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Effective Strategies for Office 365 Adoption

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The haste to embrace Office 365’s commercial benefits may result in a time-consuming migration with suboptimal or inadequate use of its products. While planning and employee training are beneficial, they are best achieved as part of a long-term strategy of adopting Office 365 holistically rather than just moving to it. It is especially true for a system like Office 365, which has enormous revenue potential and a pervasive enterprise-wide impact.

Here are seven ideas for a comprehensive Office 365 adoption that will allow you to make the most of its features.

Understand the Whys: Create a list of Business Objectives and Use-Case Scenarios for the Entire Organization

Understanding the migration’s aims and business benefits can accelerate the migration beyond potential migration plateaus and onto continuing success. It gives standards for measuring adoption progress and provides insights into new business prospects that the solutions can enable.

Detailing the Whys also aids in the key point that follows obtaining stakeholder and user buy-in. Understand the business difficulties and situations that the migration to Office 365 will impact, particularly in terms of flexibility and collaboration. Aside from the obvious business benefits, map important/frequently used procedures across departments using Office 365 capabilities and functionalities. Explain how the migration will improve or make certain use cases easier.

Obtain Approval from Executives, End Users, and Your Infrastructure

Executive Sponsorship and active engagement are key to the success of any organization-wide migration. Thus, identify chief stakeholders, connect with them, and learn about their business priorities and migration expectations.

Similarly, end-user acceptance is critical, and change is unsettling. Therefore, show consumers how to replicate/improve their ongoing workflows in the Office 365 platform. Regularly and timely communicate realistic migration schedules and delays/hiccups. Also, maintain two-way contact by incorporating their suggestions and opinions into your migration plan.

Finally, get your IT infrastructure on board. Examine your current infrastructure to see if it can handle the Office 365 load. Understand the infrastructure requirements for Exchange Hybrid migrations and Video Conferencing workloads.

Prioritize and Plan: Lay the Foundation

Planning is essential for a successful migration. It is preferable to spend three months planning and one week implementing than the other way around. Choose the type of migration for the services that will move to Office 365. Smaller firms may find it easier to transition to Exchange, while larger enterprises may benefit from a hybrid migration. If your business can support it, known folder moves may be the ideal solution for OneDrive. Additionally, In the case of SharePoint, you must determine the scope of the migration; should you include File Shares and Legacy SharePoint Sites?

Office 365 includes a variety of service alternatives; certain services include configuration options that allow enterprises to modify the service to fit specific business requirements. Licenses such as the E3 and E5 govern users’ access to services. Be selective about the services you offer and who you offer. Begin with the most basic cases and phase your migration. Use key stakeholder personas to assess the value and effect of various Office 365 products. Prioritize those that provide immediate value and have the most leadership backing.

Champion and Train: Usage is the Key to Success

Champions are your evangelists for Office 365, and their excitement and expertise can help promote organization-wide adoption. Even if you have a dedicated migration team, solicit the help of department-specific champions. Educate them on how their departmental business scenarios will be affected/benefitted. Encourage them to underline the benefits and productivity gains that the transition would provide and guide users as they implement the various options.

Trained use of the various solutions will aid in the resolution of difficulties and the information of procedures. Create a strategy for training all end users with video courses tailored to business procedures. Enhance things by holding contests in which users can demonstrate how Office 365 tools/features have improved their work lives. Also, provide consumable tips and tricks, such as infographics and cheat sheets, and host regular lunch-and-learns.

Explore the Most Recent Migration Tools and Migration Partners

Make sure you are reviewing the most recent Microsoft instructions for the specific versions of Office 365 tools you will be migrating to. For instance, Known Folder Move is a fantastic new capability for migrating to OneDrive. Microsoft provides a plethora of migration resources, including migration readiness checkers, a comprehensive knowledge base, deployment experts, and training centers. Additionally, it offers a start-to-finish deployment and adoption solution called FastTrack for large-scale migrations, which is accessible with qualified subscriptions to Microsoft 365, Azure, or Dynamics 365. Consider collaborating with a Microsoft partner or a migration professional if the move is too large or complex.

Check the Compliance Implications of Your Adoption

Data on a cloud-based solution like Office 365 is stored on Microsoft’s data centers instead of an on-premises setup. It will have an impact on compliance and retention. Moreover, be sure to check in with your organization’s legal department.

With the implementation of the GDPR, data protection has become a “shared responsibility.” While Microsoft has very strong security requirements, it cannot protect you from data loss caused by staff error, malicious intent, malware, ransomware, etc. Alongside this, having a dependable data backup and recovery plan protects your precious data, maintains company continuity, and aids in compliance.

Continuous Adoption Entails Continuing to Measure and Incorporate Feedback

Continuous adoption is effective adoption. Business and user operations, as well as upgrades to Office 365 capabilities, are subject to change. Set up channels for real-time input from workers and champions, such as a dedicated email address, Microsoft Team, and a Yammer group. Adjust your adoption strategy depending on their input.

Lastly

Examine how widely users are using Office 365’s Activity Reports. Maintain a ready portal of previous training material for new hires and continually update it with new feature updates and unique use cases. Maintain regular check-ins with your initial list of “Whys”—corporate objectives and goals—to see how adoption is progressing concerning them. With Office 365, the opportunities for creativity and new business paths are infinite. We hope the suggestions above assist your organization in implementing a successful and secure Office 365 deployment.

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