I frequently get questions from partners and customers who are looking to move to Office 365 but have users located in different parts of the world and have questions associated with that. For example…
Can I have a subscription with some users in one country and some users in another?
Can I have a subscription in which the North American users data is stored in North America and the EMEA users data is stored in EMEA? Or do I have to have 2 separate subscriptions for that?
Can a subscription that is provisioned in one country assign licenses to users located in other countries? If so, what countries are supported?
Let me see if I can help address some of these questions.
Microsoft has a regionalized datacenter strategy. The customer's country or region, which the customer's administrator (or their partner) inputs during the initial setup of the services, determines the primary storage location for that customer's data. See Where is my data?
You can certainly create a separate Office 365 subscription/tenant for different locations. For example, one subscription for North American users to be located in North America and one subscription for EMEA users that is located in EMEA, but then you will have two separate tenants to manage and it’s important to note that the same custom domain name cannot exist in two different tenants. You will also have two separate bills to manage and pay.
Most customers will typically choose to create one subscription for their entire organization (maybe in the geography where the company is headquartered or where most of their users reside), and then have all their users access the services in the primary storage location. To help with this scenario, Microsoft has specific strategies in place for creating faster connections back to the primary storage location for international users. See Client connectivity for more info.
Customers are able to assign a license to a user that is located in just about any country in the world, except for Cuba, Iran, Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Sudan, and Syria. This information is current as of the date of this blog post, but for current availability and language support, see International availability.
Hope this is helpful and thanks for reading!