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Top tips for successful Office 365 adoption

Office 365 is becoming a staple in many businesses across the UK. In a recent study conducted by Serviceteam IT, over 76% of businesses surveyed used Office 365 in their workplace. With access to almost 30 applications within the suite, Office 365 offers new ways to increase productivity, collaboration and flexibility within businesses.

If you purchase new, or renew existing, Office 365 licences:

SAVE AT LEAST 5%

This includes Exchange Online, SharePoint Online, Skype for Business, OneDrive for Business and the entire suite of Office 365 pricing.

Adoption of Office 365 is not a straightforward process however, and resistance to change can be common when attempting to adopt new technologies. Driving adoption requires an understanding of the specific challenges your workers face and how Office 365 can provide a clear solution to these issues. Office 365 adoption is a continuous process. The suite is constantly being updated, with new applications designed to change the way in which businesses operate. This means that the adoption process is never fully complete. Businesses need to be aware of the changes that have been made and how to maximise the use of any new applications. Here are some top tips to help ensure the smooth adoption of Office 365 in your business.

Before deploying Office 365:

1. Expand beyond user training:

With over 28 applications that are designed to work together within a single user interface. These applications offer the opportunity to revolutionise the way in which individuals work both individually and within a team. In order to make the best use of Office 365, it is useless for firms to simply offer individual training on specific applications. Instead a continuous user adoption program must be initiated at the start of the migration to ensure that the best use of the suite is made.

2. Why are you adopting Office 365

Ensuring that everyone within the business understands why you’re adopting Office 365 is a key step in avoiding the resistance to change. If you want people to buy into the value of the new technology you need to ensure that those promoting the adoption understand why Office 365 is valuable for the business.

One strategy that could be used to increase understanding of the benefits of Office 365 is an awareness campaign for staff. This could include sending out a top tips email that includes ways they can use Office 365 to help them work better.

3. Lead by example

Choosing passionate and excited people to champion the move to Office 365 can help to ease the pressure on the core team implementing the technology. These champions can help to teach their peers how to complete their daily tasks more effectively through the use of Office 365. Generally younger employees are more responsive to changes in technology, so encourage these employees to lead by example.

4. Map current business process

Due to the multitude of applications available, employees may find it difficult to understand how these apps can work together effectively. One way to encourage employees to make full use of the applications available to them to understand the processes they follow in order to complete their work on a day to day basis. From this, mapping these processes inside of Office 365 can help to illustrate to employees how they can complete tasks more effectively.

5. Set up channels for feedback

It is important that during the adoption process champions and other employees are able to give feedback on the adoption process. This means that if additional training is required this can be arranged or the adoption plan altered if this is needed.

Don’t have Office 365 yet? Click the link for a free no obligation 30 day trial of Office 365 E5 for 25 users. Our Microsoft experts will be close at hand to help you make the most of the trial and unlock all the benefits. Call us on 0121 468 0101. When the trial has completed you can decide to continue and purchase the Office 365 subscription which is right for you. We can migrate your data and systems over so you’re ready to start using it straight away.

How to install Office 365:

1. Decide which plan you want to use

There are a number of different options for Office 365 plans that are available to businesses. Businesses can therefore decide which applications they are likely to need and then select the plan that is right for them. Serviceteam IT can offer advice and support in helping to decide which product is best for you.

2. Create accounts and add your domain

The next stage of the installation process is to use the Setup Wizard in order to create account for your users and add your own domain. The wizard allows you to personalise each users ID and email address.

3. Install Office 365

The last stage once all the user accounts have been set up is to install Office 365. Go to https://portal.office.com/OLS/MySoftware. Once you’ve logged in click install and this should install Office 365 on your employees’ computer.

After deployment:

After the deployment of Office 365 it is important to maintain a focus on user adoption. Typically, after deployment there are some applications that are underutilised. Applications such as Mail and OneDrive are often used frequently, whilst others such as Yammer are less widely used. In addition, changes to applications over time means that users may get confused if there is not a continuous plan in place to train users. These are a number of steps that can be taken after deployment to ensure the use of Office 365 is maximised.

1. Check in with staff regularly

You can use Microsoft’s Activity Reports in the Admin Centre to see which apps are being used the most. This information can then be used as part of the check-ins. You can then ask employees why they’re not using certain applications and provide training and tips as to how to maximise the use of the apps that are being underutilised. You can also monitor the activity reports to see if you can downsize individuals’ licenses if they are not using certain applications frequently enough to warrant having them.

