Office 365 is licensed for use by more than 180 million users at more than 1.4 million commercial, education and government organizations, making it currently the most popular enterprise cloud service in the world. It covers a variety of situations, scenarios, and capability sets. Microsoft has won massive market momentum by bundling office productivity software and cloud-based services in Office 365 and Microsoft 365, much like it did with its original bundling of Word, PowerPoint and Excel back in the 1990s to create Microsoft Office. This paper discusses aspects of the email messaging and collaboration services that are nearly synonymous with Office 365.

While Microsoft offers an industry-leading communications, collaboration and productivity platform, organizations need to understand their real requirements and most would be well-served by reinforcing the service in several key, supplemental areas, most especially security, archiving, eDiscovery, and encryption. Decision makers need to be aware that relying exclusively on the native capabilities in Office 365 can present challenges and business risks for their organization. While the inclusion of similar capabilities in the platform may give some the impression of platform self-sufficiency, organizations should recognize that certain features may not best align with their business needs, now or in the future. In specific areas, it’s important to recognize that a focused third-party vendor with deep industry and solution experience is often able to deliver deeper and better capabilities compared to Microsoft, thereby complementing Office 365 and reducing the business risk of embracing all Office 365 features as sufficient or even ideal.


This survey report presents the results of a primary market research survey conducted with members of the Osterman Research survey panel and others during July 2019.