So, you’ve got your Office 365 licenses – or maybe you’re thinking about getting them? Which services will you need? How will they interact? What use cases to consider? Fear not – we are here to help!
What is Office 365?
O365 is a great way to connect coworkers and share information. Well-known tools like Exchange, SharePoint with OneDrive and Skype for Business, accompanied by Delve, O365 Groups, Teams, Planner, Power BI, Flow, PowerApps and, last but not least, Yammer, are a powerful business productivity suite, right?
Sure, but this is only the case when the suite is adopted by the organization, i.e. knowledge workers are fully using these tools in their daily work.
Interestingly enough, we saw many customers paying for an O365 subscription and underutilizing it! Seeing such a powerful resource at their disposal not being used to the full, we decided to do something about it.
Where did the idea come from?
After tens and hundreds of meetings with customers we understand that having this many tools in the suite may be confusing.
Exchange is simple. SharePoint is simple (in theory, at least). Skype for Business – simple as well. But the rest can be quite tricky at first.
How about Yammer? OK – it’s an enterprise social network, got it. But which business scenarios is it dedicated for?
And O365 Groups? How about Teams vs O365 Groups?
Delve vs OneDrive?
OneDrive vs SharePoint Team Sites?
Power BI – c’mon, it’s simple. Really? How about self-service BI – what the heck does it mean?
Flow, PowerApps… heeeelp!
And this is not the end. Every couple of months Microsoft adds something new to the suite (like StaffHub recently). This is great in terms of collaboration – but only if you know what the new service is about.
Introducing Office 365
Deployment and adoption of O365 tools and services in the organization requires a couple of steps:
- Developing the business vision
- What are the business needs?
- What are we going to achieve?
- What to deploy?
- Provisioning of O365 services
- Including single sign-on experience for users
- Adaptation of O365 services to organization’s requirements
- Communication plan
- Training and workshops
- Promoting and increasing the use of the O365 services.
Hey – it looks like a high level deployment plan, right? Yeah – almost.
In our experience, in most cases the Developing the business vision step is out of scope… well, it’s only Office after all, isn’t it?
No, it’s not. Not anymore.
It’s a suite. With several flavors – E1, E3, E5, Business Essentials, Business Premium, ProPlus, Kiosk, individual services…
How to choose? What to deploy and adapt? How to make a smart decision and pay less for more?
To address the business vision needs, we prepared a special workshop called Business Productivity Workshop for VIPs (BP VIP for short). Let’s talk about how it can help you make the most of your O365 subscription.
Business Productivity Workshop for VIPs
BP VIP is a unique business workshop for managers and key users. In a form of hands-on labs we present different but real scenarios that O365 tools can be used for.
Dozens of O365 deployment projects we delivered – for small companies and large corporations – make us experts here.
We will inspire you. We will prove the benefits of using O365 in your organization, or… you will prove to yourself that you don’t need it.
We will help you choose the right licensing package. After all, a couple of us have worked as FTEs for Microsoft for years! 😊
Here is a sample agenda for the workshop (of course, we understand you are unique, and we will adapt! Let’s talk 😊).
- Introduction to BP VIP workshop
- Office 365 platform
- Basic information about the platform
- Login to Office 365 portal and applications
- Review of available software and applications (for workstation, web and mobile)
- Office 365 work philosophy
- Working with files using OneDrive
- Quick and easy communication using Skype for Business
- Working with email, calendar and contacts using Outlook
- Working in groups based on Office 365 Groups and MS Teams
- Task delegation and tracking using Microsoft Planner
- Automation of day-to-day tasks with Microsoft Flow
- Office 365 tools usage for daily work – cross-section scenario
- Document sharing and co-authoring inside and outside the organization:
- Tools used: OneDrive, Office Online, Team Sites
- Issues raised: document co-authoring and versioning, data exchange, data storage, data access anytime, anywhere
- Opening a new project in the company and appointing team members:
- Tools used: O365 Groups, MS Planner, OneDrive, Calendar
- Issues raised: task delegation, team member rotation, keeping project data
- Work organization within virtual teams (V-team = a group of people from different departments in the organization, working together on a long-running project):
- Tools used: Skype for Business/Teams, Office 365 Groups, Planner, OneDrive, Delve, Office/Office Online
- Issues raised: virtual meetings/presentations, knowledge sharing within a virtual team, document co-authoring, task execution planning and control.
- Document sharing and co-authoring inside and outside the organization:
Workshop content methodology
O365 is a set of tools and services: OneDrive, OneNote, Office Online, Video Portal, Yammer, Teams, O365 Groups, Planner, Team Sites, StaffHub, Outlook, Skype for Business, Calendar, Excel, Power BI, RMS… (It’s not a complete list).
We are not going to show you all the details. Instead, we have grouped O365 elements into sets of tools and services to create so-called “Workshop Building Blocks”:
- Knowledge sharing – for using OneDrive, OneNote, Office Online, Video Portal and Yammer
- Teamwork – showcasing Teams, O365 Groups, Planner, Team Sites and StaffHub
- Efficient meetings – explaining Outlook, OneNote and Skype for Business
- Personal productivity – demonstrating Outlook, Calendar and OneNote
- Mobility – based on Outlook and OneDrive
- Business intelligence and insight – including Excel and Power BI
- Security & compliance – introducing RMS and eDiscovery.
We use Workshop Building Blocks to show common problems and real-life knowledge workers scenarios, prepared uniquely for your organization. Examples include:
- A virtual team working on a project
- Sharing and exchange of data inside and outside of an organization
- How to kick-off and track new projects
- Data security and company assets during everyday work.
Benefits of the workshop
You may wonder what are the immediate benefits of this workshop. Why not just read the instructions online?
The range of benefits will depend on your business needs. However, there are three main reasons why you may want to consider this service:
- Proper Office 365 license utilization and planning – when your employees know how to use the software, they can start using their licenses to the full. That way you get the maximum ROI
- The O365 services are designed to raise your workers’ efficiency and productivity – this in turn will speed up your business
- We will also raise the security awareness among the users to protect your most valuable assets – your data.
To help companies with their productivity, Microsoft provides Value Discovery Workshop to develop the business vision for O365 deployment. It’s a powerful tool to plan for O365 implementation and usage. However, the sessions are quite formal and largely theoretical which may not answer all of your questions.
Our Business Productivity Workshop for VIPs provides hands-on experience for managers and key users to inspire them and prove the value of the O365 suite. So, our recommendation is – start with BP VIP and then (if necessary) use Value Discovery Workshop to explore the O365 suite even further.
If you have O365 already, the workshop will be executed on your O365 platform. In this case, users will work using their accounts, workstations and mobile phones connected to O365.
If you don’t have O365 yet we can run workshops on our platform, specially prepared for you. We will also share access to Windows 10 machines to provide the full O365 experience through working with locally installed Office applications.
This workshop is not regular training. We are not focused on all the features of individual tools and services. Instead, we are committed to show and prove the value of the entire suite. The main principle is “better together” – we will show you how to use all the tools and services together to make your business life easier.
Depending on O365 subscriptions you have, some scenarios may be unavailable. Preparing O365 and the workstation environment is out of scope, but we will provide support. Alternatively, we can provide an O365 test tenant dedicated for the workshop, but we strongly encourage you to use your environment if available. Most of the time it’s the first step for broaden O365 adoption within your organization.