By Patrick Lonz, President, Compliant Workspace

Your technology is a mess, let’s face it, and you want to clean it up; you’re thinking Microsoft 36 is the answer. However, at this point you’re trying to make a case to consolidate everyone there but you’re getting bogged down in the details – you simply want employees to be happy with this switch to the cloud without facing a rebellion come Monday morning when everyone logs in after you make this change, also you want to reduce the cost of technology: I’ll help you sell it.

Clean Up Your Mess With Microsoft 365

Moving your company to the Microsoft 365 Cloud can clean up your “technology” mess.

First, lets talk about where you probably are today – I mean technically. I’ll go ahead and make a few assumptions about your company, hardware and software wise…if I may be so bold. I’ll assume you have data scattered all over the place on people’s PCs on a server in the closet beside office kitchen, you could also have one of those big multi-TB USB drives whirling away somewhere. Your licensing is a mess (you have a sneaking suspicion you’re paying too much for software) and your email is flaky, I mean you’ve been putting up with the same hosting provider for years, you know its time for an upgrade to a real email system such as Exchange Online and you believe moving your firm to the Microsoft 365 Cloud will be the answer.

At the same time, you’ve been Googling away, doing your research on Microsoft 365 in efforts to make a case (mostly to yourself ) why you should move your whole company there – I mean it makes perfect sense to you – you’re are already in bed with Microsoft and let’s face it, moving to Google Workspace will be too much of a shock for everyone. Also, the 365 Suite is a complete package with everything you’re going to need. But I am thinking the problem you’re having at this point is you’re getting overwhelmed by the “multitude of tools and features” included with Microsoft 365. Not to mention the marketing jargon thrown at you claiming it’s “A highly scalable, consolidated collaboration suite of tools with intelligent process automation supporting social capabilities including innovation to streamline knowledge through cloud document management.” Whatever that means!

Also, there’s too much built-in to Microsoft 365 that your company will never use. For example, there’s the Enterprise Mobility + Security feature to “Protect and manage corporate applications and data on any Windows, iOS, or Android device with capabilities including behavioral analysis and threat detection, identity and access management in the cloud, simpler management of apps and devices, protection for information wherever it goes, and on-premises identity and access management.” You’ll never use that, trust me.

Migrating To Microsoft 365. What Does it Mean for Your Company?

However, you’re aware that moving your company to Microsoft 365 is all-or-nothing, right? In other words, there is no turning back when you make this migration, honestly you surely don’t want to take a leap of faith. Because when you decide to do this, you’ll move everyone’s data off their PCs to their individual OneDrive, take all the data off your server onto SharePoint, you’ll also be scrapping any software for the Microsoft Suite of apps and changing your mail flow records to Microsoft Exchange Online, then export everyone’s email from Outlook, create a new profile for everyone then import it into their new email account setup on Microsoft 365 Exchange Mailboxes. All this aside, when you make this move you simply want everyone in your company to be happy, i.e., do their jobs easier (and along the way reduce your IT costs).

I am going to keep it simple here to help you sell this, but we’re not going down the rabbit hole where I list the 85 Productivity Tools included with each Microsoft subscription, I’m simply going to tell you what your employees will see the next morning when they login to their computers after you’ve switched them over to Microsoft 365.

Migrate with us

But right now we need to be clear about what it means to “migrate your company to Microsoft 365” since there’s lots of moving parts, and lots of ways to mess up. Which will be a problem when you’re trying to sell it if you don’t see the big picture, because when your employees’ login to their computers Monday morning after you have finished the migration to the cloud, you don’t want them screaming: put us back where we were!

Thankfully, Compliant Workspace has created a unique approach that’ll get your company on Microsoft 365 with little screaming as possible. Our 365 Cloud Migrate Service makes sure your firm is fully setup on the cloud in three steps with:

  • A Microsoft subscription giving everyone all the tools needed to work on the Microsoft Cloud,

  • The Microsoft 365 Cloud setup and ready for the migration of data off each employee’s computer Onedrive and moving data and off your in-house server shared data to SharePoint

  • Setup for configuring your MX mail flow to Microsoft 365 Exchange Online, exporting everyone’s email importing it and connecting to their new email accounts on their Microsoft 365

When you follow our migration steps, you will be ahead of the game when employees connect for the first time to their new Microsoft 365 account.

OneDrive is the New Hard Drive

When you move your employees to Microsoft 365, OneDrive becomes their new hard drive

When you move your whole office to Microsoft 365, each employee will have their own OneDrive where they’re going to save every to, we’ll call this “their new hard drive” (We allot customers 1 TB for each person – tons of space). This means from now on, when people create documents, they’ll be stored in their OneDrive account on the Microsoft Cloud, nothing will be saved on their computers anymore. What’s going to happen, essentially is when they login the first time after they have been migrated to Microsoft 365, they’ll have the OneDrive app running on their computer – It’ll be a little blue cloud on the bottom right. That is if you have downloaded the OneDrive Sync App and set it up for everyone.

Alright, let’s say everyone has setup the OneDrive sync tool on their computers, in other words, its fully running so that it has created a local folder on their PC, also they have moved their folders off their computers on to it. The next thing you’ll do is have them change their default save for all Office docs, such as Word and Excel (this is done easily by going into Word for example, click File, Options, Save and point the default location to the path on their Onedrive folder created by the sync app).

And voila! Everyone’s going to have their data moved off their hard drives then replicated to their OneDrive.

