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Steve Goodman looks ahead to Office365 in 2018

Beginning of a big push to move from Exchange Server 2010 - Exchange Server 2010 reaches the end of extended support in January 2020, and most Exchange 2010 implementations  are approaching the end of their serviceable life – Don't wait until until 2019.

Teams projects will surpass Skype projects, with some cloud PBX projects put on hold - Microsoft launched calling capabilities into Microsoft Teams. Organizations will hold back their cloud PBX rollout for a while and wait for Teams to catch up.

AI hits mainstream in Office 365 - you will find it in Teams integration of connectors and bots, Delve,  Bing for Business and Cortana integrated deeply with Office 365. 

Greater security focus - Azure is a big push for Microsoft over the coming twelve months – and many of the security features that Office 365 relies upon fit into Azure AD, and the wider Enterprise Mobility + Security piece. Cloud App Security  will become commonplace in 2018.

Last mile performance improvements - Microsoft's new datacentres are built in country, and Microsoft have behind the scenes been putting extra “front doors” to the service closer to users to reduce latency to Microsoft’s datacentres. Microsoft Teams with Office online and Skype reliance will benefit massively here.

Auto-labelling  in GDPR Compliance projects - Labels will become the future for tagging data in Office 365. As May 2018 approaches, using auto label policies to classify data on a per document or item level basis will prove extremely valuable in GDPR projects that are late to begin.

Wide take up of multi-geo services -  . A lot of organisations that have had to remain in long-term Hybrid (Managing Office 365 across different geographies webinar), or hold back on migrating to Office 365 because they need to keep data locally within particular regions. In 2018 expect to see interest in multi-geo from many organisations that have held off migrating to Office 365.

Microsoft 365 becomes the sensible choice - Integration with EMS makes Windows 10 work really well, and I think a lot of enterprise architects see that the overall big picture of having Microsoft 365 – with its Windows, Office 365 and EMS capabilities that all integrate

Office 365 Pro Plus deployments accelerate -  As the Windows 10 projects begin, these will be paired up with deployment of Office 365 Pro Plus.

Azure Active Directory Premium becomes mandatory for Office 365 deployments -  will become seen as a mandatory requirement for enterprise deployments of Office 365. Azure AD only comes as a free version in Office 365, which doesn’t have an SLA, and as such it’s important for that reason alone to make sure they have Azure AD Premium. Rrecently new   features, like group expiry, automated licensing, conditional access policies and self service password reset add lots of value – and small details like group naming policies, usage policies and many more contribute to the overall necessity of buying it to really get the most out of Office 365. 

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