In the realm of collaborative technologies, Office 365 is one of the most sophisticated and versatile solutions available. But with its significant breadth of functionality and near continuous stream of updates, success with Office 365 requires a comprehensive and well-prepared strategy. Here are five key considerations for planning your winning Office 365 strategy.
- Take a Forward-thinking Approach
Businesses have many reasons for transitioning to Office 365. Some are looking to consolidate multiple offices; others are trying to address inefficiencies impeding output. Regardless of the impetus, companies who use Office 365 to do more and different things (versus only addressing existing issues) see the greatest benefit and return from Office 365. Understanding all of the key functionality and possibilities within Office 365 as well as mapping out present and future business scenarios is key to a successful deployment.
- Demonstrate Consistent, Top-down Support
Office 365 has the potential to positively transform the way your people work by creating a true digital workspace. When it comes to driving significant organizational change, consistent support from leadership is paramount. This includes helping your employees understand the impact improved collaboration and productivity will have on individuals, teams, clients and the bottom line. Remind often of the vision, hold your employees accountable, measure results, and share milestones and achievements. Let teams know that you’re investing in their combined success and that you’re counting on their investment as well.
- Build a Team of Champions
Every business has “power users” – individuals who love technology and proactively get deeply familiar with solutions because they understand the benefits. Identify your early adopters and designate them with the role of “Office 365 Champion”. Support their efforts to learn, evangelize and lead others by allowing them time to ‘go beyond’ in their learning and to spend time sharing cool tips and helping fellow teammates. By identifying, training, and supporting champions early on, chances increase that more employees will leverage the technology, creating a stronger return on investment.
- Measure and Track User Adoption
All significant technology implementations depend on solid user adoption. Without it, you’re throwing money out the window. Knowing that your champions also have to do their day jobs, your strategy should include a plan to measure and track adoption, not just promote it. Pairing your Office 365 subscription with an automated user adoption and training solution such as BrainStorm QuickHelp allows you to systematically plan and structure user groups, establish required training for specific skill paths, and proactively monitor progress as well as user adoption of the Office 365 technologies.
- Plan Ahead to Reduce the Strain on Your Internal IT Team
At a time when learning new technologies and driving innovation are so critical to business success, understanding the ongoing IT resources required is an important consideration in your Office 365 strategy. Carefully weighing bandwidth against anticipated level of effort can help you determine whether to retain or outsource ongoing administration of the Office 365 environment.
Many organizations choosing Office 365 underestimate the importance of strategic planning and the amount of ongoing attention the deployment requires. That’s why we’re here. Working with a Managed Services Provider such as Velosio can help you get off on the right foot, move through a successful onboarding and then focus on what matters most. Learn more about Office 365 managed services and how we can help you grow your business.