office-365Office 365 is the latest office productivity software offering from Microsoft. As with the previous versions of Microsoft Office you get all the usual applications like Word, Excel, Outlook etc. The 365 version adds to this many additional applications and features and then combines all of this with the latest in cloud technologies. These technologies enable offsite storage, multiple devices, multiple location, integrated synchronization and full enterprise capabilities.

You can avoid costly server upgrades and simplify your IT management with Microsoft Office 365. The system provides anywhere access for your office applications, email, calendar, video conferencing, and documents on laptops, tablets and smartphones – including Apple products such as iPhone, iPad and Mac.

Computer Troubleshooters can provide expert advice and assistance with Office 365 product deployment, set up, and migration of existing users and data, as well as being your single point of contact for system administration, technical, and user support.

What is Office 365?

Microsoft Office 365 is how traditional Microsoft Office products such as Outlook, Word, Excel, & Powerpoint can be purchased on subscription model. Office 365 software can now be purchased on an ongoing basis which means no more upfront licencing costs and continual releases of new versions to subscribers.

Part of Microsoft Office 365’s advantage is the cloud integration of email, storage & teleconferencing. No longer do businesses need to invest in local server technology to get enterprise grade email, as the email host is located in the Microsoft Data Centre – Microsoft do the routine backup, maintenance, and updating of the email host – this means businesses no longer need to invest in upfront hardware, or incur ongoing running costs such as electricity, air con & space.

Similarly with each subscription Microsoft also offers a compelling scenario for offsite storage with 1TB per user cloud storage and file sharing in the cloud. Subscriptions may also include Skype for Business (previously called Lync) that allows group teleconferencing, instant messaging and single point of presence VoIP enabled calling

To gain all these features businesses traditionally needed to invest and spend heavily to maintain & upgrade their systems.

Office 365 Planning

How to avoid an Office 365 migration Disaster ?

While Office 365 is the new default product for businesses using the Microsoft Office suite of products, moving your current set up maybe more difficult than you realise given the Cloud hosted nature of the product.

As a leading Office 365 integrator & Microsoft Partner we have done extensive training and gained significant experience in understanding how to make an Office 365 migration on budget & time with minimum business disruption.

Office 365 Business Setup & Migration Preparation

In doing the new setup, & migration of your new Office 365 environment we would recommend you check the following areas to ensure a smooth transition.

  • Underestimating the size of the job – allocating sufficient time & dedicated resource to enable full migration of data & users without disrupting your business.
  • Office 365 Plans – you need to ensure the plan you can choose is correct for each users requirements, each plan offered by Microsoft has specific capabilities you need to ensure that plans are matched correctly.
  • Delete & Archive – as a cloud enabled product suite you can easily assume that your current data store will need to be loaded, culling existing data stores can save significant migration time, & reduce the risk of overloading.
  • Local Storage – while Office 365 has considerable cloud storage available you may need to consider localized storage for large & archived files to achieve saving on data usage & reduce download times.
  • Timing & Data Loading – in migrating to Office 365 significant data usage is encountered in syncing to the Microsoft data centre, consideration needs to be given to timing of the data transfer (when & how long), data allowances, & the effect on standard business operations due to bandwidth hogging.
  • User Profiles – in setting up users on Office 365 you need to consider copying current user profiles, setting & communicating passwords, and hardware accessibility.
  • Support – misunderstanding the role Microsoft support plays in helping with office 365 deployments should you encounter an issue you don’t understand. SLA Critical & Urgent incidents where they are responsible is fairly prompt, calls are answered within one hour and update provided very 2 and 24 hours respectively. However, issues raised as important or advisory are updated every 72 hours or as decided by Microsoft. So if you are experiencing an issue during migration it will be difficult to get prompt Microsoft support.
  • Ongoing Support & Administration – ultimately Office 365 is shared infrastructure where Microsoft manages the day to day functions of the hosted facility, however like any IT network the local users, profiles, and infrastructure still need to be managed for security, hardware, and administration – don’t assume Microsoft can help with this.

If you embark on the Office 365 journey for your business make sure you do your research, plan, and allow enough time to successfully implement without causing business disruption.

Microsoft Office 365 Setup, Migration & Support

As  a relative new product in the Microsoft suite and as cloud hybrid license, it needs careful handling. Office 365 Set up, Migration & Support is typically handled by a specialist third-party service provider like Computer Troubleshooters who have in depth knowledge and experience in Office 365 deployment.

Outsourced IT support enables both large corporations and small businesses to benefit from experienced IT guidance, ongoing administration, local support & to have access to knowledgeable best practices. It’s simply not possible for a business owner to be an expert at everything. It’s a smart strategy to know when to hire an expert for certain functions that will enable you to keep your focus on moving your business forward.