​10 checks to choosing the right Office 365 IT partner for your business

The rise and rise of Office 365

The number of organisations choosing to use Microsoft Office 365 for business is rising rapidly. Bytes alone has helped over 1,500,000 business uses move to the Microsoft cloud platform, and forecasts state that within the next six months 78% of all enterprises will be using or are planning to use Office 365 – a 600% increase compared with a similar study conducted in 2014.

It’s no surprise that organisations everywhere are moving to Office 365 for business as the solution offers many benefits, such as:

  • Purchasing flexibility - there is a product bundle and payment plan to suite every business;
  • Accessibility - Microsoft Office 365 is available and working whenever you are;
  • Collaboration - collaborating with people inside and outside of your business is straightforward – helping you to get work done, faster.

In addition to the business, commercial and functional benefits of Office 365, there are also the benefits it provides to internal IT teams – such as no ongoing maintenance costs; no server costs; and no upgrades.

So far so good.

The problem however that businesses face when moving to Office 365 isn’t the Office 365 solution itself, but choosing the right long term Microsoft Office 365 IT partner, you see Office 365 is an evergreen solution so Microsoft are constantly enhancing its feature-set and reliability, which is great on the one hand but on the other creates a constantly changing environment which if not managed appropriately could open your business up to all sorts of security and business disruption issues.

How then do you choose the right long term Microsoft Office 365 IT partner?

10 checks to choosing the right Office 365 IT partner for your business

When choosing an Office 365 IT partner you need to check and benchmark how good they are in the following 10 areas:

  1. Business savviness, so they can help you formulate an Executive Summary which details the business justification for moving to Office 365;
  2. Commercial understanding, so they can advise you of the most relevant Office 365 product-bundle to buy and the most efficient way to buy it;
  3. Migration support, so they can help you move your business to Office 365 seamlessly. This needs to cover everything from planning the move; the migration phase itself; and training the users how to use the fully deployed solution;
  4. Email archiving and message encryption, (yes, you need to bolster your Office 365 environment with third party archiving and encryption tools), so they can provide advice and fit-for-purpose Office 365 solutions;
  5. Security expertise, (yes, you need to secure your Office 365 environment with third party security products and services), so they can provide advice and turnkey solutions that protect you and your organisations against the most aggressive and pervasive threats;
  6. Backup and Disaster Recovery expertise, (yes, you need to bolster your Office 365 environment with third party business continuity tools), so they can provide advice and fit-for-purpose solutions;
  7. Flexible support services, so you can flex your cover as your needs change. Specifically, you need a partner who charges for support on a per-user-per-month basis (so you can easily scale the service up and down) AND who can offer as a minimum the following three support options: Email-only; Full Office 365; or Full desktop support;
  8. Turnkey solutions, so they can offer insights and advice on how to enhance the performance and business-value of the core Office 365 product-set, AND have the capability to deliver solutions that enhance as a minimum SharePoint; Skype for Business; and Dynamics CRM;
  9. Industry knowledge, so they can provide you with insights that enable you to make informed value-enhancing decisions – keeping you ahead of the competition;
  10. Innovative, evolving and challenging culture. There are hundreds, maybe even thousands, of newly formed companies who claim to be able to help companies move to Office 365 – don’t risk your business on theirs – check out their longevity, reference sites, and roadmap.

To save you time, you could just contact Bytes and ask about our CloudFlex solution.

CloudFlex, exclusively from Bytes, is the most secure and flexible Microsoft Office 365 solution. It provides businesses with a set of turnkey solutions and services designed to increase information security and employee productivity – helping businesses run faster.

Contact us today and join the 1,500,000+ business users who have successfully moved to Office 365 with Bytes.



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