Invest in a Vendor who Understands Office 365

Ted Vu, Co-founder, Tastea
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Ted Vu, Co-founder, Tastea

Ted Vu, Co-founder, Tastea

Lync and Sharepoint Centralizes Services

Tastea is using Office 365 suite of products including Lync, Microsoft Exchange and Sharepoint.Lync has helped us greatly in our efficiency as it’s provided us with a communication tool for all of our management level teams to communicate with each other individually and as a group. We can now get a quick answer and inform members of our team much faster than before.

It has also significantly helped us save time with the ability to conduct webcam meetings. Having this feature allowed us to save gas and driving time while still getting the benefits of having our monthly meetings. Lync is highly effective in helping us troubleshoot, fix and train our staff at different locations with the ability to present our desktop or for them to grant us control of theirs.

There are other programs like Skype and Logmein that allow the same functionality but having Lync centralizes all those services in an easy to use and simple interface not to mention only having to remember one password is where it truly shines.

The team site powered by Sharepoint has greatly helped us organize and control permissions as to who gets access to certain files and how doesn’t. With a little time investment, Sharepoint provided us with functionality and security Dropbox did not provide before. Dropbox served its purpose for us when we were just starting out but Sharepoint has allowed us a place where we can store all of our important documents and control who sees them.

Invest in a Vendor who Knows Office 365

My technical knowledge is better than average but by no means is it adequate enough to really understand how to configure and set up all of office 365 and maximize its usefulness.  Anybody considering Office 365 needs to be committed enough to make an investment in finding somebody who knows office 365 well enough to deliver solutions that will help successfully implement it.

“Anybody considering Office 365 needs to be committed enough to make an investment in finding somebody who knows it well enough to deliver solutions”

The key point that really helped me was how easy and stable it is to use once it has been set up. Having a login and a central place to go for majority of your inter company needs, makes work exponentially more efficient.

Microsoft Solutions for Making Investments

We’ve recently implemented Atlassian’s Confluence and Jira to better manage our intercompany wiki and case management system. These products can be integrated with Sharepoint for those wanting to make the investment.  To do so since it requires a local server to integrate Confluence and Jira to Sharepoint.  We plan to do so in the future as our organization grows. Sharepoint not Friendly with WorkflowsWe wish Sharepoint was friendlier with workflows. We are currently using Excel to auto populate  inventory using historical data, physical inventory count and projected sales to determine how much inventory to order because Sharepoint proved to be too limiting for us to move forward with that investment.  It’s extremely important to choose the right vendor to help launch office 365 platform. If they do not do a good job by understanding your needs and providing the solutions to address those needs, office 365 will just be another service that goes under used like so many others out there.

Compile a Wish List and Implement the Changes

I’m still learning the implementation of Microsoft Solutions and I reiterate that you need a good experienced vendor who knows what they are doing and understands your needs. I would also recommend sitting down and asking a simple question as to how do you want Sharepoint to work for you? Once you’ve set up your basic Sharepoint site, your team and you need to jump in and fully commit to the solutions.

Take note of what it does well, not so well and what you want it to do in the future. Once you’ve compiled a “wish list,” start looking into implementing those changes. We made the mistake of trying to do too much at one time and not fully understanding the limitations for Sharepoint so we ended up spending more money than we would have liked for that mistake.

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