Office 365 is not a new thing. It has existed since 2011 and yet the service only passed traditional sales of Microsoft Office in 2017. This is probably due to the fact the service has as many questions surrounding it now in terms of business value and features service as it did in 2011, or when it got its first major upgrade to coincide with the release of Office 2013.
As with all Microsoft products, the 2011 service would be unrecognisable compared to today, and with Microsoft’s move to a more subscription based service, Office 365 has become a cornerstone of the organisation’s enterprise and personal computing strategy. Rightly so, as the features, benefits and roadmap of Office 365 make it the business productivity solution of choice for organisations made up of one person, to hundreds of thousands across the country.
The reason questions about the value of the technology is the approaches some organisations take to the implementation and communication of Office 365. Ranging from simply deploying it and treating it as just an upgrade to Office, training technical staff when the project is deployed but not the users, to giving users a guide that is up to date at the time of deployment. All of these approaches miss two key facts about Office 365 which help organisations get value from the investment:
1) If you treat it as an upgrade to Office, it is just an upgrade to Office.
2) Getting value from the investment is a moving target, you need help to keep up.
Office 365, can be the catalyst to a workplace transformation, the collaboration features, single sign on across multiple devices and productivity tools mean it can be the platform an organisation builds new business processes and practices to get more from remote and office workers and improve their working lives. Or, it can be an upgrade to Office – it’s all in the planning, implementation and adoption of the technology.
To achieve the former, you need to ensure you have an IT team who have experience in Office 365, and regularly keep up to date with all new features which are released on a nearly weekly basis. For example, over 2017 Microsoft Teams moved from a brand-new product, to the collaboration hub Microsoft is building its productivity and business networking around, replacing Skype for Business as the primary collaboration tool.
Microsoft is a fast-moving beast these days, just look at the Office 365 roadmap to see everything they have planned, keeping your users and IT staff up to speed is an arduous task and can take significant resource and effort from your IT team better spent running your business. We recommend letting a Managed Services provider take care of upgrades, implementations, and discovery of how to use new features. Our Managed Service engineers work with countless deployments of Office 365 for countless customers every day. If you can imagine something you would like to do with Office 365, chances are we’ve already done it for someone else and support it. To make the most of your deployment, let our team advise, assist and administrate while your IT staff can be focused elsewhere on other projects, as involved or as uninvolved as they want.
We can take care of your Office 365 Modern Workplace project, from end user training to long term administration and 24/7 support. Office 365 can help businesses across the globe work more collaborative and efficiently, and our managed services can ease your journey from traditional to a modern workplace, and help you make the most of it once you’re there.