5 tips for a successful Office 365 intranet

Over the last month, we’ve been hard at work on our 28-page essential guide to help inform your Office 365 intranet strategy. If you haven’t had a look at that already then you should do today. It’s packed with insights on the Office 365 tools you need to know, when and where to use each service to meet use cases, how this practically works in an intranet solution and more.

As part of our brand-new guide, we’ve compiled our top 5 tips for Office 365 intranet success: 

1. Consider which tools you want to use from Office 365 

It’s important to first understand the nature of each of the Office 365 tools and decide what is right for your own unique organisation. Not every tool will add value to your business and trying to incorporate too much can have a negative impact on adoption and engagement. Work with a diverse team from across the business to gather requirements for your intranet and address how each can be met with Office 365 tools and which can not. 

2. Give yourself a central launch pad to your Office 365 intranet 

Once you have chosen the tools for your users, give them a central launch pad to access them. This can not only be used to advise on how to use the tools, it will also help manage the choice that is available. Provide links to your various applications from a central place on the intranet, such as on the homepage. This can be split into Office 365 applications and external applications for clarity for users. Allowing your users to personalise the applications they see front and centre will also help to keep the intranet relevant to them. 

3. Provide consistent user experiences 

Improve the flow of movement between applications by ensuring a consistent navigation across all. This can start with including a singular navigation across all Office 365 products such as SharePoint Sites. This stops users getting stuck in particular apps and helps to bring the Office 365 tools into your overall Information Architecture. Ensure your look and feel and branding is applied to any Office 365 tools you can, helping to ensure consistency across the site.

4. Integrate where possible 

In order to help your users consume the Office 365 services in an appropriate way that adds value, it’s important to integrate where possible. We recommend bringing the tools together into a united intranet solution as we have done in our Unily intranet product. Not only will this drive consumption of Office 365 services which can be seamlessly integrated, it helps users understand the context of when and where to use each service. 

5. Be agile 

When tackling an Office 365 intranet, it’s important to remain agile and not take on too much at once. Work with your user base to understand the initial requirements and consider that Phase 1. All secondary functionality can be determined once you are up and running with a stable base. Working in this agile way will make it easier for your organisation to accept Office 365, which will fundamentally change and adapt over time due to its as-a-service nature. Adopting an intranet product such as Unily can make this easier, providing a starting point for your intranet and integrating new Office 365 features as they are released by Microsoft. 

Give your users an Office 365 intranet that they’ll understand and love 

To learn more on how to implement an Office 365 intranet to your organisation that helps users understand the tools, arrange a demo of Unily. The Unily platform seamlessly integrates with Office 365: SharePoint Online, OneDrive for Business, Yammer, Skype for Business and Delve, weaving the services into the People, Documents, Internal Communications experiences and more. This seamless integration helps users to adopt and engage with the Office 365 tools, putting them in context of real-life working scenarios. 

To get a first look at how Unily uses Office 365, download our essential Cloud Intranet Solutions with Office 365 guide where we share screenshots from across the Unily solution, explaining when and where Office 365 is or could be integrated.

Michael Draisey Head of Development

Michael is BrightStarr’s Head of Development, although in reality, he does a lot more than that! He is ultimately responsible for the delivery of solutions to clients but also functions as a Product Manager for Unily. Michael is excited about new technology and also has an internal role as a new technology evangelist, spreading the word about hot new software to his colleagues all over the world. Michael was part of the award winning Linklaters project team and has a particular knack for translating complex business requirements into neat technical solutions.

Michael plays 5 a side football and enjoys kung fu in his spare time and is a big fan of the outdoors!

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