20160107letter

Open Letter – Take a Strategic Approach to the Use of Microsoft Office 365

Microsoft Office 365 offers a collection of software applications for various user devices plus an array of cloud-delivered online services to both power and complement any installed software. In totality, Office 365 offers a compelling proposition to organisations that want advanced systems for productivity and collaboration without the responsibility to deploy and manage software and servers in an on-premises model. Microsoft’s sales people are focused on selling Office 365 and Microsoft’s other cloud services, and this is leading to a strong uplift in the subscriber base around the world. However, many organisations are utilising Office 365 only for the Exchange email component, and ignoring the other substantial and transformative capabilities available in Office 365. This is somewhat perplexing.

As a long-time analyst in the productivity and collaboration arena, my research has focused on productive and effective ways of embracing new productivity and collaboration tools to improve work practices in organisations. In recent years this has included a mix of products (e.g., Microsoft SharePoint, IBM Connections, Office 365) as well as a mix of key themes (e.g., decision strategy, governance, user adoption). My research has been published in various books and research reports. Trying to answer the above perplexing reality surrounding the use of Office 365 is the focus of my current research, under the headline of Take a Strategic Approach to the Use of Office 365. As background there are four major components to this research programme:

  • Understand the Business Opportunity with Office 365.
  • Make the Right Decision for your Business on Office 365.
  • Set Your Strategy to Achieve Value with Office 365.
  • Drive Effective Use to Reap the Benefits of Office 365.

I am writing to ask for a discussion on your use of Office 365 — your firm’s history with Office 365, current focus, and future plans. Our conversation would be confidential, as I am looking for general trends and ideas across many organisations. During our discussion I am happy to share the research findings and perspectives I have already formed from my work in this area, which would be offered to assist with the ongoing development of your strategy around Office 365.

As a potential outcome of our discussion, there may be some notable approaches you are embracing in your use of Office 365. If this is the case, I may come back to you and seek permission to write a case study about your use of Office 365, which would give profile and visibility to your work. I understand that in order to quote your firm’s name in such a case study—if indeed taking that route made sense—that authorisation would be required through appropriate channels. It is standard practice of my firm to work within these channels.

If you are willing to have a discussion on your use of Office 365, please get in touch so we can find a mutually-agreeable time.

Kind regards, and with thanks.

Michael.

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