Maximizing Office 365 compliance with the E3 license

Atle Skjekkeland


Many enterprises have the Microsoft Office (M365) E3 license that includes a number of Office 365 compliance features.

Improve Information Governance with the E3 license

Here are some ways we can improve information Governance in Office 365 with the E3 license without 3rd party solutions, customizations, or additional licenses:

Establish the architecture foundation

Get a scalable solution blueprint design for managing conversations and files in Teams, SharePoint Online, OneDrive for Business, Exchange Online, etc.

Solution Blueprint Design

Automate Microsoft Teams and SharePoint Online site provisioning / configuration

Ensure it is easy for users to set up Teams or sites with the required channels and folders with default metadata that files automatically inherent.

Microsoft Teams templates

Get governance on pre-existing Teams and sites

Use scripts to get the same governance on pre-existing sites and files.

Improve search with metadata filters

Show metadata as filters when users search for information. Make it easier to find and sort files based on business area, process area, country, etc.

Metadata filters

Improve information protection

Use Sensitivity labels to classify files with automatic watermarking and protection.

Sensitivity Label in Excel

Improve Data Loss Prevention

Use Sensitive Information Types and DLP policies to automatically detect sensitive information such as passports, drivers licenses, credit cards, etc.

Sensitive Information Types and DLP policies

Improve the information lifecycle

Allow users to manually apply a Retention Label (not a record label).

Retention labels in SharePoint Online

Automate the retention and deletion of information

Use Retention labels to apply a single retention policy to the entire organization, specific locations or users.

Improve eDiscovery

Use M365 eDiscovery functionality to manage cases, find all relevant information, place Legal Holds, and export the results or information.

eDiscovery with access to all information in M365

Integrate SharePoint with line of business systems

Use SharePoint Online as content management system for line of business system.

Educate users

Create integrated knowledge hubs to help users.

The value of E5 add-on licenses

Some premium compliance features require additional licenses, and you have three options:

  • Buy the E5 license (most expensive option)

  • Buy the E5 Compliance add-on license (more affordable option)

  • Buy Information Protection & Governance add-on license (the cheapest option)

As an example, you can do document management with the E3 license, but you need one of the ad-on licenses for records management. Check out the following blog posts to learn more about this:

Some sample benefits that may justify buying an add-on license to your E3 license:

  • Reduce legal and operational risks – there are a myriad of regulations that require an organization to keep information for a minimum set of years, and privacy regulations that require some information to be deleted when customers or staff leave to meet principles of data minimization and storage limitation. Storing personal information forever in Office 365 means you have a GDPR problem.

  • Improve business continuity – better information governance means that information assets are locked and protected. You are only able to recover deleted or old versions for 90 days with the Microsoft E3 license (365 days with the E5 license), and you avoid this being an issue with record labels in Office 365.

  • Improve information security – protect content wherever it may go (e.g. automatic encryption), or you can stop if from leaving your organization.

  • Reduce operational costs – reduce operating costs and risks by replacing 3rd party content and records management systems with Office 365. As an example, we have seen organizations paying more per year for a leading ECM system for 1500 users than the cost of the M365 Information & Protection add-on license for 30,000 users…

 Please feel free to contact us to discuss how to maximize Office 365 compliance with the E3 license.

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