We help our clients everyday with Office 365, and a big discussion topic is around ‘what to do next’. When we say ‘big’, we mean ‘enormous’, because Microsoft’s cloud-based platform has extensive capabilities. It can be a huge enabler, both in terms of value (productivity, efficiency) and decreased risk (information governance, availability, etc).
Some of Office 365’s advantages will be known prior to migration and some will be discovered post-migration, when you discover new capability offered by the cloud. However, to realise these advantages and to discover if future ambitions can be met, you need to have a solid understanding of several things;
So, firstly, let’s presume that your migration to Office 365 was as smooth as butter (it will have been if we helped!). Let’s also presume that you selected Office 365 as the platform for you (although we do know of many organisations that have it ‘hoisted upon them’!)
Office 365 is about bringing enterprise-grade services to organisations of all sizes, from online meetings to sharing documents to business-class email. All in the cloud, all to aid mobility and productivity.
- Get work done from anywhere
- Improve collaboration
- Reduce Capital Expenditure
- Cut hardware and energy costs
- Scale your business effectively
- Always have the latest version
- Only licence what you need
1) Explore Office 365 before you use it
Knowing the full capabilities and, importantly, the limitations of Office 365 is key to using the platform successfully. If you have expertise to hand, then use it. Gather all stakeholders (eg, heads of department) and document everything on their wish lists. Then with the aid of an expert, see what can be achieved through the platform, what effort is involved and the length of time it will take to deliver. It’s important to prioritise the list of requirements, as it’ll soon turn into a mammoth and unachievable beast. Use MoSCoW for this (Must have, Should have, Could have, Would like but won’t get).
2) Identify Office 365 functionality and scope
Following on from the exploration workshop/s, you’ll find you have a long list of solutions ideas. If the session was run correctly and all the key stakeholders got their requirements noted and explored, then during the same session you should have explored how Office 365’s functionality could meet those requirements.
3) Choose your first project!
This is very important! The first project that your organisation delivers will set the tone for how the new platform is received. However, when you know you’re getting (or have already selected) Office 365, you may have some initial ideas of what kind of applications you’d like to deliver. Following your migration to the platform and the exploration workshops, these ideas may change.
Our recommendation is to select a business critical system that’s also a ‘quick win’. E.g, introduce some business process automation:
- Timesheet approval
- Holiday approval
- Document approval