What's Included in the Microsoft Modern Workplace? | Microbyte

What’s Included in the Microsoft Modern Workplace?

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Depending on who you ask, Microsoft’s Modern Workplace is an employee productivity tool for some, a set of collaboration tools for others, or made expressly with remote teams in mind. Why the seeming disparity? Because Microsoft Modern Workplace is all those and more.

Using the Modern Workplace, employees in a physical office and remote workers can work together toward company goals, urgent projects, and visionary ideas. With built-in security, a cloud-based approach, and platform agnostic, it’s a comprehensive solution for today’s digital era.

Understanding the Microsoft Modern Workplace

Take an aerial view of a complex business challenge. For example, getting employees to work together with access to essential files and systems, and keeping data secure while doing so. The Modern Workplace indirectly prevents employees from getting into dogfights over departmental fiefdoms or competing priorities.

Microsoft envisioned how companies might work together in the future by avoiding using disparate software tools, some legacy and others based in the cloud and looking toward creating a distributed workplace. Then, they brought their ideas into our reality using a software suite, SaaS cloud products, and seamless integration.

Microsoft Modern Workplace incorporates a range of tools and creates robust, seamless solutions for anyone within the organisation. These tools include:

  • The Windows 10 Enterprise Operating system.
  • The Microsoft Office 365 productivity suite.
  • Microsoft Exchange mail servers, providing email, contact management, and daily calendars.
  • Security via Enterprise Mobility + Security (two versions depending on requirements).
  • Microsoft Teams for best-in-class collaboration tools, video conferencing, and more.
  • Cloud apps, including Power Apps for app development, Power BI for reporting, and Power Automate to reduce repetitive tasks.
  • Document sharing via Microsoft SharePoint.
  • Microsoft Azure cloud platform for hosting and storage.

The Core Technical Elements

The core element of Microsoft Modern Workplace is Microsoft 365. It’s a complete suite of apps and an ecosystem providing functionality and ease of use for all users to improve their productivity.

Of course, Office 365 is at the heart of Microsoft 365, with MS Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, OneDrive storage, and Microsoft Teams. These apps all support single sign-on as a core Modern Workplace strategy, allowing employees access to essential productivity apps on whatever approved device is available. With each app having both on-device and cloud versions, employees enjoy complete flexibility whether they’re in the office, occasionally working from home, or as full-time remote workers. Microsoft software and associated services now fully support location independence.

Microsoft 365 works on a per-user basis. As a cloud-based service solution, it scales with your company. All apps receive regular updates as either new features or security patches.

Additionally, Enterprise Mobility + Security encompasses the entire ecosystem, allowing approved users to access only apps, features, files, and systems. So, users do not need to give security risks a second thought as they are all managed behind the scenes.

The Need for Modern Workplaces

Initially, the nature of work has changed gradually, with a few early adopters asking to become remote employees. At this stage, the need to include personnel from different offices and enable access to productivity tools and company communications were noted as hurdles to overcome.

Later, the business landscape experienced a seismic shift due to Covid-19, and virtually overnight, employees needed to stay home but remain productive. Companies were previously reluctant for employees to work from home, fearing reduced productivity, and knew their thinking must evolve. And so, too, did the software their employees relied upon.

Modern workplaces have become ones where companies require uncomplicated solutions to previously complex issues. Communication channels needed to be obvious and easy to use. Files in the cloud required access to management controls, so only the appropriate people opened them. Incompatible apps and uncooperative IT systems also needed to be a relic of the past, as employees must share files within their team or interdepartmentally without stumbling over IT file access or network problems.

Microsoft 365 provided a robust solution for the business requirements above. It streamlined processes and allowed businesses to empower their employees and embrace remote working like never before. Microsoft Teams brought people together for team meetings over shared video calls, with meeting notes and new objectives easily shared post-meeting.

Companies no longer struggle to get different software “talking” with one another. It also removed staff confusion; where previously they struggled to learn and use multiple tools, now less was more. By doing so, enhanced productivity and, importantly, virtual communication helped colleagues stay in regular contact. The digital age had finally arrived.

