This is not just applicable to #SouthAfrica. Are you still deciding about #Office365 or maybe you’ve taken the plunge already, but you’re struggling to make sense of it all and it’s business as usual. Your users are only using #OneDrive and #Exchange, and if you’re lucky, a bit of #SharePoint. How do you prepare for #Cloud and more importantly, how do you get your users to adopt all these new tools & features?

On the 25th of July 2019 Microsoft announced that the #Office365 services are now available from its South African Azure datacenter regions. This is huge news for South Africa as all the early adopters’ tenants were based in Europe. Some clients will now only make the jump, while the rest of us have the option to “migrate back” to South African datacenters.

Resource: Microsoft Office 365 available from SA datacentres to empower the modern workplace

I also come across clients who’s moved to #Office365 purely for licensing benefits, SharePoint Online or just because some versions / products are reaching end of life. They’re not even aware of the other benefits that come with Office 365. Let’s hope this blog can open their eyes and confirm that they’ve made the best decision ever.

Microsoft / Office 365:

If you’ve not made the move yet, here’s a handy table to help you make that decision. Keep in mind that the size of your organization also dictates whether you should rather opt for Enterprise plans.

This table does have notes on, to see these visit the original resource:  Office 365 plans options

Microsoft 365:  A complete, intelligent solution, including Office 365, Windows 10, and Enterprise Mobility + Security, that empowers everyone to be creative and work together, securely.  Office 365:  Office 365 is an integrated experience of apps and services, designed to help you pursue your passion and grow your business. Get apps like Teams, Flow, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and more, updated monthly with the latest features and security updates.

Both of these options include Office 365. For now I’ll focus on that. Here’s a table with descriptions on services. Take note that not all of these are included on all Office 365 subscriptions, for example: Dynamics 365 or Power BI are not included and are standalone plans. Bookings is turned on by default for customers who have the Office 365 Business Premium, or Office 365 A3 and Office 365 A5 subscriptions. Bookings is also available to customers who have Office 365 Enterprise E3 and E5, but it is turned off by default.

How to prepare?

Contrary to popular belief, it’s not as easy as just switching the licenses on. This is not the same as a new Office or SharePoint version. I’ve written many blogs about this, and will supply the resources below.

To list the main big differences:

  • SharePoint on-premise to SharePoint online (modern experience)
  • Office ProPlus with many new Office features
  • New Creative tools:  Stream, Sway, Forms
  • Business optimization tools:  Flow, PowerApps, Power BI, Planner
  • Supercharged Storage & Collaboration:  OneDrive for Business & Microsoft Teams
  • Improved Search + AI & Machine Learning abilities

Preparation (not full list):

  • Identify storage locations and existing SharePoint sites
  • Cleanup data and archive where possible
  • Get executives and management on board with training / communication
  • Communicate changes in company (not once, design a program)
  • Enable the IT departments with adequate training
  • Train up Risk & Compliance departments on compliance and security features
  • Configure and apply settings in Admin Centers
  • Document business Governance Rules
  • Migrate exchange accounts
  • Deploy OneDrive for Business
  • Train end users – OneDrive
  • Migrate File Shares
  • Build Intranet & necessary SharePoint Online sites
  • Build Microsoft Teams
  • Train end users – Teams / SharePoint
  • Migrate SharePoint content
  • Roll out Flow, PowerApps, Stream, Sway, Forms etc.
  • Train end users in other Apps
  • Etc.

For technical readiness see:  Plan for Office 365 Enterprise

You cannot roll out Office 365 with an email to end users!

We never adequately trained our end users to use technology efficiently, Office 365 will change the way they work / collaborate forever, for the good. To understand why I’m so serious about training, read my recent blog:  Why users are not adopting Microsoft | Office 365

Migration from another region:

So if you are based in South Africa, and you already have a tenant with data residency somewhere else, there is a way to opt in for early migration. Please chat to your Microsoft Account Manager / Global Admin first to confirm whether this is the best option for your company. Microsoft provides a data residency option to existing Office 365 customers who are covered by the datacenter geos listed in this article: Moving core data to new Office 365 datacenter geos. See the steps below:

  1. Microsoft 365 Admin Center
  2. Settings
  3. Organization Profile
  4. Data Residency
  5. Opt-in

Select yes to migrate > Save:

And you’re done 🙂

Thank you Paul Keys for your article explaining the Office 365 Tenant Move.

Here are more blogs about Office 365, user adoption & training:

Microsoft Resources:

Moving to the Cloud or stuck somewhere without adoption? Contact me for a FREE 60 minute, Microsoft 365 Immersion Experience.

Disclaimer: I create content about Office / Microsoft 365. Content is accurate at time of publication, however updates and new additions happen daily which could change the accuracy or relevance. Please keep this in mind when using my blogs as guidelines. And yes, I change my mind all the time as well, because “The only thing that is constant, is change”.

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