Office 365, Should I Stay or Should I Go?

I’m getting more and more projects on the SharePoint platform. As a consultant, I’m doing more and more in the Cloud. Hence the title of the blog.

I don’t belive in selling anything, if it’s not the right solution for my Client. My income is directly related to the satisfaction of my Client and their faith in me as their Trusted Advisor. I see my fair share of “Happy-Go-Lucky” Consultants. All they care about is making the sale, handing the Client some half-backed solution and them leave them hanging. Most of these people have no idea or interest in what their Client really need. Sometimes it’s difficult to figure out a Client, but mostly it’s doable, by just opening your ears. Just listen to the Client and shut your self up for while. Ask questions, so the Client has a chance to elaborate, but otherwise, just listen. When the Client is done talking, then think hard and deep for a while, maybe ask more questions and then start talking.

I love Office 365. I think it’s one of the very best Cloud Environments in the market. But even though I love SharePoint Online, that lady is not for everyone. That is why I came up with 5 Pros and 5 Cons towards Office 365. If you have other Pros or Cons, please leave a comment.

If you are thinking about whether Office 365 is right for your company, large or small, be sure to get some quality Consulting. Saving a few bucks could end up being a very expensive decision.
Should I stay or should I go?

5 Reasons To Go to Office 365

  1. Support
    Microsoft has, hands down, the best support in the entire Cloud industry. On top of that you get BOYD-support. Go ahead and dump these terminal services and VPN’s. Everything just works right off a Tablet or Smartphone.
  2. Scalability
    Say you need to add 10.000 new employees over night, because you just merged with another company. The reason doesn’t matter. The results do. You just add the to your account. You don’t need to set up additional hardware, network and bandwidth. It’s just not your problem. It just works.
  3. Regular updates
    Microsoft commits to update your entre Office 365 platform first. So it’s always filled with the latest and greatest features and fixes. If you follow this blog, you will notice a regular “News this month” post, describing all the new updates. Actually not a regular as I wish, but you’ll get the picture. They do a lot of updates.
  4. Consultants
    Say bye-bye to that expensive SharePoint Consultant in the doorway. You don’t need that Architect or Infrastructure Specialist. Now you can just focus on getting premium content and managing it on your SharePoint Online platform.
  5. Cost
    In the short run, it’s cheaper than on premise. In the long run it might equalize, but it all depends on what and how you use it. Right off the get-go, you don’t need any SQL, SharePoint Server or AD, license, you would have needed for an on-prem solution. So it’s cheap and easy to get starting.

5 Reasons to stay at home

  1. Support
    Microsoft delivers a great support. In fact I’ll bet that Microsoft Support beats Google, Amazon and whatever cloud-owner any day of the week and twice on Sundays. But still, it will never ever be as fast as your local SharePoint Consultant. If it is, change out, your local SharePoint Consultant. Microsoft support doesn’t show up at your doorstep and personally assures you that “It’s all going to be all right”. Microsoft Support can’t pull the backup-tapes (as if anyone still uses tapes) and restore your SharePoint environment in a couple of hours.
  2. Scalability
    You can branch out and add more than one website to your solution with an on-premise solution. Beware of Hardware procurement if you need to expand. And yes, It will most likely cost you some money. But if it add value, it’s worth it. Try running 4 websites and two extranets, each with different domain names of a O365-tenanat.
  3. Regular updates
    Microsoft commits to regularly updating Office 365 first. That means, that you don’t control, which updates are installed on your solution. Lack of control can be very disturbing for some and very liberating for others.
  4. Consultants
    SharePoint Administrators and Architects are not cheap. But do you really know SharePoint better, just because it’s in the cloud? In my experience, the need for Server Consultants and infrastructure consultants are non-existent. But when it comes to information architects and front-end developers, it’s the same.
  5. Cost
    It’s cheaper than on premise. The price for being cheap, is lack of control and lack of flexibility. You can’t setup your own FBA-logins, you can’t use more than one domain name, you can’t get custom solutions, your used to and you can’t get fast support. And you can’t…. Fill in the blanks in the comments.

There is a lot of things you cannot do in Office 365. The though question is, “Do you really need them”? Really? Often I find, that presented with the economy for building a solution on SharePoint Online, with some modifications (maybe none is needed) and the economy for building a solution on SharePoint Server, the Client very quickly leans towards SharePoint Online in 90% of the cases. Don’t ask me to verify that number. I made it up from experience.

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3 thoughts on “Office 365, Should I Stay or Should I Go?”

  1. You are plain wrong when you say that O365 is easy for merging companies. It’s totally the opposite. On-prem licenses are flexible. With cloud and two separate office 365 tenants you’ll end up paying twice the costs for a minimum of a year while you migrate people and content from one environment to another. And don’t even get me started on CRM online and how useless the support really is in the cases where you really would need some support that actually knows what they are doing,

    • I cannot rely on O365 – simply for data security and who is the true data custodian. Also, the 99.9 sla is a joke. The Azure Service Dashboard literally shows outages daily.

      Define cost: most places balk at having too many operational expenses. Do the math for 1000 users, monthly fee and still paying on prem resources to manage cloud infrastructure

      Microsoft is across the board with priorities. If it comes to a point where I am pushed to O365 and left with no other choice, I will gladly choose another product or language.. Ie open source.

    • One of my points on why you should consider staying home is the lack of migration between two Office 365 tenants. I missed out on the whole licenses-issue though. Not that I don’t care about cost. I just look at the technical requirements first and cost later. Office 365 are very eas for merging companies. Just as long as they both don’t have Office 365 accounts.

      I really don’t wan’t to get you started on CRM-online. Mostly because it’s not my field of expertise. I do SharePoint and Exchange. And mostly just SharePoint and then leave the Exchange stuff up to my colleauges. Okay.. Hit me with your CRM-online-support stories then. 🙂

      Overall I think that any Cloud license will never be as flexsible as on-prem license. Because it’s a pay-as-you-go license. On-prem is pay-as-you-plan-to-use license. Or at least it is, if you have OVS license.

      Don’t hold me to that license stuff. I get Cloud-license-model, because it’s easy and it can fathom one license, per user. I will never get the insanity of the different On-prem licenses you need to have, just to roll out a SharePoint-box. I try to get it, I really do. I just can’t seem to find the time to care.

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