How to successfully implement Office 365

The unspoken reality of many small and medium companies who have switched to Office 365 is that most their staff use it in exactly the same way as they used the old MS Office software packages.

It looks similar, the main applications are there and so off the team goes, largely ignoring the features that could transform their roles and the fortunes of their company.

Often this comes down to a lacklustre implementation – when an outsourced IT company does the bare minimum to introduce Office 365 and the management focuses solely on ‘nothing going wrong with the roll-out’ as opposed to “Where could this take us?”

A good IT company can and should work with their clients to make sure a roll-out includes an educational element for everyone.

Some examples of this lack of awareness leaving you behind are in areas such as document collaboration. Having teams working on the same document, at the same time from multiple locations is a pretty basic feature, but often we hear of documents being passed around via e-mail for review multiple times because ‘thats the way we do it’.

Skype for Business can dramatically lower your telecoms and travel costs, yet we still see people save it for special occasions instead of as a regular part of their day.

Getting teams to store everything on their OneDrive space can allow management to give them more flexibility in their working patterns – being in a chair in the office is not as essential as it once was.

The biggest benefit though, is opening up people to new software with the Office 365 stable:

• Yammer is basically ‘Facebook for business’ and dramatically improves internal communications without the time-wasting distractions of cat videos.
• Microsoft OneNote allows people to make notes on any device at any time and have them centralised and synchronised. Great for those moments of inspiration.
• Microsoft Dynamics is a CRM (Customer Relationship Management) tool that captures leads and interactions and helps you funnel them into sales. From there you can build ongoing marketing and customer retention activities. It integrates directly into Outlook so you’ll never miss another opportunity to chase that next sale.

It saddens us that some SMEs have not been shown the benefits that a more thorough roll-out of Office 365 can bring, but we are keen to help. If you think your business could get more out of your software, call us for a chat on 01494 857572.