How the market learned to love Microsoft Office again and why it matters to you
The ongoing exponential growth in the adoption of Microsoft Office 365 globally is testament to the breadth and depth of it's features and functionality, scalability, accessibility, usability, efficiencies and productivity enhancements. These factors create and deliver critical ROI for its ever-expanding target market.
Typical IT products and services lifecycle development will inexorably drive higher rates of Microsoft Office 365 migrations as well. Commercial, productivity and technology motivators will apply a balance of incentives and pressures on businesses, government and education administrators across the broader market to increasingly embark on this journey.
To understand the growth trajectory of Microsoft Office 365, we need to look at the symbiosis of the benefits for the users and the underlying price/benefits ratios, combined with dynamic network performance. The associated technologies, innovations and developments delivering these required levels and consistency of network performance, ensure that a Microsoft Office 365 deployment delivers and maintains material productivity and ROI gains.
To get a solid feel though for this concept and the success of Microsoft Office 365 specifically, let’s first of all consider two key industry and market indicators: Market leadership positioning and adoption growth rates.
Microsoft Office 365 has already surpassed the all-conquering Google Apps for Business in the Enterprise market segment (ref. Bitglass Research: 2015 Cloud Security Report). Office 365 market penetration has jumped over 300% from 7.7% in 2014 to 25% in 2015, surpassing Google Apps at 23%. More critical for our deliberations though is the actual user numbers and adoption rates running across our networks, as these validate both the productivity suite model and the networking technologies that enable and deliver this.
Microsoft reported that their Q2 FY17 Office commercial products and cloud services revenue grew 5% (up 7% in constant currency), driven by Office 365 commercial revenue growth of 47%. Monthly active users of Office 365 (commercial) now number over 85 million, up more than 37% year on year, while the Office 365 consumer subscriber base grew to 24.9 million, resulting in 8% growth in Office consumer and cloud services revenue. As of the publication of this article, the user base has exceeded 110 million and remains on a high adoption growth rate trajectory.
At Sinefa, we can report that in May 2017, Microsoft Office 365 was the #1 productivity application across our entire customer base globally in terms of data volume (and therefore, impact on the network). Additionally though, when specifically looking at our enterprise and business customer segment, Office 365 was the #1 application overall in terms of data volume (and therefore, again, impact on the network).
Microsoft Office 365 adoption rates are increasing as the platform is validated. The migration processes are inspiring network and applications manager’s confidence and the productivity/efficiencies business cases have been increasing both in frequency and positive outcomes. There are no signs on the horizon of the Office 365 dominance abating in the foreseeable future.
However, like all things based on Internet access and performance, cloud-based applications fundamentally remain an “as is” service that can change in access, performance and reliability at a moment’s notice. Literally at a moment’s notice... Gartner predicts that through 2019, more than half of all global-scale deployments of Microsoft Office 365 will experience network-related performance problems.
Where pervasive visibility, granular traffic controls and actionable insights are not available in the user's access network, applications such as Microsoft Office 365 lose on performance, reliability and the resulting productivity gains. High performance cloud applications require reliable high performance and responsive infrastructure management capabilities.
The imperative, basically non-negotiable requirement to sustaining these adoption and retention levels industry-wide are the enhanced visibility and application control capabilities that are now increasingly being deployed to effectively fulfill the planning, migration and ongoing success of Office 365 deployments. As always, these capabilities are a result of ongoing innovation and development by focused, subject matter expert vendors. Success in this sector requires genuinely advanced insights, not only in what is required today to maintain performance, but what is required now to maintain ongoing performance levels in high usage growth networks. Resulting actionable intel, that empowers network and application managers to prepare and plan in advance for their inevitable network and application provisioning evolution, becomes a non-negotiable, a critical standard asset.
Sinefa’s insights into the challenges and preparation for Office 365 deployments and migrations are extensive and are definitely anything but theoretical. They are hands-on and gained through manifold instances of directly supporting partners and customers internationally through these exciting but sometimes daunting initiatives and projects. This expertise, coupled with our ongoing innovative approach to technologies and product development places us in a prime position to identify the imperatives. These have morphed into the non-negotiable deliverables that organizations embarking on Microsoft Office 365 migrations target, contend with, and must achieve.
In our next article, I will be expanding on how Sinefa achieves what we do to deliver these impressive performance results, network and application insights and actionable intel using our cloud based visibility and control platform. The functionality and resulting deliverables and outcomes are generating enormous appeal with both enterprise Office 365 users and their Telco/MSP/Distribution partners seeking high value, market disruptive solution sets.