“Why should we work with you guys for Office365, can’t we just purchase this directly from Microsoft?” …..if we had an FAQ section, this question would feature prominently and rightly so, I’d be asking exactly the same question with my client side hat on.
As we don’t have an FAQ section, this short article will hopefully address the point head on.
Hold on.. Why adopt Office365 in the first place?
Microsoft are really good at developing (and selling) tools that make our working and personal lives easier, Office365 is a great example of this and offers a number of benefits. These include:
- Enabling flexible working capabilities – allowing access to productivity tools from anywhere using any device.
- Enhanced resiliency – a single point of failure doesn’t exist and service uptime is underpinned by a service level agreement
- Added security – complimentary tooling and policy options provide an extra layer of security against Malware, Spam and Data Loss.
And then there is the productivity and collaboration benefits that are gained through using Office365 properly, document co-authoring, video conferencing, instant messaging, staff and client engagement tools etc For organisations that already use traditional Microsoft Office tools; Office365 is the next logical step and helps both the business and IT.
So why align with a partner?
Microsoft rely on their clients and their partner community to ensure that their tools are properly implemented, adopted and managed which is where the real value of the product set is realised. Whilst a rather generic response to this question, its absolutely true (although its usually supported by an analogy involving a house build or other major DIY project!). You can possess all of the right tools to do the job but without the right set of skills and experience, the project may end up being painful; but that’s obvious right, so lets be specific about why working with partners makes sense.
- Flexibility – Microsoft publish a per user, per month cost which looks attractive, but this is based upon making an annual commitment for licenses, you can pay monthly, but they’ll charge you more. Working with a partner enables you to scale your licenses up and down each month without having to pay an inflated fee for the privilege. What’s more, you can change the type of licenses that are required month by month as well.
- Enhanced Support and Management – Whilst Microsoft provide 24×7 support for Office365, it is very much a case of taking a ticket and getting in line should an issue occur. By working with a partner, you get access to a team of people who can help troubleshoot and resolve issues when they occur. As a Gold competency partner, we also have the ability to escalate to Senior Engineers within Microsoft should there be a need to do so.
- Limiting Disruption – At the risk of stating the obvious, you’ll want the transition to go smoothly and without disruption to services like email etc. No partner can guarantee a completely safe passage (this is IT after all), but working with a partner with experience that has encountered the more common challenges will certainly reduce the risk and get you to where you want to go more efficiently.
Feel free to give us a call to discuss any aspect of Office365 or wider cloud adoption objectives on 01635 203 700 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.