Gartner Research

What IT Needs to Know About Office 365: Features and Functionality

Published: 31 March 2014

ID: G00261919

Analyst(s): Bill Pray, Guy Creese


Office 365 is now in its fourth major iteration. Based on feature differences between the cloud and software versions, Microsoft-centric organizations should investigate the multitenant version of Exchange Online and SharePoint Online; consider Office 365 ProPlus and Yammer; and avoid Lync Online.

Table Of Contents



  • Consider Implementing Part, Not All, of the Office 365 Suite
  • Office 365: What Is It?
    • Office 365: One of a Number of SaaS-Based 3CS Solutions in the Market
    • A Member of the Microsoft Cloud Family
    • Office 365 Product Origins — and the Impact on Features
  • Product Comparisons
    • What's Missing From Exchange Online
    • What's Missing From SharePoint Online
    • What's Missing From Lync Online
    • What's Missing From Office 365 ProPlus and Office Online
  • Integration Scenarios
    • Hybrid (Software Plus SaaS) Scenarios
    • Using Exchange Online With Exchange Server 2013 and Other Microsoft Solutions
    • Using SharePoint Online With SharePoint Server 2013 and Other Microsoft Solutions
    • Using Lync Online With Lync Server 2013 and Other Microsoft Solutions
    • Third-Party Integration Scenarios
  • Mobile Capabilities
  • When to Use Office 365
  • When to Avoid Office 365


  • Triage Office 365's Value
  • Define the Office 365 Drivers
  • Decide on Functionality
  • Segment the User Base
  • Create the Migration, Deployment and Exit Plans
  • Run a Pilot
  • Adjust as Necessary

The Details

  • Software-as-a-Service Controls
    • Product Scorecard and Feature Snapshot
  • Browser Support
  • Licensing
    • One License Type: USL
    • Four Major Flavors
    • Five Product Lines: Exchange, SharePoint, Lync, Office and Yammer
    • Two User Segments: Information Workers and Kiosk Workers
    • Two Functionality Levels: Plan 1 and Plan 2
    • Fourteen Suites
  • Pricing
  • Help and Support
  • Geographical Coverage and Language Support
  • Where to Find Office 365 Information on

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