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Migrating to Office 365
By Rob Franch, CTO, Cushman & Wakefield
Eight years and over 100,000 seats migrated later, I am amazed at the transformation of both the technology as well as the service model within the modern Office 365 platform. The feature gaps of on premise and online are long gone, the stability of the service exceeds even the most robust internal deployments. Microsoft has truly transformed into a world class service provider with a customer centric outlook on the client relationship. The technology has evolved well past the traditional email, instant messaging and basic collaboration solution to a cutting-edge communications and analytics platform with the introduction of the E5 SKU. Additions such as of Skype for Business Cloud PBX, Power BI, Delve and OneDrive the suite have provided organizations a robust cloud based solution that can keep up with the rapidly changing world we do business in.
For new customers, the sheer amount of capability can be overwhelming and with Microsoft continually adding tools like Flow and Teams it continues to grow. When I made the decision to move my current organization to Office 365 the decision was based on very different objectives than when I made the decision back in 2009. At that time the shift was based on moving away from legacy technology and achieving a more predictable and lower operating cost.
The Microsoft Office 365 cloud provided scalability, security and a platform to bring a fragmented environment together into a single experience
We quickly determined that existing solutions deployed were either too fragmented and could not adequately scale or the capabilities were not robust enough to meet our need. This ultimately led to the decision to deploy Office 365 E5 across the enterprise. The Microsoft Office 365 cloud provided scalability, security and a platform to bring a fragmented environment together into a single experience that could grow at the pace of the organization required. The capabilities within the E5 bundle not only provided the collaboration experience we needed to share knowledge and expertise quickly and easily, it also provided a simple and integrated communications platform that could change the way we interacted with clients and colleagues. Finally, with technologies such as SharePoint and Power BI we could present data and insights to both stakeholders and client faster and easier than ever before.
Now, 18 months later, the benefits of the investment in Office 365 have come firmly into focus. Having lived through the excitement and challenges of large-scale integration and transformation, the aggressive objectives we set for ourselves are being realized. The new capabilities have changed the way many in the organization work, collaborate and interact. In addition, operational efficiencies have exceeded initial projections providing more value than originally forecast. The focus has now shifted to looking for more innovative ways we can use this investment to solve business challenges and find opportunities to enhance revenue within the firm. Microsoft gave us the platform to build a robust foundation for growth with an evolving set of capabilities that will provide Cushman & Wakefield a competitive advantage in the marketplace.
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