We’ve been helping this UK-based technology services provider adopt and get value from Microsoft 365 since 2018, including business solutions using Microsoft 365 and Power Platform.
Microsoft 365 Services
From Office 365 to Microsoft 365 and Power Platform
Our customer’s initial requirement was to support their migration from a legacy on premises infrastructure to a new cloud-based Office 365 environment. Our role would be to help manage this change – including helping the customer’s workforce of 3,000 field engineers and desk-based staff transition smoothly to the new platform, and helping support adoption of new capabilities and ways of working.
From the start our customer also wanted to build their own internal know-how and capacity for working with and supporting Office 365, both within their IT and helpdesk teams and amongst business users. There was also a requirement to transition away from legacy services including file servers and other data centre-hosted services, and a requirement to maximise business value and ROI from their Microsoft licensing.
As the organisation has successfully progressed along their adoption journey they have expanded their licensing to the Microsoft 365 E5 suite and other Microsoft services including Power Platform and Azure, and we continue to support these ever-growing requirements.
Phase 1: Transition to Office 365
We worked alongside our technical services partner Comms-care to provide adoption and change management support for the initial migration from legacy on-premises systems to Office 365.
We helped shape the deployment strategy and roadmap, and worked with the customer’s in-house project and internal comms team to develop the change management plan – including comms, guidance materials and a community of champions to assist users with questions relating to the migration process and new capabilities available.
The theme for phase 1 was ‘Enhancing the basics’, with the focus on providing upgraded and cloud-based versions of core applications (email migration to cloud, Office ProPlus, OneDrive and Skype for Business) with a smooth transition to minimise disruption and provide an excellent overall user experience.
Phase 2: Smarter Working with Microsoft 365
Having successfully transitioned users to the core Office 365 apps, the next phase of the customer’s adoption journey progressed from an individual / personal productivity focus to a focus on communication and collaboration. Also in this phase the customer upgraded from Office 365 E3 to the Microsoft 365 E5 subscription, to take advantage of additional capabilities including Azure AD Premium and Teams calling functionality.
The theme for this phase was ‘Adding collaboration’, focusing on the introduction of Teams and SharePoint. This brought opportunities (new and potentially transformative capabilities) and challenges (complex, unfamiliar and overlapping functionality). Betterworking developed and led a series of activities and initiatives to support this:
Governance model for Teams and SharePoint, including:
- Request and provisioning model
- Naming conventions
- Ownership and admin roles & responsibilities
- Expiration & lifecycle management
Development of ‘Smarter Working with Microsoft 365’ brand, messaging and materials:
- Microsoft 365 help centre on Teams, incorporating self-serve education and training content with champions trained and empowered to provide ‘how to’ support (supplementing IT technical support)
- Support approach including champions model, building on the network of local ‘reps’ established in the initial ‘enhancing the basics’ rollout, supplemented with champions and early adopters identified and enlisted from use case / pilot activities
- 3rd line / specialist support for Teams, SharePoint and other M365 capabilities to assist IT and helpdesk staff
Design and delivery of multiple projects designed to transition from legacy systems to Microsoft 365 services, and to pilot and showcase Teams and SharePoint collaboration capabilities. Examples include:
- Replacement of legacy Drupal intranet with new company-wide intranet using SharePoint Online
- Migration of file content from legacy file shares to Teams and SharePoint
- Multiple use cases leveraging Teams and SharePoint, including to support the Exec team, projects, bids and controlled documents
- Teams calling capabilities introduced to replace Unify UC system and Skype for Business.
Phase 3: Business solutions with Microsoft 365 and Power Platform
With Teams and SharePoint firmly established for internal and external collaboration on projects and for storing and working with files, our customer was ready to explore further opportunities within their Microsoft 365 subscription.
The focus in this current phase is on delivering intuitive, effective solutions that standardise and streamline business processes, improve productivity, reduce wasted time and inefficiency, provide accurate and timely data to inform decision making, and enable a highly skilled workforce to focus on the value-adding aspects of their role.
Working closely with the project team and directly with business stakeholders we scope, design and deliver a growing range of business solutions built primarily using SharePoint, Lists, Teams and Power Platform services (Power Apps, Power Automate and Power BI). Solutions delivered include:
- Central resource for policy and procedure documentation built in SharePoint using PnP advanced search and Power Automate for document review and approval process
- Pay review solution using Lists and Power Automate to provide permissions based access to all managers and Power BI for reporting
- ‘My Journey’ performance management solution using Power Apps, SharePoint, Lists, Power Automate and Power BI
- Manual payments solution using document sets in SharePoint and Power Automate to automate and simplify the end-to-end approval management process for supplier payment requests
- E-Docs solution to transform and digitise an existing manual and paper-based method for managing health & safety briefing packs for on-site engineers.
Sustainable adoption and long-term business value
Since migrating to Office 365 in 2018 our customer has moved through successive phases of adoption, with each phase bringing new and more sophisticated capabilities to deliver increasing levels of ROI and business value.
When the pandemic hit in early 2020 our customer was well-placed to transition to a remote working model, and the organisation has since moved to a Microsoft 365-based hybrid working model. Microsoft 365 now provides the foundation for the organisation’s digital workplace, with staff increasingly familiar with using Microsoft 365 services and confident with adopting more advanced capabilities.
We have helped our customer achieve and sustain exceptionally high levels of adoption and usage (data from Microsoft 365 usage analytics in Power BI as at March 2022):
- 94.2% active users of Microsoft 365, with 97.7% month on month returning users
- 90.2% active users for Teams
- 89.1% active users for OneDrive
- 88.0% active users for SharePoint
More importantly our customer is set up with strong foundations for ongoing and sustainable success:
- A well managed Microsoft 365 environment, with clear and consistent governance for Teams and SharePoint
- Internal project and IT teams increasingly familiar with Microsoft 365 services
- Growing community of skilled and experienced champions acting as early adopters of new capabilities and providing support to their colleagues
- Internal stakeholders commissioning Microsoft 365-based solutions over 3rd party apps – leveraging existing investment in licensing to save money and increase ROI
- Growing ambition and confidence to experiment with new capabilities and adopt new services such as Power Apps, Power Automate and Power BI.
We continue to work closely with our customer to support long term adoption and business value.