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4 tips to maximising business value from Office 365

  • Posted on September 5, 2017
  • Estimated reading time 3 minutes
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Office 365 has quickly become Microsoft’s fastest growing commercial product ever, with almost half of organizations already using it and an additional 15% planning to over the next year. 

But as with any technology, implementing it does not automatically lead to success. To reap the full benefits of Office 365, here are four valuable tactics to help you on your journey:

1. Start with a vision

Begin with a clear set of objectives for what you want to achieve with Office 365. Is your aim to reduce operational and technology costs? Or is it to improve productivity, or employee engagement? Identifying your objectives will help you determine what success looks like as well as key performance indicators for the new environment. 

Then, by matching your business needs with Office 365’s capabilities, you will be able to develop a roadmap that points to what your workplace needs in both the short- and long-term, and gain an idea of the steps needed to get there. 

2. Make sure you are Office 365-ready

Many issues we see coming from Office 365 implementation occur when businesses dive in without considering whether they have the right technical measures in place for a smooth transition. 

Before making the move, take stock and check whether your technology environment is ready for an Office 365 setup. You will need to ensure all the security, network and compliance requirements are in place. 

3. Place employees at the heart of your strategy 

For any digital employee experience project to succeed, businesses need to involve employees from the start. Failure to do so usually results in ineffective deployments, as employees choose to stick to their traditional approaches rather than embracing the new ways of working. 

Research from Microsoft shows that 34% of users are agreeable to using new technology deployments. This highlights that businesses should be doing more to get the remaining 66% of users on board. This is where change enablement comes in – helping people adopt new ways of working is vital to ensure you get the uptake you need to realise your project’s objectives. 

To make the most out of Office 365 tools, you should run workshops and interviews with key stakeholders from across the business. Through building use case scenarios, you can identify the best tools to improve productivity and user experience across each department, and highlight their clear benefits to employees. Engaging with employees from the start in this way gives them a greater appreciation for the new ways of working and strengthens adoption levels.

4. Create a tailored approach 

There is no one-size-fits-all approach to deploying Office 365. Some companies are focussed on getting the basics right, such as enabling remote working. On the other end of the spectrum, businesses are taking advantage of the Microsoft Graph and the Bot Framework to automate mundane and repetitive tasks – such as common IT requests. 

Whichever approach you take to Office 365, to continually improve and tailor new tools to your workplace needs, don’t forget to implement suitable monitoring procedures. A clear view of the relationship between usage levels and business objectives will highlight the success of your Office 365 adoption, and help inform your roadmap. In addition, assessing how frequently different teams use each service means you can pull best practices from one department, and apply them throughout your business. 

Avanade just released a new practical guide titled, Uncomplicating Office 365. I invite you to check out a preview page below and download our full guide

Sri Nagaraja

Thanks for the article. The points mentioned are valuable and a good place to start discussion with a new customer. 

September 12, 2017

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