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Office 365 DFARS Frequently Asked Questions (and Answers) - Part 10

DFARS Frequently Asked Questions

There are a lot of questions surrounding DFARS requirements and implementing a POA&M for DoD Contractors. What does it mean for your business? What happens now that I have a POA&M and SSP? (Still not compliant? Check out parts 1-5 of this series) To help guide you through the process, here are some questions and answers that you may need to know.  

Align to NIST 800-171 in Office 3651. For smaller DoD contractors, is Microsoft planning to lower the subscription requirement (currently 500 subscriptions for Office 365 GCC High). If so, is there an estimated time frame?

Yes, Microsoft is expecting to make a change to this requirement. I expect that it will happen sometime in Q2CY18. As soon as it happens, we will make sure to make everyone aware of the change. 

2. How does Microsoft identify to clients' which version they have subscribed to? For instance, how do you know if you have Azure or Azure Government? 

You can tell which Azure environment you are accessing by what URL you use to manage your environment. Are you using https://portal.azure.com or https://portal.azure.us ? The .us suffix is for Azure Government. 

3. Can MS Gold partners use our O365 E3 licensing benefit in GCC and/or GCC High?

Currently, you cannot use the Internal use benefit for GCC High.

4. The NIST 800-171 requirements for government contractors has been on the street for over 2 years. Why are cloud providers respond at a seemingly slower pace?

Interestingly, Microsoft has not been slow to respond. They have had this environment available for a couple of years, but they only made it available to smaller customers (down to 500 users) about a year or so ago.  Prior to that it was only available to organizations with user counts above 20,000. 

5. How long before GCC high will be available to smaller license companies so that ITAR can be addressed for them?

GCC High Availability Getting CloserWe expect that this change will happen in Q2CY18 or shortly after.

6. Will the Microsoft 365 subscription bundle be available to GCC High tenants?

The Microsoft 365 E3 bundle will be available beginning in March 2018.  An availability date for the Microsoft 365 E5 bundle has not yet been identified.


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Note: This FAQ is part of a series. Check out the previous FAQ's here: FAQ #1FAQ #2FAQ# 3FAQ #4FAQ #5, FAQ #6, FAQ #7, FAQ #8, and FAQ #9

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About Scott Edwards

Scott Edwards is an accomplished computer engineer and organizational leader with experience in business, project management, systems engineering, training and security. Scott’s technical experience was honed at NASA as a Senior Computer Engineer and the Chief Engineer and Engineering Manager for the NASA Datacenter.

Scott received his Bachelor of Science from the United States Military Academy and his Master of Science in Computer Science with an emphasis in Information Assurance at James Madison University. Scott proudly served as an Officer in the US Army Signal Corps with both the 2-227th Aviation Battalion in Bosnia-Herzegovina and the 1-6 Air Defense Artillery Battalion in Fort Bliss, Texas.

Currently, Scott is the President and Managing Partner of Summit 7 Systems. Summit 7 Systems is Service Disabled Veteran Owned Small Business (SDVOSB) and a Microsoft Gold Cloud Productivity Partner that specializes in Office 365 security solutions.