As powerful as it is, sometimes Office 365 isn't necessarily the right solution for everyone. When we proposed Office 365 as a solution, we do so based on the size of your business and the goals you express to us during conversations with you. However, we know that we're not perfect and we sometimes get the wrong idea.
It's not our goal to badmouth Office 365; it's a great product. However, we want to provide the best possible advice to all our clients. Please review our list of known limitations to Office 365 to make sure that there's nothing here that would prevent you from moving forward with our proposal.
- Your data is encrypted going to and from Office 365 and also while at rest. Servers. Where it is stored on Microsoft servers in the United States, they are required to follow US laws. Likewise, this is true in other nations worldwide. Microsoft has acted in many cases to defend the sovereignty of data when it comes to information stored in various locations around the globe, including the United States.
We've partnered with CipherPoint and F5 to bring you solutions to help keep your information safe, regardless. Bring us your questions if you have specific concerns about the privacy of your data stored in the cloud, and we'll help you get a complete understanding of this complex topic.
- If you want to leverage Active Directory integration with on-premises servers, you'll need at least one local server on your own network to run AD Connect. This tool has specific requirements; for example, running on systems other than Windows Server is unsupported by Microsoft. In such cases, a truly all-in strategy for the cloud is not possible, but we may have other options that will work for you.
- Office 365 does not offer all of the business intelligence features that SharePoint has such as PowerPivot or PerformancePoint. However, Power BI is now available for an extra cost, and this is often a feasible alternative. There are also other ways to work around certain limitations. So, ask us if BI is a high priority.
- Office 365 uses claims based authentication, and not all third-party SharePoint products support it yet (even 6 years after its debut). If you're a current user of on-premises SharePoint, this might be very important to you.
- Likewise, there are limitations to deploying any custom code into Office 365. For example, some products for SharePoint may not work in Office 365 at all. Though things have improved a lot in recent years, custom solutions that connect to external web services or databases will likely need additional services through Windows Azure to make them work.
- If you want your own backup copy, or
to migrate your content to another platform, you'll need to purchase
third-party tools to do so. Fortunately, there are many good options
available so tell us if this is a requirement.
- At some number of users in the hundreds, the ROI on Office 365 may no longer balance out against other cloud based or on-premises options. This is partly a factor of variables including the number of IT support staff in your organization and should be considered on a case-by-case basis, but a good rule of thumb is to start considering other options at about 300 users. If you think this may apply to you, please ask us for a cost comparison.
- If you require a system with more features and/or configuration options than Office 365 delivers, we can provide shared or dedicated cloud based SharePoint solutions for you. Options and costs are varied, and prices typically start at about $500 per month. Ask us for a trade-up comparison quote if you need this option.