Microsoft Security Hits $20B in Revenue

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In a blog post following Microsoft’s Q2 earning report this week, Microsoft shared how their security revenue had grown 33% from 2022 to 2023 and now stands at $20Billion driven massively by their global partners who have been helping customers strengthen their security posture while saving money through vendor consolidation. Microsoft stated that security remains the number one investment for businesses is where organisations spend the most, and easily justifiable for companies.

To put this into perspective, the $5 billion increase in Microsoft’s security business over the past twelve months is larger than the revenue generated by every pure-play cybersecurity vendor other than Palo Alto, which expects to hit $6.85 billion growth when they publish their results later this year.

We are taking share across all major categories we serve…..customers are consolidating on our security stack in order to reduce risk, complexity and cost.” – Satya Nadella.

Even in this economically challenging time, organisations still see security as the top priority.

Vasu Jakkal | CVP of Security, Compliance, Identity, & Management | Microsoft

Every Growing Market

According to McKinsey & Company, the cybersecurity market is now worth $2 trillion as more businesses realise that they lack the levels and breath of protection and detection measures to keep their data, identities, applications, devices, and networks and safe whilst the number of attacks continue to rise at alarming rates.

Despite Microsoft’s huge growth in this area, Microsoft pointed out that there is still a global shortage of cybersecurity professionals across the globe and in the USA alone, there are ~4 million unfilled cybersecurity jobs currently open, with salaries hugely inflated due to the high demand for these roles.

Organisations can save lots of money

In the Microsoft earnings call, Satya Nadella, called out their focus in helping customer “do more with less” saying that “this is a place where customers can save lots of money’
He talked about Microsoft’s breadth, depth, and integrated security portfolio, stating boldly that “Microsoft is the only vendor that has integrated tools spanning identity, security, compliance, device management and privacy“.

Much of the value and cost savings Microsoft saves their customers is through their productivity suite bundles, such as Microsoft 365 E5, which combines advanced security, privacy, and compliance, along with Teams voice and rich analytics. Recent customers to go all-in on E5 licenses include IKEA, NTT, Boots, Rio Tinto and Marks and Spencer, and leading global law firm Baker McKenzie.

Data from 2021/2022 Forester report.



Microsoft also provide dedicated Security and Compliance add-on suites as well, as the ability to purchase their security offerings as point products such including their Enterprise Mobility and Security suite which grew 16% to more than 241 billion seats.

Microsoft is the only vendor that has integrated tools spanning identity, security, compliance, device management and privacy

Satya Nadella | CEO | Microsoft

Microsoft called out an example of $4.46 billion, British Sports retailer Frasers Group, for its decision to consolidate tools and services from ten separate cybersecurity vendors to just Microsoft.

In another example, $2.76 billion, American digital media player manufacturer Roku moved its entire identity and access management business to the cloud with Azure Active Directory.

Market Bolstering Stats

  • SEIM: In October 2022, Microsoft Sentinel shot to the top of Gartner’s SIEM Magic Quadrant, zooming past IBM, Splunk, Securonix and Exabeam .
  • Identity & Access Management: IDC say Microsoft have 23.8% market share of the $13.6 billion identity and access management market, with Okta at a distant second at 9.2%.
  • Endpoint Security: Microsoft had 11.2% of the market in 2021 and 12.4% in 2022. Only CrowdStrike had a larger slice of the endpoint security market at 12.6% but has a lower growth. CrowdStrike, Microsoft &Trend Micro were of in April 22 Forrester Wave for EDR providers.

“Microsoft is the “only company” that offers “integrated end-to-end tools spanning identity, security, compliance, device management and privacy, informed and trained on over 65 trillion signals each day.”

Satya Nadella | CEO | Microsoft

The Role of Microsoft Partners

Despite the global shortage of Cyber Security professionals, Microsoft’s pointed out that their security business is surging partly due to the work many of their global Modern Work and Security partners are driving. Microsoft continues to invest significantly in partner skills enablement along with resources and funding to help their partners to help their customers. This ranges from funded discover and usage workshops, technology enablement funding, end user adoption funding (to help users work more securely), technical training initiatives, third party vendor displacement support and more.

As such Microsoft partners can certify and specialise in different security and compliance areas, helping their customers find partners that can help them understand their risk profile, identity weaknesses or risks, deploy and adopt new tools and platforms and migrate from point product to improve their security whilst reducing cost.

Organisations can reach out to their Microsoft representative or speak to their Microsoft Partner for more information

Microsoft technology (through the help of their partners) can save the average 10,000 seat organisation more than $8.3M per annum through investing in Microsoft 365 E5 and Sentinel according to research conducted by Forrester.

On a recent fireside chat that I hosted, most organisations on my panel discussed how they were improving their security through investment in Microsoft 365 E5 with the help of their partners.

