Many businesses these days are migrating to Office 365. It is important that when implementing a migration, they make sure the user experience is optimized both during the migration and afterwards.
Gartner recently released a study indicating that, by 2017, 33% of all users will be on cloud-based business office systems such as Office 365. That’s because business cloud applications that focus on productivity offer improved efficiency, greater ease of use, and better access to data while being more cost-effective than traditional on-premise apps. However, while SaaS and cloud-based applications offer tremendous benefits, they can be complex and introduce new challenges to IT teams that aren’t familiar with monitoring and deploying outside applications used by employees.
If your company is migrating to Office 365, your employees could suddenly be unable to access the files they need or send emails. You can see the reasoning behind a focus on the user experience, because if something isn’t working properly during a migration, or the performance of an application is slow after the migration, the employees’ ability to get their work done will be impacted and your company will be unable to conduct business as usual.
There are numerous steps you can take to optimize your user experience as you are migrating to Office 365 and once you have completed the migration. The first step, which should be taken before the migration has even started, is to communicate to your employees the value that moving to the cloud has for the organization. Specifically, even though SaaS applications have recurring monthly fees, they are, overall, more cost-effective than on-premise versions. The cost of running servers, storage, and backup for the on-premise version of Office is much higher, obviously, than running it in the cloud. Also, the capacity limitations that you get with sending emails with Exchange in the cloud is really similar to Exchange on-premise, so you don’t win or lose there.
Of course, there are benefits just to moving to the cloud, such as having updates automatically pushed to you, not having to deal with hardware, and being able to devote less time to maintenance. With SaaS applications, you have flexibility, mobility, scalability, and stability, and greater collaboration and communication,
The second step in optimizing your user experience as you migrate to Office 365 is to ensure the strength of your network connection. When you’re planning the migration, look at all the connections that might be touched by a SaaS application. For instance, consider who will be actually using the application itself. If you have existing SaaS applications, you will want to see how they are currently performing to understand how Office 365 might potentially perform once you migrate. If existing SaaS app performance isn’t great, then you can optimize it by looking at a few key metrics — bandwidth, connectivity, data loss, latency, and round trip time.
Office 365 Migration: 10 Steps to user experience
There are many more steps you should take to optimize your users’ experience as you are migrating to Office 365. We detail ten steps altogether in our white paper, “10 Steps to User Experience Success When Moving Microsoft Office to the Cloud.” The paper provides you with the considerations you need to make before, during and after a migration and guides you toward ensuring migration success for all your end users.