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  Published 24 January 2023 

It’s the first month of a brand-new year, and we can almost guarantee that your business has plans to:

 

  • Eliminate redundant IT solutions
  • Simplify IT management
  • Improve productivity for employees through more consistent work practices
  • Improve engagement with employees
  • Digitise and automate outdated processes to save time, cost and improve safety

Sound familiar? Well, we’re here to help! And the best part is that you already have the tools and technology in your business today to tackle these challenges head on.

Here’s our top three top tips for getting the most out of your M365 investment  (and dare we say, help you ‘do more with less’).

1. Harness the knowledge and power of a global shared service 

At the time of writing, there are 270 million daily active users of Microsoft Teams. The M365 platform is one of the largest shared services in the world. And, because it’s evergreen, it’s constantly evolving based on the needs and feedback of that major user-base.

Chances are that many of the challenges faced by your organisation are like those of other businesses. So, it makes sense (from a time and cost perspective) to think of the M365 ecosystem as a global shared service and take advantage of the thousands of pre-built solutions and features that are available across M365.

A great place to start is to familiarise yourself with the existing features (also known as ‘seeded capability’) or templates within each app and license model. For example, in Power Automate you’ll find a bunch of free templates you can use to solve common use cases such as saving email attachments from Outlook to OneDrive, starting approval flows, creating an automatic planner task and more. In places like the Teams Admin Centre, you’ll find more advanced templates, such as pre-built MS Teams apps that you can use to spring-board development of your next solution.

Outside of this, another great source of information can be industry repositories, such as GitHub or the SharePoint Lookbook, which houses thousands of solutions that can be downloaded for free. Top tip: check out some of the solutions we’ve posted to GitHub for inspiration.

Apps

2. Keep a close eye on the M365 roadmap

At Engage Squared, our mantra when it comes to building new solutions is ‘out-of-the-box first’. That means steering away from heavy customisations in favour of low code/no code solutions as much as possible. There are a few reasons for this – the first (and most obvious) is the added cost of building and maintaining a heavily customised solution. The second, and perhaps more important reason, is because many of the features our clients want are already in production or coming soon on the M365 roadmap. We design our solutions so they’re scalable and account for future feature releases.

While it’s easy for us to build scalability into our solutions, often our clients tell us that it feels nearly impossible to keep up with the number of new roadmap announcements across the M365 ecosystem. If you’re struggling to keep up with the number of changes and make sense of what those changes mean to your business, we have a solution for that. As part of our evergreen-as-a-service offering, our Change & Transformation team can provide you with a monthly report (tailored to your organisation) that summarises the updates you need to know about. This includes scoring them based on the level of impact from a technical and business perspective, as well as calling out any notable opportunities to enhance the way you do business. If you’re keen to find out more about this service, download the brochure here or get in touch.

Example screenshots from our evergreen reporting dashboard

3. Work smarter, not harder, with Microsoft’s Adoption resources 

Perhaps you’ve modernised your tech landscape and provided your users with a range of features that will help make their working lives easier and save the business money. But, even with so much time and investment spent modernising your technology, you’re STILL not seeing the results. Shadow IT is still an issue, and employees aren’t changing their ways of working to make the most of the new shiny apps now available at their fingertips.

Here’s where taking advantage of Microsoft’s technology adoption resources can really help…

We recommend using apps like Viva Learning to curate and surface learning content from Microsoft’s extensive on-demand training library. To compliment this, encourage influencers or tech early adopters within your organisation to join eternal communities such as Microsoft’s Champion Network. Couple this with some targeted change management and training programs and voila! You my friend, will start to reap the rewards of your investment.

If you aren’t sure where to start, or how to make the most of your M365 investment, get in touch!

About the author

Claudia Piscitelli is the CXO of Engage Squared. For more than 12 years, she has worked in communications and change management, drawing on her qualifications in behavioural science to support large-scale change programs with some of the biggest enterprise companies in Australia. She is a certified Workplace Analytics Practitioner and mum of two.