microsoft 365 businessThe Microsoft 365 Business subscription is a bundle of three core technologies: Windows 10 Pro upgrade licenses; Office 365 Business Premium features; and the Enterprise Mobility + Security suite.

  • The first part mentioned includes upgrades to Windows 10 Pro from earlier Pro versions of Windows 7, 8, and 8.1. With the approach of Windows 7’s end-of-life, this is now critical.
  • A key component of Microsoft 365 Business is the inclusion of Office 365 Business Premium features, such as: desktop, web, and mobile versions of Office software; document storage; business-class email; and Microsoft Teams chat-based workspace.
  • And it includes Enterprise Mobility + Security, including: remote device deployment and remote wipe of devices; message encryption; multi-factor authentication; Safe Links and Safe Attachments; data loss prevention policies; document and message archiving; and controls like “Do not forward” and “Do not copy”, as well as the ability to classify documents as confidential.

Beyond Microsoft 365 Business are the Enterprise and Education bundles. Enterprise plans, for example, allow for Phone System and Calling Plans to enable public calling within Microsoft Teams on the desktop, from the mobile app, or from IP phones and other devices designed for Teams.

 

People let their email pile up. Some let it get to astronomical levels, which used to (still does in some cases) impact the performance of their local system. But it doesn’t matter anymore, that is, if you leverage all the free space provided by your Office 365 subscription.

By using In-Place Archiving and a Retention Policy, you can automate the process so that your primary mailbox never becomes unwieldy and your Archive mailbox never runs out of space.

NOTE: The In-Place Archive mailbox should not be confused with the default Archive *folder* within your primary mailbox, although these can work together as described later on.

The screenshot below shows my email account in ‘Outlook on the web’ – the web-based version of Outlook that reflects the contents of the Exchange mail server’s contents for this respective mailbox.

In my case, Archive1 below happens to refer to the default Archive *folder* within my primary mailbox in Outlook. When I click on the Archive  button (in Outlook desktop on the Mac), this easily processes mail from the Inbox folder to the Archive folder as a kind of temporary holding bin.

By right-clicking on a *folder* like Archive1 above, you can assign Messaging Records Management (MRM) policies, such as moving all items to the In-Place Archive after 30 days. In this case, I send the most inconsequential email messages to the Archive folder within my primary mailbox by clicking the Archive rather than the Delete button. But after 30 days, it automatically gets moved to the In-Line Archive mailbox, which expands automatically as space is needed.

Below we can how my Office 365/Exchange Online user account is split into three sections:

  1. Primary Mailbox
  2. In-Place Archive
  3. Recoverable items (topic of another conversation)

A little quick math shows that I have 270 GB of mailbox storage. And after 5 years (since 2014), I’ve only accumulated about 27 GB of email content or about 10% of total storage capacity. That is, until the In-Place Archive automatically kicks in and expands.

 


 

“Archiving in Office 365 (also called In-Place Archiving) provides users with additional mailbox storage space. After you turn on archive mailboxes, users can access and store messages in their archive mailboxes by using Microsoft Outlook and Outlook Web App. Users can also move or copy messages between their primary mailbox and their archive mailbox. They can also recover deleted items from the Recoverable Items folder in their archive mailbox by using the Recover Deleted Items tool.”

Within the Outlook ribbon, there’s a big button that says Archive. If you select a message and click that button, the message will be sent to the Archive folder. This is a system folder and cannot be deleted, but it’s really just a folder under your primary Inbox, so this particular Archive still uses up your allotment of space on the mail server.

 

Depending on your Office 365 subscription plan, there are differing capacities for the primary mailbox. But all Office 365 plans that include Exchange Online (basic cloud-based email service) have another Archive location, which is essentially another mailbox, just tied to your own email account.

 

This other Archive location effectively doubles the size of your mailbox. For example, if you have Office 365 Business Premium, then you get 50 GB of storage space for your primary mailbox and 50 GB of storage space for your Online Archive or In-Place Archive – no one seems to agree on which is the most current or correct name. (In the Outlook for Mac email client, this online archive folder shows up as ‘Online Archive’. In Outlook for Windows, it shows up as ‘Online Archive – [email protected]’. In Outlook on the web, it shows up as ‘In-Place Archive – Your Name’.) Whatever you call it, its capacity is also 50 GB, however, it’s an ever-expanding capacity, automatically adjusting at 10 GB intervals, so it’s really an unlimited repository.

 

The way that you offload mail items to this ever-expanding online repository is by way of retention policies. You might have a policy that dictates all mail items under your Inbox older than 1 year will automatically be moved to the Online Archive. When all of these items arrive in the Online archive according to the policy, the sub-folder hierarchy reflects your primary Inbox and its folders. So if you have a folder called News under your Inbox, then a News folder will be created in the Online Archive along with the contents that are older than one year.

 

So similar to Inbox Rules, a Retention Policy is an automatic way to organize your email and take advantage of a vast storage space.