Office 365 – Something for Everyone

on May 17, 2016

2015 saw cloud services and Office365 in particular reach the mainstream.  4 out of 5 Fortune 500 organizations use Office365 and based on a survey of over 120,000 organizations, 48% of them are using a cloud based productivity suite of some sort. I fully expect that in 2016 more than 50% of organization Microsoft will account for well over 30% of that.  Microsoft has also moved from having less than half of Google’s market share in cloud productivity to surpassing them not only in new sales but in migrations away from Google Apps.

An interesting view of Microsoft’s market position and other interesting statistics can be found here in Microsoft by the Numbers:  The Enterprise Cloud

So that’s the appeal of Office 365?   Well, like I usually say, “It Depends”.  It depends on who you ask.  That’s because the value is different for different parts of the IT organization and the business.  Different stakeholders have different priorities but they can all benefit from Office 365.  Consider the CFO, CIO, IT Director, LOB Director, and the System Administrator:


For the CFO it’s all about costs.  Either ROI or cost avoidance.  From financial planning perspective shifting Capital Expenses to Operating Expenses (CAPEX to OPEX).  Conservatively, Office365 can help the CFO achieve the following:

  1. Reduce OPEX by 30-50%
    • No servers for Exchange
    • Human capital not required for maintenance and support of infrastructure
  2. Link OPEX to consumption with elasticity to scale up/down as required
  3. Facility and utilities benefits from reduced IT footprint
    • Less physical infrastructure
    • Lower power and cooling requirements


For the CIO the benefits are centered on risk management and improved service levels.  Consider the advantages of the following:

  1. Shift business risk to MS
    • Service model backed by MS SLA
    • Managing SLAs instead of infrastructure
  2. Improve responsiveness
    • Scale up/down capacity as required
    • Enhance functionality more easily
  3. Enable the modern workforce
    • Best practice out-of-the box configuration/integration based on in-depth knowledge and experience of MS
    • Platform independence – Any corporate or personal device
    • BYOD enabled for end users
    • Mobility
  4. Built-in regulatory compliance, disaster recovery and business continuity
    • High service availability from MS backed by financial penalties linked to SLA
  5. Enhanced security backed by MS scale

IT Director

The IT Director/Manager is concerned about balancing operational responsibilities (maintaining current service levels) and building for the future.  This tension between the operational status quo and desire for enhancements and improvements is difficult to manage.  Consider the benefits of:

  1. Reduced effort for operational maintenance
    • No backups, patching
    • No upgrade and migration projects on server side for exchange, Skype, SharePoint, etc.
    • Simpler Disaster recovery and business continuity procedures
  2. Opportunity to focus effort onto higher priority projects
    • More alignment with LOBs
  3. Reduced infrastructure complexity
  4. Easy access to enable the latest versions for end users in a controlled environment
    • MS automatically rolls out new services and functionality behind the scenes

LOB Director

Managers and directors of specific lines of business such as sales and marketing enjoy the dependable and predictable infrastructure on which to build LOB applications and automate processes.  It provides them with increased agility, flexibility and mobility while allowing faster provisioning of new services and functionality

System Admin

System Administrators are constantly putting out fires and reacting to the latest demands from all of the other stakeholders. It is the rare SysAdmin that doesn’t have a list of at least a dozen things that should be looked at but are being ignored.  The benefits for the SysAdmin include:

  1. Use familiar tools to manage more users with less effort
  2. Avoid the stress and effort of a licensing audit

So tell me again why you aren’t on Office 365?


Special thanks to Carlos Zaidi for putting together the following Office 365 segmented value proposition slide

365 Segmented Value Proposition


International Business Times – Office 365 Crushes Google Apps In Enterprise: Microsoft Now Controls Over 25% Market Share

CIO – Why companies are switching from Google Apps to Office 365

By Colin Smith

Colin Smith is the Manager of the Microsoft Solutions Practice at Cistel Technology Inc. , a Microsoft Gold Partner headquartered in Ottawa, Canada. Colin is a frequent author and presenter. He is also a dual Microsoft MVP.  He is an MVP for Enterprise Mobility (formerly System Center Configuration Manager) who has been working with the product since SMS version 1.0. He is also a MVP for Windows and Devices for IT. He has over 20 years of experience deploying Microsoft-based solutions for the private and public sector with a focus on mobile, desktop, cloud and data center management.

Anthony WhalenOffice 365 – Something for Everyone