Office 365 is one of the world’s most ubiquitous business tools, boasting more than 120 million
active users. You probably use Word, Outlook, and Excel daily, and the operations of your business may rely on the advanced services offered through an E3 or E5 license.
Microsoft has productivity down to a science, which is one reason why Office 365 has been a leading solution for so long. But the flip side of having access to essential tools is that productivity grinds to a halt when those tools are unavailable.
In recent months, Office 365 users have contended with a number of widespread outages
. In early April, an outage left users throughout Europe and the Asia-Pacific region without email access for upward of 10 hours. To Microsoft’s credit, it quickly fixed the issue, but the situation highlighted the dangers of unreliable email.
Ensuring the Accessibility of Office 365 Email
It’s important to stress that Office 365 is a great platform and that it remains popular for many reasons. Users are comfortable with the features and functions, and those features have evolved to keep pace with the changing demands of business.
Like all tech suites, however, Office 365 is not perfect. In fact, Gartner estimates that by 2020, 85 percent
of all corporate customers will rely on third-party add-ons to supplement Office 365 in terms of security and reliability. Just because a solution is good does not mean it can’t be better.
A solution like ZixProtect ensures continuous, secure access to Office 365 email with its business continuity feature. ZixProtect spools email messages in a temporary archive for five days, so if Office 365 becomes unavailable for any reason, you can simply access your messages through the Zix interface. Designed with a similar look and feel to Outlook, the Zix interface allows you to compose, send, reply, and forward messages. Aside from a few design tweaks, you won’t notice the difference (or the outage) at all.
Older information is accessible, too. ZixProtect provides access to all messages stored in the inbox from the previous 30 days, and ZixArchive allows you to go back much further. With luck, you will never or only occasionally need these tools. But when you do, they provide the best kind of business continuity. While other businesses scramble to get email back, you can enjoy the stability of the status quo.
Ensuring the Security of Office 365 Email
Outages aren’t the only issue Office 365 users need to worry about. Securing email inboxes from hackers is of utmost importance, as email continues to be the primary point of attack for today’s cybercriminals. Office 365 comes with strong security measures built in, but additional enhancements are needed to reliably protect businesses from phishing, malware, and other email attacks.
ZixProtect is designed to supplement what is already great about Office 365 and to produce a stronger and safer solution overall. It includes a multi-filter approach to identify and defend against 99.99 percent of all email attacks. All incoming messages are filtered based on 230 variables, which are updated daily on the basis of intelligence coming in from the global cybersecurity community. Filtering is also enhanced with artificial intelligence and machine learning that can spot new and emerging threats even before the experts can. Office 365 makes security a feature, but Zix makes it the focus.
Better still, its protection doesn’t interrupt the normal flow of email. Users continue to communicate as normal without worrying that phishing, malware, and other email attacks are getting through or that important emails and attachments are being quarantined.
Ensuring Continued Productivity through Usability
Usability is another differentiator. A good example is our approach to sandboxing technology. Unlike other sandboxes, ZixProtect does not force users to wait before receiving their messages. Users have instant access to the harmless versions of their emails while the red flags are analyzed. Users can clearly spot those red flags thanks to a red-yellow-green color-coding system that ensures caution does not compromise productivity.
Keeping tech budgets in check is important, so companies are understandably cautious about expanding their tech infrastructures. But other issues are equally important: regulatory compliance, business continuity, and client relations, to name just a few. Office 365 checks off most of the boxes, and Zix checks off the rest.
For more information on how Zix enhances Office 365, register for our recent webinar “Email Drops and Productivity Stops: Examining Office 365 Email
” or visit our Office 365 section