Gartner Research

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

Published: 29 April 2016

ID: G00297570

Analyst(s): Guy Creese


When investigating Office 365, IT departments struggle to understand how it's the same — and how it's different — compared with their current on-premises environment. This assessment explains the differences and recommends which Office 365 services to implement and which ones to avoid.

Table Of Contents



  • Features in Office 365 That Do Not Have a Software Counterpart
    • Office Delve, Delve Analytics and Office Graph
    • Office 365 Groups
    • Power BI Pro
    • Sway
    • Yammer
  • Software-Versus-Cloud Product Comparisons
    • Differences Between Server AD and Azure AD
    • Differences Between Active Directory RMS and Azure RMS
    • Differences Between Microsoft Exchange Server and Exchange Online
    • Differences Between SharePoint Server and SharePoint Online
    • Differences Between OneDrive for Business Running On-Premises and in the Cloud
    • Differences Between Skype for Business Server and Skype for Business Online
    • Differences Between Office Professional 2016 and Office 365 ProPlus
    • Differences Between Office Professional Plus 2016 and Office Online
  • Integration Scenarios With Microsoft Products
    • Hybrid (Software Plus SaaS) Scenarios
    • Feature Interoperability Among Exchange, SharePoint and Skype for Business
    • Using Exchange Online With Microsoft Exchange Server and Other Microsoft Solutions
    • Using SharePoint Online With SharePoint Server and Other Microsoft Solutions
    • Using Skype for Business Online With Skype for Business Server and Other Microsoft Solutions
  • APIs for Integration With Third-Party Products
    • APIs and Integration Points for Exchange Online
    • APIs and Integration Points for SharePoint Online
    • APIs and Integration Points for OneDrive for Business and Third-Party Systems
    • APIs and Integration Points for Skype for Business Online
  • Mobile Capabilities
    • Exchange Online
    • SharePoint Online
    • OneDrive for Business
    • Skype for Business Online
    • Office Productivity Suite
    • Office Delve
    • Office 365 Groups
    • Yammer


  • Manage the Office 365 Implementation as a Program
  • Implement the Mature, Full-Featured Products First
  • Assume That a Hybrid Implementation Is the Default
  • Pilot Some Office 365-Only Features (Office Delve, Office Groups and Sway)
  • Use Third-Party Solutions to Fill In the Gaps

The Details

  • Where to Find Office 365 Information on

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