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Taking the fast lane to Office 365: Set yourself up for success with Microsoft FastTrack

By Henrik Printzlau

Published Aug 31, 2016

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Success with Office 365 is more than pushing out the technology and making it available to your team in the hopes that they will acquire a taste and somehow come to terms with it in the course of time.

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Whether or not you are able to drive substantial value in an Office 365 rollout depends on how you help everyone on board understand the benefits of working with the new technology and how it can contribute towards accomplishing daily tasks in a novel, more efficient way.

Admittedly, that might sound like too big a task to take on. Luckily, you don’t have to row the boat alone.

With a strong commitment to delivering premium customer experience, Microsoft’s FastTrack service is designed to assist you at every step along your cloud journey to strategically plan rollouts, onboard your team and ramp up new services to make the most of Office 365.

New to FastTrack? Here is what you should know about it.



Plan for success with Office 365


To turn your Office 365 adoption into a lasting success, make sure you have these 4 factors down pat:

1. Stakeholders. To drive business value from Office 365 quickly, you need to involve the right people to define your vision and kick off your migration project in due time.

2. Scenarios. It is as simple as that: The best technology is downright useless if your team just doesn’t seem to see any benefits in putting it to actual use on a daily basis. In order for your people to embrace Office 365 and its capabilities, you need to showcase how exactly the technology can help them solve real business problems more efficiently and allows them to accomplish daily tasks in an intuitive, far more comfortable way. 

3. Awareness. Demonstrating the capabilities of Office 365 in theory is one thing. Raising your team’s awareness that the service is actually heading their way is another story. To get your people thrilled about the new technology they are supposed to use, you need to think about how to catch their unreserved attention for Office 365 before the launch and make them want to use it. 

4. Training. To turn Office 365 into a sustainable success for your business, you not only need to excite your team for the new technology before the transition of your on-premises environment to the cloud, you also have to keep up momentum afterwards (a key aspect that many companies seem to be negligent of). If you want your people to continuously make use Office 365 and rejoice in taking advantage of all functionalities, provide them with the skills they need to get the most out of Office 365 self-reliantly.

Seems like a hard bit of work? Admittedly, the transition to Office 365 can be a tough cookie if you don’t know your way around (which is presumably the case if you happen to be a first-timer). Chances are you will feel lost in the midst of the process, tempted to chuck the whole business.

That's exactly where Microsoft's FastTrack service comes into play, guiding you through each success factor and providing you with user adoption resources that help make your migration to the cloud and use of Office 365 a successful journey.

Here is how.



How does Microsoft FastTrack work?


FastTrack is Microsoft’s customer success service for Office 365 formed by a team of hundreds of Microsoft engineers, offering tailored guidance and resources to help companies migrate their on-premises environment to the cloud (FastTrack is designed for customers with eligible Office 365 plans starting from 50 seats).

Over the past year, FastTrack has rapidly evolved from a one-time onboarding service to ongoing support through an online portal (FastTrack Center) to help companies along each step of their transition to Office 365 and keep up momentum upon the move.

At bottom, FastTrack offers two service components:

1. Practical support. Companies enrolled in the FastTrack program can reach out to a Microsoft engineer to obtain personalized remote assistance with queries related to their transition to Office 365.

2. FastTrack Center. Besides technical onboarding and migration guidance, FastTrack includes a web portal offering migration tools, best practices and other handy user adoption services such as end-user awareness kits and end-user training to help plan for a future-proof Office 365 rollout. These resources can be downloaded for free.

Here’s the fine print of the FastTrack benefits:

 

  • Envisioning. FastTrack provides you with tools to help you custom-tailor success plans that bundle up both technical implementation guidance and user adoption strategies across Office 365, EMS, Azure and other services.

  • Onboarding. Once your success plan is in place, you can partner up with Microsoft’s engineers and request remote, personalized assistance to ensure a smooth onboarding and migration experience.

  • Driving business value. To leverage Office 365 quickly, FastTrack provides you with best practices, guidance and resources on Office 365 user adoption to help you get the foot in the door and prepare your people for the new technology. You can also benefit from fundamental usage scenarios illustrating how Office 365 can be relevant in the context of your own business by supporting your team in achieving more with Office 365. In addition, you can gain from tools to help you transform your current IT practices and successfully manage change.

Microsoft offers plenty of resources to make your Office 365 implementation a smooth ride. Visit the FastTrack Center to have a peek and get the tools you need.



Driving adoption: Measure success with Office 365


Your Office 365 journey doesn’t end after the day of launch. To make it a lasting success, you need to keep it rolling. In essence, user adoption is no one-day wonder. Rather, it’s a continuous cycle - always strive to identify new ways to improve the Office 365 experience for your team.


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How can you drive user adoption?

  • Put your spying glasses on. Monitor and keep track of how your team is using Office 365 on a daily basis. Listen closely to their ideas and experiences. Collect their value wins. Consolidate their feedback, assess success and identify new solutions that will help tackle the pain points that have been reported.

  • Let numbers do the talking. Nothing demonstrates positive changes brought about by Office 365 more evidently and will encourage continued adoption more effectively than facts and figures. Leverage activity reports on Exchange, Skype, SharePoint, OneDrive for Business and Yammer (available through the Office 365 Online Admin Portal) to illustrate adoption improvement (read more on how reports can help you monitor and visualize user adoption).

To help you track your business gain and user satisfaction, Microsoft has released a guide on how to measure success with Office 365. You can download it here for free.


Successful user adoption and consumption have priority with us, too. Templafy provides handy tools and other materials to help you with onboarding and offers built-in reports allowing you to scout the usage of Templafy in your company and continuously measure the business value it's driving.

 

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