Office 365 Things You Need to Know: Protect Office 365 Email and Office Documents with Azure RMS



I speak with your peers all the time about being more profitable selling Microsoft cloud solutions by wrapping additional capabilities that add value and increase average revenue per user (ARPU).  Of course there are a multitude of ways one can bolt on additional services, but one that do not hear near enough partners pitching and selling is Azure Rights Management Services (Azure RMS). 

Azure RMS is available as an add-on to Office 365, Is available separately, and as a component of the Enterprise Mobility Suite (EMS).   The basic technology has been around for quite a long while, but prior to Azure AD, it was a little difficult and costly to deploy.  Now that the service resides in the public cloud and is highly available ANY organization or partner can start leveraging it in a matter of minutes, rather than days or weeks.

I guarantee most of your customers have a solid need for RMS.   Before I go further I need to clarify the term Azure RMS as it has many name derivations.  The below is from the Technet Article on Azure Rights Management:

Azure Rights Management is also known as Azure Rights Management service, but because it runs as a service in Azure, the "service" is often omitted from its name. It is the cloud version of Active Directory Rights Management Services (AD RMS), which was first released as Windows Rights Management Services (Windows RMS).

Because RMS is a well-known abbreviation for its predecessors, Azure Rights Management is often abbreviated to Azure RMS.

Its goes on to state:

Use Microsoft Azure Rights Management (Azure RMS) to help you protect your organization’s sensitive information from unauthorized access, and control how this information is used. Rights Management uses encryption, identity, and authorization policies to help secure your files and email. In comparison to standard access controls, such as NTFS permissions, protection that is applied by using Rights Management stays with the files and emails, independently of the location—inside or outside your organization, networks, file servers, and applications. You remain in control of your data even when it is shared with other people.

The beauty here is that Azure RMS is PERSISTANT protection of Office documents and emails beyond the corporate boundary.  When you consider that the traditional business “perimeter” is fading with mobile workforces, BYOD, and the common use of contractors, solutions that proactively protect customer information no matter where is resides are a must.

Think of the verticals you support.  Legal.  Healthcare.   Think of a physicians assistant thato a healthcare organization employs under contract to call on patients in rural areas.  From a HIPPA standpoint, the organization does not have to worry about documents containing patient information on the device of the PA after he or she leaves employment. Simply revoke the permissions.

A common misconception is Azure RMS only support Windows.  Not True!

Mobile devices

The following mobile device operating systems support Azure Rights Management:

  • Windows Phone: Windows Phone 8.1

  • Android phones and tablets: Minimum version of Android 4.0.3

  • iPhone and iPad: Minimum version of iOS 7.0

  • Windows RT tablets: Windows 8 RT, Windows 8.1 RT

See Requirement for Azure Rights Management for details.

More than just email and office documents are protected. Below are the Office document file types and common (standard) file types supported.

Standardized  File Types Supported















File Types Supported by Office


























I encourage you to examine Azure RMS and all it offers as an extension to your service offerings.  It is a great way to offer that next level of capability beyond Office 365.   If you customer has the E3 or E4 offering light it up as soon as possible.

Below I have assembled a few resources on Azure RMS that I find useful and convey to partners regularly.


Azure RMS User Experience Video

Excellent Overview “What is Azure Rights Management” TechNet post.

Quick Start Tutorial for Azure Rights Management

Office Everywhere, Encryption Everywhere

Edge Show Azure RMS functionality Video

Please check out our whole series of Office 365 posts at 



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Woody Walton

Comments (2)
  1. Anonymous says:

    Welcome! We are going to be doing a blog series in October on Office 365 and Office 2016 . The primary

  2. Anonymous says:

    One of the great technologies you can leverage with your Office 365 customers is the identity. As you

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