If you can’t measure Office 365 ROI, is it worth it?

If you can’t measure Office 365 ROI, is it worth it?
Think of it like a “tree falling in the forest” type riddle.
If you’ve implemented a new technology, and there’s no way to measure its usage – is anyone actually using it? The answer is, of course, “Who knows!?”

We’ve previously discussed how IT leaders need to be just as focussed on adoption as they are on delivering projects on time and on budget. The reason is simple.  if no one uses the technology, then there can be no true return on investment. Fortunately, there is a way to monitor and measure your success with major technology deployments – particularly when it comes to Office 365.

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Skype for Business is Replacing Microsoft Lync. Here’s What You Need to Know.

Skype for Business is Replacing Microsoft Lync. Here's What You Need to Know

Just one month after releasing a technical preview, Microsoft made available the new Skype for Business client and Skype for Business Online, its planned replacements for Microsoft Lync.

In general, this migration should be relatively painless for most organizations. With support for Active Directory, call encryption, and all the essential enterprise class controls of Lync being ported over to the more user friendly Skype interface, it’s a great mashup of two popular apps, and is seen as a welcome change by the Softchoice team.

While it’s good to know what changes to expect, it’s also good to know what your options are. Even the slightest disruption to your workforce means bad news. Read on for advice on how to ensure that doesn’t happen.

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3 Case Studies: Enterprises Bank On Azure For Infrastructure In The Cloud

3 Quick Case Studies: Enterprises Bank On Azure For Infrastructure In The Cloud

It’s no secret – organizations have a hard time putting their most critical workloads and data into the public cloud. Fears abound. Delays and hesitations result.

That doesn’t mean it’s not being done. In fact, we come across organizations every day leading the charge into the enterprise public cloud, whether it be Hybrid or all in. Read on as we highlight three companies – organizations we feel are visionaries, unlocking the cutting edge competitiveness of services like Microsoft Azure, long before it becomes the norm.

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Why These 3 Businesses Used Microsoft Azure To Build Apps

Why These 3 Businesses Used Microsoft Azure To Build Apps

If you’re creating an app — lets say, one that will be the secret sauce, competitive edges of your business over the next few years — you’ve got a choice to make.

What do you do? Build everything from the ground up, taking months and untold hours of development to deliver? Or, take it to the cloud, and trim that timeline down to months – or even weeks?

Obviously, not everything is so clear cut in the world of IT. But for the businesses in the following Microsoft Azure case studies, they’ve earned themselves the label of innovator, relying on the flexible, open and robust platform tools offered by Azure to build apps – and deliver something beautiful for their clients.

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Blueprints for Success: New Planning Services increase value to Microsoft Software Assurance

The value delivered to EA customers through Microsoft’s’ highly successful Software Assurance Program has recently increased with the addition of four new Planning Services engagements. [Read more…]

The Future of you: How Microsoft is engineering the DNA of tomorrow’s worker

It can be incredible to witness the continued evolution of technology. Sometimes though, it’s just as amazing to catch a glimpse of how technology touches the lives of the people using it.

The Softchoice Advisor set out to explore how technology will affect work-life in 2011 and beyond. We couldn’t think of a better partner to help tell this story than Microsoft, with its newest unified communications technologies, particularly Microsoft Lync and Exchange 2010.

True Collaboration
As the physical barriers of the office are being erased, the future worker will be more collaborative than any generation previous. This change is most apparent with the advancements in instant messaging and conferencing. At its core, Microsoft Lync (the next generation of Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007 and Communicator 2007) helps people connect at any time. Product improvements make it easier to communicate in a way that is more than just a phone call, and easier than traditional video conferencing systems.

With Lync, the future worker’s day will be “deeply integrated” – as people will instantly “click to communicate” from presence information embedded directly within Microsoft Outlook, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, or even SharePoint applications. Your colleagues, partners and customers will be just one click away no matter where you are or what you are doing.

Super Smart
The future worker will be smarter, more efficient and more productive. At the end of the day people just need to get the job done – and all too often the technologies we rely on get in the way. If you are too familiar with a jammed inbox, Conversation View and Clean Up features will let you manage this in seconds. Or you know the pain of being included on a company-wide email chain wishing ‘Jim’ happy birthday? Exchange 2010 jacks-up email’s IQ with improvements like an Ignore Button designed to make these pains go away. In addition, with the new Mail Tips, you’ll never inadvertently send that email reply to your entire company.

A unified inbox awaits the future Outlook user, offering a consistent inbox, calendaring, and contacts experience across the PC, browser and phone. It shows you content from email, voice mail, SMS and Lync conversation history – all in one spot. You know that voice mail you couldn’t check as you were rushing through the airport? Relax – you’ll be able to read it, in text form, from your mobile device. You can even reply or forward it along to someone else directly from your inbox.

On Lync, it’s about giving you as much context as possible so you know who to talk to and when to do it. This is seen with the Contact Card – rich, useful view of information from whatever app you are in. You can escalate the communications you have based on the level you need to have – so you can go to IM, to video, to screen, with a single click. You can even drag and drop other contacts into the discussion to create an instant multi-party conference.

Incredibly Connected
The future worker will be more connected. As companies continue to ditch those old PBXs, and replace them with software-powered voice systems, Microsoft Lync is making this switch even easier and more appealing for many businesses.

The outcome of software-based voice will grant even the most mobile workers the ability to stay connected. You can use your laptop as your phone, anywhere, for example. So, if you are in a hotel room in New York, but your office is back in Redmond, you can still be on your “office phone.”

The future of work will be more collaborative, more efficient and more connected. Much of this evolution is apparent with Microsoft’s latest releases. The bottom line is that our behavior is connected to technology – and the easier it is to use the technologies critical to everyday work – the better our work will be, too. Microsoft says its focus moving forward is delivering more deployment options, whether for on-premise, the cloud or a hybrid solution. The result? It’s going to get even easier to move your organization into the future.