Saving Time (and Money) With Office 365 Part 1

November 20, 2015   //   Cloud, ,

Considering ‘The Leap’ to Office 365

As Microsoft’s Office 365 Enterprise cloud offerings continue to mature, more and more organizations are considering whether and when to make ‘The Leap’ to the cloud. The ever-expanding suite of products and services in Office 365 includes Exchange Online, SharePoint Online, Skype for Business Online, Office Online and Desktop subscriptions, and a slew of other apps like Yammer, OneDrive, Delve, Video Portal, Sway, optionally Power BI, CRM and more.

One question that many folks ask is, ‘How much money can Office 365 save me in the long run?’ In order to theorize these savings, it’s best to try to answer this question in the amount of time saved.

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How can we measure the cost savings that could be realized from deploying a solution like Microsoft Office 365 Enterprise? One way is to compare the differences in the product licensing pricing for the traditional ‘perpetual’ model (buy once, use forever) versus the newer ‘subscription’ model (monthly usage fees). There is usually some potential savings to be found there, but sometimes it’s not enough to justify the time, effort and money required to migrate your existing environment to the Microsoft cloud.

Increase Productivity, Save Money

The real promise of saving money for solutions like Office 365 comes in the form of enhanced productivity. It’s all about helping people get more done, faster and with higher quality. Another way to think about saving time is by reducing or eliminating time wasters wherever possible. Sometimes reducing or streamlining repetitive tasks add up to significant time savings.

Can we measure the time saved, per person per day? Well, it’s theoretically possible, but very difficult in reality. So, let’s try some reasonable guesstimating and see what we come up with. Obligatory disclaimer: This is intended as a ‘what if’ thought exercise, with no guarantee of validity or rigor. Actual mileage will vary, probably by a lot.

Who Benefits from Office 365 Productivity Solutions?

The first variable we should address is the notion of a typical information worker. Of course, there is no such thing in the real world, but it’s a useful abstraction that helps simplify things quite a bit. Let’s start with the assumption that the typical information worker does work on a computer (or applicable device) at least 4 hours per day. That leaves out most executives and upper management, since they often have assistants that do most of the computer work or are in frequent meetings. Let’s also assume that the typical information worker spends at least some of the typical work day doing collaborative tasks, such as developing documents for or with others, participating in various business processes, communicating with others, etc. This is the type of scenario where collaborative productivity tools, like Microsoft Office 365, can have a significant impact.

Doing the Math – Saving Time and Money Part 2

Now that we have defined our goal and some basic parameters, we can proceed with the actual number-crunching. In Saving Time (and Money) With Office 365 Part 2, we will estimate the amount of time that people could potentially save on various tasks, and then we’ll extrapolate a range of total time saved for organizations of various sizes. We will also leverage data on the fully loaded cost of a typical information worker to calculate total money saved in each scenario.

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