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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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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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Let the Cloud Relieve Your Legacy Archive Headache

On-premises email and data archives are a growing challenge to organizations looking to reduce costs and management complexity.

Cloud archiving alternatives offer a compelling opportunity to remove the management headaches and deliver a secure, resilient and highly scalable archive service to meet requirements now and in the future. But concerns remain about the ideal migration strategy that balances effective risk management with new business requirements.

That’s why in this new webinar, I’ve teamed up with Gartner research director Alan Dayley to break down the benefits of the cloud over on-premises email archiving. Together, we also explore the key considerations for migrating to the cloud, and look to the future of email archiving in the cloud.

Hybrid or 100% cloud? Should you migrate everything from legacy systems? How do I know if I even need archiving? We explore the key considerations and review what you need to think about regarding data sovereignty.

For customers thinking about moving to Office 365, but concerned about their readiness, we’ll discuss migration strategies. Meanwhile, for those who have already made the move, we’ll discuss how a third party backup archive can make your data in Office 365 fully resilient

There has never been a better time to move archives to the cloud.

Take a look at video here.

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Yesterday’s Microsoft Outage Shows Value of Contingency Planning

Yesterday Microsoft confirmed it had an email outage on Exchange Online and Office 365. But they are not the only ones to have experienced this problem.  Their cloud competitors like Google and even Facebook have had the same problems in the last few months. And if you have your email server in house you may well experience downtime much more frequently.

It is important to say that all email and cloud services will have downtime – some of it planned and some not.  But when it happens it is always frustrating and disruptive. But you can do something about this.

It is for this very reason we said on our blog yesterday that two clouds are better than one.

The cloud presents a very compelling business case for customers looking to reduce the cost and complexity of their email environment. Many have already moved to the cloud or will in the coming months and years.

But when you move critical services and data like email to the cloud you must also plan for the inevitability – albeit rare – that the service will go down – just as you would with business continuity solutions on your own infrastructure if you kept it in house.

As it happened, we also announced yesterday our own suite of services for Office 365. These include business and email continuity services designed to give customers just the kind of protection we are talking about here in the event of downtime to Office 365, as was experienced yesterday.

We have provided these continuity services for other platforms for some time, protecting our customers against planned and unplanned downtime of their email be it Exchange, Google Apps or Lotus Notes.

So don’t let yesterday’s events put you off the cloud or Office 365 for that matter.

But if you are on Office 365 already (or thinking about it) or indeed have on-prem or other cloud email providers – do look again at your contingency planning. How will you cope when (not if) your email service is unavailable?

The cloud is great. But two clouds are much better than one when it comes to your business critical applications like email.