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Ever wonder if you’re getting the most from your Microsoft subscription? Microsoft have a lot of features, functions and applications within their 365 subscriptions. Not everything is included in every plan, but I can guarantee you’re not using everything you have available for your business. A common area that is overlooked by small and medium businesses is their Compliance centre – now renamed to Microsoft Purview 


Purview has a lot to offer, but lets zero in on the Retention Policies. At a base level, Retention Policies determine if and when an item can be deleted. This applies across the key document areas in Office 365 – Email, SharePoint, Team and Yammer for those that use it. Whilst this may seem like a basic feature and very similar to Backup – something that every business should have – it’s not quite the same. Retention Policies can be both broad and specific to govern how users can interact with the documents they have access to. 


Here’s a snapshot:


Enforce any government or regulatory body mandatory document retention for a set period of time. At the end of that time period, the document can then be allowed to delete, or even automatically deleted for storage maintenance. 

Reducing Security Exposures

If you’re retaining sensitive data – like personally identifiable information of customers – you can ensure that those records are deleted permanently when they are no longer needed. Think of an ‘end of project’ scenario and having the data sitting around unused. Reduce your vulnerable footprint by automatically deleting that data so that if there is a data breach, you have less risk of sensitive data being exposed. 

Agile and Secure Sharing

Step into Retention Labels that can be applied to a document and follow it wherever it goes, only allow access to the right people and cutting access to old versions and people who should no longer see it. Labels are incredibly flexible and can be applied to a individual document, or can apply to an entire library or site via policies. Make sure only the right people have access at the right time, internal or external. 


Microsoft have a few easy to setup and implement out-of-the-box components for Retention and if you have the Business Premium plans, you can take advantage of it now. Of course, if you want deep, granular and smarter policies and labelling to be orchestrated you’ll need to step up to their Compliance licenses or E5 plans. Either way though, as a business, you should be taking advantage of the Retention Policies in your Office 365 subscription via their new Purview management Centre.