies find it difficult to take the first step into the Cloud. The key issue is whether company data can be integrated in the Cloud. Anyone choosing to use Office 365 ProPlus as its only online service by Microsoft will take a first step into the Cloud, without the data actually being located there. Updates and administration tasks can still be performed locally, without migrating data to the Microsoft Cloud. Critical data remains stored locally. Only the following meta-data will be relocated to the Cloud:
- Links to most recently used documents (HTTP file paths)
- Links to most recently used archives (HTTP file paths)
- Most recent point in the Word document
- Most recent slide in PowerPoint
- Custom dictionaries
- Office design and personalized screen
For many companies, Office 365 ProPlus is a first step toward a Microsoft Cloud solution. As soon as it is taken, it is worth considering whether there are other scenarios that would warrant moving further along the road to other Microsoft Cloud solutions.