Microsoft Office 365

At Signal the diversity of our offerings is key to being able to provide our services to our clients. Because our client base exists across a number of market sectors, we can channel that experience into compelling solutions to fit all business needs.

At Signal we have recently carried out large numbers of Office 365 migrations from:

  • Legacy on premise Exchange environments to new Office 365 realms.
  • Migrations from Gmail business accounts to Office 365 realms
  • Creation of brand-new Office 365 realms.

Our latest Client migration was a 180-seat organisation who traditionally had always been on premise based. Sceptical of the “cloud” and the merits of migration, the move to Office 365 was predicated on their exchange environment being due for a technical refresh and a business decision needed to be made against investment in new physical hardware versus the potential of any cost savings when migrating to Office 365.

As Signal pointed out however, this decision was not just about a straight off prem migration, there were other potential benefits and considerations to think about and consider.

Technology Installed:

Key points

  • What was the business approach to flexible working?
  • What was the business plan in relation to future disaster recovery and business continuity?
  • What was the business approach to mobile first?
  • What does the IT Strategy say…is there an IT Strategy?
  • What does digital transformation look like going forward?

Rather than considering a straight “service swap”, there were other aspects that would help drive this decision.  If a move to “Cloud” Office 365 was successful, what other services might fit a migration to “Cloud”?  What opportunities does this present?

The Scope

After these initial aspects were considered, we suggested that our client undertake a small proof of concept (POC) to test the advantages of a cloud migration to O365.  In addition, we held workshops with the client to understand what the approach might be to key points raised and the advantages it might provide.  Success criteria was defined against the POC and undertaken.

Success criteria included amongst other key areas:

  • Does access to email outside of the confines of the corporate network provide greater flexibility, is this the type of flexibility that will benefit our business.
  • Are the costs cheaper or equivalent over a 3-5-year period moving to cloud for our email capability?
  • How does the cloud alter our investment and budgets within IT going forward?
  • Are we confident in the security of our email data (business data and our clients) if its cloud based?
  • Does this move drive changes to other infrastructure that is currently on premise?
  • What cultural business changes might this drive, would these changes be of benefit?
  • Could we reduce operating costs if our approach to working was more flexible?
  • Could this help unite key areas of the business and get behind a digital transformation strategy?

The Benefits

  • A full scale move to O365 was fully implemented after the initial POC.
  • This single initial question regarding O365 vs on prem exchange prompted other key areas within the business and its approach to IT to be discussed and adopted.
  • This led to discussions within the business about digital transformation and ultimately what aspects of the business needed change.
  • Other key aspects of the 0365 subscription were utilised (SharePoint) meaning file server capabilities were migrated as part of the 0365 migration. This led to savings on internal storage and on prem backup.
  • Aspects around security were adopted regarding 2FA for 0365 sign on by staff.
  • Legal hold and litigation as a consequence was enabled for transparency of email correspondence being sent from the business.
  • Savings were made based on smaller satellite office locations. Working practices were switched to more staff working from home.

Download Microsoft Office 365 Services Overview