Adopting and using Office 365 is a big investment and enabling and sustaining the capabilities of the Office 365 platform can be challenging even for the largest organization. Just maintaining deep knowledge on the entire platform and understanding the implications of each tool and every enhancement on your environment alone can be daunting. It’s why taking the “if you build it they will come” approach to Office 365 is simply destined for failure.
“Just maintaining deep knowledge on the entire platform and understanding the implications of each tool and every enhancement on your environment alone can be daunting”
One proven solution to maximizing and sustaining your Office 365 and SharePoint solutions is to adopt a managed, Center of Excellence approach. Let’s explore the common challenges of companies with Office 365 and SharePoint solutions and how a Center of Excellence can remedy them.
- You struggle with user adoption or see other colleagues struggling to understand the value of Office 365. Users will not flock to the higher value features of Office 365 without training and support. They can send emails and use online file shares on their own, but social content, publishing, project management, document management, business automation, business intelligence, and a lot more, need support from skilled personnel.
- You know you need a broader Vision, Roadmap, and Plan. A plan is required to provide the platform tools, but there are a lot of moving parts required to effectively launch, train, and support your end users for an effective set of capabilities.
- You know there is a lot of capability in those menu items, but you don’t really know what they do or how to use them effectively. Office 365 is a big platform – it’s Microsoft Teams, Project Online, Planner, SharePoint & SharePoint Online, OneDrive, Exchange, PowerBI, Flow, Yammer, and PowerApps and more – and it takes dedication by multiple people to truly understand all the functionality. There is a lot of value to be gained with the right people to help you understand and leverage it.
- You need help with Governance & Communication strategies. Governance is a difficult undertaking for many organizations. You see the value in bringing in a partner that has experience in helping organizations understand how to undertake envisioning of key, strategic elements of platforms this large. A partner with a process and set of questions ready to hit the ground running will save you a lot of time.
- You can’t keep up with all the enhancements. Microsoft is releasing changes to the Office 365 platform at a brisk pace. Keeping up with the features in your tenant, applications, and the impact they have on your end users can be difficult to manage. You need someone who not only is abreast of all of the enhancements but also knows your deployment and is accustomed to reviewing your administration center, identifying the key information, and working within a framework to communicate the updates to you and your team.
- You need Training that is specific to your policies, guidelines, and intended use of Office 365. Generic training falls short when you’ve spent the time to deliver and support Office 365 in a way that works best for your users. You don’t want all that effort to be wasted with “one size fits all” training. You want to guide your users down the path you have built for them.
- You have varying needs that can be difficult to forecast. You may need architecture, development, analysis, or troubleshooting at various times. You also may not understand the best way to solve a problem because you don’t have the experience in-house to understand the depth of all the features available to you.
- Your IT Department wants to focus on solutions, projects, and innovation, not training and support. Time spent supporting user requests takes employees away from other priority work. Ad hoc responses and supporting users is critical, but it’s not what every IT expert or Business Analyst wants from their career. Keep your people happy and engaged in doing the work they enjoy that provides value to your organization. Delegate the rest.
- You need elasticity in your team. Sometimes you need more help for small projects, sometimes you need less. Many times, you have two critical issues or projects, and it’s difficult to triage. Employees go on vacation and many prefer not to be on-call. A small cost to provide around the clock SLAs may be highly valuable to your organization.
- You don’t have a full-time employee with enough skills across the platform. Between a variety of skills (Business Analyst, Developer, Architect, Support Engineer, Workflow Specialist, Information Rights Guru, etc.) it is simply too difficult to have a single person or team fractionally available that knows you, your organization, and Office 365. It’s much more valuable and cost-effective to set this up as a service.
Learn more about the Center of Excellence framework by downloading our free whitepaper here.