There have some features that I have been following closely and very excited to see that they are being introduced into the Office 365 service.
First there is a new announcement about new controls that are being added to OneDrive for Business and SharePoint Online. One of the biggest questions I have had from customers coming to Office 365 is how can document data be controlled such that documents are not synchronized to un-managed devices. Specifically this questions as in reference to the Document Sync capability which allows a user to press the Sync button on a document library that will sync all those files in that document library to a PC (and MACs). A new PowerShell command has been added that will allow administrators to block sync to all unmanaged PCs. I am really excited to see this become available for enterprise customers.
Additionally there were some other announcements / reminders around enterprise control of data.
- Auditing capabilities are being expanded so that administrators can see how documents in OneDrive for Business and SharePoint Online. Now you be able to see download and read events along with a ton of other data points - https://blogs.office.com/2015/07/08/announcing-new-activity-logging-and-reporting-capabilities-for-office-365/.
- Remember that OneDrive for Business and SharePoint Online are integrated into the Office 365 MDM capabilities. So again, documents doing down to mobile devices can be managed through the Office 365 service - https://blogs.office.com/2015/07/21/explore-the-built-in-mobile-device-management-mdm-feature-for-office-365/.
Another new capability that was announced which I found really interesting is that OneDrive for Business can now have quota limits placed on it, just like SharePoint Online or even an Exchange Online mailbox. Why is this important? There are several compliance reasons why I have seen organizations wanting to limit the amount of data storage available to each individual user even though OneDrive for Business has a roadmap to provide unlimited storage. Most commonplace issue is data retention regulations or data storage policies. Even though OneDrive for Business an amazing solution that empowers end users, is it appropriate to store TBs of personnel video and music in a OneDrive for Business site? Depending on the company this may not be appropriate and quotas can be used as a way to control data storage.
As a SharePoint guy, I am super excited to see the features come into the service. I am now seeing concepts for data storage and control becoming consistent across Exchange Online, SharePoint Online and OneDrive for Business. This type of alignment is a key differentiator.