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Making Office 365 Even Better

Microsoft’s recent earnings (Q1 FY15) highlighted the momentum of Office 365 we’ve been discussing on this blog for some time. The announcement revealed that commercial Office and Office 365 boosted Microsoft’s cloud revenues by 128% to $952 million.

Safer together. Better together. Mimecast provides vital protection for Office 365.

Safer together. Better together. Mimecast provides vital protection for Office 365.

But it’s also been the year when businesses have come to terms with the practicalities of consolidating their critical IT functions with one vendor, even a vendor as established as Microsoft.

Two major Microsoft outages have affected Office 365 customers this year – the Azure outage in November and the email outage on Exchange Online and Office 365 in June. Not that it’s the only cloud vendor to have experienced this problem – services from Google and even Facebook have had similar issues.

It’s a stark reminder that care must be taken to ensure business continuity, as well as security and data integrity risks, are mitigated in the cloud in the same way they were on-premises.

Which is why risk mitigation is so important when CIOs are migrating to Office 365. A cloud continuity plan can counter reliance on just one service that can become a single point of failure for critical services like email. Invariably that plan needs third party cloud services, like Mimecast, to offer the same options that have been common place in the on-premises environment – a blended cloud approach.

Mimecast Services for Office 365 ensure when Office 365 is offline your business’ email keeps working. It also enhances an organization’s security by detecting advanced threats like spear-phishing. In addition, it improves the resilience of critical data, meaning if data is lost or deleted accidentally or with malicious intent it’s fully retrievable. This vital protection for Office 365 helps overcome the remaining hurdles to enterprise adoption of Microsoft’s service.

If you’d like to find out how Mimecast and Office 365 services work better together, click here to download our free report and view a webcast of our CTO Neil Murray discussing the risks of a move to Office 365 and how to tackle them.

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Microsoft Azure Outage: A Reminder That All Cloud Services Need Backup

Last week Microsoft Azure suffered a major outage, disrupting many enterprises worldwide that had shifted their workloads to Microsoft’s public cloud, including companies who have upgraded to Office 365.Mimecast Continuity Services

The cloud skeptics are already gathering to tell these companies they shouldn’t have moved to the cloud, but ask the IT managers of LAN-based services whether they ever have had unplanned downtime and of course the answer is yes. So what’s the answer to the downtime conundrum?

The simple solution is to treat the cloud with the same level of respect that we’ve been treating our on-premises systems for decades…are your core services, like email, so important that your business cannot do without them?

If the answer to that question is ‘yes’, and it usually is, then you should go for a blended-cloud approach.

Despite the fact that these events will be frustrating and disruptive for Microsoft customers (or Google or any other service for that matter) it’s still no reason to stop plans to move to the cloud, or retreat to the shelter of the LAN. However, this incident should be a trigger for IT teams to check they are being careful about what core cloud service they choose and then how they protect it.

When you move critical services and data, like email, to the cloud, you must also plan for the inevitability that at some point the service will most likely go down – just as you would with business continuity solutions on your own infrastructure if you kept them in-house.  With Mimecast services you keep employees’ email up and running, and keep them productive even in the event of an outage.

What happens when the cloud service goes down? Every IT leader should be able to answer that question immediately and show their continuity strategy. A strategy based on planning and technology, not hope.

For more information about Mimecast cloud email continuity services please click here.

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UK Channel Awards Success: Why Mimecast’s Cloud Heritage Helps Our Partners Stand Out

Mimecast is channel focused and our partners are critical to our achievements as a fast-growth technology company. This is why we were particularly delighted to be named Cloud Specialist Vendor of the Year at last week’s CRN Channel Awards. This recognition follows lots of hard work to support our partners with new services that build on their historic offering and meet the growing requirement for cloud computing – such as our Office 365 Services portfolio.

Mimecast CRN Cloud Specialist Vendor of the Year - Winner

Mimecast won Cloud Specialist Vendor of the Year and was also highly commended as the Security Vendor of the Year at the 2014 CRN Channel Awards.

Mimecast’s life began in the cloud, and because of that, we believe our channel programme stands out from other, more traditional, vendors. Many resellers have been concerned about the impact the cloud would have on their businesses. But the reality is that most organizations need a great deal of advice and support to adopt cloud services. Selling complementary cloud products, training or building additional managed services, particularly around security, are great ways to add value and revenue.

We were also highly commended in the Security Vendor of the Year category. As security threats have evolved further over the past 12 months, the UK IT channel increasingly needs to work with vendors who are continuously investing in technology upgrades to protect against new threats. Our Broad Spectrum Email Security for Office 365 offering has created partner opportunities for new value-add services while Targeted Threat Protection now protects enterprises from the growing risk from spear phishing.

We would like to commend our partners who also saw considerable success at the awards:

+ Software Vendor of the Year. Judges Commended: Microsoft UK

+ Managed Services Provider of the Year. Winner: Kelway

+ SMB Reseller of the Year. Winner: Green Fields Technology

+ Mid-Market Reseller of the Year. Judges Commended: Total Computer Networks

+ Enterprise Reseller of the Year. Winner: Bytes

+ Reseller of the Year. Winner: Kelway. Judges Commended: Servium

These awards add to the recognition we had earlier in the year in the CRN Vendor Report where we scored 2nd overall against the top 50 vendors in the UK.

We are proud of what we and our partners have achieved, both in terms of the industry recognition we have enjoyed like last week’s award, but also how we have helped their customers benefit from the cloud.

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Gartner Symposium ITXpo: Driving Digital Business

Next week the Gartner Symposium ITXpo kicks off in Barcelona, with the theme of ‘driving digital business’.

Mimecast will be joining a host of technology leaders at the event to share our perspective on how IT is being redefined in the era of cloud services, corporate memory, and advanced threats.

It’s no wonder that with this backdrop the ITxpo series is becoming so popular. A new chapter is emerging for CIOs. In some cases the role is merging with CSOs to create a new function in the business. There are some big questions which should be asked to inform how or even if this integration will take place, which we covered in part on this blog last month but will be bought into sharp focus at high level events like this:

- Security governance:how will organizations cope with the increased rigour and business-as-usual buy-in for IT projects from the rest of the business.

- Mobile Device Management: how do IT teams control the risk profile of mobile device seamlessly and with scale?

- Cost: how can CIOs empower the business to maintain principles of data security?

- Data Migration: how SaaS vendors like Mimecast can help you plan the migration of your information archive to the cloud.

If you’d like a meeting and/or schedule a demo you can of course drop in to see us at Stand S10…we’d be delighted to chat and understand your business objectives in more depth and how Mimecast can help you achieve these.