The Microsoft Security Portfolio

Microsoft has organised their security portfolio (which spans more than fifty product categories overall) into six product lines.

  1. Defender: The Defender portfolio includes Microsoft 365 Defender (Microsoft’s extended detection and response (XDR) platform for securing endpoints, email, applications, identities, and data, as well as their Defender solutions for endpoint, Cloud, IoT, vulnerability management, threat intelligence, DevOps and external attack surface management.
  2. Sentinel: Microsoft’s SEIM platform
  3. Entra: Microsoft’s identity management and security portfolio, which includes Azure AD
  4. Purview: Data protection, data loss prevention, inside risk management
  5. Priva: Their new privacy risk management solution following their acquisition of RiskIQ
  6. Intune: Microsoft’s multiple vendor, multi-category endpoint management suite.

Note: Whilst Microsoft do not have dedicated products that cover the network infrastructure, SIP, WAN and Wireless LAN spaces, but work in partnership with leading infrastructure vendors such as Cisco to provide seamless identity and access integration.

Microsoft is the only vendor that has integrated tools spanning identity, security, compliance, device management and privacy

Satya Nadella | CEO | Microsoft



You can read more on the official Microsoft security blog post here.

My 5 years as a Microsoft MVP

This week I was delighted to be re-awarded as a Microsoft Most Valued Professional (MVP) for the 5th year running, but what does it mean and why am so thrilled to be rewarded?

What are MVPs?

Microsoft Most Valuable Professionals, or MVPs, are “technology experts who passionately share their knowledge with the community”. They are always on the “bleeding edge” and have an unstoppable urge to get their hands on new, exciting technologies. MVPs have deep knowledge of Microsoft products and services, while also being able to bring together diverse platforms, products and solutions, to solve real world problems. MVPs make up a global community of over 4,000 technical experts and community leaders across 90 countries/regions and are driven by their passion, community spirit, and quest for knowledge. Above all and in addition to this, part of the “role” of the MVPs is our passion and desire to help others. For Microsoft, this is what sets MVPs apart, through formal product feedback, community events, forums, blogs, reviews etc and of course through social channels our mission is to drive awareness, adoption, constructive feedback, ideas and suggestions to help continually improve Microsoft products and services.

What is the MVP Award?

For more than two decades, the Microsoft MVP Award has been Microsofts’ way of saying thank you to community leaders within in their MVP catagory. The contributions MVPs make to the community, ranging from speaking engagements, to social media posts, to writing books, to helping others in online communities, have incredible impact.

As MVPs, we receive a number of technical benefits from Microsoft to help be the best at supporting our passion for technology and innovation. Key benefits to MVPs include early access to Microsoft products, direct communication channels with our product teams and an invitation to the Global MVP Summit, an exclusive annual event hosted in our global HQ in Redmond. They also have a very close relationship with the local Microsoft teams in their area, who are there to support and empower MVPs to address needs and opportunities in the local ecosystem. Other benefits include an executive recognition letter, a Visual Studio technical subscription, and an Office 365 subscription.

The Windows Insider Most Valuable Professional

The Windows Insider Most Valuable Professional (MVP) award recognises people who are passionate about Windows and are positive Windows advocates within their communities. Like other MVPs, we can be found across the globe and are driven by a passion for flighting Insider Preview builds and filing feedback to help improve the current and future generations of Windows, contributing to the technical community through forums, chats with the Windows product team and creating how-to content with the goal of helping others achieve more and making Windows the OS of choice for every person and every organisation.

I have been a Windows Insider for 11 years and seen the development and evolution of Windows 10 and Windows 11 and Windows Insiders are now looking at what comes next after the current release (Windows 11 22H2) release. As new devices and new form factors are being tested, I’m excited by what 2023 and beyond will bring to Windows.

Can I nominate someone to be an MVP?

You can!

If you know someone who is outstanding and passionate around Microsoft technology and think they should be recognised as an MVP, you can nominate them (or yourself) here: https://mvp.microsoft.com/en-us/Nomination/nominate-an-mvp

What I plan to do more of in 2023

As I look forward to 2023, the main topics of interest, content and testing for me that I will explore, showcase and blog will include:

  • Continuing to test, drive and promote some of the awesome accessibly features that span across the Windows 11 OS
  • Tracking and reporting on Windows Insider and production releases, updates, issues and fixes for Windows 11 and Windows vNext
  • Evalusations and reviews of the latest Microsoft hardware such as the Surface devices, accessiblity devices and peripherals building for Windows 11 and Windows 365
  • Dive deeper into Security features across Windows consumer, professional and enterprise editions and into the realms of Windows 365 (Cloud PC) and Microsoft 365
  • Report on my other observations and ruminations on Windows technology, changes and developments and do my best to respond to comments or asks from the community,
  • Increase my contributions to the windows communities and in-person events.

