Office 365 makes the transition simple but, without a clear strategy in place for driving adoption, businesses can’t and won’t unleash the platform’s full business value. Miadria provides technical deployment and more importantly change management for driving adoption so that businesses unleash Office 365 full business value. Below are 7 recommendations and tips to facilitate effective Office 365 adoption and how to use it to maximize business productivity when completing projects.

1. Top-Down Transformation

To ensure a smooth Office 365 transition leadership buy-in is a must. If employees do not see the higher-ups promoting and using the platform, then neither will they. Just as leaders set a strong example, so do ‘champions’ or ‘power users’ within teams. These are the employees who are not satisfied with the status quo and are really excited about the potential of Office 365.

2. Education and Training

A company’s executive leadership can’t expect employees to take full advantage of Office 365 without giving them proper training and education.Communication is also key, along with making the adoption journey fun.

3. Embrace Office 2016

The release of Office 2016 makes the cloud more accessible. There’s more cloud integration, meaning expanded connectivity options. OneDrive and SharePoint in the cloud allow you to save and share files to the cloud simply and easily. Miadria view Office 2016 as another avenue for businesses to maximize the value of their Office 365 investment. They can use the resources that they purchased with Office 365, which includes Office 2016 for E3 users. As with any new features or new release, of course, there is always going to be a learning curve involved in finding where all of your options and settings reside.

4. Keep Security in Mind

Office 365 currently encompasses more than a dozen applications including OneDrive, OneNote, Outlook, Sway, and Yammer. Adding and making these applications available is straightforward; users can share internally simply by a right-click ‘share with’ and even go as far as co-authoring files in Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. Office 365 relies upon Azure Active Directory for security but organizations should be careful when planning to move sensitive data out of their direct control. Microsoft has also added Data Loss Prevention for both SharePoint and Exchange to add an additional level of security. But, as with anything new, a specific understanding of security should always be in the front of your mind.

5. MDM and Mobile Productivity

Miadria can help with Office 365’s mobile capabilities, in particular, its ability to help increase overall productivity. Office 365 makes it easier for users to access their resources on any device, from anywhere, without worrying connectivity and security. For example, users can access Office applications on their tablets and phones, and mobile device management (MDM) is now included in Office 365 for all mobile devices. Lastly, Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) shifts responsibility from the consumer to the vendor (in this case, Microsoft) in the sense that, if it doesn’t perform as required, you simply turn the service off and stop paying.

6. Internal Collaboration

One of Office 365’s most advanced productivity boons is the internal collaboration capability afforded by OneDrive for Business (OD4B) and SharePoint (SP). A user can upload a file to the document library, click on the document, share it with a user or group, as well as work collaboratively on the document at the same time. Attachments are challenging for all organizations as users seem to use email as their file cabinet. SP and OD4B enable the use of ‘links’ to files as opposed to attachments, and both in OWA and Exchange using the MessageOps tool, you can click on ‘Attach’ but be given the option of uploading to OD4B and sharing links, which adds versioning and collaboration using the process with which users are familiar. Using OD4B and SP enables users to securely work on any device using browser-based versions of Microsoft’s most popular apps, and having the ability to check out, edit, and upload the changes the next time the user is online.

7. Skype for Business

Skype for Business offers great Office 365 functionality for videoconferencing, online meetings, and instant messaging as productivity tools for any size business. Users can connect via Skype, talk back and forth through their PC or on a phone, and be making edits on a file simultaneously or serially, with the ability to step back to previous versions as needed.