SMAAS, SERVICE MANAGEMENT, TOOLS-SECURITY
06 July

Gaining the upper hand on your Office 365 Migration

Whether you are just thinking about moving your organization’s productivity apps to the cloud or you’ve already decided that Microsoft Office 365 is the way to go, having the right information at all stages of the project is essential to making the right decisions and accurately measuring your success.

Let’s face it, migrating to Office 365 can be an incredibly lengthy and complex undertaking. Depending on what your organization looks like and whether you plan to migrate your infrastructure, your apps, or both, data at all stages of the migration can be your best friend. But is there a simple and reliable way to capture the required data and analyze it without adding a mountain of overhead to the project? What if analytics was built-in to every end-user device? What if key performance indicators (KPIs) were monitored, recorded and analyzed without the need for lengthy loading and data preparation?

Endpoint and user IT analytics provides unique real-time insight to help reduce Office 365 project planning and implementation costs, proactively detect issues and ensure anticipated project benefits are realized.

You can't access what you can't see

The key to a successful Office 365 migration project is in the process of assessment and planning which involves understanding the network infrastructure, the hardware and software in use in the operating environment.

Sometimes this is referred to as a static assessment since it involves identifying the unchanging physical elements contained in your environment. A static assessment is much like a picture – it is a snap shot representation of what you have. There are many products that can be used to gather this static information, but is the data they produce enough to guarantee a successful project?

For administrators to execute a successful Office 365 migration they need more than just a static assessment – they need detail that explains the relationships and dependencies of the discovered inventory over time – much like a movie. They need to understand how the end-user is using the hardware, software, and network resources. This type of assessment varies from user to user and is referred to as a dynamic assessment.

Only endpoint and user IT analytics can combine static and dynamic assessments together to provide this combined view. This gives project stakeholders the ability to plan correctly the first time and avoid as many mistakes and surprises as possible along the way. It also allows you to understand existing problems so you don’t migrate them, but instead fix them!

Implementation with minimal impact

Migration projects are often filled with unexpected surprises, and Office 365 is no exception. Everyone has experienced an application update, an OS upgrade, or a patch that created unexpected results.

When going about our daily routine, typically, we only have the subjective feedback from the end-users themselves to rely on when it comes to measuring system performance after a change. However, in using endpoint and user IT analytics technology, you can accurately assess both the before and after states using key metrics that allow you to make appropriate interventions. This is far more reliable than the usual subjective feedback.

Endpoint and user IT analytics gathers and analyzes, in real-time, every application execution and network connection within your environment giving IT visibility other products lack. It will make sense of the data collected using comparative analysis, statistics, and trends over time, and is able to identify unusual or abnormal events that occur due to an Office 365 migration.

With this you can answer questions such as:

  • Which domains are being accessed by Office 365 applications and what data flows to these locations?
  • Are users adopting the new Office 365 applications? Would training or education campaigns improve adoption?
  • Is there any instability that could hinder employee productivity?

Endpoint and user IT analytics will provide the necessary intelligence to make quick and informed decisions so your users realize productivity gains in addition to the best possible user experience.

Proactively evaluate and share project metrics.

All successful projects have an evaluation and reporting aspect. Effective reporting enables the organization’s management team to monitor key project metrics, see progress and promote the project’s success.

They may want to know the total number of systems running with your newly deployed Office 365 application or more importantly, they may want to know which systems have not been
migrated/upgraded and what is being done to remediate the situation.

They may also be interested in understanding how the migration has improved end-user interaction with systems – problems solved, fewer crashes, better network availability, and higher compliance. The same data also helps project administrators analyze different aspects of the migration ensuring they can keep the project on schedule and on budget.

Endpoint and user IT analytics gives you the end-user perspective to:

  • Report the value of IT for the business – Understand IT services, including Office 365, as they are adopted, used, and consumed by the users at their device—not the data center.
  • Report the quality of IT for the business – Identify issues and degradations at the level of the users so you understand their experience with the device, the applications, and the network.
  • Report the security of IT for the business – Show your control of users’ devices, behaviors, network access, and applications to secure company data.
  • Report the relevance of IT for the business – Assess, plan, deliver and validate your Office 365 project to ensure it meets business demands and expectations, and demonstrate it with hard data.

Conclusion

You cannot secure, improve, and change what you can’t see (or see too late)! Most IT departments currently lack the tools to see what the end-user sees. With the rapid growth of new computing paradigms, relying on more applications, web services, and mobile devices, complexity is growing while visibility is declining.

Real-time endpoint and user IT analytics is a revolutionary development in the sense that it can analyze all application executions and network connections from the end-user perspective. This will help you discover what cloud services your end-users are accessing, such as Office 365. You will be able to see how services are connected, what dependencies exist, what devices are connecting, and what the QoS levels are.