4 Tips for Finding the Right Enterprise Microsoft Consultant for Your Business

    When searching for an Enterprise Microsoft consultant to help you with your Office 365 migration, you should always go with a Microsoft partner. The current emphasis of Office 365 Cloud migration seems to be on every IT consultant’s mind. As businesses migrate to the Cloud, they may wish to hire a Cloud consultant who can go over all the migration options. A consultant can manage the migration and scope your project for a single setup fee. Ongoing maintenance and support are also available. Once your business migrates to Office 365, you and your employees will have access to data anytime anywhere with the proper permissions established. Office 365 offers several benefits over an on-premises per license environment. Before adopting Office 365, however, you should find a consultant such as Agile IT to handle your migration needs. Here are some more tips for finding the right enterprise Microsoft consultant for your business:

    Find an Office 365 consultant with a portfolio of previous migrations

    Not every migration is the same; there is no one-size-fits-all solution for Office 365. This is why it is important to ask a consultant to explain previous migrations he or she may have helped other businesses with. Agile IT’s consultants have successfully helped other businesses migrate thousands of users to Office 365. Office 365 is not just a single OS or application. Rather, it uses multiple functions to create a unique environment.  This includes Office Online, which is Cloud based and includes versions of applications you may already be familiar with such as Word, PowerPoint, Outlook, and Excel. Aside from these, you need to know which alternatives within the Office 365 environment you need for your business, which an Agile IT Office 365 Cloud migration expert can help you with.

    Prepare your infrastructure

    Office 365 consulting services should help you prepare your infrastructure for the migration. Moving from on-premises service to the Cloud can be a daunting task, and an Office 365 consultant can help map the shortest route. When moving local services to an Office 365 Cloud migration, it is important to understand current operating requirements and any complications that could arise by shutting down any services.  Planned outages could help minimize the impact to the workforce. When moving to Office 365, there are some essentials you should know. This change involves establishing your user accounts, setting permissions, integrating data, and the transition of current on-premises applications. An Office 365 migration consultant can help ease the worry of this transition. Each step can be performed without complexity and with minimum impact.

    Transfer your email

    Email is one of the first Office 365 applications many businesses migrate to the Cloud. This can be challenging because all users must have the same settings they had before the migration. Spam filters, server permissions, contact lists, and more must mirror the previous environment. An Agile IT Office 365 consultant will be able to help with tips to ensure email communication remains unchanged. During this phase of the transition, bandwidth issues can also arise. If you currently have low bandwidth and need to move a lot of data, network disruptions may cause an issue. An Office 365 consultant may suggest backing up data offline or deleting old data or backups no longer needed to speed up the migration. An Office 365 migration consultant may even offer the use of certain migration tools that can mellow the process to a point.

    Office 365 continual support

    When discussing your migration needs with Office 365 consultants, ask what type of continuing support they provide.  You may wish to manage your environment after they help you set it up and leave, or you may wish to establish an ongoing relationship with them where they return every quarter or as needed. This ongoing support is essential to your migration if you have a large, complex infrastructure. This type of support could almost serve as a high-end help desk — where major issues or changes could require a consultant. Find out how far the continual support extends. Is the consultant willing to provide support to all devices or desktop support only? One of the best benefits of Office 365 is the ability to download Office apps to smartphones and tablets for the same user under the same license. This could add a level of complexity to your migration at which point a consultant will be able to offer advice. A typical Office 365 consulting agreement may offer support for up to three years. This support should include ongoing monitoring and management of your migration. The consulting agreement is typically paid monthly. Some consultants have eliminated the need to sign up for long-term support because they know you may need their help for an indefinite amount of time, and they know companies hate being locked down.

    Are you looking for an experienced Microsoft consultant to lead your Office 365 migration or provide ongoing support? Learn more about Agile IT’s AgileAscend consulting services, or reach out to us today.

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