Are you prepared for the challenges of migrating your organization to Office 365? If not, you’d better get ready for a bumpy ride.
That’s because Microsoft announced several policy changes in recent years that, in essence, will force customers using the Office suite to move to its Office 365 paid service. Even Gartner analysts see this coming, predicting that, "By YE20, it [Microsoft] will announce that only Office 365 ProPlus will be supported for accessing Office 365 online services. Office traditional will not be supported."
Not that Microsoft needs to drum up business for Office 365. At the end of 2018, Office 365 reached 155 million monthly active users. And, as of March 2019, nearly 500,000 U.S. businesses were using Office 365.
Sooner or later, an Office 365 migration will take place at your company, if it hasn’t already. And, if you’re the one who has to manage it, you will have a daunting challenge in front of you. If you’re successful, users throughout the company will be able to take advantage of this toolset to improve productivity, collaboration, and performance. But what defines “success”?
Well, ask yourself this…why has Blockbuster all but disappeared while Netflix and other streaming services have become the go-to standard? Why do users listen to music via streaming services like Spotify and Pandora?
It’s all about the experience. Today’s digital users have quickly adapted to the convenience of accessing practically anything online. Streaming services give users instant access to the content they want without any hassles. And users want the same experience from their business applications.
So, how can you ensure a “successful” Office 365 migration? The key is to focus on the user experience.
Optimizing the user experience is precisely why Microsoft recommends direct internet connections for Office 365. Routing Office 365 traffic through a traditional hub-and-spoke network adds latency and degrades the user experience. In addition, most legacy firewalls can’t handle the 40-percent increase in network utilization caused by Office 365, another factor hampering the user experience.
Whether you’re just beginning to deploy Office 365 or you're in the middle of your migration, delivering a fast user experience is critical. That's part of the reason why most organizations migrate to Office 365 in phases. Making sure each app is optimized for the best performance is a wise strategy, as each app has its own feature set and use case—and it's own impact on performance. Fine-tuning each of these applications will provide users with the best possible experience.
One of the key features of Office 365 is that it improves collaboration throughout an organization. Enhanced collaboration can help give your company a competitive advantage and faster time to market by allowing employees to bring their best ideas to life. But how can people collaborate effectively if their apps are underperforming, disconnecting, or painfully slow? Not only would this lead to frustrated users, but it would also lead to a very unhappy C-suite.
So, which Office 365 migration experience do you want? One where employees are toasting you with champagne and hoisting you on their shoulders in celebration (while deserved, it probably won’t happen) or one where you have a queue full of helpdesk tickets with complaints about Office 365?
I know which one I would want.
Want to learn more? Download this eBook to learn how to deliver a successful Office 365 migration that will keep your users productive and happy.
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Steve Grossenbacher is a senior product marketing manager at Zscaler