As an evergreen service, Office 365 is always expanding and updating it’s service, providing users with new features and admins with more granular controls and functionality. Here is a list of updates I am particularly looking forward to this year.
- MDM for Office 365 – at the moment this is a weak spot in the security of Office 365. Using ActiveSync Quarantine, you can control which devices are able to connect to corporate email, however you currently have no controls over which devices can connect to OneDrive for Business, SharePoint and Office apps. This is still in development but should be rolled out in the first half of 2015. http://blogs.office.com/2014/10/28/introducing-built-mobile-device-management-office-365/
- Drive Shipping and Network Based Data Import for Office 365 – this will allow for large scale import of PST data into Exchange Online Archive mailboxes centralised technologies such as drive shipping or network imports. This is a big feature request for customers, as the current method is to either import PSTs into Outlook and let the client sync (not ideal), or to use third party tools. This feature has no rollout date yet.
- Compliance Center for Office 365 – this will provide a single pane of glass (SPOG) approach to managing compliance across all Office 365 services. You will be able to configure central policies that will apply across Exchange and SharePoint data and control data retention. This is available in preview as of Jan 2015.
- MAPI over HTTP for Exchange Online – this is the long term replacement for RPC over HTTP (aka Outlook Anywhere) and simplifies and improves Outlook connectivity. This is being rolled out at the moment and will be complete at the end of Q1 2015.
- Yammer integration with Office 365 – admittedly the rollout of this service is almost complete (due to be completed by the end of March) but if you don’t have it yet, then you can look forward to being able to seamlessly login to your existing or new Yammer network with your Office 365 credentials.
These are just a handful of the updates coming this year. As you can see, Microsoft are working hard to make this a service which provides real benefit and control to its customers. This is the benefit of using an evergreen service; it can constantly evolve and respond to customer feedback quickly and easily.
Remember to check the roadmap at http://roadmap.office.com to find out about features being worked on and rolled out!
Let me know in the comments which features you are looking forward to most 🙂