Microsoft is always coming out with new technology, so what is Microsoft 365, and how is it different from the Office suite you’re used to? I’m going to break up the answer into three easy points so you can tell your boss because he gave you the “figure out what this is” job.

Let’s start from the beginning:

  • 1990: Microsoft Office 1.0 – Word, Excel, and PowerPoint
  • 1999: Microsoft Office 2000 (9.0) – Word, Excel, Outlook, PowerPoint, Publisher, Small Business Tools, Access, FrontPage, and PhotoDraw
  • 2017: Microsoft 365 – Productivity (Office suite and online services), Advanced Security (external threat protection, internal data leak prevention, and Windows 10 Pro), and Device Management (Intune, SSO, deployment assistance, and 99.9% financially-backed uptime)

Talk about digital transformation.

What can Microsoft 365’s productivity, advanced security, and device management do for your business?

LET ME TELL YOU! Whether your business is turning to a cloud-only model and migrating away from on-prem for good, or you’re operating on a hybrid model because you love our Virtual DBA services so much, companies want a secure way to manage their data. If your boss wants to get more done, work better together, build the business, safeguard data, and keep it simple without 20 different programs, Microsoft 365 is the perfect solution.

Part One: Productivity

Being productive means getting stuff done, and getting stuff done leads to great relationships and a better business. Here are just some of the smart services included with Microsoft 365:

Exchange Online

  • Mobile and multi-platform access to mailboxes and online archives, calendars, editable online Office attachments, and shared mailboxes and resources
  • Message policy and compliance, Exchange Online Protection (anti-spam and anti-malware), a configurable mail flow, and hybrid deployment all help manage email

SharePoint Online

  • Build and discover sites, pages, libraries, lists, files, people, and news across the organization, especially with news on-the-go with the SharePoint mobile app. Put up that memo about who has access to whiteboard markers again; they need to learn.

Microsoft Teams

  • A chat-based workspace that includes meetings and calls to chat with anyone inside or outside your organization. The ability to integrate Office 365 apps, customize services, and connect across devices makes it feel like a cubicle meet-up even if employees are countries apart.

Microsoft Intune

  • This cloud service helps manage computers, laptops, tablets, and other mobile devices (including iOS, Android, and macOS X devices). It uses Azure Active Directory (AD) and can integrate with local management infrastructures, allow BYOD to access organizational data, and help ensure devices comply with security policies. Think of a husband who checks in, not because he’s controlling but because he cares about your safety.

Windows 10

  • Intelligent security via flexible management and simplified updates (we’re talking quality updates every second Tuesday of the month and biannual feature updates — manual updates are done-zo).

Office 365 ProPlus

  • Basically, the more attractive, older, stronger, faster, better sibling of Office 2019 (for example, access on five devices, resume assistant in Word, 3D embedded animation effects in PowerPoint, and sensitivity labels in Excel)


  • This is one of my favorite Microsoft initiatives. Making productivity available for EVERYONE in the way of vision, hearing, neurodiversity, learning, mobility, and mental health differences with tools like focus assist, mono audio, and text suggestions.

Part Two: Advanced Security

It doesn’t help to be productive if someone steals your info. Here are some ways Microsoft 365 keeps your data safe:

Identity and Access Management

  • Password replacement options like Windows Hello (your face as a password) or Microsoft Authenticator
  • Conditional access
  • Identity protection like detecting unusual account behavior and blocking access or requiring additional authentication
  • Microsoft cloud app security
  • Azure and its advanced threat detection

Threat Protection

  • The Microsoft Intelligent Security Graph has integrated solutions to protect identities, endpoints, user data, cloud apps, and infrastructure. There are so many services involved in this but know that they basically have a black belt in threat karate.

Information Protection

  • The strategy is to discover, classify, protect, and monitor all info, and you can take actions to gain visibility, for example, automatically defining documents as “confidential” if it contains a social security number.

Security Management

  • Get a trusted Microsoft partner like XTIVIA to walk you through managing your Secure Score in the Microsoft Security Center. It would be like going to a financial advisor after seeing your credit score for the first time in eight years — in other words, we’re here to help.

Part Three: Device Management

Now you’re productive and secure but a snowstorm blows through downtown and the big snowplows can’t clear the roads until noon, right when you and your team have that project due! Plan B, you work remotely and it’s never been easier than with Microsoft 365; co-management allows for security and productivity on-the-go with Configuration Manager and Intune.

Remote actions include:

  • Deleting company data on a lost or stolen personal device
  • Renaming or restarting a device
  • Reviewing device inventory
  • Remotely control a device
  • Wipeout pre-installed OEM apps with a FreshStart reboot
  • Do a factory reset on any Windows 10 device
  • Monitoring client device health

SSO and automatic device licensing make using a tablet or smartphone in the field a piece of cake. Which you can eat at a coffee shop now because you trust your device with company data outside the office.

There you have it: productivity, advanced security, and device management. Now all you have to know is whether Microsoft 365 Business or Microsoft 365 Enterprise is best suited for your business. Tell your boss that she needs to contact us to learn about what the assessment, implementation, and tier-one support with a cloud service provider would look like for your company — your office mates will thank you.

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