3 Ways to Get the Best ROI on Your Microsoft 365 Investment

Post Date: 05/25/2021
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The decision to move to a consolidated collaboration experience is a no-brainer, but organizations often get hung up by the human element of the move. While there are countless guides that go over how to take advantage of certain features in Microsoft 365, in this blog post I’d like to home in on three points to help your transition be as easy as possible.

1. Evaluate Your Environment

Whether you’re the executive who made the decision, a mid-level manager, or a line worker, it’s everyone’s responsibility to understand the business processes you go through, where information resides, and how that info is transmitted.

When you’re having these conversations as an organization, make sure it’s in a safe space for everyone to speak their minds. If someone mentions that they use an “Unapproved Location” for certain scenarios, don’t shame or penalize them for it; you want to encourage genuine conversation about how information moves around your organization. Be sure to keep a detailed summary of everything in a central location so everyone can review it over time.

2. Build Relationships with Peers in Your Industry

When you first make the transition to Microsoft 365 you really want to get the most out of it. The easiest way to do that is by talking to people in the same industry and seeing what insights they have to offer. Reach out to contacts you’ve made over the years and ask them what their experience moving to the platform was like. Consider questions such as:

  • What hang-ups did they encounter?
  • What made it easy or difficult to be successful?
  • Where are they today with the adoption?
  • Are there any persistent issues they’ve been encountering?

3. Consider Hiring a Consultant

Even if you have a great network of industry peers that you can rely on, hiring a consultant may still be worthwhile. While this may sound like “taking the easy way out,” it can be a great load lifted off the shoulders of IT to hire someone outside of the organization who’s 1) handled a Microsoft 365 migration before and 2) has expertise in your vertical. Plus, if you followed the first piece of advice, you’d be able to expedite the process by sharing some of your own discoveries.

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Those aforementioned industry relationships also come into play here. You’ll be able to direct the consultant towards any known red flags that peers have had to deal with or, conversely, compare those issues with what the consultant has advised you on. Depending on your requirements, that consultant is going to identify additional solutions to match all your needs.

Make sure to ask for options instead of just going with the first third-party solution they suggest; if you have migration, backup, and certain compliance needs, try to find a vendor that covers all of these. That way you can reduce the number of outside companies you’re working with.

Final Thoughts

If you do some of the pre-work to understand your environment yourself, consult with industry peers, and bring in a knowledgeable advisor that can help you manage your move to Microsoft 365, you’ll be able to dramatically expedite your onboarding process to the platform. Better yet, doing this preparation should significantly increase the likelihood of having a successful adoption and reduce the risk of shadow IT and people being detractors from your platform.

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Sam Valme is Senior Director of Partner Experience at AvePoint, working out of our Arlington, Virginia office.

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