2. Plan for changes and updates

It is important to have in place a plan for any changes that may take place to avoid employee confusion. Subscribing to Microsoft’s weekly updates email can help to ensure that you stay ahead of the game and prepare for changes.

3. Provide on-demand micro-training

In order to ensure that employees stay up-to-date with any changes that are made to apps, micro-training resources may need to be provided. This doesn’t have to be a difficult task. Microsoft produce a large amount of ‘how-to’ resources and videos and there are large banks of resources that can be easily found online.

For more information on Office 365 and the advantages of use in your business check out our other blogs on Office 365.

With over 20 years of experience, Serviceteam IT design and deliver sophisticated connectivity, communication, continuity, and cloud services, for organisations that need to stay connected 24/7. We take the time to fully understand your current challenges, and provide a solution that gives you a clear understanding of what you are purchasing and the benefits it will bring you.

To find out how we can help you, call us on 0121 468 0101, use the Contact Us form, or why not drop in and visit us at 49 Frederick Road, Edgbaston, Birmingham, B15 1HN.

We’d love to hear from you!

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Top 10 Reasons to Use Office 365

Our top 10 reasons to use Office 365 should include the Hybrid option, then you don’t have to make a choice between cloud or on-premise. You get the best of both worlds. For the majority of businesses, Office 365 makes much more sense, and Microsoft is not a consumer-grade advertising provider. Here are our Top 10 reasons why we think Office 365 is best.

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Compare Office 365 Pricing: Making the Most of your investment

Office 365 pricing is competitive and the first choice for organisations that need a cloud-based suite of productivity and collaboration applications.

If you purchase new, or renew existing, Office 365 licences:

SAVE AT LEAST 5%

This includes Exchange Online, SharePoint Online, Skype for Business, OneDrive for Business and the entire suite of Office 365 pricing.

Getting to know Office 365 pricing

Download Getting to know Office 365

Office 365 Pricing: Of course I’m someone who uses this suite in the office, and almost everywhere in fact. I’m not at all surprised to see so many other organisations choosing Office 365, even if you compare Office 365 pricing UK changes since 1st January 2017. Most organisations are aware that Office 365 gives you access to the core services, such as Exchange Online, SharePoint Online, Skype for Business and OneDrive for Business. What many are not aware of are the components of Office 365 also contain fantastic automation, such as Flow, analytics tools, in the form of PowerBi, and even an application development tool, PowerApps. That’s not to mention the often forgotten things such as the self-learning audit tool, Delve, the chat platform, Yammer, and the media curation tool, Sway.

Having Microsoft Office available almost anytime, practically anywhere and on virtually any device makes it a great option for current users. They can build on their experience with Microsoft solutions with hybrid implementation, whilst also enjoying the flexibility of a cloud-based service being quickly adopted by users due to familiarity. Even organisations with no previous investment in Microsoft will find Office 365 has a lot to offer in terms of comprehensiveness, security, support and Office 365 pricing is still competitive with other services. Last year the Gartner Office 365 Survey revealed adoption of Office 365 is widespread. Key insights from the survey include:

Click the link for a free no obligation 30 day trial of Office 365 E5 for 25 users. Our Microsoft experts will be close at hand to help you make the most of the trial and unlock all the benefits. Call us on 0121 468 0101. When the trial has completed you can decide to continue and purchase the Office 365 subscription which is right for you. We can migrate your data and systems over so you’re ready to start using it straight away.

Office 365 Leads the Way

78% of surveyed organisations are currently using or planning to use Office 365. That’s a 13% increase on the previous survey in 2014. As a result, Office 365 is arguably the most popular cloud-based productivity suite.

The comprehensive suite of Office 365 applications continues to drive productivity, with Exchange Online for e-mail and calendar use the most popular, OneDrive for Business is second and Office 365 ProPlus, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, etc. ranked third.

Is it plain sailing?

As the usage of Exchange Server on-site has hardly budged it suggests that hybrid deployments are proving popular. Due to Office 365 pricing being geared towards total adoption it’s actually more competitive to buy cloud licences than it is to add existing or upgrade new licences. However, hybrid implementation, customisation, Single Sign-On with Multi-Factor Authentication and general administration of the service are key areas where the experience can be improved. From my perspective I can only encourage organisations considering adopting Office 365 take these factors in to consideration. As a result, many organisations are taking managed on-boarding and migration support to overcome these obstacles. It’s a steep learning curve, as we’ve seen with our own customers.

