What is Office 365 exactly? Or ‘Ooh Look – Teams!’

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I recently had a scoping call with a client, the conversation went something along the lines of this:

  • Client: I want to go Office 365
  • Me: Ok, are there specific areas of O365 are of interest to you?
  • Client: Yeah, we want to use Office 365 for our services.
  • Me: [Alarm Bells] great – [I want to ask if they know what Office 365 is exactly] Probably best if we start from scratch so everyone understands what is included in the suite of products.

It was at this point we took a very big step back and went from the beginning. There are a large number of businesses that still don’t seem to be clear on what Office 365 is and what it might mean to their business and their strategy.

We covered the full range of products that collectively form “Office 365”, we went through a simple set of discussions about each one and what kind of benefit that may bring to the business, we didn’t really talk technical at all. We spoke about the core products that would give easy wins and those that would be very disruptive but bring enormous gains and then we talked about Teams, we talked a lot about Teams, and I mean a lot – a lot.

The single slide I presented, (I don’t do PowerPoint), had a diagram of the Office 365 products in a nice wheel, and neatly and quietly tucked away in there was Teams.

So we had a little tour of Teams, discussed how it fitted in to the Unified Communications and Collaboration world, and how Teams was the next ‘big thing’. Then we talked about SharePoint and how it fitted with Teams, and Dynamics, and OneNote, and security and GDPR and how they fitted with Teams and on and on and on… Almost every discussion came back to the ability to surface the product within Teams.

Microsoft come in for a lot of stick, some of which is deserved 😊, but whilst there are still functional gaps in Teams, they are certainly on the right track (especially when parity with SfB Online is reached). Back in 2015 I wrote a blog called “Unified Communications Isn’t That Unified Is It?” it is not often I am proven right, as my wife would no doubt confirm, but it seems like my hunch was right this time.

For a near entire conversation about a huge range of Office 365 products to boil down to 2 hours of talking about Teams, and some other stuff that also runs from Office 365 in the background, shows to me what kind of massive shift in workplace culture and productivity this product is likely to have over the coming years.

Unified Communications will almost skip the Communications part and shift directly to the Unified Workspace. Bring it on I say, bring it on.

BTW, the chances of me being right twice in one decade are pretty limited.

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