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From disease outbreaks to natural disasters, defense organizations are increasingly being called upon to address military threats that don’t involve combat. And to respond effectively to these non-traditional threats to society, they need an interoperable platform that helps them communicate and collaborate with a wide variety of organizations, often across international borders.

Consider the recent outbreak of the Ebola virus, for example. When the disease began spreading across West Africa, the US military sent a task force there to help contain the epidemic. To quickly stop the spread of the virus, military officials needed to communicate and collaborate with other government agencies and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) across borders so they could prioritize their efforts, quickly learn about new outbreaks, and propagate the most successful ways of containing and treating affected citizens.

In the same way, military organizations are collaborating with other entities to address a wide variety of non-traditional threats including terrorism, cyberattacks, narcotics and weapons trafficking, mass migration/refugees, human trafficking, and natural disasters. To effectively work in situations such as these, armed forces need an interoperable platform that enables them to share information securely with outside government agencies and NGOs—and Microsoft Office 365 offers them just that.

Office 365 delivers state-of-the-art email, instant messaging, file content and calendar sharing, telephony and videoconferencing tools to help defense workers effectively communicate and collaborate across organizations regardless of where employees are located or what device they’re using. Moreover, military officials working from a central command center can easily share real-time information, maps, and intelligence with forces deployed in the field, giving them the situational awareness they need to make the best decisions. Capabilities such as these are critical to helping military organizations successfully handle the wide variety of modern threats they’re called upon to assist with.

Over the past few years, many military organizations around the globe have been moving to Office 365 for exactly these reasons. For example, the UK Ministry of Defence has been migrating its 420,000-member workforce to Office 365 as part of an effort to adopt user-friendly technologies that exploit the cloud and mobile computing. And the United States Air Force is deploying Office 365 to power productivity and collaboration for more than 100,000 active, civilian, and reserve personnel. We’re seeing similar trends from military organizations in the Netherlands, Italy, Chile, and elsewhere around the world.

With Office 365, military organizations can put real-time information in the hands of those who need it, right when they need it—helping them make strategic decisions that save lives. To learn more about how cloud computing can improve communications and collaboration, please see our Microsoft Office 365 website or request one of our available trials: Azure Government Trial, Office 365 Government Trial.