Microsoft announced at Ignite that the first 5 networking providers, globally, have been certified to deliver Office 365 networking “in a way that minimizes latency and maximizes performance and reliability of enterprise connectivity on Office 365 user experience.” This is critical because, according to Microsoft’s post linked above, “the most significant factor that determines the quality of the Office 365 end-user experience is network reliability…”

4 of the 5 Office 365 Preferred Networking Partners are very large, long-time Microsoft partners (Citrix, Zscaler, Silver Peak and NTT). The fifth partner, NetFoundry, is a NaaS (Network-as-a-Service), Zero Trust networking startup.

According to Microsoft’s post linked above, all 5 of the partners “have met Microsoft’s testing requirements” and “support a high-quality end-user experience.” Microsoft also stated that Cisco, Oracle, and Riverbed are in the midst of trying to get qualified.

NetFoundry’s O365 networking optimization solution states that it is the only one of the 5 Preferred Partners to both enable the lowest latency Office 365 networking (direct Internet without trombone through third-party cloud infrastructure), and not require a specific WAN solution, instead of functioning as software-only NaaS, on top of any WAN. The same NetFoundry Platform used for O365 optimization also enables Zero Trust, private Azure connectivity, and has both NaaS and Developer Platform options. More details on the 5 selected Office 365 networking partners are on the Microsoft website here.