The majority of Microsoft 365 (M365) customers simply do not take advantage of the majority of the products and features bundled in their subscription. Identifying and fixing under-utilized areas could not only help you maximize the value of your investment, but also help improve your business processes and the efficiency of your team.
M365 is a powerful tool that was built to address and solve the pain points experienced in a growing organization. The challenge business leaders often face is connecting the dots between the M365 features and the pain points they need to resolve.
As Microsoft Gold Partners, we can connect those dots for you. We use this simple 4 step process to help identify opportunities for improvement and determine how M365 can help you achieve them.
4 Steps To Identify M365 Optimization Opportunities
1. Check Your M365 Consumption
It is always good to draw a baseline of what you are doing and how it works before you start looking for solutions. When working with a customer to make better use of their M365 environment, we follow these steps:
1. Technically check your environment to see how you’ve configured your apps and your security
2. Learn your business processes and service delivery from beginning to end
3. Talk to your team to understand how they use M365 tools on a daily basis
2. Identify Pain Points
Once we learn more about your business activities, we will have a better understanding of what your ideal workflows would be and what prevents you from achieving them. We call these obstacles points of pain.
By identifying key pain points across your organization, you can see clearly where you have opportunities to further apply M365.
Questions to ask while looking for pain points:
• Where do bottlenecks occur?
• How many different tools do we use to accomplish a task?
• How do we deal with communication? Is it centralized and simplified?
• Can our team easily access all the information it needs to carry out its daily tasks?
• How long does it take for the process to be completed?
Make sure you consider each department, or team, as they might have different pain points. Including their opinions and feedback in your analysis is very important in order to come up with a relevant solution.
3. Create Solution Scenarios
After identifying your pain points, it’s time to identify possible solutions. Creating scenarios and test running solutions helps us find the best possible fit for your team and it also improves their adoption of the new process.
When creating possible scenarios take a pain point and identify the issue, business goal, and possible solution. This allows you to workshop possible solutions and see how you could resolve your issues with M365.
Here are some common examples:
Issue: Too many communication tools, one for video conference, one for chat, and one for email. Communication is not centralized.
Business Goal: Increase communication and consolidate communication locations.
Solution: Implement Microsoft Teams with chat and video conferencing, use as single solution for both external and internal calls and communication, augmented with email.
Issue: Logins are secured, but not on every device, and there’s no MFA. Passwords are compromised and invalid log ins occur.
Business Goal: Secure our communication and collaboration technology
Solution: Enable Azure Active Directory service and enable MFA on all devices.
Issue: Takes a while to get everyone’s approval on a document
Business goal: Increase efficiency of approval process
Solution: Create power-app to automate approval processes of documents
In each of the examples, it’s clear that attaching a business mindset to each issue and providing the solution via technology, creates a vivid picture of how Microsoft 365 will drive business goals.
4. Implement Solutions
You can work with an IT professional to identify and implement these solutions. However, a huge part of implementation is education. Dropping a new technology and expecting everyone to embrace it is not going to be effective. We use workshops or training sessions to detail how this solution will help to remove the pain points they have experienced, show them how best to use the solution, and provide training materials to use during their learning.
Though this process is simple, having someone with an in-depth understanding of the M365 environment can really help you get the most out of it. If you would like assistance getting better utilization of M365 and optimizing your business, book an introductory call with us and lets get started.