On September 3, 2014, Microsoft published a press release [a]nnouncing Office 365 deployment benefits for new customers. Now organizations can avail of a multi-featured program, offered directly through Microsoft, to increase the odds of success for larger organizations choosing Office 365 and SaaS for their office automation needs. The features of this program include direct management (at no additional charge for qualifying customers), by Microsoft, of the Office 365 onboarding process for any new customer purchasing 150 Office 365 seats, or more, for specific Office 365 subscription offers (which are listed in the press release).
The program also includes “the Office 365 adoption offer”. Under the terms of this offer, eligible organizations with 150-1000 seats on Office 365 can receive a cash payment from Microsoft of $15.00 per seat should they purchase consulting services from a “qualified partner of [their] choice” to “conduct adoption activities”. Similarly, eligible organizations with more than 1001 Office 365 seats will receive a cash payment from Microsoft of $5.00 per seat.
The notion of whether or not personnel within a larger organization require an adoption program, or not, has been, and remains a controversial issue for Microsoft’s customers for Office 365, and its predecessor, SharePoint. This writer is directly involved, currently, with a client marketing a set of solutions, which can be used to hasten user adoption of either Office 365, or SharePoint, so he can attest to the difficulties these organizations experience as they seek to define a real need for help in this area.
The September 3, 2014 press release from Microsoft should be of interest to anyone following this mature ISV’s business activities, as it includes direct mention of adoption as a step organizations ought to consider as they look into methods of rapidly transitioning from on premises office automation solutions, over to Office 365, cloud SaaS methods. Historically, some of Microsoft’s promotional information about SharePoint and, later, Office 365, attempted to emphasize the ease of use for average users, out-of-the-box. This announcement, in contrast, directly addresses the difficulties most organizations experience as they attempt to migrate over to Office 365, and, further, includes an offer for Microsoft to contribute to the funding of an effort (adoption) to ease the process.
In this writer’s opinion, the program Microsoft has announced should contribute, at a minimum, to more larger organizations seriously considering Office 365. The upside potential looks promising.
Ira Michael Blonder
© IMB Enterprises, Inc. & Ira Michael Blonder, 2014 All Rights Reserved