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Study: Office 365 Landing and Expanding in the Enterprise

Microsoft is making huge strides in the enterprise with its "land-and-expand" strategy for Office 365, according to a new study by cloud services security vendor Skyhigh Networks.

Partners have been encountering that land-and-expand, or consumption-based, strategy in recent incentives and other Microsoft campaigns designed to drive additional usage by customers who are already subscribed to Office 365.

A cloud access security broker, Skyhigh regularly uses the data it gathers from 27 million users at 600 enterprises worldwide to report on trends in cloud service usage. In its "Office 365 Adoption & Risk Report," released this month, Skyhigh found a big gain in usage between the third quarter of 2015 and the second quarter of 2016.

The percentage of companies with more than 100 Office 365 users -- a sort of baseline indicator of some level of Office 365 subscription -- barely budged, going from 87.3 percent to 91.4 percent. But the percentage of enterprise users who are active on Office 365 went from 6.8 percent to 22.3 percent, showing that usage within those existing customers more than tripled.

"A key goal for [Microsoft] is driving more Office 365 usage, also referred to as 'consumption,' and their efforts appear to be working," the report states.

Looking at Office 365 app by app, the suite is led by OneDrive, followed by Exchange Online and Skype for Business Online, with SharePoint Online and Yammer bringing up the rear.

Skyhigh goes to some lengths to try to explain why OneDrive leads Exchange Online in both the categories of percentage of companies with 100 or more users (79 percent to 67 percent) and percentage of employees who actively use the app (19 percent to 8 percent).

"It makes sense that OneDrive is deployed at so many organizations because it is included in every Office 365 plan, even the entry level ProPlus plan that primarily gives access to Office applications on the desktop," the report notes of OneDrive.

Of Exchange, the report says: "One way to interpret this data is that enterprises are beginning to migrate to Exchange Online from on-premises versions of Exchange but that -- owing to the scale of these migration projects -- they are migrating in phases."

With independent validation that Microsoft's land-and-expand strategy is bearing fruit, it's probably safe for partners to expect more, not less, of those consumption-oriented drives out of Microsoft.

Posted by Scott Bekker on May 25, 2016 at 11:47 AM


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