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.

Measuring up Office 365 for success

While measuring adoption and Office 365 ROI go hand in hand with success, it’s far easier said than done with the functionality native to Office 365.

While Office 365 offers tremendous benefits to the end user, things can get a little murky on the reporting side. This largely comes down to a lack of granularity in terms of the native dashboards within Office. While you can see how many active users you have, it’s difficult to drill down any further into the specifics. Unless of course you find the time to custom develop your own approach – and not many organizations have the time or resources to do so.

Still, measuring adoption is critical, especially when many organizations are moving to a shared services model. Granularity on the reporting front is a must have as different departments, such as HR or Sales, wish to know how many of their users are active on the cloud suite in order to support bill back scenarios. It’s equally vital in understanding the ROI of your deployment in terms of usage and adoption.

Getting it right with MySoftchoice Cloud Dashboard 

One popular option is to leverage an outside party to provide the granularity to better understand your initiative’s adoption rate across the organization. There are a number of options out there. And Softchoice offers one of them.

Called MySoftchoice Cloud Dashboard , the service takes a unique data-driven approach to helping organizations understand how the Office 365 productivity apps (Exchange, Lync, SharePoint, Yammer, OneDrive and Delve) are being used by individuals across the organization.

By pairing device and application usage metrics from EMS and O365 with user information from Active Directory, organizations can unlock a deeper and more meaningful understanding of how users in their organization are using the applications on a daily basis.

A Case in Point

We recently worked with a larger 4,500 employee organization with three major divisions. They needed a way to quickly see which users had been provisioned an Office 365 license so that they could charge-back the cost of those licenses to the appropriate division.

With MySoftchoice Cloud Dashboard, we were able to show them visually who had been assigned which Office 365 license on a per-user, per-location, and per-department level. The results were great: hours of headaches avoided, and a more efficient delivery of licenses to the people who needed them. Even better, they were able to quickly take the pulse of their project and spot areas that needed improvement, as their adoption strategy continues.

Improve visibility and measure ROI with Office 365

If you’re considering Office 365, measuring adoption should be on the top of your list. Of course there are other priorities to consider to ensure the success of your initiative, too.

To help answer all these questions, we’ve put together brand new guide for building a comprehensive, user-centric Office 365 strategy. In addition to checklists and downloadable templates, the guide is packed with expert advice from our Microsoft team.

Download your free copy of The Complete Guide to Building a User Centric Office 365.

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About Tobin Dalrymple

Tobin Dalrymple is a longtime Softchoice contributor and the IEF program writer living in Montreal.