Microsoft continue to cement their strong GDPR credentials in Q1 2018 with important feature releases across the EMS portfolio, and strengthening of their Microsoft 365 offering.
However, the expansive service portfolio, with technical and licensing inter-dependencies is driving growth in indpendent consultancy as organisations balance the demands of GDPR with budget objectives.
As Microsoft see 42% growth YoY in Office365, and command a 350% price increase for end user ‘desktop’ over the last 10 years, businesses are challenging Microsoft to prove value for the increasing cost of productivity.
The advantage of an independent consultancy practices like the one I run for SoftwareONE, is that we can work with the customer to understand their roadmap, enable cloud adoption, support a ‘cloud ready’ strategy, understand ‘smart scale in’, and provide that due diligence on your next contract renewal.
Our team has experience negotiating contracts and critical data insights, and rapid commercial model tooling available, to enable our customers to “buy the right technology, on the right contracts, at the best price”.
Some principle recent Microsoft updates, for February 2017
- March 1st Product Terms includes Azure Hybrid Benefit for SQL Server. Specified use scenarios, flexible but with a key limitation on concurrent use when comparing to Windows Server Datacenter. Notably no Azure Analysis Services included.
- Azure Information Protection Scanner enters General Availability. Notably aligned within EM&S E5 or AIP P2. Enables GDPR. https://t.co/XWnUXoBpVz
- Office365 near term roadmap with new features across Planner, Advanced Threat Intelligence and Advanced Threat Protection https://t.co/b6YBT6cw6J
- If you want to manage group naming conventions and expiry policies for Office365 groups, you will need Azure AD Premium licenses https://goo.gl/x7HzLc
- Windows Defender ATP now supports Windows 8.1 and 7 https://goo.gl/T8hQPn
- Microsoft Compliance Manager enters General Availability. Provided natively for Office365 Enterprise Plans for GDPR https://t.co/qtuvmAN5X5
- Hybrid Azure AD Premium with on-premises MIM now enables hybrid self-service group management and self-service password reset reporting https://t.co/ikUOzvdHoU
- The United States vs. Microsoft arguments started on February 27th. One to watch for the future of Azure and data privacy.
- Microsoft enhance cloud spend management ecosystem for Azure with Budgets API (EA customers only), and ARM (Azure Resource Manager) compliant Price List and Marketplace APIs https://goo.gl/RbzfYK Providing additional valuable APIs to PyraCloud.
- Windows Client OS have been completely re-written in the March 2018 Product Terms. Now 25% shorter.
- Microsoft announce that Azure Advanced Threat Protection (ATP) is now Generally Available on March 1st. Azure ATP resides within EM+S E5. #GDPR https://goo.gl/4qVLh2
- Azure Stream Analytics introduces new pricing model “If your customers have existing Enterprise Agreement (EA) enrollments that were valid as of February 1, 2017, they’ll be able to use Stream Analytics at the previous pricing model until the end of their current enrollment period” https://goo.gl/n4uiZA
- Amazon cloud lead shrinks as Microsoft Azure growth explodes http://tek.io/2BrRdRH
- Office 365 Multi-Geo address previous challenges of regional tenant requirements? Read More: https://t.co/IpaehntYfq
- Dynamics NAV 2018 and GP 2018 in the March 2018 Microsoft Services Provider Use Rights: http://bit.ly/SPUR-Mar-18 (Ref: Jelle Kooi)
- Common Area Phone, Azure Advanced Threat Protection in the March 2018 Microsoft Online Services Terms: http://bit.ly/OST-Mar-18
- New Feature for Microsoft Teams : “Anyone with a business or consumer email account, such as http://Outlook.com , http://Gmail.com or others, can participate as a guest in Teams with full access to team chats, meetings and files.” https://t.co/izBxjLdn41
- Microsoft Azure Migrate is now generally available. Microsoft step into commercial TCO with scenario planning inclusive of Azure Hybrid Use Benefit, Right-Sizing, No Charge Dependency Visualization https://goo.gl/N8CofC and further enabled by emerging features for cost and technical optimisation guidance https://goo.gl/gAVTYf within Azure Advisor.
- Microsoft offer important capabilities around automated classification and encryption of data, GDPR critical features are often enshrined within E5 level services, and the ‘fire hose’ of information available within Office365 Audit Logs are retained for just 90 days within Office365, only extensible for 180 days with ‘premium’ Advanced Security Management (ASM) https://goo.gl/P9QDwL
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