You have now finished the first part. And get this: no more backing up anyone’s computer from now on, we’ll take care of that for you with our 365 Cloud Protect Plug-In. This plug-in included with our service will automatically detect any data people save on OneDrive. Also, (when you choose Compliant Workspace as your Cloud Provider, our Cloud Protect Service retains your data – forever, even if they delete everything in their OneDrive we’ll have it, compliance loves this. Also, because everyone is saving all their documents in their OneDrive, you’re going to have smaller hard drives, that’s a cost savings right there.

Bye Bye Flaky Mapped Drives, Hello Microsoft SharePoint

But this will be a whole new ball game now that all company data is on SharePoint. But again, we’ll assume you have been following our 365 Cloud Migration process where you have run the SharePoint Migration tool on your in-house server to sync that data to the cloud. But right now, I am not going to talk about the advanced features in SharePoint such as syncing folders, contacts, calendars or creating Teams, Groups or Channels. Let’s just get people accessing their newly created company SharePoint, which by the way will be found here:

But this will be a whole new ball game now that all company data is on SharePoint. But again, we’ll assume you have been following our 365 Cloud Migration process where you have run the SharePoint Migration tool. But right now, I am not going to talk about the advanced features in SharePoint such as syncing folders, contacts, calendars or creating Teams, Groups or Channels. Let’s just get people accessing their newly created company SharePoint, which by the way will be found here:

The easiest way for people to access their new company SharePoint site is from Outlook, where they will click the “Groups” icon there and they will see the “company-internal” icon they can click to view groups in your company SharePoint. At this point they will see all the company folders moved off the old server replicated there. Right now, though, just have employees create new docs in the SharePoint site, open existing ones so they can see how it looks and not freak out by all the options in SharePoint they will be hit with first time they open it. Nonetheless, what you’ll have here now is a company-wide document sharing system that’s accessed over the internet by everyone, anywhere on any device.

A Smaller Office, Lower Rent. How About No Rent?

When you move everyone in your firm to Microsoft 365, they will be more “mobile” since everything is running off the Microsoft Cloud. In other words, they can work from home now. Can you say smaller office, lower rent? How about no office? No rent? This will be cool for everyone since employees won’t have to come into the office to connect, but will feel like they are in the office because all their files are on OneDrive and company docs are shared on SharePoint, they can conference on Teams.

When they are travelling, they can pull up docs from their smart Phone with OneDrive on it. Do Teams meetings from their phone too. And Outlook will run much better this way too. You won’t need desktop PCs in the office anymore since, people will only need one laptop, one when they work from home. They’ll have the option to work from home all the time when you get everything on Microsoft 365.

  • A smaller office?

  • Lower rent?

  • How about no rent?

The Coup De Grâce: Outlook Fully Loaded With Exchange Online

Alright, you’re starting to get a handle on what it means to move your company to Microsoft 365. First, everyone is going to be using the Office 365 Suite of apps integrated into Microsoft 365, you’ll save on licensing costs right there, you’ll also spend less on training people to use new software all the time. With everyone using OneDrive with SharePoint and Teams you’ll be able to replace all the old hardware such as the server, USB drives, firewalls…you can even throw out that mess of network cables in the kitchen closet that everyone connects to. Also, people can work from home this means they don’t need a desktop PC, that’ll mean lower office rent, or no rent at all!

You’re getting excited; however, we need to talk about email now. I don’t mean to kill the buzz here, but this is a big one when you’re trying to sell the cloud to your employees, email is king. More importantly, when people fire-up their Outlook the first time you have migrated them to Microsoft 365 you don’t want a rebellion on your hands.

I am not sure how you have your email setup now; could be running on an in-house Microsoft Exchange Server chugging away in the office somewhere (you’ve been managing for years) or some other third-party email hosting service you somehow been stuck with for years, maybe you’re using GoDaddy, or a combination of these. The problem with setup is there’s too many cooks in the kitchen. I mean you probably have several spam filters sitting in the middle of your people and the internet, a firewall, an MX re-direct, third-parties with their fingers in the pie, so when an email doesn’t get through to someone, you don’t know who the culprit is. Also, you’re paying for all these pieces – I assume a monthly subscription for each. This will be gone with your move to the Microsoft 365 Cloud.

But more importantly, what’s going to be different for employees when they boot up Outlook for the first time after you put them on Microsoft 365 is everyone will be connecting to Microsoft Exchange Online which has some awesome things for employees.

But let’s not worry about the advanced features right now because there are tons of options you can enable on Microsoft Exchange Online such as in-place email archiving, legal holds on mailboxes so no-one can delete anything or immutable blob storage to lock your data. I am not saying these aren’t important (aside from being real complicated to setup), but when you sign up with Compliant Workspace, we include these features free with our 365 Cloud Protect Plug-In. Also, you’re not going to have to worry about spam/virus/attacks when you get on Microsoft 365, we get that setup for you out-of-the-box, you want to know how people will do their jobs better in other words what’s going to be different.

OK, but not to worry – everyone is still going to be using Outlook, but it will be Outlook on steroids. I mean you will have an email system backed with features helping them to work better together, for example, they can easily share calendars, contacts, emails, and tasks across the Internet, PCs, and mobile devices. Everyone will be able to open several calendars at once; open someone else’s mailbox and load it right into their Outlook, create email forwards, change properties for people, create mail groups anytime. You won’t have to call tech support to come in to do simple things, like I need to have my assistant check my emails while I’m away on vacation.

About Compliant Workspace

Compliant Workspace is a managed Microsoft 365 cloud service provider committed to giving small companies an option to move their firm to the Microsoft 365 Cloud. With our unique Consolidated 365 Service® we include our Pre-Set 365 Security Template, our 365 Cloud Protect and our 365 Cloud Migrate that gives your firm an office in the Cloud – fully-secured, fully-protected: out-of-the-box.

Contact us today, and get your firm on the Microsoft Cloud