Looking at a graph of active users of Office 365 shows a steady rise with 200 million commercial active monthly users in October 2019, up 20 million every six months. The continuous growth reflects the benefits of Office 365 – with an ROI of 162% and a payback of seven months – and strong enterprise interest in the new workforce collaboration hub, Microsoft Teams. But organizations with Office 365 can find their journey fraught with costly missteps and time-intensive administration – which can be avoided with the benefit of Office 365 with a managed service provider.
What is Microsoft Office 365?
Office 365 is a portfolio of Microsoft’s productivity tools and services in the cloud. Office 365 can include Exchange Online for email and calendaring; Office applications such as Word, Excel and PowerPoint; plus many other applications and collaborative services such as SharePoint Online and Skype for Business.
Office 365 is a complex technical solution for which ensuring security, performance and availability are top concerns, reports Gartner. Many enterprises choose to pass the complexity of designing, implementing and managing Office 365 properly to a trusted managed service provider. Organizations choose TierPoint for Managed Office 365 services to realize eight key benefits and more.
What are the benefits of the Office 365 suite?
First, a quick look at the benefits and costs of Office 365, and then we’ll look more closely at the benefits of Office 365 managed services. A Forrester study commissioned by Microsoft, The Total Economic Impact™ of Office 365 Enterprise E5 Solutions, identifies three key benefits of Office 365:
- Weekly time saved due to improved collaboration and information sharing and more efficient meetings: 203 minutes per user
- Reduction in costs associated with other collaboration software and hardware solutions: $6.5M
- Number of hours saved per user per year from reduced downtime: 15.75 hours
Forrester calculates these costs of Office 365 experienced by organizations:
- Internal planning, implementation, and ongoing support: $2.65 million.
- Deployment and managed services total: $4+ million over three years
- IT and end-user training costs: $647,670
- Licenses for 5,000 workers: $4.90 million over three years
- Incremental network bandwidth: $216,805
The big benefits of Managed Office 365
Those first three costs indicate that a lot of IT time will be required to plan, implement, deploy, and support Office 365, which is why the following benefits of Managed Office 365 can provide a substantial return for many enterprises.
1. Do Office 365 right from the start
A big investment calls for doing it right the first time. Office 365 is not one size fits-all, and Managed Office 365 helps you fully understand your choices. With Managed Office 365 you can reduce risk with upfront discovery and design to determine the best deployment model for Office 365, specific to your enterprise. For example, your end users would have a vastly different experience depending on whether or not you used federated identity management and authentication. We’ll describe various deployment scenarios, explaining what each would be like for your end users, so you can make an informed decision and avoid surprises.
2. Determine when and how to implement a hybrid architecture
You may not want to go all cloud all the time, if you need to balance differing requirements across an organization. For example, you may want to integrate Office 365 with on-premise Microsoft Exchange infrastructure for greater flexibility. Or you may not want to move all your end-user data to the Microsoft cloud; you may want to keep some user data on premises. Your Managed Office 365 advisor can design a custom hybrid environment for your business.
3. Maximize security and compliance
Last year, the US Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) found that many organizations have their overall security posture lowered by third-party contractors engaged to implement Office 365 for them. On the contrary, a benefit of our Managed Office 365 advisors is that we will help you to enhance the security of Office 365.
Your Office applications hold some of the most important data in your company. We can layer on Enterprise Mobility + Security (EMS) from the start to protect mobile experiences – and enforce identity and access management and data protection on any device. After deployment, we can keep your Office 365 security components up-to-date daily, taking care of upgrades and maintenance promptly.
4. Minimize licensing spend
Do you already have Microsoft Office licenses? We’ll work with you to design an Office 365 deployment that makes the best use of your existing licenses on servers, devices, desktops, and in the cloud.
5. Get expert help with a complex deployment
While your IT team may not have deployed Office 365 before, TierPoint’s Managed Office 365 advisors do it every week. With TierPoint as an extension of your team, your IT staff can be as involved or as uninvolved as they want. We’ve got you covered from complex discovery and design to integration with existing infrastructure, and on through routine email and user administration.
6. Make updates and maintenance easy
You have limited internal IT resources. Managed Office 365 frees up your IT admin resources to do what they do best – run your business. You can pass the complexity of managing Office 365 to a dedicated team that focuses on Office 365 every day. Our Office 365 managed services team can ease your burden of daily maintenance and support. We have a large and capable service delivery staff of our own, and we subscribe to Premier Support from Microsoft, so we can escalate and resolve your Office 365 problems swiftly.
7. Maximize Office 365 scalability
When you need Office 365 for more users, you can easily add licenses through the TierPoint Portal to meet the growing needs of your business.
8. Provide end-users with the help desk they need to be productive
How many help desk calls do you get when you upgrade a piece of software like Microsoft Office? We optionally offer end-user help desk services for our Managed Office 365 customers who want to ensure end-users get the support they need, while IT focuses on more strategic initiatives.
We’ll handle basic end-user questions such as password resets, login issues, and Outlook connection problems, so you don’t have to. Your end users get access to our experienced Office 365 support team with advice for setup and configuration, and support for all Office applications (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, and more), Exchange, SharePoint, Yammer, and Teams.
TierPoint is an approved Microsoft Cloud Solution Provider
TierPoint’s consultative approach allows us to take into account your unique requirements. Regardless of the device(s) your company uses, TierPoint supports your organization’s need to access Office 365 anytime and anywhere. Pass the complexity of Office 365 to a dedicated team focused on you:
- Our team of more than 300 managed services professionals is here to support you.
- We provide full migration, deployment, admin and end-user support, and management services.
- We’ve got you covered for simple or complex migrations. We migrate and deploy customers every day and keep up-to-date with all the latest from Microsoft.
- We specialize in hybrid environments that help clients improve response times, drive performance, and manage risk.