What is our primary use case?
The solution is used heavily at our customer's end. Our businesses involve consulting in a lot of stuff related to accounting and other various business aspects. They are heavy users of Office 365 applications such as Word, PowerPoint, Excel, and, of course, Outlook. Outlook is the lifeline of this business. All business communication happens through it.
What is most valuable?
It is easy to use.
It's mostly stable. There are no issues.
Support can be reached easily.
They are constantly adding new features every week or every month or so. They really think about what the customers need and they work to build that into the product.
The scalability has been good.
What needs improvement?
We had some hiccups where people would inadvertently send things out to external parties. When they realized, they just blame Outlook for being at fault, however, they do not think of themselves as a problem. They do not try to make changes to the behavior that they follow. That's why we are trying to figure out what other solutions are out there - to see which could probably aid end users. We need something to stop them before they send out an email to an external party. If they're prompted to check before sending, we can prevent data from getting leaked out to external parties. I'm not sure if that's a feature that could possibly be added to Outlook.
If Microsoft could do something about data loss prevention, that would be ideal. There needs to be more than just the capability of flagging an end-user.
Of late, the support has been very patchy at Microsoft's end. It's been like this for about one to two years now. From a support perspective, if you want to rank how good the support is, it's probably around seven at this point in time.
There used to be a lot of articles, however, they've dropped off or have gotten removed and therefore there's less available knowledge online. They need to work on building up their documentation again.
The solution could always be a bit more secure.
If there was a way to make the product more intuitive, that would be helpful for the end-users.
For how long have I used the solution?
We've been using the solution from the start - when Microsoft started with 365. At that time, it was Office 365. Prior to that, it was called Exchange Online. I've been there from the start. It would probably be six to seven years plus of experience that I have with 365.
What do I think about the stability of the solution?
It is a stable platform. If any issues come up, Microsoft is able to fix them quite easily. Some issues take time. That depends on the complexity of the product. However, overall, from an enterprise standpoint, we are pretty satisfied with Microsoft.
What do I think about the scalability of the solution?
It is scalable. Microsoft is based on a cloud platform. Therefore, anytime we have new users or a new company that is onboarded into our organization, we are able to do it pretty easily. It doesn't take a lot of effort and Microsoft is there to help us out if there are deployment issues.
We have hundreds of thousands of users on the solution.
There are hundreds of people who are in our engineering department and some of them are outsourced. There are more than, I would say, 500 people who are involved in M365. The exact numbers I don't have.
How are customer service and technical support?
Support is okay, however, it could be better. Over the last few years, I have noticed it is not as consistent as it once was. That's an aspect they could improve.
How was the initial setup?
The initial setup is something I do not deal with. That said, it's a straightforward install for end-users and we have SCCM and Intune that helps in the installation process. Intune is not being used. It's mostly SCCM that is used to deploy applications. Implementation is something that a different group does. I cannot say how good or how bad the experience is. It's my understanding that it just depends.
A couple of years back, before I joined the company as a contractor, they made the switch to Exchange Online. They had a dedicated subscription. There's a public cloud and a private cloud. They have some sort of a private cloud where they have specific servers allocated to this firm. A couple of years back, around three or four years back, the company decided to move out from that into a completely public cloud. Now, the firm is on an entirely public cloud.
What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?
The product's cost is based on a monthly license per user. We pay a certain amount per month, per year and that's about it. That's all I know from licensing perspective. It is monthly that it is billed.
What other advice do I have?
I'm a consultant.
Basically, you sign up for the service, you get your email account, and then you get access to something like SharePoint, Teams, and other Microsoft services. It's a complete solution within the cloud.
The product is pretty perfect. I'd rate it at a ten out of ten.
I would say other enterprises should use the solution. A lot of enterprises are using Microsoft 365 because of its strengths and the way new features are released. A lot of customers like us are interested in trying out new products and new features as they come.
Which deployment model are you using for this solution?