Implementing Microsoft Office 365 for any organization is a large IT challenge to begin with. Adding in the complexity of the “new normal” hybrid work environment only makes it that much more difficult. That’s why we put together this blog that outlines a few key things to consider when building out a Microsoft Office 365 implementation strategy, and also the challenges one might face when utilizing a hybrid model (but also the benefits). 

Before getting into an implementation strategy, there are 3 key elements that we must look at for a successful adoption. The first is to ensure that the timing of this Microsoft Office 365 implementation is right for the organization. The 2nd is to ensure that Microsoft Office 365 will adequately meet the organization’s current & future needs. The 3rd & final piece is ensuring both senior leaders & users have bought into this transition. If all the above fits, then this blog will help provide the critical next steps. If not, we would then look at either an alternative approach, or how we can assist in getting you to a point where it will work for you. 

If your team is fully invested in pursuing a Microsoft Office 365 implementation, let’s start by diving into “why” this product makes such a good fit for the hybrid worker.

What Are the Benefits of Microsoft 365 for My Hybrid Workplace?

With the rise in popularity of hybrid work over the past few years, many workers have gained a significant rebalance of their work and home life, but is that at the cost of successful collaboration & maximizing productivity? The answer in some cases is yes but it doesn’t need to be. The proper implementation of Microsoft Office 365 allows for better collaboration & innovation. It also, in some cases, fills a key role in the management of remote workers across multiple locations. It will even allow your ever evolving hybrid workforce to stay up to date with new technology & key tools. 

The issue is how to implement office 365 across a hybrid workforce to begin with? What are some of the challenges you need to be watching out for?

Why Hybrid Work Makes M365 Implementation Strategy Complex

  • Limiting Downtime: Not only do you not want to have end users without the proper tools to do the job for extended periods of time, you also want to ensure you’re doing it at the right time. We frequently see issues with timezones & ensure any downtime happens during off hours.
  • Network Capacity: Some organizations experience delays or downtime when deploying Office 365 applications and other M365 components because where the user is located, they may not have an adequate network connection. 
  • Underutilizing Microsoft Virtual Academy: There’s a tremendous amount of in-class technical training, instructional videos, and documentation available from the Microsoft Virtual Academy. Ensuring the whole  team knows about this is key.
  • Lack of Local Resources: Many teams are short on time and are juggling multiple priorities. On top of that, if time zones don’t match up for your IT resources versus when the end user is available, it becomes an issue. This will cause adoption to take significantly longer & could ultimately cause it to fail.
  • Adoption/Providing Proper Training: If users are not located “in-office” how can you ensure they are fully leveraging Microsoft Office 365? On top of that, how can you ensure they have the proper training materials & support to learn the platform?

Now that we’ve provided some of the potential challenges that can occur when looking to go through a Microsoft Office 365 migration, let’s look at what we consider when working with partners through our Microsoft consulting services on developing a successful implementation strategy.

A Strategy to Make Any Microsoft Office 365 Implementation Successful

A successful Microsoft Office 365 strategy is built by keeping the key features of the Office 365 environment in mind while also considering the unique needs of the organization & its end users. 

5 Keys For Implementing Office 365 In A Hybrid Workplace

  1. Focus On Hybrid Users First: We typically encourage organizations with hybrid workers to specifically focus their implementation around those end users first & build backwards, knowing that “in-office” end users will likely be covered. 
  2. Develop A Clear Timeline: Establishing a clear timeline for a Microsoft Office 365 migration allows for both hybrid & in-office users to recognize any outages or potential downtime. This ensures that they can work around the tools regardless of timezone.
  3. Consider An MSP (Planning At Minimum): Managed Service Providers have the unique experience of helping many organizations with the same activity. This means they present a unique perspective & can ask questions others may not think of. Leveraging the services of a Microsoft consultant will provide a huge impact.
  4. Provide Clear Resources: Implementation is only 1 portion of the goal. Adoption is even more important but will only happen if end users have the ability to get the training & support they need.
  5. Ensure Proper Connectivity: During key times of the implementation of Office 365, it’s crucial that you make sure your hybrid workers have what they need to maintain a proper network connection.

Supporting Your Hybrid Workplace after a Microsoft 365 Implementation

Maintaining a “hybrid first” mentality, even after your implementation is done, will ensure your in-office staff are always aligned with your remote personnel. We’ve found that really leaning into this also ensures hybrid workers are more satisfied overall.

Build Your Microsoft Office 365 Implementation with Yorktel

Is your hybrid business in need of a Microsoft Office 365 migration? Don’t waste time and money with the wrong implementation. 

At Yorktel, we build digital transformations that make it easy for you to focus on your business. Our innovative uses for Microsoft technology make it easy to standardize practices with consistent and reliable conferencing and meeting solutions.

Whether you need Microsoft consulting services or strategic IT consulting, Yorktel’s managed collaboration services make it easy to understand the available technology and how it can be used to achieve your end goals. We’ll work to ensure you have all of the resources you need to keep up with the rapidly changing landscape of IT.

By leveraging our knowledge and experience, you can transform how you do business. Get the Microsoft consultant that’s right for you. Contact us now!