IT Corner: How To Get The Most Out Of Your Office 365 Licenses
Andrew Koon, Advanced Business Solutions
Over the last few years, we began to notice a trend – a time and money-wasting trend. Initially, our response was to speak with our customers about this trend and provide recommendations regarding it. We wanted to make sure they knew the issues we were seeing and that they were informed about some of the ways that they could reverse the trend in their own businesses.
This solved the problem to an extent, but we quickly realized that this wasn’t just a trend, it was an issue that nearly every Office 365 user was facing. Even our customers who were aware of the issue weren’t fully grasping the extent of the issue. Their response would have been much more drastic if they had!
So, what was this terrible “trend” that was permeating the Office 365 world?
If I were going to sum it up in one word, that word would be: WASTE.
The Waste of Under-Utilization
This waste wasn’t due to the high cost of Office 365 licenses. It was due to the underutilization of these licenses.
What we observed were clients paying for the Office 365 suite with specific tools in mind. Outlook, Excel, Powerpoint, and Word were the top reasons business leaders were choosing Office 365 – all of which are great tools!
Where the disconnect happened and waste began was when clients also invested in Dropbox, Zoom, Slack, Google Drive, etc. Because so much focus was put on the primary tools of Office 365 (like Outlook and Word), the benefits of additional tools that came with the Office 365 Suite were overlooked.
Companies were paying for Dropbox, when they already had (and were paying for) Sharepoint!
They were paying for Slack & Zoom, when they already had (and were paying for) Teams!
The issue here was not that our clients weren’t getting what they wanted out of Office 365, it was that they could have been getting SO MUCH MORE.
The Time & Money-Saving Benefits of Diving Fully into Office 365
Fast forward to today and the problem persists. In fact, COVID-19 has only brought more awareness to the issues we have been trying to address for a few years now.
As more and more teams were going remote, more and more tools were becoming “essential” according to the “new normal” we were living in. This meant that companies were vulnerable to sales and marketing that claimed to “solve the problem of virtual meetings” or “provide seamless transitions for users working on the same documents”.
For Office 365 users, any additional tools were and are completely unnecessary. Need to meet virtually? Teams. Need to upload a document for your teammate to finalize? Sharepoint…or Teams. Need it all hosted in the Cloud? Done.
Office 365 allows for all collaboration you need – from video conference, audio conferencing, presentation sharing, collaboration among teammates, and more.
We’re not here to sell Office 365. That’s not the point. The point is that most users aren’t getting the full worth of Office 365 and are wasting time and money by investing in additional tools and uploading/sharing content across multiple platforms.
Even VPNs have become unnecessary as files and communication occurs more and more through Office 365 tools and within the cloud. For those needing to hit specific requirements or compliancies, Office 365 meets these needs as well and is more secure than anything you could create on your own (in your office with your server).
It’s a no-brainer!
Our goal, as we’ve continued to notice and address this trend is to help businesses in need better understand and utilize the tools and services they already have access to. The more efficient a business is in their use of these tools, the more efficient they can be everywhere in their business!
We’re here to help people by removing the constraints of technology and allowing them to focus on running their business. Because of this, becoming experts on the Office 365 Suite just made sense!
If you’re reading this and your eyes have been opened to underutilization and waste in your business, just let us know. We can help!