The cloud is a hot commodity in the enterprise world, and Microsoft aims to become the king of the cloud with its comprehensive commercial cloud services, which include Azure and commercial deployments of Office 365.
Solutions for Everyone
Microsoft has made its grand entry into the world of cloud computing in 2008, with the introduction of the cloud computing platform that is now known as Microsoft Azure.
Microsoft Azure delivers agility, scalability, and global reach by providing software as a service (SaaS), platform as a service (PaaS), and infrastructure as a service (IaaS) through Microsoft-managed data centers.
It caters to organizations that would like to expand beyond their in-house data centers and venture into the cloud to meet all business challenges and gain the freedom to build, manage, and deploy applications on a massive, global network using their favorite tools and frameworks.
The main thing that separates Microsoft Azure from other similar cloud computing platforms is its industry-leading portfolio of compliance offerings, which has earned it the trust of 95 percent of Fortune 500 companies. Recently, AT&T selected Microsoft to help it accelerate its transition to the cloud and migrate its non-network workloads to Azure while using Office 365 for productivity and collaboration.
Office 365 is a cloud-based subscription service that brings all popular Office applications, such as Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and others, to the cloud, fully updated and accessible from anywhere and from any devices.
In addition to Office applications, Office 365 includes a collection of collaboration tools, whose purpose is to help teams get more work done in less time:
- OneDrive for Business allows organizations to securely store all data in the cloud and seamlessly share them for enhanced collaboration. Thanks to search results powered by the intelligence of the Microsoft Graph, it’s possible to instantly find relevant documents, photos, or any other files.
- SharePoint Online is a web-based collaborative platform that empowers teams to work together by providing highly configurable document management and collaboration tools.
- Microsoft Teams combines persistent workplace chat, video meetings, file storage, and application integration to create a unified communication and collaboration platform that allows teams to bring everything together in a shared workspace.
- Yammer is a freemium enterprise social networking service that allows organizations to easily host meetings, training sessions, and share rich communications with events for up to 10,000 attendees at the same time.
- Skype for Business is a popular instant messaging software that goes well beyond text and voice communication, offerings the ability to record meetings, annotate PowerPoint presentations in real-time, or create pools.
- Outlook Online is an email service from Microsoft that’s included in Office 365, enabling users to connect to their email accounts via a web browser without requiring the installation of Microsoft Outlook or other email clients.
- Delve boards help teams organize content and make it readily accessible and easy to share with others. Relevant content is automatically surfaced based on insights delivered through Office Graph, a back-end tool in Office 365 that facilitates search across integrated applications.
Benefits of Microsoft Cloud
All organizations that decide to take advantage of Microsoft Cloud can expect many important benefits:
- Cost savings: Microsoft Cloud eliminates the need to make expensive investments in software and hardware, replacing unpredictable purchases and maintenance costs with a predictable subscription. Because Microsoft Cloud delivers fantastic availability, organizations can avoid costly downtime and the subsequent issues related to downtime recovery.
- Increased efficiency: Microsoft Cloud makes organizations more efficient by equipping them with the tools and resources they need to realize all business objectives in the most efficient way possible. With Microsoft Cloud, an organization can focus its attention solely on its core business and leave technology-related problems to experts.
- Security: In this day and age, all organizations must make security their top priority because even a single misstep can be fatal. Microsoft Cloud has an impeccable security track record, and it features unified security management that enables advanced threat protection across hybrid cloud environments. In addition to security, organizations that move to the cloud also significantly improve their disaster recovery capability regardless of which emergency scenario they encounter.
- Flexibility: To remain competitive, organizations must be able to flexibly adjust to changing markets and scale their resources up or down to meet the current demand. Startups can minimize the risks associated with in-house operational issues and maintenance without compromising their ability to grow.
- Mobility: Today, employees welcome the ability to continue their work from anywhere and any device. Microsoft Cloud allows them to securely work on the go or from home via any internet-connected device. When employees can access corporate data via smartphones and other mobile devices, the whole organization benefits as well.
Over the last decade, cloud has transformed from a buzzword into the centerpiece of IT, enabling organizations to realize their business objectives and gain competitive advantage. Microsoft is keenly aware of the transformative power of the cloud, and it has developed a comprehensive portfolio of cloud services to allow organizations to solve common and not-so-common business problems with proven combinations of Azure services and related products.
Written by: Payam Pourkhomami, President & CEO, OSIbeyond