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7 Must Have Office 365 Apps #1: Microsoft Exchange

Mo Anwar | | January 3, 2019

Today, Office 365 has many more features than it did in the past. If you’re only familiar with the original version of the software, it’s time to take a second look. One of the most popular applications included in Office 365 is Microsoft’s Exchange Online. When you want to upgrade your email to contribute more to your business, using the Exchange service in Office 365 is an excellent strategy.

Many people are concerned about putting something as critical as email in the cloud. Cybersecurity and compliance are significant concerns for all companies in any industry, or of any size. Microsoft has address these issues, and now you may find that your email in the cloud is even more secure than it is on premise.

Microsoft Exchange Overview

Exchange is the email server solution from Microsoft. It offers email and calendaring. In addition, Exchange offers a whole slew of integration with other Microsoft products such as Skype and MS Team to provide enhanced collaboration opportunities. Exchange operates as a Service provided in the three Office 365 Enterprise Plans, E1, E2, and E5. Each plan offers slightly different Exchange features.

For example, Enterprise E1 offers email hosting that includes a 50 GB mailbox and customized email domain addresses. E2 offers the same as E1, but the mailbox size goes up to 100 GB, and you can integrate scheduling with Microsoft Teams. E5 is the full-blown Office 365 package. It offers everything in E3, along with integration with Microsoft Teams, and Advanced Threat Prevention.

Given the number of options in the Office 365 family, make sure you have Office 365 experts available when you’re planning the configuration.

Microsoft Exchange Security and Compliance

Virtually every organization has valuable and sensitive information stored in emails. It could be information about intellectual property, business plans, operational issues, or future business plans. Beyond network security, organizations need to develop policies for things such as types of communication that isn’t allowed in the email system, retention of messages, and availability of email records to respond to eDiscovery requests.

eDiscovery is becoming more important in today’s digital environment. An organization involved in a lawsuit or investigation may be asked to produce Electronically Stored Information (ESI). ESI includes a variety of stored data, and emails are included. Exchange offers a number of security and compliance features to assist in meeting your requirements. A few of the most important are described below.

Archive Mailboxes. The feature called In-Place Archiving allows employees to access additional email storage. This is helpful because it’s more efficient to find current emails if employees can move older emails to an archive location. These mailboxes are in-place, meaning that employees can easily manage their own current and archival emails themselves, rather than accessing an archival storage area.

In-Place and Litigation Holds. Emails need to be retained for any number of reasons. But things such as user error can remove emails you thought were being retained. The Hold features overcome that problem.

In-Place holds allow you to hold just the things you need. You can identify those items you need to hold by searching for criteria such as keywords, start and end dates, or the sender or receiver. You can also place the hold indefinitely, or for a specific amount of time. Litigation holds can be applied to an entire mailbox.

Mail Flow Rules. A large number of cyberattacks are initiated through email. An important use of mail flow rules is to inspect message attachments in Exchange. After inspection, you can perform a number of functions, including adding a disclaimer to the message, redirecting the message to a moderator, blocking the email, or notifying the user if they send a suspect message.

Final Thoughts

The features described above are just a very small representation of all the things that Exchange can do. If you would like more information about how Exchange can help your organization, contact us today. And, if you’d like to know more about Office 365, download our whitepaper, 7 Must Have Office 365 Apps for Digital Transformation.

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