IT and Business Insights for SMB Solution Providers

Microsoft 365—The Next-Level Opportunity : Page 2 of 3

You don’t need to become an SME in the entire Microsoft 365 platform. Start small, pick easy wins, and move up from there. By Schyler Jones

Give a serious look at Microsoft 365 Defender too—this is not your grandmother’s anti-virus! Microsoft 365 Defender has evolved into a unified pre- and post-breach enterprise defense suite that coordinates detection, prevention, investigation, and response across endpoints, identities, email, and applications to provide integrated protection against sophisticated attacks. Four components currently make up the suite:

  • Microsoft Defender for Endpoint
  • Microsoft Defender for Office 365
  • Microsoft Defender for Identity
  • Microsoft Cloud App Security

Defender for Endpoint and Defender for Office 365 are similar to tools we all currently use to deliver protection services to clients and should be easy to learn and deploy.

More advanced capabilities around compliance management, including tools to evaluate, mitigate, and monitor risks such as information protection, eDiscovery, auditing, and alert policies, are available (with appropriate licensing) in Compliance Manager.

Functionality and Productivity

We focus conversations about Microsoft 365 on the value customers get for their subscription fees. Historically, that was email, cloud-based file storage, and Microsoft Office. However, we all know the platform is so much more. Understanding the full Microsoft 365 ecosystem is such a huge challenge that at the end of 365 migration projects, I often feel as though we’re just pointing end users to their big box of “stuff” and saying, “There’s all your 365 toys!” It’s like giving 30 birthday presents to a 2-year-old child.

However, I don’t know that many users are discovering, learning, and using their box of toys, and for that reason I see a lot of opportunity for service providers to add significant value by helping them discover and learn about the apps that can be used to facilitate their daily routines.

This might include guiding customers through setting up and establishing practices for using Microsoft Teams and SharePoint effectively or looking at activities and workflows to determine whether there are use cases for apps such as Forms, Lists (pictured above), Planner, or Bookings (to name a few). And don’t overlook Microsoft 365 Business Voice. I think we as service providers give away a lot of one-time and recurring revenue to voice vendors that have no loyalty to us. We have avoided adding a specific VoIP solution to our wheelhouse for years, but I assure you that is changing with Business Voice.

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