We are in the midst of a workplace revolution. To survive we need more efficient processes, different decision-making structures and carefully selected tools, which is where Microsoft comes in.

After decades of acquisitions by the company, it has now reached a point where pretty much every aspect of a person’s day-to-day digital work life can be delivered by a Microsoft product. These products have been pulled together into a single cloud-based suite they now call Microsoft 365.

We like to think of Microsoft 365 as a bit like shopping at IKEA; there’s everything you need (and a lot you don’t), from kitchens to bathrooms to bedrooms. And while it may look similar from store to store, the reality is that people with many different needs, tastes, aspirations and budgets shop at IKEA. All with a common goal of improving their homes and creating better everyday lives.

 

It’s the same with Microsoft 365 which provides endless possibilities for businesses hoping to reduce costs, increase productivity and create better working environments for employees by providing a one-stop-shop for the three Cs: connectivity, communication, and collaboration.

And to avoid an identikit crisis, businesses must carefully consider and customise the combination of tools which will provide a consistent employee experience or risk losing time, money and workplace harmony. There is no simple answer, however, and applying the right balance of tools takes careful research, planning, and execution.

Mobile provider Three serves as a case study for successfully leveraging Microsoft O365 tools to help achieve that magic trio. As a global company with offices all over the world, long-distance teamwork is the key to sharing information and ideas.

Microsoft Teams was introduced at Three as a virtual teamwork hub – where groups of up to nine people work in virtual teams across the company, on multiple devices anytime and anywhere. Teams has increased productivity and, when used in conjunction with Microsoft Planner, allows for the streamlining of each circle’s projects, avoids duplicate effort and offers a single storage centre. Importantly, it has also prompted collaboration within and across departments, improving organisational agility.

At Sequel, we’re also helping Microsoft 365 work its magic, developing strategic solutions for companies including Bupa, Costa Coffee and RBS. After thoroughly analysing their needs, we helped Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) introduce a Microsoft 365 solution that focused on a structured SharePoint intranet and blended the SharePoint feed, Teams and Yammer for collaboration. Then there’s our ongoing work with FremantleMedia – from planning through to technical implementation – where we’re combining social and traditional content in their cloud environment.

When rolling out Microsoft 365, there is no magic bullet approach. Purposeful collaboration can be achieved using a number of different tools, depending on the needs of the organisation. But, it is vital to plan and assess which tools will help achieve this goal before the fact, just like a successful trip to IKEA is the result of a well thought-out shopping list.

 

Christina Papathanasiou, Communications and Content Executive, Sequel Group