Microsoft’s Solution: The Modern Workplace

As previously mentioned, the Modern Workplace includes Office 365, Windows 10 Enterprise, and Enterprise Mobility + Security.

Below, we cover them in more detail:

Office 365

Office 365 is a well-known collection of productivity apps. Want to write a letter? There’s Word. Planning the finances for a project? Open an Excel spreadsheet.

The collaboration features allow team members to access appropriate files within their group. They can work on them together and compare notes by adding a file to OneDrive and granting shared access. Screen sharing in Microsoft Teams also lets colleagues see what you’re working on in real time. While viewing the file, colleagues feel more open to offering suggestions.

Windows 10 Enterprise

Windows 10 Enterprise is a more advanced version of the long-established Windows operating system. It has advanced security measures and features, including a central interface that lets you view all the installed and currently running applications across every PC on the network. These features even prevent untrusted apps from running.

Windows 10 Enterprise is designed to be scalable with your business and, as updates to this cloud-based version of Windows are continuous, O/S management is simpler, too.

Enterprise Mobility + Security (EMS)

Enterprise Mobility + Security (EMS) comes in two version: E3 and E5, with the more expansive E5 level providing additional recommended features. Get in touch with Microbyte for a detailed explanation of the key differences between these versions.   

EMS includes four previously separate apps:

  1. Azure Active Directory Premium
  2. Azure Rights Management
  3. Microsoft Intune
  4. Microsoft Advanced Threat Analytics

EMS provides overarching security implementation for Microsoft 365. It validates all users, devices, networks, etc. Identities are validated to confirm who’s logging on. Multi-level endpoint protections stop malware and viral attacks at their source. Rights management for files is controlled to remove or limit access, as the need arises.

Security is managed from admin dashboards, keeping the details away from end users’ eyes.

Collaboration and Productivity with Microsoft

Poor communication causes costly errors on important projects. Enhanced shared communication channels using Microsoft Teams help with project management duties. It also removes confusion and unexpected disagreements between well-meaning colleagues, too. Instead, Teams has become a hub for team building, clarity, and meaningful collaboration.

Now there’s Microsoft Viva, available within Teams, a new way to foster well-being, prioritise mental health, and assist team members to create, and stick to, good habits.

For document handling, users rely on SharePoint, which delivers advanced document management services to manage and organise important files better. It might be a document library, a useful reference list, or a web page for teams to refer to. Alongside this app, OneDrive is used as a cloud-based file storage system.

Security in the Modern Workplace

The entire ecosystem for Microsoft 365 and Modern Workplace relies on highly effective security as a bedrock principle.

Identity management is essential as a threat protection mechanism. External teams, users wanting guest access, and internal staff, all have their identities confirmed before they can access the company network, files, and other connected systems.

The Azure Active Directory acts as a single sign-on for all users, while Microsoft Intune connects devices to an employee profile within Active Directory. This allows users to access the ecosystem from various approved devices, whether a company-supplied Windows PC, iOS iPad, tablet device, or an Android smartphone.

As an aside, Windows Information Protection is included in the overall security implementation. It assists companies in avoiding confidential information being shared online. However, the app is no longer recommended, with either Microsoft Purview Data Loss Prevention or Microsoft Purview Information Protection recommended instead.

Additional Benefits of the Microsoft Modern Workplace

The Microsoft Modern Workplace scales in an agile manner to the needs of the organisation and the end users. Whether supporting numerous participants on a video conference call, group conversations on Teams, or the sharing of important documents, this ecosystem offers high visibility and efficient operations to get more done.

By enabling real-time collaboration, the typical lag time between an idea, discussion, and conclusion, is dramatically shortened. Multiple communication methods allow team members to stay in touch without feeling isolated. Whether working in another location or at home due to a temporary illness, no employee gets left behind.

Cyber security and its associated worries are addressed, too. Tight security, strong identity protection, and exacting rights management ensure only the correct people gain access to systems.  


The Microsoft Modern Workplace stops employees from needing to come to grips with numerous apps to do their job. Instead, work is simultaneously simplified and accelerated by leveraging Microsoft’s suite of integrated apps for enhanced productivity.

Talk with Microbyte to see how we can help you get the most out of a Modern Workplace deployment today.

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