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How will new Office 365 developments help you?

UK Datacentre and Regions 

In September 2016, Microsoft announced that its first UK cloud computing data centres were fully operational*. Located in London, Durham and Cardiff, the centres add to Microsoft’s global cloud footprint which brings in-region data residency, failover and disaster recovery.

So, what does this mean to you?

In the past Microsoft has been unable to sell cloud services to UK businesses which deal with sensitive data which, by law, cannot leave the country. For small to medium sized businesses, there’s no real need to move data to the new UK region as there are no significant benefits other than the peace of mind that your data is stored in the UK and within its jurisdiction. However, sectors such as banking, government, public sector and healthcare (which hold the most sensitive data) will benefit most**. 

How can you move to new UK datacentre? 

If you have an Office 365 subscription and you’re located in the UK, it’s worth noting that your data will not be automatically moved to the new region. You need to request it. And if your data is held in US/Europe datacentres, you only have until February 2017 to request your data to be moved. Once this time expires, new requests will not be accepted and will require a tenant-to-tenant migration to move the data. It’s important to note that it can take up to 24 months to move the data once the request has been accepted. However during this time, you should not see any drop in service availability. New Office 365 tenants can select UK as a location when creating the tenant.

If you use the Azure platform, it’s slightly different. For example, if you have virtual machines hosted on the Azure platform in the US/Europe, then you can log on to your portal and request a VM migration at any time.

Office 365 Teams

Why it’s interesting and how you can access it

Teams, the latest addition to the Office 365 platform, is a chat workspace specifically designed for teams to chat and collaborate. It allows groups of people with Office 365 subscriptions to communicate in a centralised location***. Teams then takes this one step further by integrating with other Office apps such as the Word, Excel, SharePoint, OneNote and Skype for Business.

Since November 2016, Teams has been available in preview to eligible Office 365 commercial customers. You’re eligible if you use one of the following plans: Business Essentials, Business Premium, and Enterprise E1, E3 and E5. Microsoft Teams will also be available to customers who purchased E4 prior to its retirement.

If you’re eligible, you can access Teams by going to your Office 365 admin centre then clicking, Settings > Services & Add Ins > Microsoft Teams. Microsoft expects the full service to become available during the first quarter of 2017.

For more information on Office 365 and Teams – and how these developments affect you – please contact a member of the team today on 01202 308000.

Author: James Cripps, 23 January

* https://blogs.office.com/2016/09/07/office-365-local-datacenters-now-available-in-the-united-kingdom/
** https://azure.microsoft.com/en-gb/blog/microsoft-azure-now-available-from-uk-datacenters/
*** https://blogs.office.com/2016/11/02/introducing-microsoft-teams-the-chat-based-workspace-in-office-365/

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