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Preparing your organization for a seamless Office 365 deployment

Office 365 supports our globally diverse and highly mobile workforce

In order to successfully transition to the latest business software, organizations must plan ahead. At Microsoft, experts in Core Services Engineering and Operations (CSEO) have gained a great deal of insight from deploying the entire Office 365 suite to our global workforce. Thoughtful and proactive communications, an upgrade deployment executed with expertise and speed, and post-deployment training and support were key to our employees being productive from day one.

Here, we share some of the tools we used to help guide the planning, deployment, and training and support stages of our Office 365 transition at Microsoft. We’ve provided templates you can customize with your company information, case studies that detail best practices and lessons learned, and training assets to help you get your employees up to speed quickly. Learn from our journey at Microsoft and use the same resources we did to make your own Office 365 deployment smooth, productive, and powerful.


Plan

You can never be too prepared when rolling out new software.  When it came time to deploy a suite as robust and expansive as Office 365, CSEO planned ahead to provide an exceptional experience and drive early adoption. Delivering timely, informative messages through the appropriate channels was key to driving awareness, inspiring action, and empowering employees to be productive with their new tools.

With this focus on readiness and communication, CSEO reached out to employees early in the planning process using direct language that deliberately avoided technical jargon. And with a friendly, inviting, and aspirational tone in place, we were able to build excitement while educating employees about new features and benefits. Here are some of the assets we used to plan our own Office 365 deployment, ready for you to customize for use at your own organization.


Deploy

Technical decision makers have their hands full when it comes to deploying updates, migrations, and new technologies. Experts in CSEO used their wealth of experience with earlier versions of Office to carefully plan and execute this deployment of Office 365 across Microsoft. We configured automatic updates for more than 120,000 on-site and remote employees, partners, and vendors around the world.

Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager made this highly complex, delicate, enterprise-wide project the company’s smoothest upgrade experience to date. While customizing individual update schedules created unnecessary administrative overhead in the past, using the new update channels function in Office 365 ProPlus allowed the team to specify the cadence of each update, tailoring the schedule for every employee’s business needs.


Support

Training and ongoing support was critical to our success in deploying Office 365 across Microsoft’s global organization because the endeavor was so expansive. We designed a number of tools to help employees with early adoption and increase productivity starting from day one of the deployment. Our internal readiness program focused on comprehensive guidance so that employees had the freedom to learn on their own terms.

Offering a variety of training tool formats, from downloadable guides to how-to videos and step-by-step instructions, made it easy for employees to learn at the office, in the cloud, or on the go with their favorite mobile devices. We’ve made similar training tools available for you to use within your own enterprise to help enhance employee adoption and encourage productivity.

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