Almost 600,000 businesses use Microsoft Office 365 – that’s just in the US alone. Northern America has by far the most companies, small, medium, and large using this productivity suite.
So, as you can see, Microsoft Office 365 is an increasingly popular product, but it’s continually growing and changing. That’s why it’s a great idea to hire a knowledgeable Office 365 consultant to help your business enjoy decent value for their money and the best possible benefits from all of 365’s features. A consultant can also help train your team.
There are thousands of consultants out there, (or rather people who call themselves “consultants” or “experts.”) So, how should you choose the right person?
Let’s take a look.
Why Employ an Office 365 Consultant?
First things first, we need to address why you should bother employing an Office 365 consultant. Yes, we touched on this in the intro, but it’s also worth mentioning that not all Office 365 packages are the same.
There are different plans with varying features depending upon the size of your company.
Some packages include all the office apps you need, such as Outlook, Word, Publisher, PowerPoint, and Excel. Others do not. Also, some packages include SharePoint and Exchange, but others do not.
An experienced Office 365 consultant will help you choose the right package for your business. Then, they’ll ensure all aspects of the package are used to their maximum potential.
If you’re already using a different software solution, your consultant can help you migrate from that to Office 365 without losing any valuable data or time.
How to Choose the Best Microsoft 365 Consulting
There are a few basics your consultant should offer right off the bat:
It’s worth noting here that as of April 21, Microsoft Office 365 will be known as Microsoft 365. It’s the same product, just a different name.
Your consultant should know this and have a detailed understanding of the entire Microsoft Office 365 program.
This includes understanding not only what each component of Microsoft Office 365 does, but how it works with other elements.
Also, if you have briefed your consultant sufficiently, and they have done their homework, they will understand your business, what it needs now, and what it’ll need in the future.
For example, if you want to grow your internal communications capabilities, your consultant should be familiar with the benefits of Yammer. They should also be able to demonstrate the benefits of email, instant messaging, and SharePoint.
Don’t just focus on how technically experienced your potential consultant is. Ensure they have a robust and practical grasp of the day-to-day realities of using Microsoft Office 365.
Your consultant needs to demonstrate they can walk in your team members’ shoes when tackling a Microsft Office 365 implementation.
Office 365 Migrations
Whatever content your company already has, your consultant should be familiar with it enough to be able to help you start your digital transformation with a Microsoft Office 365 migration.
Doing this without help may take you away from your core business activities and waste valuable time and money.
An experienced consultant will ensure you don’t lose any valuable data and help you migrate all your social media content, Dropbox documents, and everything you have on other hosted environments, with ease. The migration doesn’t have to be painful.
Choosing a consultant is, in some ways, no different from hiring a team member. They have to fit with and understand your company’s culture.
Look for someone with experience, flexibility, and the ability to communicate clearly with your team members and who has excellent client satisfaction levels.
The Microsoft cloud is complex. Your consulting choice should be capable of providing 365 solutions for SharePoint Office, Power BI, Exchange, Dynamics 365 and more.
Your business needs to feel confident that its secure, confidential, and sensitive data isn’t compromised. This includes the migration process and installation process.
Microsoft Office 365 has stable and secure systems built into it. However, it’s worth you asking any future consultant what their approach to security consulting is.
It’s also worth asking them detailed questions about data backup, cybersecurity measures, and risk assessment measures.
A professional and invested consultant will stay with your company after Microsoft Office 365 installation. Ask them about the strategic guidance and practical support service they offer.
Remember, Microsoft Office 365 isn’t an inactive product. This means its features are regularly adapted and changed. Having Microsoft Office 365 consulting services which offer your company and its teams comprehensive ongoing managed services is a wise long-term investment.
If you talk to potential consultants who don’t offer ongoing managed services and support as part of their package or even support for one-off problems, you may want to rethink. It is an indicator that they are simply interested in short-term monetary gain.
When you’re interviewing potential consultants, ask them questions about what they offer in terms of:
- Ongoing managed services
- One-off problem solving and support
- End-user support
This should give you a better idea of the kind of technology solutions they provide.
Are You Ready to Hire an Office 365 Consultant?
You stand a better chance of finding the right Microsoft Office 365 consulting if you do your research.
The best ones walk you through every step of the way as you install and maintain your Microsoft Office 365 suite. They’ll also help you get the best use and value for money out of it, too.
Find out more about who we are and how we can help your company make the most of Microsoft Office 365 both now and in the future. Our industry-leading team is located strategically across the US.
While we don’t want to boast too much, we’re winners of the Microsoft Partner of the Year Award! So, drop us a note or call us at 847-839-9679 or email us with your questions – we’re always happy to help.