Find out more about the Windows Insider Program

To find out more about the Windows Insider Program and to get involved, visit the following pages.

What is Teams Premium?

Microsoft Teams Premium is a paid tier of Teams announced in October 2022 at the time of the Microsoft Ignite conference and is generally available from Feb 2023.

These additional capabilities (more info later) are focussed around:

  • Creating more personalised and intelligent meetings and webinars.
  • Improved and enhanced security protection for meetings
  • Advanced management and reporting capabilities for IT.
  • Advanced Virtual Appointments.

It costs around $10 pupm depending on your region, country and license agreement.

What are the differences?

Not to be confused with Teams Room Premium (now Teams Room Pro), Teams Premium is Teams add-on license that allows organisations that already have Teams with their Microsoft 365 subscriptions to further enhance their Teams experience with benefits such as more personalised and intelligent meetings, enhanced meeting protection, and advanced management and reporting capabilities.

Teams Premiums’ key features over the “standard” version included within Microsoft 365 can are summarised below. The data is taken from official Microsoft information, the source of which is here).

Meetings

Teams Premium provides additional features for customizing meetings including enhanced templates, customisable themes, company backgrounds and custom together modes.

FeatureTeams
(Standard)
Teams Premium
Host and attend Teams Meetings✔️✔️
Experience Teams’ standard look and feel✔️✔️
Use standard & custom meeting backgrounds at user level✔️✔️
Read live captions during meetings✔️✔️
Customise meeting templates for your company✔️
Add company branding to meeting lobbies✔️
Customise meeting backgrounds for your company✔️
Customise Together mode scenes for your company✔️
Read live translated captions during meetings✔️
Translate post-meeting transcriptions (coming soon)✔️
Turn on real-time data storage✔️
Turn on eCDN for Live Events✔️

Webinars and Premium events

Teams Premium provides an advanced webinar experience for organisers, presenters and attendees.

FeatureTeams
(Standard)
Teams Premium
Require attendees to register✔️✔️
Assign a co-organiser✔️✔️
Limit the number of people who can register✔️✔️
Read live captions during meetings✔️✔️
Turn on Q&A for webinars with up to 1000 attendees✔️✔️
View attendance reports✔️✔️
Integrate with Dynamics 365✔️✔️
Set up a green room for webinar presenters✔️
Manage attendees’ view✔️
Send reminder emails to registrants✔️
Create a webinar wait list✔️
Manually approve registrants✔️
Limit the day and time when people can register✔️
Allow registered users to bypass the lobby✔️
Use RTMP-In for Webinars (coming soon)

Meeting Protection / Security

Teams Premium provides additional ways to safeguard meetings with features such as sensitivity labels, meeting water marking and end to end encryption which includes video, chat and content.

FeatureTeams
(Standard)
Teams Premium
Manage meeting lobbies✔️✔️
End-to-end encryption for one-to-one calls✔️✔️
Moderate meeting chats✔️✔️
Control who can present✔️✔️
Add watermarks to meetings✔️
E2E encryption for meetings with up to 50 attendees✔️
Control who can record✔️
Prevent copy/paste in meeting chats✔️
Assign Microsoft Purview Information Protection sensitivity labels for meetings [Requires Microsoft 365 E5]✔️
Custom user policy packages✔️
Turn on advanced meeting monitoring and alerting✔️

Meetings Reporting

FeatureTeams
(Standard)
Teams Premium
View recordings of meetings✔️✔️
View meeting transcripts✔️✔️
View and use files added to meetings✔️✔️
View and use apps added to meetings✔️✔️
Navigate meeting recordings with autogenerated chapters (coming soon)✔️
View time markers in meeting recordings when you joined or left a meeting (coming soon)✔️
Search meeting transcripts with speaker suggestions (coming soon)✔️
View and act on autogenerated tasks from meetings (coming soon)✔️
View when you were @mentioned✔️

Virtual Appointments

With any Microsoft 365 license, users can use basic Virtual Appointments capabilities to schedule and join business-to-customer meetings. For example, users can schedule appointments in the Bookings calendar and external attendees can join through a browser without having to download Teams.

Teams Premium provides advanced Virtual Appointment capabilities, such as SMS notifications, custom waiting rooms, and analytics.

