Microsoft Office 365 is a substantial change to the historical method of providing an office software suite to people in your company. In many ways, it is simpler than the traditional version and license model. But since Office 365 has many options, it is also more complex. Here are five things you need to know about deploying Office 365 Managed Services for your business – things that are best considered before deploying, and areas where engaging the experience and project leadership of a premier partner like Norwell Technology Group can pay huge dividends!
- Offering Options: Office 365 Managed Services has a variety of options with different features and components included in each. Obviously, you need to have a clear road map of what you need for your employees, along with where and how you expect people to work. A traditional office where people only work on-site will have vastly different needs from a multinational corporation with locations around the globe. If you are historically a Microsoft Office desktop user, that experience can continue when at your computer, but with the added benefit of a consistent set of tools for use with today’s mobile devices as well.
- Service Options: There are essentially three modes for implementing Office 365 Managed Services. Cloud, On-Premise, or Hybrid. Fully managed Cloud services provide consistent availability of tools and data without the overhead of managing the servers. However, some may prefer or be mandated by requirements to retain On-Premise servers. Still others may need or prefer a mixture of Cloud and On-Premise, which results in a Hybrid deployment. All these options need to be carefully evaluated as there are clear benefits and costs with each. On-Premise will likely provide quicker response times and require less Internet bandwidth, but carries the cost and complexity of managing your own data center.
- Onboarding or Migrating Options: When it comes to making the switch over, there are again options. These will likely be dictated by the needs of your individual business, weighing such things as productivity down-time, aversion to risk and rate of change in your environment. Even for small businesses, this can be a daunting step to take, and there is no need to go on your own.
- Customizing Concerns: While Office 365 Managed Services is in many ways a stand-alone productivity suite, it is likely not the only mission critical software you use. Customizing your environment to integrate with other platforms such as spam filters or third party utilities can increase the benefits of your transition.
- Compliance Concerns: Regulatory requirements are an unavoidable part of doing business in many sectors. While this may cause some to be hesitant about moving to a Cloud solution, it is important to know that this is important to Microsoft as well. Microsoft states:
- Effectively manage your organization’s data, comply with legal and regulatory requirements, and monitor actions taken on your data using integrated Office 365 compliance solutions for Archiving, eDiscovery, Advanced eDiscovery, and Auditing.
- Our service is verified to meet the requirements specified in ISO 27001, European Union (EU) Model Clauses, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act Business Associate Agreement (HIPAA BAA), and the Federal Information Security Management Act (FISMA).
So as with all new technology, there is great potential, but it comes with a plethora of options. Regardless of the perceived simplicity or complexity of your situation, there is great value in the leadership that an experienced partner like Norwell Technology Group can provide guiding you through your transition to Office 365 Managed Services.