IT services are the secret weapon information-intensive businesses wield to digitally transform their operations. Without this expert assistance, organizations run into obstacles when they try to modernize. Instead of a cost-effective remote work model, they often create an environment where:
- Operating costs rose
- Productivity dropped
- Control over data sharing disappeared
- Technology went unused
- Risks emerged
If you’ve run into any of these problems as you shifted to remote work or migrated to the cloud, you aren’t alone. Modernization is possible, and easy, when you pair the right IT services with the Microsoft Modern Workplace.
What is the Modern Workplace and How Does it Digitally Transform Businesses?
“Digital transformation” is shorthand for modernizing your business with new IT systems and moving to the cloud. The fastest way to get there is the Microsoft Modern Workplace. Built on Microsoft 365, this platform ties together the tools a business needs to achieve digital transformation and build resiliency. Working with a managed IT services provider adds a team of experts to the package.
Under our managed modern workplace model, you get a white glove approach to modernization without breaking your budget.
Use Managed IT Services to Rein in Spending
It’s easy to overspend on technology – and we don’t mean pricey PCs.
Businesses pay for Microsoft 365, then don’t use 40% of its capabilities
This usually happens because a business doesn’t realize there’s a service available in Microsoft 365. To fill the perceived gap, they go and pay for the single solution from another vendor. Or they continue using an application they had before migrating to Microsoft 365 instead of consolidating.
Here’s an example: You pay for a cloud-based data storage solution, like DropBox Business, even though you have a secure business solution – SharePoint.
The managed modern workplace solves this issue because everyone on your IT support team has a deep understanding of Microsoft products, technology and your business.
Where you might be concerned about adoption of new solutions, such as SharePoint, you should be able to rely on your provider for in-depth training on the products they recommend, so your users can quickly become comfortable and proficient with the new applications.
How Microsoft licensing experts find ways to save you money
When we start working with managed modern workplace clients, our Microsoft licensing experts review the applications they have and highlight what overlaps with tools in their Microsoft suite. Any “extras” are eliminated, saving our clients money and streamlining critical business applications. Because we also provide cloud consulting services, we pass along additional savings through arrangements like Microsoft’s cloud solution provider program.
We Saved a Real Estate Developer Thousands in Microsoft Licensing Fees
Modernize Communications, Make Your Business More Efficient
Traditional communications systems can’t keep up with the demands information-rich businesses have. When people are working anywhere and everywhere, you need a way to replicate the ease of wandering over to a coworker’s desk and asking a question. In Microsoft Teams you can:
- Mention the person and ask the question directly in the document
- Send a chat message
- Call the person
- Join a video call with them
- Schedule a meeting to discuss the question in depth
The internal communication features alone make Teams a highly effective collaboration tool. It’s only the beginning.
Teams + SharePoint + OneDrive = 24/7 access
Uninterrupted access to data is a baseline operating requirement for any information-intensive business. Documents in Teams channels automatically sync to SharePoint sites. If you can access the internet, you can access documents and data. Want the information on your computer, too? Connect SharePoint and OneDrive.
Customize Teams with integrations
Over 900 applications integrate with Teams. Chances are, whatever you use as a CRM or for project management can be added to Teams. This centralizes your employees’ digital workspace, making it easier to access and use information.
Create a plan with your cloud consultant
900+ applications has a downside, too. Work with your managed modern workplace cloud consultant to pinpoint which apps you should use and which to ignore. This will keep the Teams platform manageable for you and the rest of the company.
Cloud phones are another way to save
You’ve heard the refrain about the cloud before – available, scalable, cost effective. Those benefits extend to cloud-based phone systems, too. When you use a service like the Teams cloud phone you won’t lose the functionality of a traditional office-based phone. Call forwarding, auto attendants, hold music and emergency call features are all included.
Consolidate vendors and get rid of unused lines
If there’s a department that never makes external calls, you don’t need to get a plan for them. They’ll still be able to call internally on Teams or set up video calls with external partners.
Less cost, better communication. See what’s possible when you make Teams your phone system.
Use Teams and keep your VoIP phone system
You don’t have to give up your business phone system. VoIP phone systems like Mitel MiCloud Connect are compatible with Teams. You get to keep the features you know, integrate them into Office 365 and get better service.
Add Layers of Security: Manage How, When and Where Data is Shared
Your security is compromised the second any employee accesses your network from an unsecured connection. When people log onto public WiFi to check email or work on documents, they open the door to your network. Criminals, viruses, spyware and ransomware are all free to enter.
Close the door with identity-based security
VPNs and firewalls don’t stop threats that are invited in. The managed modern workplace harnesses identity-based security solutions (like multifactor authentication) to protect accounts and information. Rules can be set up to limit access based on a person’s role. You can prevent files from being:
It’s not only information that exists outside the office. Physical devices leave, too. These can be lost or stolen. Endpoint security reduces vulnerability. You can remotely delete data or lock devices so criminals can’t steal confidential information.
Limit access to your data
You’re responsible for the integrity of a lot of data. To keep it private and secure, limit access. Place identity-based restrictions on files so only people who use the information can view and use it. Rules can be highly specific. For instance, if one HR assistant needs to see finance files and another doesn’t, you can give access to one and not the other.
Cybersecurity experts in the managed modern workplace do this for you
Our cyber experts make it easy for you to deploy highly nuanced identity-based controls. You give us the parameters for who needs access, we set it up and manage the technical aspects.
Use Disaster Preparedness to Build Resiliency and Mitigate Risks
Many benefits of digital transformation seem geared toward people who work from home or frequently travel. That’s not the case. There are key business continuity benefits that come with the modern workplace. Data and applications are always available, decreasing downtime. If people are prevented from going to the office – for whatever reason – they can still work. Information-rich businesses become more resilient in the cloud, but not invincible. There are other steps you should take to plan for disaster mitigate risks.
Why you need data recovery and backup solutions
Think about all the records you store. Critical client records, proprietary information, project documents, research, internal memos – it’s all digital. Without data recovery and backup solutions your data is not available, you won’t be able to conduct meaningful business. And it’s shockingly easy for information to disappear. At any second, someone could accidentally delete a file. Or a stray click could introduce a virus into your network that destroys everything.
Use cloud consulting to create an affordable solution
With as much data as your business has, a backup solution that recovers all your files will be prohibitively expensive. Work with a cloud consultant to identify how much data you can lose without it detrimentally impacting your operations.
Get a White-Glove Approach to Digital Transformation and IT Services
Microsoft’s modern workplace is powerful but can become unwieldy without expert assistance. Our managed modern workplace is a solution your peers use to reap the benefits of digital transformation without the pain of trying to manage each moving part.