Microsoft Office365

The Best Practices for

Tracking Your Microsoft Office 365 Adoption & Usage

The Best Practices for Tracking Your Microsoft Office 365 Adoption & Usage

Office 365 is an increasingly popular, future-proof solution that makes it easier for employees to work and collaborate regardless of their location. It uses familiar applications within a cloud solution that’s available anytime, anywhere to make the cloud transition as simple as possible. For this reason, many organizations are planning an upgrade to Office 365.

Despite Microsoft’s intentions of making Office 365 simple to use for both administrators and users, many organizations are experiencing deployment challenges. It’s not necessarily easy to set up and properly utilize a diverse range of cloud solutions across your organization. There’s often difficulty with managing licenses as well as estimating subscription costs, and challenges with promoting adoption across the organization.

Although these roadblocks exist, Office 365 still provides an amazing amount of utility and should be a component of most cloud transformation strategies. To make the best use of Office 365, organizations need to keep a close eye on its adoption process and its ongoing usage. By following these Office 365 best practices, your organization can find the key to this suite’s most common challenges.

Why Track Adoption and Usage for Office 365?

There are many compelling reasons to track activity in your instances of Office 365. On a basic level, it can be used to ensure that employees are being productive on the clock. However, the best reason to track adoption and usage in your Office 365 deployment is to gain insight into how people are using Office 365 services on a daily basis.

When productivity managers can quantify the impact that Office 365 offers to employees, it can provide information that helps the entire organization. Let’s take a look at the benefits that can be realized through adoption and usage data:

  • Enhanced Collaboration and Communication – With Office 365, employees can access applications such as OneDrive and SharePoint to collaborate with each other. If the IT team tracks the usage of these applications, it’s simple to determine which documents are being shared on which programs. This can provide valuable insights into how employees work, while further securing your network from unsafe documents.
  • Right-Sizing Storage – If employees use programs like SharePoint or OneDrive, they will be utilizing Microsoft’s cloud storage. Unfortunately, the pricing structure for these services includes several tiers that may have limited storage space available. To pick the plan with the best value, IT teams must have the information required to estimate how much data storage will be needed.
  • Tracking Active Licenses – It’s important to know how many active licenses are being used by people in your organization, and where these licenses are deployed. Since each person with a license can install Office 365 on up to five different devices - including personal devices - this visibility is very important. IT teams should have visibility into the cloud estate, and see how many license types are being used as well as how many users are assigned to each type of license. If these licenses are not accounted for, your organization may overpay for unused licenses or fall out of software compliance.
  • Reducing Upkeep – If your organization uses a variety of applications with similar purposes, it’s useful to see how often each team is using them. This will help determine which applications are favored within the organization and which applications are unpopular. This can help your organization eliminate unnecessary software.

Best Practices for Tracking Office 365 Adoption and Usage

Organizations should be well-versed in the software and processes necessary for cloud management, or partner with experts that can provide guidance as needed. However, there are a few best practices that should be followed when tracking and assessing an organization’s adoption and usage of Office 365:

  • Achieve Complete Software Visibility – It’s difficult to track your Office 365 usage in a meaningful way without comparing usage for similar applications. By using a platform like SoftwareONE‘s PyraCloud, organizations will receive a combined view of their entire software estate, enabling advanced software portfolio management. This allows the IT team to assess how an Office 365 integration has effected your organization’s software usage and adoption as a whole.
  • Invest in Behavior Change – Just because you’ve moved to a new solution doesn’t mean that employees aren’t following antiquated working habits. Behavior change management will help members of your organization understand the changes that Office 365 will have on their day-to-day work. As a result, your teams won’t only be more likely to adopt Office 365 solutions, they will learn how to use the solutions effectively. This will help ensure better adoption and usage.
  • Understand the Modern Workplace – The way that people work has changed – meetings are becoming more frequent, and workforces are becoming more distributed. This shift has been described as the “modern workplace.” Organizations should adopt a unified communications (UC) strategy to help employees collaborate together under a comprehensive, all-encompassing system. By examining the usage and adoption of collaborative applications, IT teams can choose the right software for their UC strategy and ensure that employees are using the proper applications for communication.
  • Predict Your Spend – By viewing adoption and usage metrics, it’s simpler to predict the balance on your next Office 365 bill. When tracking adoption and usage, take special care to understand what that usage means for your organization’s bottom line. This way, there will be fewer surprises and greater opportunity to accurately work your Office 365 spend into your budget.

By tracking adoption and usage of your Office 365 deployment, you can enhance the productivity of your organization while cutting frivolous expenses. By following these best practices, it’s possible to maximize the value of your software portfolio while aligning with existing business objectives.

Final Thoughts

Properly tracking the adoption and usage of your Office 365 deployment requires basic cloud management technology. However, an advanced solution like 365Simple which includes PyraCloud will give your organization visibility into adoption and usage metrics across not only Office 365, but your entire software portfolio. By following the right guidance and using the right technology, organizations will better understand how to fully optimize their Office 365 deployment.

Want to track activity across your entire software portfolio?

With PyraCloud, IT teams can track adoption and usage for Microsoft 365, and all applications it influences

Learn More

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Author

Erik Moll

Sales Executive Go-to-Market Manager

Digital Transformation

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