 

Just because it’s ‘in the Cloud’, it does not make it easy to deliver from an operational and technical perspective. Decision makers are keen to take advantage of competitive Office 365 pricing and users of course are keen to adopt. More often than not, if the deployment has been done properly, users believe it’s easy to use, intuitive and safe. Before making a wholesale move to any new platform every organisation must carefully evaluate what’s involved for successful results. A managed solution can help you transform.

  • Compare Office 365 Pricing Plans:

With so many confusing options in the massive list of Office 365 subscription plans, rely on the expertise of a Cloud Services Provider (CSP) to match you with the right one. Office 365 Pricing is still competitive, however, in order to get the best Office 365 pricing only acquire licences appropriate for each individual user. You can find more on plans and pricing in our Compare Office 365 Plans.
Office 365 Pricing Plans Comparison

  • Prepare your Infrastructure:

While you should be focused on the broader business outcomes of an Office 365 deployment, a cloud managed services provider will be expected to focus on the detailed process of preparing your infrastructure for transformation. A cloud managed services provider will discover your infrastructure before any transition, troubleshoot during the delivery and support you fully following a successful completion.

  • Get Hybrid & Administration Right:

There is no doubt about it, hybrid implementations and administration of the services are challenging. By partnering with the right cloud managed services provider, you will receive crucial support and get hybrid & Administration with PowerShell right.

Office 365 Hybrid Deployment

  • On-board your Users:

Don’t leave your users out of the loop, engage them at the earliest possible opportunity, not when you have everything up and running. The right partner will help you evaluate a number of options to get all stakeholders on-side as quickly and as painlessly as possible.

 

User Office 365

  • Seamless Email:

Email is the core of workplace communication and, as a result, it is perceived as one of the toughest applications to move. It cannot be stressed enough how important it is to make the transition as smooth as possible. Find a cloud managed services provider that can demonstrate they have successfully migrated TB of email, how tough it was and what they did to remedy the inevitable problems.

Relying on a cloud-based collaboration and productivity suite is now becoming the norm. As there is with any IT solution, there are ways to make the most of Office 365 to enhance productivity, however, there are equally as many ways to cause productivity to grind to a halt. A cloud managed services provider can help mitigate the risks, enabling you take full advantage of Office 365 today, save money with competitive Office 365 pricing and reap the results of everything Office 365 can offer tomorrow.

For more information on Office 365, download this Getting to know Office 365 eBook.  In order to offer our clients complete peace of mind, we’re a Silver Productivity Partner with Microsoft and use select partners for High Availability. Through our partnerships, you can choose from multiple service tiers to target specific requirements.

If you would like to save money on Office 365 pricing, new or renewal,  get in touch today: 0121 468 0101.


With over 20 years of experience, Serviceteam IT design and deliver sophisticated connectivitycommunicationcontinuity, and cloud services, for organisations that need to stay connected 24/7. We take the time to fully understand your current challenges, and provide a solution that gives you a clear understanding of what you are purchasing and the benefits it will bring you.

To find out how we can help you, call us on 0121 468 0101use the Contact Us form, or why not drop in and visit us at 49 Frederick Road, Edgbaston, Birmingham, B15 1HN.

We’d love to hear from you!

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Which Office 365 Plan is right for you? [Infographic]

Office 365 Plans: We’ve already written extensively on why we recommend Office 365 over Google Apps. We’ve also written extensively on using OData, PowerShell or ActiveDirectory, to get the most out of Office 365 for you and your users.

However, as there are so many different packages available, it can quite a puzzle to work out which Office 365 Plan is the right one for you and your organisation.

That’s why we’ve decided to create an easy-to-read chart that allows you to quickly compare the different Exchange Online Plans and Office 365 Enterprise plans and their main features.

Office 365 Plans & Exchange Online Plans Comparison Table

View full size (2480 × 3508)

Also included are our prices (**UPDATED February 2017**)

It’s also important to note that on January 1st 2017, Microsoft increased their UK prices to bring them in-line with the Eurozone. This means Enterprise Cloud products such as Office 365 will be 22% more expensive come January. However, to shield yourself against these increased costs in the future, it’s important that you renew or purchase Office 365 licenses before December 31st 2016. To read the Microsoft Statement in full, click here.

