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The majority of Microsoft 365 (M365) customers are simply not utilising the bulk of the products and features that are bundled into their subscription.  Identifying and addressing areas of underutilisation could not only help you maximise the value you receive from your investment but help improve your business processes and team’s efficiency.

A powerful tool, M365 is designed to address and solve the pain points commonly experienced in a growing organisation. The challenge business leaders often face is understanding which tools in M365 can help solve which pain points, and how to make that happen.

As Microsoft Partners, we can connect those dots for you. We utilise a simple 4 step process to help identify opportunities for improvement and determine how M365 can help accomplish them.

Achieve a better utilisation of M365 with these four steps:

 

1. Start by identifying where you are at.

Before you dive into finding solutions, it’s always good to generate a baseline of what you are currently doing and how it is working. When we are working with a client to better utilise their M365 environment here are steps we follow:

  1. Technically audit your environment to see how you have configured your apps and security
  2. Learn your business processes and your service delivery from start to finish
  3. Talk with your team to understand how they use the M365 tools daily

2. Recognise where you need help.

Once we have learned more about your business operations, we have a better understanding of what your ideal workflows would look like and what is holding you back from achieving them. We call these obstacles pain points.

By identifying key pain points across your organisation, you can see clearly where you have opportunities to further apply M365.

Questions to ask while looking for pain points:

  • Where are we experiencing bottlenecks?
  • How many different tools do we use to complete a task?
  • How are we handling communication? Is it centralised and simplified?
  • Can our team easily access all the information they need to complete their daily tasks?
  • Are you still physically attaching lots of documents to your emails? Are you still sending lots of emails to your internal staff?

Make sure you consider each department, or team, as they might have different pain points. Including their opinions and feedback in your analysis is very important in order to come up with a relevant solution.

3. Work through some solution scenarios.

After identifying your pain points, it’s time to identify possible solutions.  Creating scenarios and test running solutions helps us find the best possible fit for your team and it also improves their adoption of the new process.

When creating possible scenarios take a pain point and identify the issue, business goal, and possible solution. This allows you to workshop possible solutions and see how you could resolve your issues with M365.

 

Here are some common examples:

Issue: Too many communication tools, one for video conference, one for chat, and one for email. Communication is not centralised.

Business Goal: Increase communication and consolidate communication locations.

Solution: Implement Microsoft Teams with chat and video conferencing, use as single solution for both external and internal calls and communication, augmented with email.

Issue: Logins are secured, but not on every device, and there’s no Multi-Factor-Authentication. Passwords are compromised and invalid logins occur.

Business Goal: Secure our communication and collaboration technology.

Solution: Enable Azure Active Directory service and enable MFA on all devices.

Issue: Employees have to wade through multiple folders in order to find what they need. 

Business goal: Increase efficiency and simplify file organization.

Solution: SharePoint has a super indexing system which means you no longer need lots of confusing folders and sub-folders. We recommend only 3 sub-folders to avoid confusion and simply search for what you are after. just like you are used to when searching the internet.

In each of the examples, it’s clear that attaching a business mindset to each issue and providing the solution via technology, creates a vivid picture of how Microsoft 365 will drive business goals.

4. Implement and learn.

You can work with an IT professional to identify and implement these solutions. However, a huge part of implementation is education. Dropping a new technology and expecting everyone to embrace it is not going to be effective. We utilise workshops or online training systems to detail how this solution will help remove the pain points they were experiencing, show them how to best utilise the solution, and provide training documents to reference while they learn.

Though this process is simple, having someone with an in-depth understanding of the M365 environment can really help you get the most out of it. If you would like assistance getting better utilisation of M365 and optimising your business, book an introductory call with us and lets get started.

I had the craziest experience this week.

A business owner we spoke with had a ransomware attack on Monday, and his entire team of 100 staff got locked out of their network.

Clearly his current IT infrastructure wasn’t up to scratch, which lead to this problem and his team’s productivity going out the window, costing him thousands in lost revenue and hard wage costs - essentially he was paying for an empty office.

His current IT company (which let the problem into his network), scrambled on a fix and managed to get him back up and running the next day.

The most shocking thing here wasn’t that his IT company didn’t have his protection up to scratch ... it was the comment he made to us:

“It only took 1 day for our IT company to fix it and get us back up and running... Wasn’t that good! We feel no need to change providers.”

This blew my mind.

How can a small business owner:

1. Continue to pay a provider that’s not keeping their IT up to date with best practice?

2. Accept a full 8 hours of productivity loss, across 100 staff. That is at least $30,000 of wages that result in ZERO productivity for the day?

3. Then think that 8 hours to resolve the problem is a good result!

4. Want to stick with a company that caused all this headache, loss of revenue and $30,000 expense?

5. Keep operating the same way, with the possibility of having to tolerate it again?

Is this what the IT industry has come to? Is this the accepted expectation levels?

We’re really proud to be able to say that not a single client of ours has ever lost 1 hour of productivity due to Ransomware or Virus attacks.

I know it may be hard to believe, but it’s the lengths we go to, and the expectation we set for our clients.

Has this happened to you?

Do you think you’re settling too?

Do you no longer want to settle?

If you can spare 4mins, I would love to hear about your experiences or expectations around this – it’s been bugging me all week!

Stop Settling!

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