Secrets of Selecting The Right Office 365 Partner
Office 365 is the brand name Microsoft uses for a group of software and services subscriptions, which together provide productivity software and related services to subscribers. For business users, Office 365 offers plans providing e-mail and social networking services through hosted versions of Exchange Server, Skype for Business Server, SharePoint and Office Online, integration with Yammer, as well as access to the Microsoft Office software. Microsoft designed the Office 365 platform as “an always-up-to-date cloud service”.
Office 365 as a platform is constantly evolving and brings a lot of benefits to organizations. However, organizations still need to be pretty clear about how they are going to use the platform and need help in planning their strategy with the platform.
Choosing the right partner to assist with the planning and implementation of Office 365 within your organization is a principal task and it is important to make sure you understand how to identify the right Microsoft partner to help you make your Office 365 implementation a SUCCESS!!!
Here are some points to consider while selecting your Microsoft Office 365 partner:
Exposure and Experience:
Identify a partner that has decent experience working with Microsoft Office 365 projects. Partners that have completed at least 15–20 projects with Office 365, worked on 20K-50K seats and performed different types of projects (Information Architecture, Governance, migration, custom development, etc.). Partner should be able to provide enough customer references related to these projects.
A safe bet would be to select a partner who is Microsoft Gold compliant as it’s the highest honor awarded by Microsoft. A Microsoft Gold partner certificate not only proves the ability of the partner but also certifies their experience in Office 365 deployments for medium and large companies.
The Bigger they are, the more bureaucratic they get:
Larger consulting organizations bring a lot of value in their “large” project experience, but they also bring a lot of overhead too. They are complex in the hierarchy with no flexibility for the clients. They have too many processes which make’s it even more difficult.
Smaller consulting organizations are generally more agile and responsive to your business needs because they are hungry for business. They are also much more focused around specific technologies. A midsize company with the right technology expertise is the best bet as they provide great service, are flexible with a decent cost.
Another important aspect that differentiates a good partner is the treatment and support that they offer customers both in the process of implementation and post-delivery phases.It is very important that after implementation, the partner provides support for maintenance, training and ongoing upgrades and development. A company with 24X7X365 days’ support with a fully loaded support team can be a perfect hire.
Don’t go for the Cheapest:
Cost if an important factor but it is also important that your vendor makes a reasonable margin on your business. If not, then either quality or delivery is going to suffer. Or by not making enough money or with a weak plan they might run out of business leaving your project at risk.
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Originally Published by SharePoint Consultants NGenious Solutions Inc. on 7 Sept 2016