O365 is a Modern Digital Workspace for your business to conduct business within your organization, with partners and your customers.
The direction of the technology industry is clear. More and more companies are migrating to the cloud, and software developers are following suit. Instead of selling disks and licenses, many companies have shifted to a software-as-a-service model in the cloud, which gives customers access to software through their web browser or internet connection. In this model, customers no longer need to purchase new versions, manage updates, or deal with end of life (EoL) technology. Microsoft Office 365 (O365) operates on the same principle.
What is Microsoft O365?
Now, companies are able to subscribe to O365 and receive the full suite of Microsoft Office through the cloud. It is always updated, available on any device, and perfect for a mobile workforce. While O365 can be beneficial to a wide range of industries and sizes of companies, there are four key use case scenarios we identified which demand Office 365.
Office 365 Use Cases
1. Companies Frustrated with their Exchange Server
Once upon a time, businesses would staff a designated exchange server specialist to ensure the email application is always in peak condition. Today, many companies have eliminated this position in favor of more IT generalists, but the problems with exchange servers are still prevalent in IT environments throughout Chicago and beyond.
When an exchange server reaches maximum storage capacity, it can crash. These servers are not immune to complications that could cause the capacity to quickly fill. For example, if backups fail, the server will fill with transactional logs and it will soon be rendered inoperable.
The single most important application for many companies is their email, and it remains mission-critical to business operations. Office 365 eliminates the need to manage the exchange server and eliminates the possibility that the server can experience downtime.
2. Companies Looking to Reclaim Resources
The email application can be very resource-intensive in some IT environments. Office 365, by contrast, requires no hardware on-premise.
In an Exchange environment, you could have two to four CAS servers plus additional mailbox servers. This could total six to eight servers. When switching to Office 365, these servers can be reclaimed and used in other areas. This could result in 1TB worth of storage, 8-10 CPUs, and 40GB of RAM reclaimed and available to be used elsewhere in the environment. In data centers utilizing virtualization technology, those resources go right back into the pool to be allocated to other applications appropriately.
3. Companies Looking to Avoid Exchange Upgrades
If a company is using Exchange 2010 or other EoL solutions, the IT director will need to oversee upgrades approximately every three years. Each upgrade cycle is expensive and creates a long period of downtime. Using O365 eliminates the massive exchange upgrade entirely. Because Office 365 is available through the cloud, users will always access the latest version of the software.
4. Companies with Remote Workers or Temporary Employees
A company with remote or temporary workers can maintain user accounts that are mutually exclusive from the active directory environment. For example, say there was a construction company with standard full-time employees but also a significant number of temporary subcontractors. The construction company can place their full time employees on the active directory, and they can use email through O365. However, suppose that same company also wants these temporary subcontractors to have an email address that includes the company name. Using Office 365, the IT director can distribute a temporary email address. These addresses are then housed in isolation within Office 365, and they wouldn’t need to be housed on the private Exchange server. They can be managed in O365 with unique management policies.
Companies, no matter their size, want a return on investment for all the products and services they use. From team-building events and employee development to the software a business uses daily, it’s hard to know if a company is getting its full ROI.
While Office 365 is a platform with millions of users, many companies aren’t using its services to their full advantage, which means they aren’t getting their maximum ROI.
According to Binary Tree, a leader in digital enterprise transformation, when Office 365 initially launched, researchers estimated that companies would see an ROI of nearly three(3X) times what they paid for the system. However, because in most cases employees aren’t using the platform to its maximum potential, companies aren’t seeing that estimated return.
In fact, Binary Tree notes that of the 4.7 million end-users that it on-boarded in 2018, only 28 percent were using Exchange Online and only 3 percent were using Yammer — two of the 13 services Office 365 provides.
It can be difficult to track how many employees in your company are fully using Office 365. And research reveals that number is low; most Office 365 users don’t know how to use any of the Office 365 applications beyond the traditional Office suite.
How can you increase user adoption and consumption to ensure a return on your Office 365 investment?
There are a few ways:
Hire additional IT support — This increases payroll, which cuts into ROI immediately. Make sure your new hires aren’t pulled into other IT-related issues.
Use vendors to help with training — The costs add up quickly using multiple external sources. It’s vital that the vendors collaborate and work well together.
Find a managed service provider —The MSP assumes the responsibility for providing services outlined or as needed in your company.
Think of what your employees need in order to be successful: training, resources and availability from your IT department. If your employees had access to a 24/7 help desk as well as online training tools for all the Office 365 services, that would give you the most return on your investment. Is that even possible?
Having these elements in place to drive employee adoption will increase your company’s ROI of Office 365. Ensuring appropriate training creates a knowledgeable staff that will utilize all the services and benefits of Office 365 and allow them to train future employees. All of this leads to higher software adoption and increased productivity.
If you're a chief technology officer or chief financial officer, having measured, documented ROI results to share with the boardroom is a game-changer