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  • Marijan Hassan - Tech Journalist

Microsoft launches Exchange Online Certification in a move to push customers Off-Prem

Microsoft is keen to have customers transition from ExchangeOn Premises to Exchange online and is making all necessary efforts to make it seamless. Their latest move is the launch of the Microsoft 365 Certified: Exchange Online Support Engineer Specialty certification.

According to Microsoft, IT professionals who successfully complete the certification will have in-depth expertise in resolving difficult technical issues by applying best practices and collaborating with other technical specialists.

However, they will need to pass the ‘MS-220: Troubleshooting Microsoft Exchange online exam’ first. Preparations for the exam can be done by reviewing the exam page which outlines the key topics and reviewing the associated ‘Exam MS-220: self-paced learning paths’.

Is this certification for you?

In their statement, the company noted that the perfect candidates for the certification are those that have subject matter expertise in identifying, troubleshooting, and resolving issues with Microsoft Exchange Online and hybrid Exchange environments.

Ideal candidates also need to be very familiar with deploying and managing Exchange online environments. Experience with PowerShell and the Exchange PowerShell module is also necessary.

As a business already using Exchange Online and with in-house support engineers, then investing in this certification is a no-brainer. It will equip your support engineer with the right skills so that you don’t have to outsource when you have a problem with your online environment.

As an IT professional getting certified will give you a competitive edge allowing you to stand out among other support engineers. Microsoft allows you to post your badge on LinkedIn showing that you have successfully completed the program.

By providing businesses with assured and reliable support for their Exchange Online issues, Microsoft hopes that it can encourage users to move away from On-premises and adopt the cloud version of Microsoft exchange. And perhaps that’s not a bad idea considering some highly publicized bugs that left the on-premise version vulnerable last year.

If successfully exploited, the vulnerability allowed attackers access to on-premises Exchange Servers, where they could persistently gain access and control enterprise networks

But as always, businesses will have a lot of factors to consider before they can transition. Like the viability of the monthly subscription model implemented on Exchange online as compared to the one-time license that comes with On-premises Exchange.

Exchange Online is more flexible allowing businesses to pay licenses on a per-user basis but in the long term, it may end up costing more than if the business had implemented On-premises.

Something else to consider is that with Exchange On-Premises, the business is responsible for arranging and maintaining the Exchange server software and hardware. This means extra cost incurred but, it also comes with the comfort of knowing that you are completely in control of your data. Moreover, to keep up with the competition the business will need to ensure that the software and hardware components are up to date and security is solid.

That’s unlike Exchange online where enterprises get automatic updates from Microsoft and rely on Microsoft’s security tools.


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