Recently, the Azure Rights Management Team announced the availability of departmental templates - this is great news for organizations that have implemented (or are considering) Rights Management as part of their information management strategy.
The Rights Management Services provided by Azure and integrated with Microsoft Office 365 and the Office desktop suite provided a combination of technology and policies that govern the access to and use of information. These policies are defined by an organization to ensure that only those authorized are able to access information. Defined centrally, all policies were visible in the client application - until now - which meant it was easy to overwhelm the user with too many choices.
By introducing the ability to limit the visibility of policies based on Groups in Azure Active Directory, Microsoft has given us another tool to make the adoption and use of Rights Management less daunting. We can now ensure that group members see only the policies that are relevant to them, and allows for flexible targeting based on role, function or even project-based needs. The announcement includes a walk-through of the scenario demonstrating the new scope-based functionality.
This is another example of the incremental improvements that Microsoft is able to bring to bear across the Office 365 and Azure offerings that make SaaS so transformative to Enterprises. These types of improvements often would not be available to on-premises installations until the next major release, and even then may have required additional effort to stand-up infrastructure and services to enable them - meaning it often would not be put into place at all.
In my mind, this is what differentiates the Microsoft Cloud offerings from their competitors - they understand Enterprise needs are greater than simply accessing office products in a browser, and are making steps to ensure that functionality easy to implement and use.