Written by: Duncan MacDonald, Director of Product Development – RapidScale
Office 365 is the most successful enterprise cloud productivity solution ever to hit the market. Applications can be accessed anywhere, anytime, and across every vertical imaginable, providing reliable security. But let’s not forget that Office 365 is a tool, and like any tool, it is only as good as its user.
We have all heard the adage, “A poor workman blames his tools.” The concept of productivity applies to Office 365 or any enterprise software, and it is a huge reason why managed service providers exist today. Ultimately, organizations do not want to waste their time training employees to be the technical expert in Salesforce, Oracle, or Office 365. Companies need to focus on the core competencies of their businesses. If used correctly, Office 365 is a tool that can provide greater efficiency, lower cost, and boost productivity. Managed cloud services providers make it possible for organizations to get the greatest value out of Office 365 and to focus on achieving their business goals.
Let’s examine seven major questions you should ask when looking to purchase Office 365.
What is the primary goal of the company?
Depending on each organization, the answer to this question could be as simple as wanting a better email platform or as complex as needing greater security and easy collaboration between teams. Whatever the business need, Office 365 is an agile tool that can address any demand.
Does the company have remote workers?
Microsoft created Office 365 with remote workers in mind. Users can access Office 365 through their PCs, tablets, smartphones, and other mobile devices and can have up to five devices on their license. This feature allows users to work from any device, at any time and anywhere in the world. Additional features include multi-factor authentication to ensure security and co-authoring for increased collaboration.
What are the security requirements?
Aside from employees, data is one of the most prized assets of an organization. Understanding how to protect this data is vital. How is your company managing authentication within your environment? How do you control the flow of data leaving your environment? How do you manage malicious users accessing your environment? Managed cloud services providers can provide the tools, resources, and insight to properly secure your data, especially when security is not the core strength of your business.
What are the data management requirements?
Understanding how you want to control the flow of data within your organization will help determine how Office 365 will work best for the company. Businesses need to decide who can access, edit, and delete data. When an employee leaves an organization, controlling data flow with data leak prevention is extremely necessary. Managed cloud services providers can help you understand how these policies can control the flow of data both inside and outside of your organization.
What are the data migration requirements?
Transferring data from legacy systems to Office 365 is one of the biggest challenges organizations face today. Organizations need to decide if they are to take on the monumental task of migrating their data themselves, or if they need a 3rd party vendor to take care of it all. Businesses also need to consider the costs of migration. Organizations should also anticipate any downtime that might occur, and the amount of time migration will take. If you’re unsure about migration, then choosing a managed cloud services provider that offers migration services is key for a seamless implementation process for your company.
What are the cost requirements?
The good news is that Office 365 is priced very competitively, which means that cost doesn’t have to be the driving factor for consideration. It is more important to understand costs around migration and implementation. Instead of exclusively considering the cost of Office 365 licenses, organizations should also examine their business needs. Today, managed cloud services providers offer options to bundle value-add on services to your Managed Office 365 solution, which can significantly impact the company adoption of the solution. Choosing the best Office 365 offering from the right cloud solutions provider will not only help increase business efficiency, but it will help drive more profitable results for your business.
In conclusion, answering these questions and understanding the unique needs of your business will determine how much value you can extract out of Office 365. Moreover, it is an excellent gauge of the experience you and your organization will have with this powerful tool. Before investing in a solution, weigh the cost of managing Office 365 on your own versus partnering up with a managed cloud services provider. This process is essential to getting the most out of your Office 365 solution for your employees.
Check out RapidScale’s Office 365 solution and our value add-on services here: https://rapidscale.net/services/technology-solutions/office-365