With so much information coming out of Microsoft Ignite 2017 this year it’s difficult to highlight just a few key points, so for this particular blog, as members of the SoftwareONE Microsoft Advisory Services (MAS) team we’ll focus on specific product releases and functionality that we touch on a day to day basis. We view these updates through the lens of: How will these changes impact the product, program, and licensing choices needed for strategic and optimized purchasing in the future for our SoftwareONE customers?
With that in mind, we’ve compiled an exciting list of Microsoft product releases, updates, and new functionality below that we think you’ll find helpful.
- SQL 2017 became generally available for purchase on October 2, 2017. Microsoft has made significant investments in open technologies with native support for SQL Server 2017 on Linux, Docker Containers, and Python. Licensing options include SQL Server Hybrid Use Benefit and promotional pricing for SQL Server on Linux.
- Office 2019 will be the next perpetual update for all Office division products to be released in the second half of 2018, including on-premises Exchange, SharePoint, and Skype for Business Server. The release will continue to make hybrid cloud easier to manage for those customers who need, or desire, to keep on-premises infrastructure.
- Microsoft 365 F1 is Microsoft’s new vision for “empowering Firstline Workers in the digital age.” It includes Office 365 F1 (previously known as K1), and components of Enterprise Mobility + Security, and Windows 10 Enterprise. This offering focuses on security for task workers.
- Microsoft Teams is Microsoft’s new vision for Intelligent Communications. The biggest news here is that Microsoft will be integrating Skype for Business Online until it becomes a part of Microsoft Teams, and replacing the current Skype for Business client over time. Skype for Business Server will continue to be offered for on-premises with a new version coming the second half of 2018, and Microsoft will continue to support Skype for Business in Office.
- Non-Office 365 data with Advanced eDiscovery is an Azure storage blob where customers can upload documents that don’t live in Office 365 (except PST files) into a case linked to the Office 365 Security & Compliance Center and analyze them with Advanced eDiscovery. This requires an Advanced eDiscovery per user license today. Later this year an eDiscovery Storage plan in addition to the Advanced eDiscovery per user license will be required for all non-Office 365 data imported into the Azure container for analysis by Advanced eDiscovery.
There were a few announcements made that we feel impact you directly:
- Specifically for our SoftwareONE customers we were thrilled that the following announcements were made at Ignite as these impact you directly: Controlling your data in Office 365 using Customer Key is Essentially a “BYOK” or bring your own key to encrypt your data stored at rest in Office 365. SharePoint Online, OneDrive for Business, Exchange Online mailbox content, and text conversations from Skype for Business are covered at this time.
- Office 365 Advanced Threat Protection is expanded to help secure SharePoint Online, OneDrive for Business, and Teams.
- Office 365 message encryption enables encrypted messages sent to public Gmail and Outlook.com accounts the ability to receive encrypted messages.
- Windows Defender Advanced Threat Protection is integrating Hexadite’s AI technology.
- Enterprise Mobility + Security @ Ignite 2017 – Wrap Up is a great Microsoft blog summarizing all of the updates for identity, mobility, and security management.
- New Multi-Geo Capabilities in Office 365 provides the long awaited ability for global organizations to have a single tenant span multiple Office 365 datacenter locations increasing compliance adherence for data requirements and access speed to localized content. According to Microsoft, multi-geo capabilities are currently in preview in Exchange Online and OneDrive for Business, with expected availability in the first half of calendar year 2018. (SharePoint preview is planned later in 2018.)
To learn more about SQL Server 2017, additional highlights from Microsoft Ignite 2017, and what they mean to your business, please join our SoftwareONE Microsoft Advisory Services team for an in-depth webinar here.
Also contributing to this post: Robin Duprel – Software Asset Management Consultant
**Hyperlinks provided are to the Microsoft resources for further details.