Three Things Microsoft Partners Need to Know to Boost Office 365 Consumption

By Carl Sawatzky
Friday, June 16th, 2017

It’s hard to surpass the PC revolution of the mid-80’s as Microsoft’s
most impressive achievement, but the evolution of the Microsoft Office Suite since Office 1.0 was released in 1990 is equally, if not more remarkable. Almost three decades later, and the Office landscape is broader than ever; offering users more and more tools for completing their work.

Which Office applications do your customers need?

Given the early success of the ‘desktop’ Office suite, it’s even more impressive that cloud-based Office 365 is Microsoft’s fastest-growing business to date. ctc TrainCanada has been a party to the changes every step of the way, delivering Microsoft Office and Technical training for 28 years from 1989-2017.

As Microsoft’s focus shifted from physical desktop applications and on-premises environments, the Office Suite—once home only to the trio of Word, Excel and PowerPoint—has transformed to a full-service productivity platform in Office 365, offering users everything they need to get their work done. Varying Office 365 licensing options take this further, enabling companies to extend the platform to their specific needs, whether that’s through additional storage space or applications.

Are you a Microsoft partner? Here’s how to stand out from the competition!

This is, of course, a great assistance for Office 365 end users. But for Microsoft Partners who specialize in selling Office 365 licensing, it means they need to learn more information than ever if they hope to stand out from their competition. Microsoft cloud solution providers need to know the Office 365 landscape in its entirety if they hope to hit their targets or gain accreditations like the Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate (MCSA).

The flexibility of the Office 365 licensing plans means you need to know every application; how they work together and how they can offer business users the most functionality. Let’s explore three areas Microsoft cloud solution providers should focus on to maximize their Office 365 knowledge.

1. Know who you are selling to

Whether it’s ProPlus, E1, E3 or E5, your customer’s Office 365 licensing plan needs to revolve around the end user. Even if you’re selling to IT professionals and administrators, remember that their own users are driving their decision-making. That means you need to know the needs of the end user and how they work within Office 365.

Before Office 365, enterprise productivity came through Microsoft SharePoint. Selling the Office 365 platform on a regular basis, it’s likely you already have a deep knowledge of the platform. But developing a comprehensive understanding of SharePoint is important for customers who are looking to move from SharePoint to Office 365. Understanding how end users will transition from SharePoint Server to SharePoint Online in Office 365 is your first step to selecting the right Office 365 licensing plan for your customers.

ctc TrainCanada offers official Microsoft SharePoint training for IT professionals that will teach you to configure and manage a Microsoft SharePoint environment, develop solutions for SharePoint products or get certified. Attendees can choose to take the course in-class, virtually or on-demand. In addition, we also have a full selection of SharePoint training courses for end-users.

2. Know the platform

Office 365 licensing options are there to offer businesses of all shapes and sizes the ability to improve their productivity. For Microsoft cloud solution providers, this requires you to have an extensive knowledge of the platform’s set of applications, from the Enterprise E1 offering to the comprehensive Enterprise E5. This includes:

  • The Office Suite
  • Outlook
  • Skype for Business
  • OneDrive for Business
  • PowerBI
  • OneNote
  • SharePoint
  • Delve
  • Yammer

The list goes on! Some customers won’t need all of these applications, of course; but you will need an advanced knowledge of all Office 365 applications to determine which tools can help them and which Office 365 licensing option will offer them the most.

ctc TrainCanada offer training courses across the entire scope of Office 365, as well as previous versions of SharePoint and Word so you know where your users are coming from, as well as where they should be going to. To find out more, view our complete curriculum of Microsoft Office courses here.

3. Know the environment

The success of Microsoft cloud partners does not come solely from the sales aspect. The ability to evaluate, plan, deploy and operate Office 365 services for your customers is critical to ensuring they settle in (and stay settled in) to their new environment. This requires a full understanding of how to set up an Office 365 tenant, including the setting-up of existing user identities and the skills required to plan, configure and manage an Office 365 environment. This will include:

  • Planning and piloting Office 365 deployment
  • Managing Office 365 users, groups and licenses
  • Configure client connectivity to Office 365
  • Plan and configure directory synchronization between Azure AD and on-premises AD DS
  • Configure Exchange Online services, recipients and permissions
  • Implement Skype for Business Online deployment

And much more. Developing a deep understanding of the Office 365 environment in its entirety is a crucial step if you’re looking to obtain the MCSA: Office 365 certification and provide the ultimate level of knowledge for your customers.

ctc TrainCanada offers a comprehensive technical training course on Enabling and Managing Office 365 for development and administration which is available on-demand or in person. Office 365 training for end-users is also available.