Friday, 26 March 2010

Productivity Tools in the Cloud: Real World Best Practices

Moving applications to a cloud service is a disruption to any business, but in Ron Markezich's experience as Microsoft's VP of Online Services, a well executed cloud migration can redefine a company. Here are three best practices he's gleaned from Microsoft's largest BPOS customers, including Coca-Cola and GlaxoSmithKline.

If you're an enterprise deciding whether now is the time to migrate your e-mail or SharePoint environment into a cloud service, there is a method to all this cloud madness. And if done right, it could transform your company's identity.

Certainly, there are pros and cons to moving applications and data to a cloud service provided by a big vendor like Google (GOOG), Microsoft (MSFT), or Amazon. For every benefit of a cloud-based service such as cost savings, application accessibility and ease of use, there are understandable fears about security, privacy and data loss.

Moving to the cloud is a disruption to any organization and will change how IT works. But companies that do their due diligence will not only save money, but also see a boost in productivity and morale as a well timed and executed migration to cloud services can redefine a company, said Microsoft Online Services VP Ron Markezich in a recent interview with

Markezich highlighted large Microsoft BPOS (business productivity online suite) customers such as Coca-Cola and GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) that were able to get C-level support for cloud migrations that ultimately changed the companies' cultures. BPOS includes Exchange Online with Hosted Filtering, SharePoint Online, Office Communications Online and Microsoft Office Live Meeting.

Here are three cloud deployment best practices that Markezich gleaned from the experiences of enterprise BPOS customers.

Companies should create a company portal in SharePoint (basically an Intranet) and launch SharePoint Online and the portal at the same time, and then drive employees to the portal, Markezich recommends.

What that allows a company to do is end the dependency on the old technology the company was using, and get people up to speed on the new portal quickly without a lot of one-on-one training. You can rebrand an entire company by using social networking features in SharePoint Online, says Markezich.

A good example of this approach, he says, is Aviva (AV), the largest insurance company in the U.K. Aviva went through a rebranding exercise a few months ago and the CEO kicked it off by starting his own blog using SharePoint Online. He also did a set of videos for the kickoff and created a wiki for the company so employees could post and share information.

The CEO still uses the blog today and employees use the wiki extensively across the various business units that Aviva has acquired.

Original Article - Here

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1 comment:

dannielo said...

If you’d like a tool for managing your time and projects, you can use this web-application inspired by David Allen’s GTD:

You can use it to manage and prioritize your goals, projects and tasks, set next actions and contexts, use checklists, schedules and a calendar.
Comes with a mobile version too, and with an Android app.