ROI on Office 365: the impact of data driven insights

Mar 14, 2017 | Blog, Digital Insights |

As is the case with any major infrastructure or IT investment for enterprise organisations, adoption and consumption are key to the ROI success of any roll out. Moving to Office 365 is no different. CTOs and CIOs want to see a return on investment and this is often difficult without having the correct measures, or data to gain the correct organizational insights.

Common questions that arise;

  • “How many of our users are actively using the Office 365 tools”
  • “How many people are actually using all the Office 365 E5 features?”
  • “Are we seeing the benefits of Office 365?”
  • “Are the users more productive and collaborating effectively?”
  • “Are we on the right licensing model and strategy for our users?”
  • ”Are we making full use of the Microsoft licensing investment?”


The answers lie within the data


Microsoft Office 365 offers varying degrees of reporting on; usage, consumption, performance and capacity etc. – some of which is easily discoverable and some not so. Knowing how to access all the available reporting data and relate it to meaningful business information requires knowledge and experience of the platform.

By combining service usage reporting data with analytics data, demographic data and user profile data, it is possible to build a complete picture of platform usage down to a detailed level – e.g. region, office, department and even individual end user.

Microsoft’s Roadmap for Office 365 usage reporting lies with the Office 365 Adoption Content Pack for Power Bi. Microsoft intends to compile tenant data and visualize this through its own self-service data analysis and data visualisation service – Microsoft Power Bi. This is scheduled for general release in March 2017 and promises to provide more data than ever before.

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Data that delivers numbers without actual insight



There are many tools available on the market that offer basic Office 365 activity reports.

However, rigid reports on their own can be one dimensional. Reporting data and reporting insights are two different things. Analysis, interpretation and experience is required to generate meaningful insights from the available data.

Machine learning is currently a hot topic, it is certainly helpful when it comes to analytics and the services are constantly evolving. There is a positive roadmap for the technology and the functionality is becoming more commonly available. However, the human element is still the most trusted method to derive meaningful analysis and trusted insights.

This human element means Service Owners still need to spend additional effort on analysis to derive insights they trust to help drive business decisions.


A use case for data driven insights


When an industry leading engineering firm moved their global intranet and digital workspace to Office 365, they were keen to ensure a service was introduced that could measure success of the transformation. The move of 15,000 global end users to Office 365 from a Lotus Notes environment was a huge investment for the business so there was a significant interest to monitor usage and analyse the information to ensure adoption.

Content and Code were able to support the business with this requirement by advising on best tooling to gather the data and by providing reports underpinned by meaningful analysis.

The service is a combination of various tools, data analysis and years of consulting experience to drive high value reporting and insights.


Quick wins from data that can help drive initial adoption


When looking to increase the chances of a successful new Office 365 migration, SharePoint Online solution or new digital workspace, data can be the driver.

For example, the data can help identify users that need help to embrace Office 365 as an alternative to previous email / office applications or it can highlight if users are accessing a SharePoint Online solution that has replaced an existing alternative (e.g. intranet).

Providing a weekly updates and information to stakeholders will help to support and adoption strategy e.g. which components of a new solution are being used and how it is being used will help to focus a communication plan or identify a group of users that need help using the functionality.


Reporting requirements change with evolving business needs


As organisations adapt to new ways of working and embrace new technology, it is only natural that the reporting requirements will change.

Reporting needs to be flexible to adapt to the changes in Office 365. Businesses will need reporting to align with the ever changing, fast release cycle, of Office 365.  As a result, questions arise, such as:

  • How often are users collaborating?
  • Which teams are collaborating with each other (and which aren’t collaborating at all)?
  • How much external sharing is occurring?
  • How many Skype calls were made?
  • How many yammer groups were updated?

Additionally, you can incorporate an element of flexibility by developing new performance indicators as the business moves from early life and into business as usual.

Realising the full value of an Office 365 investment


Ultimately the best measure for how successful your move to a digital workplace has been is how many end users are actively using their new productivity tools and more importantly, how many are not using the tools.

By fully leveraging the available data we can paint a picture of how the organization as a whole is utilizing or not utilizing the Microsoft licensing investment in Office 365 and break this down by tool, by region, by office or department.

Service Owners can use this information to understand who, what and where users are using the tools as well as how those users will be impacted by change, how their licensing strategy is performing in terms of cost and benefit and whether teams and departments require further incentive or training to use the tools provided – allowing service owners to maximize the Office 365 investment.


To find out how your organisation can benefit from data driven insights, contact Content and Code today.

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Increase performance, consumption, usage and ROI of your Office 365 environment

James Nicholson

James Nicholson

Director of Managed Services

James is responsible for ensuring effective managed services are delivered to all of our clients.
The introduction of cloud computing and emerging technologies has changed the landscape of Managed Services so James is focussed on developing and delivering relevant service packages that are aligned to Microsoft's Office 365 roadmap, whilst driving value to our clients. James is committed to helping clients in achieving their business goals, supporting them throughout their Microsoft journey and maximising the return on their Microsoft investment.

Call us today on 020 7101 0943



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