Cloud-based applications give businesses extra flexibility and reliability. Microsoft Office 365 is a leading choice, with good reason. It lets a company move its information management tasks to well-tested, well-supported services. Employees can work from anywhere, using any device, and share data securely. Email, calendars, document sharing, text editing, spreadsheets, and presentations are all available in Office 365 applications.

There’s no need to install software when adding employees. All that’s necessary is to give them accounts. They can use any kind of device or operating system that will run a modern Web browser.

Planning the transition

It’s rare to move in one big leap from on-premises to an all-cloud approach. A big job needs to proceed in manageable steps. Some data may need to stay on the premises for policy or legal reasons. For these reasons, many businesses use a hybrid approach. Office 365 provides smooth integration of on-premises and cloud services. Users can manage their accounts with a single sign-on. They can share mail, calendars, and documents between cloud and local servers. Once employees have settled in with the first round, moving more operations over will be relatively easy.

The transition takes effort and planning. A business has to navigate through several steps to make the most of Office 365:

  • Selecting the most suitable plan. Microsoft offers many options to suit a business’s needs.
  • Choosing what to move to the cloud. Planning what to move first and how to connect the cloud and local environments will take careful work.
  • Bringing employees into Office 365. Employees will need accounts and training. This will take some time away from regular work, but doing it properly minimizes the lost time.
  • Migration of email and calendars. It’s important for employees not to miss any email or appointments during the transition. The process can be a cutover, moving all mailboxes at once, or a staged migration, moving them in batches. If there are more than a couple of hundred users, it’s best to run a staged migration, so each stage doesn’t consume too much time.

A managed transition

Handling all this can be a daunting task for a company without previous experience in Office 365. Microsoft offers a certain level of help, but it isn’t a managed service provider.

Norwell Technology’s Office 365 managed services and consulting make the transition easier. With expert help at each step, a business can see all the options and learn what costs and benefits come with each one. The first step will be a feasibility and readiness assessment to make sure the transition can proceed without problems. If your business needs to do more preparation before the move can proceed, Norwell’s experts will let you know what’s necessary.

A managed transition offers significant business advantages over trying to do it all with in-house staff:

  • Less downtime
  • Less chance of data loss
  • Better security
  • More efficient management of resources

Norwell offers a range of service tiers and options to suit business according to their requirements. It will make sure the components that remain on-premises work smoothly with the cloud services.

Many businesses recognize the value of cloud-based office applications, but the magnitude of the job deters them. Working with an experienced managed services provider makes the task less intimidating and shortens the path to a successful completion.

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