Microsoft Office 365 users in the commercial space have grown to over 85 million, up more than 40% in a year. It’s likely your organization has made the move or will soon be moving to Office 365. If your company has invested in Office 365, the first decision you’ll need to make is where to begin. With the current applications already offered (pictured below), users can be overwhelmed. It’s up to your Office 365 leaders and experts to help users decide what technology or feature to use and when to use them.

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The chat-based digital workspace – Microsoft Teams, launched earlier this month, is the latest service offering that will entice more users to use Office 365. This is the new work area within Office 365 that provides a modern conversation experience. It integrates with Skype for Business, so teams can participate in voice and video conferences. Along with Office 365 Groups, it brings together the full breadth of Office 365 into one central hub for teams to collaborate. Applications such as Word, Excel, PowerPoint, SharePoint, OneNote, Planner, and Delve are all integrated into Microsoft Teams. The main goal for this latest service offering is to provide users with all the information and tools they need securely on any device at any time.

While Office 365 provides an ever growing set of features, the challenges for IT professionals typically focus on whether the features are mature enough to deploy in their organization. The decision to deploy what functionality the organization needs include business need, compliance, user experience, and support. The decision in deploying new technologies should also be focused on how to prevent users from stumbling over all of the available applications and features in Office 365. To help your organization realize business value faster with Microsoft Cloud, a service called ‘FastTrack’ is provided by Microsoft. The image below from Microsoft Ignite shows the most recent capabilities of Microsoft FastTrack. To further assist your organization, a step-by-step guide with the FastTrack site is available here.

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A whitepaper from 2toLead on “When To Use What In Office 365” has been published to help guide organizations and users accelerate their usage and adoption of Office 365. This is a great start for organizations that are planning to move to Office 365 or ones that have already deployed it.

Some important factors to help users adopt Office 365 include:

  • Cultural Change – Users will need help moving from their client based to cloud based applications. Establish daily tips to improve understanding and awareness of the new technology.
  • Embraced by Leadership – Business stakeholders and influencers must be identified and engaged early in the new technology
  • Establish Governance – Set clear policies for usage, security, and management of content
  • Pilot – Before rolling out a new application or feature to the enterprise, test usability with a small group of users from different areas of the organization
  • Campaign – Create an effective internal adoption roadmap and channels to capture user feedback

Understanding and providing ways to help business challenges are keys in gravitating users towards Office 365. Adoption is a continuous cycle that doesn’t end after launch date. As your business needs change, and new service offerings are released in Office 365, the adoption cycle will continue to be a key component for your organization. Office 365 is in a state of constant change, the public roadmap can help you keep aware of new features or updates that may be beneficial to your organization.

To learn more on how Centric Consulting can help you with Office 365 adoption, visit us at CentricConsulting.com