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In new research from DWG, experienced practitioner Luke Mepham (Service Owner for Collaboration and Messaging at Aviva) considers the opportunities and challenges for organizations of using the extended suite of products offered by Office 365. Here he reflects on his own experiences with Office 365 and gives us a flavour of the topics he covers in-depth in the member-only report “Office 365: Making use of the extended suite of products”.

I’ve been using Microsoft cloud productivity software since 2007. Back then, it consisted of three separate products: Exchange for email, Office Communicator (an early incarnation of Skype used for real-time chat), and SharePoint, the content and document management system onto which many companies also squeezed their intranets.

The product offering has changed and grown a lot since then. Its current form (M365) includes mobility and security solutions, the Windows operating system, Desktop software and the Office 365 suite, which has become a much more integrated and broad product – and continues to grow and change on a daily basis.

If your organization invested in Office 365 early, you’ve now inherited a heap more functionality and, according to respondents to DWG’s 2019 Member Survey, at least a third of you are now looking at how you can make more use of these new features.

But how? These new features are likely either to solve a problem you don’t actually have or to solve a problem for which you already have an established solution. And even if you want to move to the Microsoft solution and potentially simplify things and save some costs, how do you manage that change?

Office 365 is now growing so quickly that it’s difficult to keep up. IT teams need to keep on top of the changing configurations and network requirements, while users need to keep up with the new and changing capabilities. Many internal communications teams struggle to give a clear answer to staff who are wondering what all the new features are, how they should use them and which product they should use for what.

So how do you start? Are the benefits of this broader toolset worth utilizing? Or is the effort involved in maintaining and communicating a product that’s constantly changing just too much?

In the “Office 365: Making use of the extended suite of products” report, we look at how three very different organizations – The Kentucky Community and Technical College System, The 3M Company and UNHCR – have approached this challenge. Each has a success story to tell about how they’ve made use of a new part of Office 365 to bring benefit to their people, and each has different lessons to share that they’ve learned along the way.

The report looks at the benefits of adopting more of the suite and highlights areas that need closer consideration, so that you can ready yourselves for the inevitable changes and set a strategy to address key concerns such as training and adoption, whether to customize or not, and governance.

Where are you on your Office 365 journey and how do you introduce changes and new features to your users?

Download the Office 365 Boxset, which includes executive summaries and selected excerpts from “Office 365: Making use of the extended suite of products”, “Office 365 Search: A guide for digital workplace teams” and “Office 365: What digital workplace teams need to know”.

Get access to the full report and 80+ other best practice digital workplace reports

DWG members have unrestricted access to all three reports in the Office 365 Boxset. They form part of DWG’s best practice Research Library of 80+ reports covering key areas such as strategy and governance, personalization, user experience and change management for intranets and digital workplaces.

Find out what else is in the library and new research that’s coming up. Contact us to learn how to gain access to this library via DWG membership.

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About the author

Luke Mepham is Service Owner for Collaboration at Aviva plc. He has more than 20 years’ experience working in a variety of people-focused, IT-led roles. Luke has over a decade of experience of Microsoft technologies, including Office 365 (O365) in large multinational regulated industries. He has worked on one of the first implementations of BPOS-d (the forerunner to O365) through to managing the fast-evolving service Microsoft offers today. He specializes in supporting Communications, HR and technical teams in the introduction, strategy and management of collaboration, messaging and identity products, and in translating business deliverables into technology solutions.

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