More than three quarters (78%) of IT decision-makers surveyed in a recent poll carried out by Gartner are currently using or intend using Office 365 software and services in the coming year. This figure represented an increase of 13 percentage points compared with the results from the previous Office 365 research conducted by Gartner back in 2014.
Those participants who are currently using it seem reasonably content too, scoring Office 365 at a mean average of 5.3 on a scale from 1 to 7 when rating their level of satisfaction with product.
Based on the aforementioned results it would not be unfair to surmise that Office 365 has cornered the market when it comes to business products and services, and if you’re not asking yourself one of the following two questions then you’re not asking the right questions:
- Am I one of the 78% using Office 365 and if so then am I getting the most out of it?
- Am I one of the 22% not using Office 365 and if so then what am I missing out on?
Office 365 now contains a wide range of tools and applications, and has evolved far beyond the traditional Word/Excel/Powerpoint axis of well-known Office products that we are all familiar with. Microsoft has had to grow and develop its Office package in line with the expectations of the modern business landscape, and new and emerging trends and technologies. For instance, services like Groups, Delve and Office 365 video are all exclusively available from Office 365 and all meet specific business needs.
To take Office Delve for example – users will automatically be alerted to relevant content, research, and user activity based on advanced content analytics and monitoring by using machine learning. It further uses AI (artificial intelligence) techniques to identify what is important from emails in Outlook, content stored in SharePoint, and other documents that users have created or edited in the past. Office Delve works as a kind of automated project assistant, surfacing information to users in real time as they do their daily work.
The Gartner study further reveals that users are getting with the times and upgrading to more recent versions of Microsoft-branded products. Microsoft 2013 leads the way with regard to user engagement. Some 47 percent of respondents were working with SharePoint Server 2013 at the time of this survey, while Exchange Server 2013 was used by 38 percent. In the previous Gartner study Microsoft's 2010-branded products had topped the list.
Finally, the survey asked respondents what were the most fundamental Office 365 capabilities for their business and in first place respondents selected Exchange Online for e-mail and calendar use. Next was OneDrive for Business, with Office 365 ProPlus ranking third. Office 365 ProPlus is the suite of Office applications offered with various Office 365 subscription plans.
And what about the challenges associated with using Office 365?
29% of those surveyed said hybrid implementation was an area of concern. This relates to an organisation's desire to store some data on the Microsoft public cloud, while at the same time continue to use their own on-premise servers for other needs. To overcome this it is often necessary to implement single sign-on integration as it would not be very practical to expect employees to use one set of log-in credentials to access information stored on the Microsoft cloud, and then have them prompted for other details to use the local server.
For larger organizations who faced this issue, their feedback outlined performance issues with attempting to implement hybrid implementation, and some frustration with response times from Microsoft to help them resolve any difficulties.
Smaller organisations generally had not yet considered the need for hybrid implementation but industry experts warn that it is something they will have to contend with as they expand and grow.
In both of these instances Codec has the both the expertise and experience to respond to any support issues promptly, as unlike Microsoft we do not have millions of users to support. Furthermore Codec’s expert professionals can assist with set-up and configuration from the get-go if necessary. And as it is widely predicted that hybrid integration will be a normal state of affairs in the future it is certainly something that all enterprises, big or small, should be planning for (and if it’s not already on their roadmap then it should be!).
So, at the risk of repeating ourselves you really should be asking yourselves one or other of the following questions:
- Am I one of the 78% and if so then am I getting the most out of Office 365?
- Am I one of the 22% not using it and if so then what am I missing out on?
If you’re not sure if you are getting the most out of your Office 365 package or indeed still considering if it is something you want to invest in, then why not get in touch with Codec today to arrange a FREE no- obligation Cloud Consultation with our team of experts. They can assist you by helping you to move your users to Office 365 if they have not done so already, or they can enable you to maximize the value out of your current office 365 subscriptions.