Office 365 Plans - Serviceteam ITTo find out more about Office 365, check out our brochure by clicking on the link below :

[Office 365 Brochure]

This contains information and scenarios demonstrating how an Office 365 Plan can benefit every aspect of your organisation from Sales & Marketing to R&D and Legal.

If you would like to renew your Office 365 licence, or would like to know how it could benefit your organisation feel free to get in touch.

With over 20 years of experience, Serviceteam IT design and deliver sophisticated connectivitycommunicationcontinuity, and cloud services, for organisations that need to stay connected 24/7. We take the time to fully understand your current challenges, and provide a solution that gives you a clear understanding of what you are purchasing and the benefits it will bring you.

To find out how we can help you, call us on 0121 468 0101use the Contact Us form, or why not drop in and visit us at 49 Frederick Road, Edgbaston, Birmingham, B15 1HN.

We’d love to hear from you!

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Beat Office 365 Price Increases | 5% Off

If you purchase new, or renew existing Office 365 licences, you can avoid Office 365 price increases. We will offer at least a 5% reduction on the current 2017 prices for 12 months. This offer includes Exchange Online, SharePoint Online, Skype for Business and the entire suite of Office 365.

If you purchase new, or renew existing, Office 365 licences:

SAVE AT LEAST 5%

This includes Exchange Online, SharePoint Online, Skype for Business, OneDrive for Business and the entire suite of Office 365 pricing.

Office 365 - Serviceteam ITOffice 365 price increases 22%

I’m sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but Microsoft have yesterday announced a 22% price increase for their cloud services, including the Office 365 price, from 1st January 2017. If you are considering an Office 365 subscription, I highly recommend you complete your purchase for a 12 month commitment before 31st December 2016 in order to avoid Office 365 & Exchange Online price increases.

It’s obviously an inevitability of Brexit, and thankfully, we were proactive and forward thinking on behalf of our customers and protected their Office 365 price. We took the decision to add or renew all of our customer users with 12 month terms at the end of Q3 2016. We enable almost 5000 users, communicating across 4 continents and 15 time zones, who expect the best possible service with the least possible disruption.

 The bulletin we have received from Microsoft in full:

Office 365 Price: Important changes for customers buying enterprise software and cloud services in British pound.

We wanted to give you advance notification of some important changes to pricing coming in January 2017.

Effective January 1, 2017, we will be increasing British pound pricing to harmonise prices for enterprise software and cloud services within the EU/EFTA region. We periodically assess the impact of local pricing of our products and services to ensure there is reasonable alignment across the region and this change is an outcome of this assessment.  These changes are similar to the recent harmonisation adjustments to pricing in Norwegian krone and Swiss franc we made in April 2016.

From January, British pound prices for on-premises enterprise software will increase by 13% to realign close to euro levels.  Most enterprise cloud prices in British pounds will increase by 22% to realign close to euro levels.  Even after this adjustment, customers across the region buying in British pound will still find our cloud offerings highly competitive. For indirect sales where Microsoft products are sold through resellers, final prices and currency of sale will continue to be determined by them. In the EU/EFTA region, partners will continue to have access to prevailing prices in euro, Norwegian krone, Swiss franc, Swedish krona, and Danish krone, along with revised prices in British pounds.

For business customers, these changes will not affect existing orders under annuity volume licensing agreements for products that are subject to price protection. For example, customers with Enterprise Agreements have price protection on previously ordered enterprise software and cloud services, and will not experience a price change during the term of their agreement. Similarly, business customers with cloud commitment subscriptions such as Office 365 also receive price protection during their subscription term, which is normally twelve months from the start of paid subscription.

Prices for new product additions under existing volume licensing agreements and purchases under new contracts will be as defined by the price list at the time of order.  This pricing change will not apply to consumer software or consumer cloud services.

If you have any questions or would like to speak to someone regarding protecting your Office 365 Price please get in touch.

With over 20 years of experience, Serviceteam IT design and deliver sophisticated connectivitycommunicationcontinuity, and cloud services, for organisations that need to stay connected 24/7. We take the time to fully understand your current challenges, and provide a solution that gives you a clear understanding of what you are purchasing and the benefits it will bring you.

To find out how we can help you, call us on 0121 468 0101use the Contact Us form, or why not drop in and visit us at 49 Frederick Road, Edgbaston, Birmingham, B15 1HN.

We’d love to hear from you!