With this week’s blog, we thought we would change things up a little. Instead of a formative piece outlining certain technology/ infrastructure advances, we wanted to create a more interactive installment. In previous blogs we have discussed moving to Office 365, and all the benefits and wonders such a move can bring to a business. However, being a Microsoft Gold Partner, our views may understandably be interpreted as bias. So, with this in mind, today’s blog will focus on someone else’s perspective. The point of a view of an end-user.
It is always interesting, as well as being incredibly important, to get feedback from clients. Feedback in any situation can be vital. Without feedback, how can one improve?
Hawksworth Consulting are a SME that focus primarily on I.T. recruitment. They have been a valued client of ours for just over 12 months now, meaning they have been using Office 365 for a year. This is an ideal time frame for them to be in a position to give a fair and constructive opinion of the services provided by Office 365.
Today we caught up with Jason, one of the senior recruitment consultants at Hawksworth Consulting.
BANG IT: Good afternoon Jason, thanks for taking part in this mini Q&A today.
Jason: No problem at all, happy to share my experiences.
BANG IT: Fantastic, lets gets started. Out of interest, did you have any experience of working with Office 365/ Cloud based applications in any capacity previously?
Jason: No. I was familiar with the concept of Office 365 but to be honest, I didn’t have too much of an idea of what it was or how it would affect me (when the company announced we were moving to 365). My only experience of the cloud at the time was opening a DropBox account, although I never actually used it, haha!
BANG IT: We often find many clients in the same position you just described. When your company decided to make the move to Office 365, did you have any apprehensions or concerns in regard to how it would affect your working day?
Jason: I guess so. I think it can be human nature to be concerned about change. Recruitment can be a tough market at times and you are always on the go, and so I was worried that all the changes would be too disruptive. I need to stay on top of everything and so taking a week to learn about how a new IT setup works isn’t something I have the luxury of unfortunately.
BANG IT: And were your concerns justified following the move to Office 365?
Jason: Not in the slightest. To be honest, initially I didn’t notice any difference. I was still using Microsoft Word and Excel as normal. Getting to grips with SharePoint took a couple of days but this wasn’t an issue. SharePoint has proved time and time again to be a savior actually.
BANG IT: Speaking of SharePoint, what is your overall opinion of your experiences with SharePoint up to this point?
Jason: The importance of having our files always available is something that cannot be understated. Between us all we can be on the move a fair bit, so being able to access everything we need at any given time and location is perfect. As you can imagine with recruiting, we get heaps of resumes. Having them all available on SharePoint for all the team to access when needed is really helpful.
Having the ability to all work on the same document at the same time is superb. We have spreadsheets that contain all our placements which need to be kept up to date at all times. As soon as a placement is made, the spreadsheet is updated. We don’t need to wait around for someone else to finish editing the spreadsheet.
We have just set up a calendar in SharePoint where everyone lists their annual leave. It’s such a simplistic thing but at the same time it ensures we stay on top of things.
BANG IT: That’s encouraging to hear in the sense that SharePoint is so much more than just a file repository. How about Skype for Business? Is this something you use regularly?
Jason: We use this in house every single day. It is our replacement for Post-It notes haha. If a client phones up for a consultant who is currently busy, just send a quick message with their details. Simple! We have also started using it for team conference calls when we are all scattered around the country and not in the office. I’m not the most IT literate person you will ever meet, but even I find the application easy to use. Some of the candidates we look at our overseas so normally we wouldn’t have the benefit of a face to face chat. With SfB we can video conference these guys and it’s wonderful.
BANG IT: Glad to hear you are taking advantage of all the features on offer. Off the top of your head, what would you say the biggest benefit Office 365 has been?
Jason: The biggest benefit is the flexibility of it all. The benefits become more apparent when I’m not in the office. A good example would be the other day when we had a meeting bought forward and there wasn’t enough time to get back to the office to pick up my notes. Originally this would have been a nightmare, however I just connected my laptop to my phone’s hotspot and pulled the files off SharePoint. Simple.
BANG IT: Great point! You cannot emphasize the benefits of flexible working until you experience it firsthand. Do you notice the effects it has on productivity?
Jason: Oh for sure! My commute to and from work can be fairly long, so it’s actually quite nice to be able to do a bit of work on the train. Firstly, it helps pass the time but more importantly it helps me prepare for the day. Instead of arriving in the office on a Monday morning and being swarmed instantly, I am in a strong position to attack the day from the off. Emails have been read and responded to if necessary, appointments are setup etc etc.
BANG IT: It sounds like you have a great grasp of 365 and are able to utilize it to the fullest. This is always reassuring to hear. Thank you so much for participating in this session. It has provided a great insight.
Jason: My pleasure, cheers guys!
Hopefully the above Q&A has provided you with a clearer interpretation of how Office 365 can benefit you and your company. If you are considering moving to Office 365, or would like to speak to someone to get further clarification if it is the right move for you, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on 1300 770 035.
Thanks for reading,
Bang IT Solutions.