Where Office 365 working for you can also work against you

Office 365 is a big beast. Most customers never really think about the volume or scale of the solution as they generally come from a background of having their own server or direct phone number of someone they can call for support.

With Office 365 however, thousands of customers and millions of users share the same environment. This means that there is no longer one throat to choke if something goes wrong.

As a global service Office 365 has many layers of support, engineering, administration and ultimately security. This provides customers with comfort in the knowledge that no one person can simply open up their mailbox or SharePoint site and have a look around.

Whereas previously an IT person would simply log into the server and perform whatever actions they wanted – this is not the case with Office 365. Even something as simple as a password reset requires a support case to be logged, identity to be proven, and the case to be escalated to an engineer who performs the action.

This can be quite a mind shift for new customers who have not previously dealt with so many layers.

Recently we had a situation where an education customer signed up for a tenant in another country and on a commercial billing platform. When they came close to the end of their 30-day trial and we explained the complications around the fact it was not an Australian education tenant trial, they became upset at the thought of losing their tenant domain. The customer asked us why Microsoft couldn’t just right click and delete the existing tenant so they could sign up again and re-use it. As a person that regularly deals with customer situations such as this – I wish it was this simple. Unfortunately it’s not the case, and in order the maintain the customers tenant name, change billing platforms and countries required a serious amount of escalation. Customers are not aware of this – they have complete control of their environments one day and then a reduced amount when they are moved to the cloud.

At the end of the day, those great impenetrable walls that are built up to protect us can sometimes work against us too.

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