November 17, 2017

Microsoft 2007 “End-of-Life” Announcement

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Office 2007, like almost all Microsoft products, has a support lifecycle during which Microsoft will provide new features, bug and security fixes. This lifecycle typically lasts for 10 years from the date of the product’s initial release.

So, when Office 2007 reaches its EOL this October, technical and bug fixes for issues and security fixes for vulnerabilities will cease.  In addition, as of October 31, 2017, Outlook 2007 will be unable to connect to Office 365 mailboxes, which means that if you are now using the Outlook 2007 mail client with Office 365 (Microsoft’s latest cloud based office productivity suite), you will not be able to send and receive mail. Office 2007 is more than just your Outlook client.  It includes client and server components such as Office client programs like Word, Excel, PowerPoint and server based programs like Office SharePoint Server, Microsoft Exchange Server, and Microsoft Office Live Server 2007, all which will also reach their EOL in October.

What does all this mean to you and your organization?  You might be thinking, “These products are working just fine? Why do I have to stop using them?” Ten years might not seem like such a long time, but Office 2007 is an old product. The tech world and the world in general have changed dramatically in the last 10 years. In 2007, when Office 2007 was widely released, we were just starting down the path of constant connectivity with customers, partners and coworkers.  Today, these groups expect rapid and consistent communication with your organization as part of everyday business.

Let’s compare 2007 and 2017 and the changes happening in the four pillars of digital transformation: Collaboration, Mobile, Intelligence, and Trust.  In 2007, when we discussed collaboration, we focused on sharing files and managing workflow. In 2017, Office 365 brings you real time co-authoring. Mobility in 2007 was characterized by flip phones and laptops, whereas Office 365 meets the modern requirements of mobile first and mobile everywhere.  If you talked Intelligence in 2007, the conversation centered on business intelligence. In 2017, it’s all about artificial intelligence and machine learning. Trust concerns and considerations in 2007 included malware, HIPAA and SOX. Now, we have so much more to worry about, and Office 365 offers advanced threat protection to secure mailboxes against sophisticated attacks in real time.

The role of IT has also changed and is moving from a hardware to a customer-centric orientation.  In many organizations, the primary role of IT is to be a service broker between end-users and outsourced services, like Office 365. Now is the time to find out which Office product you are using.  If you find you are using Office 2007 or 2003 and you haven’t already begun to upgrade, now is the time to start.  It is time to drive innovation across the full range of your operations, and Westelcom, your local Microsoft Silver Cloud Solutions Partner, is offering Office 365 over their fully redundant private dedicated fiber network, ensuring higher levels of security to help you achieve these goals. Westelcom knows it is not enough to merely connect your business to the appropriate technologies. Achieving and ensuring value in your investment is paramount.

Westelcom, your local Microsoft Silver Cloud Solutions Partner, is now offering Office 365, the subscription plan that includes access to Office applications and other cloud services, including Skype for Business, Exchange Online, and OneDrive for Business, complete with access to up to 5 PCs, Macs and/or mobile devices per license.  Westelcom and Microsoft Office 365 are your organization’s partners in digital transformation. Moving to the cloud with Westelcom and Office 365 gives you the latest features, secure cloud-powered services, and access to your account across devices and through the web. It’s always up to date, meaning you will never experience another EOL event with Office.  Instead, you will significantly reduce time spent maintaining hardware and upgrading software, freeing up time to advance your organization’s technology, improve business operations, and launch agile initiatives. Westelcom, your local Microsoft Silver Cloud Solutions Partner, will help you connect on a whole new level.