The rise of mobile and cloud technologies has changed the way that businesses operate. Employees are now more mobile than ever, with an increasing number of employees choosing to work from home or remote offices instead of a central office. When offered the opportunity, 87% of employed Americans take the chance to work remotely rather than in an office.
Enabling remote work has led to the adoption of cloud services, such as Microsoft Exchange Online, as an alternative to traditional on-site servers. Exchange Online empowers employees to access their messages, calendars, and communicate with co-workers from any location.
An understanding of Exchange Online will help you to plan, implement, and manage your organization’s email services effectively.
What is Exchange Online?
Microsoft Exchange Online is a fully built-in email platform service obtainable as part of the Microsoft Office 365 suite, or a stand-alone service. The cloud-hosted solution allows businesses to connect and collaborate with their customers and employees through email, calendars, contacts, and tasks.
Exchange Online is designed to be operated and managed exclusively in a cloud environment. The cloud hosting model means that organizations don’t have to worry about maintaining their own servers or software licenses.
The service also includes the ability to scale up or down automatically to handle variations in demand, and can be easily integrated with other cloud-based services, from Microsoft tools like Office 365 and Azure Active Directory, to third-party products like customer relationship management (CRM) software.
Exchange Online features
Exchange Online delivers a single sign-on experience across all your devices, as well as access your calendar and contacts across both email and web apps.
Email: Send and receive emails from any location, on any device. You can also create and manage folders to organize your email messages.
Calendar: Built-in collaboration and scheduling tools allow users to create and share calendars and events, track them, and find free timeslots to schedule meetings. There are also mobile clients available for iOS, Android, and Windows devices.
Compliance and retention: Exchange Online includes a variety of tools and features to help you comply with industry regulations. You have the option of either hosting your own or fully managed archives or storing them in an Office 365 service. You can also use retention policies to automatically delete messages once they’re no longer needed.
Directory services: The combination of Microsoft Online Services and Azure Active Directory (AD) offers a single, comprehensive directory service. This allows you to leverage existing user accounts for your onboarding process and easily apply user access and security settings across your Office 365 services.
Anti-spam and anti-malware protection: Exchange Online includes built-in protection against spam, phishing attacks, and malicious software. This service uses machine learning to improve its accuracy over time, and you can customize the level of protection so that it’s just as strict or lenient as your organization needs.
Exchange Online Protection: A hosted email security service which filters spam, and helps protect against cyber threats like malware to keep your mailboxes secure and reliable.
Encryption: Emails are encrypted in transit to ensure that if they are intercepted by threat actors, they cannot be read without the decryption key.
Multi-factor authentication: It also supports multi-factor authentication (MFA), which protects your organization against unauthorized access to your accounts. Users also have the option of using a third-party authentication app, like Duo Security or Microsoft Authenticator.
Identity protection: Exchange Online includes built-in safeguards to identify and block fraudulent log-in attempts, as well as a service to monitor abuse and block malicious senders.
Exchange Online Archiving
Exchange Online Archiving is a service that allows you to archive email messages from your Exchange Online email servers and store them in the Microsoft cloud. This gives you a secondary source of email data and also helps you to reduce the storage space needed on your organization’s servers. The messages are delivered from the cloud to your users’ mailboxes as soon as they log in to the system, just like normal emails.
Archiving is an optional add-on to your Exchange Online service that can be purchased separately.
Integration with Azure Active Directory
Exchange Online has a tight integration with Azure Active Directory (AD), Microsoft’s single sign-on service that allows administrators to manage user accounts and permissions across Office 365 services.
When you add Exchange Online to your organization’s Azure AD tenant, administrators can use the Microsoft Admin Portal to add and remove users from your Exchange Online service.
The integration between AD and Exchange Online also allows you to add and remove mailbox permissions for users. This is useful if you want to grant someone access to their email but don’t want to give them full control over the rest of the organization’s accounts. You can also assign licenses to specific users, which allows you to manage their access to specific features of Exchange Online.
Streamline your email system with the experts
Exchange Online is an easy-to-use and flexible email solution that can be used to connect and collaborate with people from any location, using any device. It’s built-in collaboration tools, combined with flexible and seamless integration with other cloud-based tools, make it easy for businesses of any size to create a unified communications experience for their employees.
The Microsoft specialists at Technology Solutions will help you implement Exchange Online into your business, train your users, and manage the environment for best performance and security.