Most of us take pride in getting a good deal for the money we spend and become mavens to pass that wisdom to friends, family and the Internet in general. Armed with mobile devices, we have become expert comparison shoppers; which is impacting the bottom lines of retail giants. When we so aggressively practice the belief of getting the most bang for the buck in our personal lives, it is perplexing why the same mindset is not extended to our professional lives. Many companies realize the advantages of moving to cloud, the conversation has evolved from whether cloud should be used to when should we move to cloud. Although the cloud utilization for productivity services has been up ticking, many organizations are failing to move past the obvious benefits such as no more maintenance of infrastructure and version upgrades to deal with, put the days of constant vigilance of staying within the mailbox quota and PST menace in the past. Office 365 provides features to meet the business demands of anytime\anywhere access and follow-me data and combat advanced cyber threats. Microsoft is announcing new features constantly and most of them are being offered as part of the subscriptions that organizations are already paying for, but many companies are failing to maximize the benefits of what they are paying for. Here are some of common mistakes we see companies make when leveraging Office 365 that lead to lost opportunities of empowering users, enhancing business productivity and unknowingly thwarting adoption. Phased Roll-out Advantages Myth Releasing the Office 365 components in phased approach – one by one or not making some components ever available to users has several demerits. o Return on Investment (ROI) realization is bleak You may have switched from capital expenditure (CAPEX) to operational expenditure (OPEX), but are paying for the all components, but using only some features. You will not be able to displace one-off solutions such as an email gateway or Enterprise File Sharing System (EFFS) that you have deployed previously and end up paying twice for the same product to two different vendors. o Users have to deal with multiple changes as different phases roll-out and they have to be trained and retrained for every phase. For example: If OneDrive for Business is not rolled out along with email, users will continue to send attachments via email. Although mailbox storage is no longer a concern in Office 365, email attachments have several issues such as no version control, cannot manage permissions, manual merging and many others that are easily alleviated with OneDrive for Business. Releasing both email and One Drive for Business together will allow you to introduce one change and avoid re-training users again. o Loss of business productivity Email is the most abused business technology and has been used anywhere from its original intended use as a communications tool to a substitute for every business process imaginable. Office 365 integrated suite of products provides a solution to get out of the email rut and enhance business productivity by using the right tool tailored to the situation and intended audience. o Manage Shadow IT Shadow IT is the new reality, curbing or providing sanctioned alternative is not working. Leveraging the Microsoft Cloud App Discovery helps you identify and manage the Shadow IT and empowers IT to make the case for better feature rich integrated alternative that your business will embrace. For example, with phased rollout that does not include OneDrive for Business you would lose the opportunity to displace other one-off Enterprise File Sharing Solution (EFFS) and provide a better, integrated and feature rich alternative. Rolling out all of the components definitely requires careful planning and may result in longer roll-out duration versus the quick wins of rolling out single components like email, but it reduces the change management, training, increases end user adoption and ultimately business productivity. Treating Office 365 Components as Standalone Solutions “The whole is greater than sum of its parts” – Aristotle Many organizations when choosing a solution are hung up about one feature that is not available. Office 365 is a tightly integrated holistic suite of products that complement each other and deliver more capabilities and features that any of third party standalone solutions can match. Perimeter-Only Security With the consumerization of IT, the concept of four-wall perimeter is quickly becoming irrelevant especially in the rampant cyber-attacks era. Office 365 provides several features to move to data-centric security such as Data Loss Prevention (DLP), Azure Information Protection (AIP), Advanced Security Management (ASM), Azure Identity Protection and several others. Most of these security features may already be part of the subscription, but may companies are not leveraging them. Reach out to New Signature if you want to get the most value for your money, delight your users, secure and protect your enterprise and transform your business.