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What is Microsoft Purview?

Microsoft’s data governance and protection offerings are vast, but filing all of them away under the “compliance” umbrella was a bit confusing for customers. Thus, Microsoft Purview was born. What exactly does this change mean, though, and what can we expect from Purview in the future?

In this week’s episode of #O365 Hours, I sat down with Erica Toelle and Stephanie Harth, both Senior Product Marketing Managers at Microsoft, to discuss what Microsoft Purview, what value it adds, and why Microsoft decided to rebrand its compliance offering. Watch our discussion below or read the full transcript at your convenience!

Guests: Erica Toelle, Sr. Product Marketing Manager for Data Lifecycle + Records Management at Microsoft & Stephanie Harth, Sr Product Marketing Manager for Microsoft Security at Microsoft

Topics Covered:

  • Let’s start with one simple question: What is Microsoft Purview?
  • How does Purview differ from the existing admin experiences? In other words, what is Purview NOT?
  • Why did Microsoft create this rebrand?
  • What can we expect next?

What is Microsoft Purview? 

SH: Microsoft Purview is essentially a portfolio of products. We heard feedback from our customers, partners, and even our own sellers that the word “compliance” really wasn’t resonating; it means too many different things to too many different people. It really wasn’t covering what we were offering within our portfolio. So in the end, as we looked to improve how we talk about this space. We found that bringing together the data governance capabilities that we had and what was formerly Azure Purview with our compliance and risk management solutions in Microsoft 365 compliance was a way for us to offer an all-encompassing way for our customers to discover, protect, and govern all their data.

How does Purview differ from the existing admin experiences? In other words, what is Purview NOT?

ET: That’s a really great question. First, Purview is not changing any licensing. It’s not changing any of the products yet. I think the way to think about it is that Purview’s a new, innovative category in data governance and information governance. We wanted to put out the idea of Microsoft Purview so we can have conversations with our customers about what the unified platform can help them accomplish. It’s kind of tough to do that until you’ve put your stake in the ground with the vision of where you want to go.

SH: Exactly. it’s simply creating this shell of a bunch of different products that we have. And to Erica’s point, our licensing and skews didn’t change; we just updated some product names. It’s really just a way for us to rebrand and reposition ourselves in this space to say that we’re not just covering compliance over here and data governance over here, we’re really covering risk management, compliance, information, protection, and data governance all from one place to help create visibility across all data.

Why did Microsoft create this rebrand? 

SH: What we’ve found via the different research we’ve done is that the compliance and data governance audience is extremely fragmented, as is the market landscape. There are tons of point solutions that help people dig into very specific niche scenarios, but not many really look left to right across their holistic estate. We’ve also found that our compliance work was really focused on compliance risk. So, the data officer was a very key persona from our Azure Purview side, which is the data governance piece. Pulling them into the conversation and saying, “You know, you also have a seat at this table” was something that really resonated with our customers.

We were totally missing that conversation by not bringing that element in. Additionally, I think that the main piece that we’re trying to accomplish is the integration and comprehensiveness of our solutions because most of our customers actually have three or more products that they use to help them address all of the challenges they face in this space. By pulling together all of that and making sure that we’re really speaking to all of these different personas and addressing their specific needs and use cases, I think that helps set us apart from the rest of the market. By rebranding, it shows that the pain points we address are all interrelated business issues that can be taken care of.

What can we expect next? 

ET: Well, first of all, we’re always listening. Second, there’ve been a lot of new regulations, especially around privacy. The Chief Security Officer and Information Security Officer need to comply with these regulations. So what does that actually look like when you start defining it from a use case perspective? And what that would look like in a tool when you go to code it? Nobody’s figured this out yet, so we were kind of inventing a new path towards doing that. What do you think is next, Stephanie?

SH: Well, I do know that we will have some integrations coming up in the future between the two products. So, between the compliance suite and what was formally Azure Purview, you will start to see some of those connection points coming through. But right now we’re focused on building on this vision. Like Erica said, this is going to require an enormous level of innovation and a lot of engineering work. We’re excited about the future of data governance and compliance and how we can help address all of those concerns and challenges.

CB: How can people provide feedback? Do they need to be on a customer or partner panel to be able to provide feedback? Do they have to be a Microsoft MVP to be heard? Or are there places that they can go and provide their feedback?

ET: I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately. There are different options available to you to let us know your thoughts. The most traditional way is to go through Microsoft support and file what’s called a “design change request.” The product team definitely sees every one of those, and each time you file that type of official request, we’re able to see what the impact on your business would be if we created a certain feature.

We also have the new customer voice feature areas where anyone can log in and give feedback on the Purview products. If you don’t have a way to file a support ticket, and if you already own and use our products, we also have customer advisory boards that you can join. And then, of course, we have our ongoing engagement with MVPs. So if you already have an MVP that you have a good relationship with, that’s a feedback channel as well.

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Christian Buckley
Christian Buckley
An Office Apps & Services MVP and Microsoft Regional Director, Christian Buckley is an internationally recognized author and speaker and runs the community-focused CollabTalk blog, podcast, and tweetjam series.

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