Today, we are seeing more and more SMEs moving to Office 365 for various reasons but mainly hoping to increase their productivity and getting costs under control. Surely it sounds exciting to move everything onto the cloud and make it accessible from wherever they are, whichever device they use. It almost sounds too good to be true getting 1TB of cloud storage for each and every user.
What we are also seeing is the fact that without a carefully planned Office 365 migration strategy, information becomes even more segregated and expected productivity gains fall short of targets. On most organisations members of staff are simply given two more locations to save their files, namely SharePoint and OneDrive, in addition to existing three locations which are home drive, shared drive and local drives on their desktops. One of our customers recently mentioned their concerns that they were creating more than six copies of the same version of a document due to its being saved to different locations and requested over and over again.
Office 365 actually offers way more than an e-mail inbox, a copy of office suite and couple of locations to save files. SharePoint and OneDrive are designed to ensure one version of truth i.e. a single copy of each document is accessible at all times by all members of staff who needs to access that document.
Two main features to mention are the following:
SharePoint offers a true information store which allows classification of documents using metadata. Instead of creating more and more folders in an ad-hoc, uncontrolled fashion, it allows documents to be tagged with whatever metadata organisation sees relevant. Proposals can simply be associated with customers and opportunities. Finding documents then becomes as simple as filtering proposals for a given customer, wherever the document is in the hierarchy, actually removing the need for a hierarchy.
Beyond being a powerful information management platform, SharePoint and OneDrive allows users to share documents, instead of attaching them to e-mails ensuring only a single copy of the document is maintained. Multiple users can simultaneously, and almost magically, work on the same document completely eliminating the need for documents being e-mailed for reviews and approvals. It is even possible to share documents with external users outside the organisation using a link which can be disabled at any time.
A new Office 365 feature, Delve allows users to browse through all recent documents with one click, even enabling them to find a document that their colleague has mentioned verbally!
In ISAAC Intelligence we help organisations to go through the transition, uncovering full potential of Office 365 for them.