Is your business ready for Microsoft Office 365?
Dear Australian Business Owner/IT Manager/CIO/Reader,
This is an open letter to help you understand if you are ready to roll out Office 365 in your business. It is been a month since Microsoft has started rolling out Office 365 services through their data centres in Sydney and Melbourne. So it is just about time for Australian businesses to start reaping the benefits of Office 365. However, remember, Office 365 is not for all and might not suit all your needs. So I take this opportunity to write this open letter to you so that you cover all the bases before jumping on the Office 365 bandwagon. So let’s find out if your business is ready for Office 365.
What is Office 365?
Am I ready for Office 365?
Here is the list of questions that I use in my consulting engagements to guide various IT stakeholders to start thinking about the Office 365 services.
- Do your employees use outdated Office Productivity Suit (Word, PowerPoint, Excel) & Exchange (Email) in your business?
- Do you have a SharePoint sites supporting your Intranet and/or extranet portal?
- Are you worried about employee productivity in your business? And want to give them best tools to enhance their workplace productivity?
- Are your users mobile and require access to office documents on the go?
- Do you feel that upgrading your on-premises Microsoft Office, SharePoint, Lync and Exchange is very painful exercise?
- Do you have an internal communications platform managed through PBX or VOIP? Do you want use cloud-based best-in-class communications platform?
- Are you spending much money and resources to ensure your employee productivity and communications tools are running as expected?
- Do you want to free up your IT resources for doing mundane administration task and rather get them to work with the business to improve productivity?
- Do you want to get better ROI on every dollar you spend?
- Do you want to ensure that your data is protected by best-in-class security measures?
- Have you ever thought of running a Paperless office?
If you have answered YES to most of the above questions, I would say that your business is ready to move to the Office 365 platform and to start saving business resources.
Traditionally Australian businesses have held back from the cloud due to various issues such as:
- Date Sovereignty
- Network Latency
- Security Breaches
- System uptime — resilience
- Lack of skilled IT resources
The above issues should no longer bother you as Office 365 has started making inroads in Australia.
With Microsoft supporting new and existing Office 365 tenants on local Australian data centres, the issue of data sovereignty and network latency are no longer show stoppers. Also, Microsoft has puts in utmost importance in ensuring security and resilience SLAs measure are in place. Check out their ever growing FAQs on the Office 365 Trust site.
1. We restrict physical data center access to authorized personnel and have implemented multiple layers of physical…products.office.com
We provide financial backing to our commitment to achieve and maintain the service levels for each service. — Microsoft Technet
Check out the Microsoft Online Services Volume Licensing Documents for Australian Customers here.
Also recently, Australians Signals Directorate (ASD) has granted certification for Office 365 and Micsoft Azure.
Microsoft Office 365 and Microsoft Azure are now Certified by the Australian Government for the handling of Unclassified — Dissemination Limiting Markers (DLM) data. — James Kavanagh, National Security Officer, Microsoft Australia
Here is the link to the ASD Certified Cloud Services in Australia.
Now that we proved that your business is ready for Office 365, we need to put a plan in place to make the move to the cloud a smooth experience. Remember proper planning and buy-in from senior management is very critical for any successful Office 365 Migration.
Always plan your migration project into smaller achievable steps.
Check Office 365 subscription Australian plans and pricing by clicking here.
P.S.: Please feel free to add your thoughts in the Responses section below on how to check if a business is ready for the Office 365 cloud services.
Jag is focussed on Information Management using Office 365 and SharePoint. He writes about Business Consulting, Architecture, User Adoption & Team Management. He is passionate about cloud technologies.