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what is Microsoft  Office 365 and why would it be used?

GMartin
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Last Modified: 2020-02-14
Hello and Good Afternoon Everyone,

           I recently found out that we might be using Microsoft Office 365 as part of entering our PipeLine MT login credentials at MTSU.  While I have heard of Microsoft Office 365, I have never actually used it.  That said,  what exactly is Microsoft 360 and why would it be used?

           Any feedback given in reply to this question will be appreciated.

          Thank you

          George
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President / Owner CARDA Consultants Inc.
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Commented:

It's Microsoft 365.


It is Microsoft's subscription based software/services.  So instead of buying software like previsously done, where you own the software and have it in perpetuity, with Office 365 you are renting software and/or service.  This subscriptions can be for just Office, but can go far beyond that for organizations (Azure, Power Automate, Exchange, ...).  At the end of the day, you have a login, and it provides you access to whatever your subscription entitles you to.  This same account will allow you access to various aspects of your corporation, websites, software, ...  so it is simply the new version of a username/password, but it is now a Microsoft account in the clouds and you have to keep paying every month/year or you loose your access/privileges.

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Commented:
MTSU's tech support should be able to give you details on exactly what features you have rights to use.  As Daniel answered well above, there are many different features that may be available to you, depending on what licenses are included.  You may be able to install Office locally, use web-based Office, store files on the web, etc.

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Commented:
Hello and Good Morning Everyone,

          Thank you for answering my question.  Yesterday, I did contact IT at MTSU regarding this concern.  Basically, Microsoft  Office 365 is going to be used to add an optional extra layer of security to our login credentials.  At the moment, if we login to PipeLine outside of the MTSU network, like at home, two-factor authentication is required.  For example, in addition to a username and password, a 6 digit computer generated code is sent to our phone which is required too in order to log in.   With this new system, an additional layer of security involving setting up questions with personalized answers to them will be implemented.  Therefore, instead of two layers of security for the login credentials, there will be three.  Also, our ability to reset and customize our passwords will become more self-service oriented as opposed to relying upon the IT help desk.  

           With regards to my own personal thoughts on this matter, I believe the IT department merely reinvented the wheel simply because of two reasons.  First, we were already able to change and customize our passwords, just in a different way.  Secondly, the added third layer of security involving setting up security questions is optional and not mandatory, thus, telling me that the two-factor authentication requiring a username, password, and 6 digit computer-generated code outside of the MTSU network was working just fine.  That said, I am not all that impressed with this new upcoming system because I do not see it really breaking  new ground.  Just my opinion though which may not be shared with others that will be using this new self-service password reset system.  

            George
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Commented:
I can't speak for MTSU, but there are some good reasons organizations will go this route.  A big motivation is to offload the responsibility of security to someone else.  It can be much more efficient to have a large organization (such as Microsoft) manage security for many organizations instead of all of the organizations doing it individually.  Managing security well is a very tough job.