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What to do When Microsoft 365 Won't Work Anymore

by   in Portfolio

If your organization finds itself wondering how to deal with Microsoft’s prioritization downgrade for its on-premises roadmap for Exchange Server, you’re not alone. More and more organizations are pivoting or considering pivoting from Microsoft. Additionally, security vulnerabilities have resulted in several European countries banning the use of Microsoft altogether.

While the outlook may seem unsettling, all hope is not lost. There are still options if you find yourself needing to pivot.

Osterman Research recently published a white paper titled, Options for Messaging When Exchange Server and Microsoft 365 No Longer Work. The paper, “investigates the current roadblocks than an increasing number of organizations are facing with Exchange Server and Microsoft 365 and explores what organizations should look for when choosing a better option for their enterprise messaging and collaboration infrastructure.”

Exchange Server and Microsoft 365 Roadblocks

As digital transformation has been a strategic focus for many enterprise organizations, Microsoft has urged their customers to migrate to Microsoft 365 rather than stay with Exchange on-premises. While the move to the cloud may be the right choice for certain organizations,    it may not be for all. However, not shifting to the cloud introduces a slew of potential problems:


Where there are vulnerabilities, there are cybercriminals. If you’re running Exchange Server, you face the daily threat of a data breach that could result in catastrophic consequences.

Cost and Resources

Migration can be time consuming and resource intensive for an organization especially if they are managing a significant number of endpoints. Unfortunately for organizations moving from one version of Exchange Server to another, the process is not simple and can take up to years in some major cases.

Microsoft Control

If its Exchange Server is susceptible to vulnerabilities and attacks, it makes sense that Microsoft wants their customers to migrate to Microsoft 365. They also have a much easier time controlling the technical details of Microsoft 365 than Exchange Server. If Microsoft is pushing customers in a certain direction, organizations resisting will see friction.

Regulatory Concerns

Many organizations, particularly in Europe, are facing the challenge of regulatory measures regarding Microsoft use. The use of Microsoft 365 has even been banned by regulatory bodies in several European countries due to privacy concerns. Many countries believe that data should be stored within the operating country of the organization. Microsoft makes this difficult or impossible. Germany has banned Microsoft 365 in educational institutions and other public sectors. France has initiated the Cloud at the Center initiative, marking Microsoft 365 as unusable in certain industries.

The report states, “When cloud vendors won’t meet regulatory compliance requirements, organizations have no choice but to reassert control.”

Additionally, contrary to Microsoft’s push, many organizations simply prefer on-premises infrastructure rather than cloud.

What to Look for in an Alternative

Whatever your reasons for considering alternatives to Microsoft 365 may be, it can be overwhelming to know what to look for in a better option.

Here’s a preview of the suggestions Osterman makes in their white paper when considering options:

On-Premises Story and Roadmap

If on-premises infrastructure is an afterthought or is of less importance to a provider, their customers will suffer. Look for a vendor that prioritizes on-premises infrastructure and has a roadmap to continue to do so.

A Platform Approach to Messaging

Microsoft 365 does a lot, so organizations moving away from it should look for vendors that can replace everything they’re losing so they don’t have to patch together a disparate solution. Try to find a vendor that offers more than merely messaging. Think online meetings, file sharing, chat, team collaboration, information archiving, endpoint security, endpoint management, and complete backup and restore.


Simply put, organizations must adhere to regulatory compliance requirements or face legal ramifications. This shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone, though. You should look for a solution that enables your organization to meet and exceed regulatory requirements even as they change and evolve.


You’re committed to security and your vendor of choice for a messaging platform should be, too. Further, a vendor should be able to prove their commitment to security and be able to show that over time, demonstrating how it responds to security threats. Ensure security is a focal point, not just a checkbox.


These are a few of the suggestions Osterman makes for what to look for in a messaging vendor. It’s important to consider the needs of your individual organization when evaluating messaging vendors.

Have You Considered OpenText?

If you’re ready to begin exploring alternatives to Microsoft 365, OpenText would be a great place to start.

OpenText has a comprehensive bundle of enterprise solutions that enable flexible, collaborative work environments while giving people the power to control them. The OpenText solutions empower remote workers with access to the right data, at the right time, from any device. Plus, they are some of the most secure products in the world.

Osterman stresses that business functionality success lies at the intersection of effective collaboration and compliance-focused data security.

Many platforms on the market focus on one of these two business functionality success factors and do it well. Unfortunately, this too often comes at the expense of the other. For example, a solution may provide users with extremely efficient file sharing capabilities but lacks the compliance-focused security an enterprise needs to safeguard its data. OpenText focuses on both business success factors so OpenText customers can message, collaborate, and share effectively and safely.

For more information on the alternative to Microsoft OpenText provides, look at the following resources:

Unified Endpoint Management

Need an alternative to Autopilot, Microsoft Endpoint Configuration Manager, Microsoft Intune, or Defender for Endpoint? Our solutions provide traditional and modern device management to protect, secure, and manage your Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, and Linux endpoint devices.

Data Protection

Can’t use Microsoft Defender, Azure Information Protection, or Advanced Threat Analytics? OpenTextTm Data Protector and OpenTextTm Data Protector for Cloud Workloads deliver backup and disaster recovery for physical, virtual, cloud, and container environments.

Collaboration Solutions

OpenText also provides alternatives for Teams, SharePoint, Yammer, and Viva Connections. Our collaboration solutions bring people, projects, and processes together in one secure place to enhance team and employee productivity.

Enterprise File Sync and Share

If you can’t use Microsoft OneDrive, Filr will allow you to remotely access and share, internally or externally, your existing on-premises file storage from a browser, desktop, or mobile app. No cloud. No duplication. No additional security overhead. Only better collaboration.


Read the full Osterman report, Options for Messaging When Exchange Server and Microsoft 365 No Longer Work.

Explore other Microsoft 365 alternatives.


Data Protection
Information Governance
Information Management