Office 365 has been the conversation of many organizations as the platform continues to expand and reach millions of customers around the world.  Before making any form of quick judgement call on whether Office 365 is right for you, it’s important know the Office 365 Foundations before getting started.  Today we will uncover the fundamentals for making good decisions for your organization.

Redundancy, Plan Options and Licensing

Office 365 comes with many options, from content management, business class email, online meetings, chat and unified communications.  Now one would think wow, this is awesome, but before you finalize your decision be informed with the facts that will determine the best outcomes for your organization.

  • Data Center Redundancy – Extremely important is the fact that there are many datacenters around the world that can house your information. Very valuable in that unforeseen situation where something unanticipated may occur at your primary data location.  You can find Office 365 in North America, South America, EMEA, Japan, Australia, India and more.  Comforting to know that this has been addressed.
  • Plan Options and Licensing – The options Microsoft offers in this space seem to always be changing, so you will not find me documenting hard facts in this space. What you will find is that I will share with you a link where you can review their plans for your own research.  Office 365 Plans

Service Level Agreements

I always find the topic of SLA’s to be interesting.  Most organizations expect 99.999%, but as soon as you start talking about cloud options those numbers shift.  Typical cloud options only office 99.9% uptime, and so the responsible architect may say wait, stop, no way!

Before you do this be sure to take a closer look.  For example, with Office 365 there are different SLA’s for different aspects of the platform.  Even calculations to consider like the following math equation to review for Exchange Online – Outlook Web Access.  So, it’s possible for one component to be down, and the rest can be online.

Office 365 Foundations


Additionally, if Microsoft does not meet their SLA’s, you can potentially receive a service credit for the outage.  Before finalizing your decision, you will need to decide if there is also a cost of lost business due to the outage.  If the risk is too high, then this could impact your final decision.

Domain Considerations

When you get started with Office 365 you will also need to decide what your domain name will be.  By default, you will be able to choose, but you may want to add your primary domain to the configuration of   The nice thing about the option to start with is that you can trial the platform without any true integration to your production environment.

Office 365 Foundations Journey

The journey to Office 365 may or may not be the right option for your organization, but start with the basics.  Understanding the foundational groundwork, will only help you guide your organization to the most successful solution.  Taking the time to understand these Office 365 foundations will go a long way for preparing for the right decision and if you move forward a very successful deployment.