FeatureTeams
(Standard)
Teams Premium
Access Virtual Appointments with the Bookings app for scheduling, appointment management, and email notifications✔️✔️
Integrate Virtual Appointments using APIs✔️✔️
Join appointments from a browser✔️✔️
Join appointments in Teams✔️✔️
Allow users to join a virtual lobby waiting room✔️✔️
Integrate with Microsoft Forms✔️✔️
Customize the lobby waiting room with themes and logos✔️
Send SMS notifications✔️
Chat back and forth with attendees in the lobby waiting room✔️
Organizational and departmental analytics✔️
View and manage scheduled appointments in the queue✔️
View and manage on-demand appointments in the queue✔️
Send post-appointment follow-ups (coming soon)✔️

Who needs Teams Premium

Whilst not every organisation (or user within an organisation) may need Teams Premium.

Organisations can try Teams Premium by purchasing the zero-cost Teams Premium 30-day trial license available in the Microsoft 365 admin center.

Organisations with a Teams Premium trial license will have up to 25 licenses to assign to users. Those 25 users can experience and test Teams Premium features as they become available. Also, the admin can manage Teams Premium features for the 25 licensed users. The trail will last 30 days after which the premium features ill be disabled unless a paid license is purchased for the users that need / want them.

Most organization segments can purchase and use the Teams Premium trial license, excluding GCC High and DoD tenants.

Beware: “Some” Teams features will also move to Teams Premium

Microsoft have advised that with the general release of Teams Premium (in Feb 2023), some Teams features will in fact move from Teams licenses to Teams Premium licenses. To be fair these are mainly centered around advanced reporting, company branding and webinar premium features.

Features moving to Teams Premium are:

  • Live translated captions.
  • Timeline markers in Teams meeting recordings for when a user left or joined meetings.
  • Custom organisation settings: Together mode scenes.
  • Virtual Appointments: SMS notifications.
  • Virtual Appointments: Organizational analytics in the Teams admin center.
  • Virtual Appointments: Scheduled queue view.

Preparing for Teams Premium

To prepare your organisation for Teams Premium and to determine if, where and when it fits, the following are key IMO

  • Take advantage of the free (25 user) 1 month trail to ensure IT and your Client Success Teams can understand the user and admin features
  • Run a trial for key departments around the areas of most interest or value
  • Update or deliver end user training to ensure you get the value from the new features
  • Gather feedback from trial and live users to assess wider deployment
  • Keep your support team in the loop (so they can support your users with these new features)

Microsoft increase Cloud Services pricing inline with Global Pricing and FX

April 23 Price Increase

In what Microsoft call “price harmonisation”, it has been confirmed that Microsoft will be aligning the pricing of their Cloud products and services (for example Microsoft 365) by introducing consistent global pricing for its services across the globe. For many regions, such as the UK and EU, this means price rises as the dollar has continued to fall in recent years again the Euro and Pound.

What and why are prices changing?

Microsoft are aligning costs (like they do today with Azure) to US dollar FX rates which means that customers will have consistent pricing reflected by the exchange rate of the local currency to the US dollar (USD), which is reviewed twice a year.

While a price increase is never well received, it is worth noting that this latest increase relates to their commercial cloud products such as Microsoft 365. Azure is already priced by on regional FX rates and is not affected by this announcement. Microsoft are simply aligning their commercial pricing in line with their competition and their other cloud services.

Countries that use the Great British Pound (GBP), the Danish Krone (DKK), the Euro (EUR), the Norwegian Krone (NOK), and the Swedish Krona (SEK) will all see a price increase from April 1, 2023.

“In the future, Microsoft will assess pricing in local currency as part of a regular twice-a-year cadence, taking into consideration currency fluctuations relative to the USD.

This will provide increased transparency and predictability for customers globally and move to a pricing model that is most common in our industry.

The Microsoft Cloud continues to be priced competitively, and Microsoft remains deeply committed to the success of its customers and partners.”

Microsoft

How much are prices increasing by?

Microsoft has confirmed that the price increase for the following currencies will be:

  • GBP: +9%
  • DKK, EUR and NOK: +11%
  • SEK: +15%

Microsoft have said they are committed to continuing to invest in their cloud services to “enable customers to innovate, consolidate and eliminate operating costs”.

Thoughts and Actions

While a price increase is never well received, it is worth noting that this latest increase relates to their commercial cloud products such as Microsoft 365. Azure is already priced by on regional FX rates and is not affected by this announcement. Microsoft are simply aligning their commercial pricing in line with their competition and their other cloud services.

This therefore represents a good time for organisations to do some “house keeping” to keep licenses and costs in check. For example:

  • Check 3rd party duplicate products you can displace (and use the services included in your Microsoft 365 subscription)
  • Check if you need the tier of license you are using. Would Microsoft 365 E3 deliver what you need? Do you need the same licenses for everyone?
  • Ensure you leverage Fast Track services or your partner to help you adopt and get best value of your investment in Microsoft Cloud
  • Speak to your licensing provider or Cloud Solution Provider to ensure you get the best commercial costs