September 20, 2016

Debunking Microsoft 365 Replacing Cloud Service Providers

Recently, many businesses, associations and nonprofit organizations have been switching to Microsoft Office 365 with the intention of reducing overhead costs by completely “replacing” their IT and cloud service providers. It’s only soon after, these same companies are realizing that Office 365 isn’t a replacement at all. In fact, service provided by an IT vendor and Office 365 are not equivalent; it’s essentially comparing apples to oranges.

With that in mind, let’s walk through the top three factors proving why you should rethink adopting Microsoft Office 365 and dropping your IT provider:

1. Support
This is the number one reason why you should reconsider cutting ties with your provider. Do you know the type of support you’ll receive from Microsoft after migrating to Office 365? Although this question is an afterthought for many, it has the biggest impact. The support you’ll receive from Microsoft will be very limited compared to the support you’ve grown accustomed to receiving from your cloud service provider. The support will be limited in regards to the hours that you will get responses from Microsoft, but also in the fact that they won’t support solutions outside of Office 365’s responsibilities. This means, if you’re hosting any other solutions that are not Microsoft-based, you’ll be left on your own when an issue occurs.
2. Service
Much like support, the type of service you’ll receive will be limited. Yes, Microsoft will continuously update Office 365, but what about your other business-critical solutions and applications? These two will be left for you to update and maintain on an ongoing basis. What about your customizations? You’ll have to find out how to migrate these customizations to your new Office 365 environment and hope they work the same as before.
3. Security
Security is a big concern regardless of what hosting environment you’re using, including Microsoft Office 365. Office 365 has built-in security capabilities, but is it enough for your association or business? Does it meet your industry’s compliance standards and spam, encryption and archiving needs? You may need to purchase add-on’s through Microsoft in order secure Office 365 to your standards, which could cost more than you’ve budgeted. Additionally, you could be leaving your other applications vulnerable to security risks. By keeping your IT and cloud service provider on board, they can work with you to make sure your organization and its data is fully protected- from all angles.

By understanding these big differences, you can save yourself from making the costly mistake of dropping your IT and cloud service provider. Utilize your provider’s expertise and knowledge in the field.  They can help you migrate to Microsoft Office 365 smoothly and make sure that you’re protected, receive the support and have the type of service you need to accomplish your daily tasks. While a bargain might seem like a good thing at the time, remember, you always get what you pay for.

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