Q+A with Michael Watkins

Modernise and simplify your Future Workplace

Modernise and simplify your Future Workplace Q+A with Michael Watkins

What are you responsible for at SWO?

Encouraging adoption of 365 services within our customer base to help modernize and simplify the end user workspace by means of driving future workplace projects and managed services.

What does your team do?

The future workplace team work with our customers to help businesses maximize their investment in their 365 licenses. Our team of adoption specialists ensure customers get the most out of the 365 licensing by means of helping businesses understand and implement the forever improving suite of Microsoft 365 offerings.

Why do people need our services/what problem are we solving for customers?

Businesses regularly purchase a 365 license suite and only implement or use a small fraction of what is available to them within it, resulting in doubling up on vendors and therefore complexity. Our team understand the full offering of the M365 suite, as well as thorough understanding of competing products in order to help organisations implement more of what they pay for and reduce cost and complexity in their environment.

What are the biggest challenges facing our clients?

Resourcing and understanding. The M365 product evolves so quickly and for many Internal IT teams, only needs to be implemented once. Therefore, many internal IT teams do not have resources available, or with the necessary skillset to implement these features or manage these products. Leveraging a partner who does this day in day out for customers of all shapes and sizes brings a huge amount of experience to the project to make it a seamless implementation.

What is the most interesting trend in the software market today?

Microsoft’s shift in maturity in regard to Security. Previously Microsoft has been in the lower quadrant in Security and many organisations would never consider adopting or trusting its offerings. Today, by leveraging all the components of its 365 and Azure platforms to work together, along with the industry shift to Identity security from perimeter security, it is now considered as a market leader. Organisations are now more willing to leverage the Microsoft security suite and remove traditional, heavy weight security vendors from their environment.

How has the industry changed over time?

As with all IT, the move to cloud and SaaS has changed the landscape considerably. Data centres, network and physical security are no longer relevant. In a SaaS first world, Identity is key. Hackers now hack people, not firewalls, which has turned the security world upside down. IT solutions now start by securing the data and the people who access it and we are seeing all the underlying solutions fall into that model. Hackers will get smarter, and the solutions will always evolve to combat that.

What separates us from the competition?

SoftwareONE is in a unique position where we have an in-depth understanding of our customers from our licensing business. Our customer base is already 5-7+ years old and we have that long term relationship where we already understand their purchasing and licensing history to better position adoption services. Further to this, our FWP business complements the offerings we have around SLM, FDC, SAP, and other offerings to position ourselves as an end to end partner.

What tips do you have for businesses?

Capitalise on your investment in 365. There are huge financial and resource savings to be made by leveraging your existing investment.

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Michael Watkins

Future Workplace Practice Lead

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