What is our primary use case?
This solution is used for everything, the task, and the teams. It is a collaboration of all of the applications that are found in Office 365, but with one interface in which you can communicate between people.
We have some that have been deployed on a hybrid cloud, others that are just cloud, and some that are hybrids with an Active Directory that is on-premises and connected through Windows Azure. It connects to the cloud to sync all of the users from our campus.
For email assistance, or SharePoint or for sharing drives, it is all the cloud.
How has it helped my organization?
One of the O365 applications that made a huge impact is the Microsoft Teams that enhanced our communication in sharing files with online modification and execution helped in focusing our conversations and divide them into channels to have an efficient and effective output. Also chatting has been evolved to be not only sharing text but also solving problems instantly due to the ease of communication (Chat, Voice, Video). Work-From-Home became much easier then you can even imagine with O365.
What is most valuable?
These are the main things that help the business collaborate.
- At the same time, you can share files, you can send emails on the spot, and you can also assign meetings on the spot.
- You can have conference calls with different parties using video and voice.
It saves a lot of time. When opening a new business, you need the main server, file sharing, and you need to secure them.
Not only to have them there on-site or on-premises, you need to have them backed up, and archived. So rather than going for a new place, with a new Internet, we go to Cloud and it will provide everything that we need.
You're not restricted to a certain place or certain country. You can work from any place on Earth, from any device, without having your laptop.
This is one of the main factors, and that it is secured. This is also a big advantage.
They have already made some improvements to the interface and dashboards that have made a positive impact.
What needs improvement?
The security sites need to be simplified and the technical support needs improvement.
In the next release, I would like to see the management of the security features become more user-friendly.
For how long have I used the solution?
I have been using this solution for one year.
What do I think about the stability of the solution?
This solution is stable.
In our team, we don't have many users. We are in the early stages of migration.
Other companies that I work with have approximately three hundred or four hundred in different countries and the other sites I have one hundred and fifteen to one hundred and thirty users.
What do I think about the scalability of the solution?
This solution is scalable.
How are customer service and technical support?
The technical support needs time to understand your problem to help you, because of the language barrier. It takes time to solve certain things.
In the Gulf area, most people call in Arabic and want to translate to English. The problem is the Technical support does not understand English well, so it takes time to explain what the problem is when it could be a simple issue to resolve.
This doesn't represent all of the technical support, maybe 75% is good.
Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?
We have Google. Google is good, but I was not familiar with the application and the tasks because most of the time I have worked with Microsoft. They have the same features, but I didn't find that Google was easy to work with applications.
They have evolved a lot but there are still some laps between them like an on-premises exchange and Lotus Notes.
How was the initial setup?
The initial setup is straightforward.
Within thirty minutes you will have your site up and running, including emails and shared folders.
Even if you need more options, like profiles and hierarchies, it is straightforward. You just go ahead and add them.
For a new business with twenty people, you will need approximately two or three days maximum to have all the sites up and running for all services.
What about the implementation team?
I did the implementation myself. I did not use any vendors or integrators.
What was our ROI?
The return on investment is very high for companies whose work is based on communications.
This is targeted for countries with unstable internet. As an example, in our region you don't know when the internet will go off, we have now been without the internet for over a week. This is a problem for people who have on-premises deployments and need to connect to the internet.
For new businesses, rather than having a lot of servers, they can go online. Most people have 4G on the mobiles so they can just search it on their mobile. The Internet is not an issue.
What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?
After the last update that was made, you are not obliged to take the same license for all of your users. For example, if you go for E1 it is $12 USD per month for every person.
Now you can select different licenses, for example, if somebody doesn't need all of the features, it would cost $8 USD per month and if they didn't need the email application then it would cost $6 USD per month.
What other advice do I have?
This solution requires a lot of money. It's a huge expense and it's a concurrent expense. You don't just pay it once, it's going to be continuous and you pay annually.
Unless there is a huge impact on the business, then it would be worth going for it. If there is no impact on the business then you can use it on-premises and work with the old office.
I would recommend this solution for newly opening businesses that need collaboration and communication that requires the internet but doesn't need a fixed place to work. They should go with Office 365.
They are going to pay every year but they will be saving a lot of money for electricity and maintenance for the telephone, voice, VOIP, IP telephones, internet, and subscriptions.
The security is also important, it's not exposed to everybody.
You won't need an IT department because one person can handle everything.
I would rate this solution a nine out of ten.
Which deployment model are you using for this solution?
If public cloud, private cloud, or hybrid cloud, which cloud provider do you use?