MICROSOFT 365 AND DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION

The term digital transformation has been around for a while and often bandied about by analysts and vendors to the point it became an abstract concept to most business leaders. There was no tangible way to fully understand digital transformation – or its benefits – until now. Strictly speaking, digital transformation is not about technology but the process of using digital technologies to create new — or modify existing — business processes, culture, and customer experiences.

So why now? With Microsoft 365, we now have a technology that allows organizations to truly realise digital transformation. A platform that provides a single client — Microsoft Teams — to access office applications, communication applications and development tools from any location on any device.

Businesses no longer need to build and maintain infrastructure to take advantage of the latest technologies.  IT departments no longer need to spend more than half their time simply maintaining and managing these complex infrastructures and small businesses are not excluded from advanced capabilities. Businesses, small or large, can focus their efforts on improving personal and organizational productivity.

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Microsoft 365 Business and Enterprise Licenses

Microsoft 365 is delivered from the cloud, eliminating the costly and complex challenge of buying and managing the infrastructure to support your business. Once you have your licenses, you can almost immediately starting using Microsoft 365 - no long hardware delivery lead times, costly installation and maintenance contracts. No worries about keeping up to date.

Microsoft 354 comes in two core license groups - Business and Enterprise. The break point is at 300 licenses. If you need less than 300 core licenses, you can choose one of the Business plans - Basic, Standard or Premium - each with supporting  a variety of applications and tools. Customers larger than 300 licenses must choose one of the Enterprise licenses - E1, E3 or E5. 

There are significantly less expensive versions for qualifying Education or Not-for-Profit organizations. 

Microsoft 365 Business

Microsoft 365 - A platform and a suite of applications

Most business users would be more familiar with Windows and the Office suite of applications such as Word, Excel and PowerPoint. While these are all part of Microsoft 365, there are actually many more capabilities built-in, including the industry leading collaboration client - Microsoft Teams. Teams lets you access all your communications tools such as  chat, video calling, file sharing and co-editing but also 'Teams' in which colleagues can work together on projects or tasks.

As a Platform, Microsoft 365 includes a number of tools to manage your organization and even simple business process development tools in a suite called Power Apps. It is in this area that organizations can truly drive towards digital transformation. 

Microsoft 365 Apps
Microsoft 365 Teams Platform

Microsoft Teams

Microsoft Teams is the hub for work. A single client that lets an individual user access all their communication and collaboration tools and applications. It is also the client that lets users create 'watering holes' to dynamically and continuously work together - as a team, on a project or topic. All information can be posted and shared in a team, including files, co-editing and engaging in dynamic and scheduled video calls. We discuss Teams in more detail here. 

By adding either Microsoft Calling Plans, Microsoft Business Voice or a service from a company like Unity Connected Solutions that leverages Microsoft Direct Routing - an organization can add PSTN calling that eliminates the need for a separate, standalone phone system or PBX. Users can make and receive PSTN calls through their Microsoft Teams client - as seen in the image below. To learn more about Calling Plans, Business Voice or Direct Routing click the highlighted text above. 

Microsoft Laptop iPhone Yealink phone easy intelligent calling

Devices, Rooms and Meetings

Microsoft Teams supports a wide variety of devices - from headsets, to handsets and meeting room systems. These devices make it even easier for staff to collaborate - connecting remote and office users together seamlessly.

Headsets: Staff equipped with a laptop or mobile phone and their Microsoft Teams client simply need a headset to engage in PSTN calls (or video calls.) A good voice quality headset should be used. Our primary offer are from Jabra that are not only engineered for the highest quality but are also Microsoft certified. They come in a variety of form factors - over the ear, in the ear, on the ear; mono or stereo; wired or wireless and more.

Handsets: Yes, Microsoft Teams supports SIP standard telephone handsets. Unity offers handsets from Yealink as the primary handset with Microsoft Teams as they have great features at an incredible price. You may have areas like lobbies or meeting rooms that require a handset for guests, staff or for emergency situations. 

Room Systems: One are where Microsoft Teams excels is in handling meetings. Meetings can be enhanced with real-time translation, options for displaying video attendees, connecting remote users and those in a meeting room and the ability to share a whiteboard. People can be automatically joined to a meeting taking place in a conference room upon entering the room or using a device to connect to the in-room meeting without physically touching the controller. We offer room based systems from Logitech, who are currently leading this space and Jabra.

Microsoft Teams Devices


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