Microsoft Office has been the industry standard in desktop productivity for well over two decades. Today, the traditional desktop applications are now part of the much bigger Office 365 ecosystem, which provides a wider range of tools and services than ever before, including extensive integration with the cloud.
Nonetheless, most small businesses still opt for Office 365 for a few core features, such as Word, Excel, Outlook and Exchange. While there’s nothing wrong with that, if these tools provide everything you need, a managed services provider can help you do much more.
Every organization has a unique set of goals and requirements when it comes to implementing and maintaining their technology environments. That’s why you need access to the right experience and skill sets when implementing Office 365. If you’re ready to deploy Office 365, there are several steps you’ll need to take to ensure the process goes smoothly.
While some customers might not need to do anything to prepare for Office 365, businesses with a more specific set of requirements — such as multiple operating locations or more rigid security measures in place — will need to do some planning first. Here at Dyrand, we can develop a detailed planning checklist to ensure that implementation goes smoothly.
There’s often a lot more to setting up Office 365 than simply installing the desktop productivity suite. Depending on your requirements, you will also need to add one or more domains to your subscription and connect your existing directory. Afterwards, there will be important configuration steps, such as those pertaining to Exchange servers, instant messaging, file sharing and other systems.
Migrating to the Cloud
Implementing Office 365 might not necessarily be a time-consuming process, but no new technology is going to be much use if it’s not made to work with your existing data and systems.
For your employees to continue doing their jobs with minimal disruption, you’ll also need to migrate your data to the new system. Some examples include email contacts, calendar entries, and files and folders.
If you’re migrating to the cloud, as are a lot of small businesses seeking to take advantage of reduced overheads, then there will be many additional considerations, such as the shared web-accessible resources linked to SharePoint team sites and OneDrive accounts. To take advantage of these powerful cloud-based collaboration features, however, you’ll need a carefully thought-out migration strategy.
Training Your Team
Even if a technology deployment is as quick and successful as you could ever wish for, a lack of a robust training strategy translates into reduced productivity, increased overheads, and poor motivation throughout your team.
For example, if an employee has been used to Windows XP and Office 2003 for years, then putting them straight into a modern cloud-based environment like Office 365 is not likely to go well.
Onboarding employees with new technology can be a daunting process. Oftentimes, workers are not too open to learning how to use new systems for fear that it may mean longer working hours and many months of getting acquainted with them. Fortunately, it doesn’t have to be this way thanks to the extensive training materials and programs available to help your team get the most out of Office 365.
Preparing your users for change and technological development is best done with a collaborative, team-centric training approach. Unlike some IT service providers, Dyrand doesn’t leave straight after deploying Office 365 and integrating your existing systems. Instead, we use our expertise and proven methods to run workshop sessions and provide round-the-clock support whenever you need it.
Microsoft Office 365 brings the enormous advantage of cloud-enabled productivity to your business while also allowing you to use some of the most familiar desktop applications in the industry. If you want to get more out of a new Office 365 deployment, give us a call today to find out what we can do for you.