SMBs and Office 365

smbs-smes-and-o365-2I’ve had an Office 365 theory rolling around in my head for close to a year now and I feel I have enough personal evidence to be able to share it as more than a “hunch”. My theory is this – I believe there is a void in the SMB world of O365 that needs filling.

What’s the void? Adoption in the SMB space.

Let me explain by starting with a definition of SMB (also known as SME) according to Wikipedia…

Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) or small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) are businesses whose personnel numbers fall below certain limits.

Small enterprises outnumber large companies by a wide margin and also employ many more people. SMEs are also said to be responsible for driving innovation and competition in many economic sectors.

Based on this definition, “driving innovation and competition” lends itself perfectly to the apps and services included as part of O365, that is if they’ve been adopted.

I’m an O365 adoption consultant and in that capacity have received numerous cold calls from small businesses with an O365 license. In many cases, they’re up and running with no issue, but they’re looking for how to start leveraging the product in more advanced ways to help move their business forward.

Many small businesses do not have their own IT department – they may have someone on staff  who fulfills the IT role off the side of their desk and may know just enough to get the job done.  When O365 is brought into a business many of the apps are relatively easy to start using without a lot of assistance such as Skype for Business, OneDrive for Business, and the Office suite. This is partly due to these same products having counterparts in the consumer market that most business people are already familiar with. However, to utilize some of the more advanced features such as SharePoint, Groups, Teams, Search and Delve, things start to become more challenging for businesses to adopt.

In most calls I’ve received, the ask has been for help to leverage these other more advanced features to allow their business to realize the full benefit of O365… Adoption! This is my jam.

I’m learning a lot working with small businesses – for instance, right now I’m working with a 3-person homebuilding company that has purchased an Office 365 Business Premium license and they want me to teach them about O365 Groups and SharePoint to allow them to collaborate on their housing projects. How cool! Although there are some problems that are unique to a small business, there are also many commonalities between what they’re looking for and what a 300 or 3000-person business is looking for: mobility, security, ease of sharing, collaboration tools, work management, etc. One of the main differences being they don’t have a department or team supporting them with these things.

What a great opportunity! A small business (mine) helping other small and medium-sized businesses with O365 adoption!


It has left me believing there is a void in the small and medium-sized business space preventing many of them from reaping the promised value of O365. I plan on doing my part to help them. Reach out – they’re everywhere!

Thanks for reading.

-JCK

 

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