Microsoft’s Office 365 platform is a force when it comes to market demand. Businesses of all sizes and across virtually all verticals are increasingly inclined to move their collaboration and productivity tools to integrated cloud platforms with Office 365 being one of the most prominent among them. Evidence of this market shift is demonstrated in Microsoft’s growth and revenue totals for its fiscal 3Q in 2016 with its user base topping 22 million and year over year growth reaching 79% from 2015.

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For anyone who has used, or is currently using the Office 365 suite of tools, the benefits of this platform are obvious. Microsoft’s solutions allow users to store documents, exchange files, communicate and collaborate on projects in a virtually seamless manner with the integration of applications like SharePoint and Skype for Business, coupled with the familiar productivity apps used en masse like Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint. Beyond user familiarity and intuitive tools, is its omnipresence – users have access to their critical files and applications from any device and can typically access these across applications. The result is a more mobile and productive workforce with a fully integrated and interconnected suite that improves productivity.

Although, all of these benefits come with one potential pitfall – reliance. With so much of the businesses’ processes and collaboration moving to one solution, Office 365 needs to perform optimally for the business to be running at 100 percent. When the app’s performance suffers it can hurt user satisfaction, productivity and ultimately the bottom line. Despite these potential pitfalls not all organizations are properly set up to manage and run Office 365 and its applications properly. In fact, Gartner anticipates that, through 2019, more than half of all global-scale deployments of Microsoft Office 365 will experience network-related performance problems.

3 Ingredients for Exceptional Office 365 Performance

To ensure optimal performance, organizations must focus on three key areas: Assessment, Monitoring and Control.

1. Assessment
The first step is assessment and ideally takes place prior to the deployment of Office 365. Each of the applications contained within the suite of Office 365 products have specific network resource requirements needed to perform optimally. Microsoft outlines these specifications but it takes more than just the knowledge or required resources. Network managers need to know where their networks stand and how resources are being used before they can take the step of allocating resources and monitoring performance.

2. Monitoring
Beyond the initial assessment, ongoing monitoring is crucial. It helps to know where the network was at a given time, but networks are ever-evolving with changing usage patterns – new applications make their way in to sap bandwidth and former applications become near obsolete, replaced by new solutions. As a result, network managers need to be able to dive into their network activity at any given time. This allows them to identify shadow IT, unprioritize applications that at one time may have been in demand and ensure that critical business applications like those part of Office 365, always receive the bandwidth they need to perform optimally.

3. Control
But all of these statistics and usage trends are only useful if they can be applied to a management system. Network managers need to be able to take the information gleaned from network assessments and monitoring and put it to use when setting up controls in their networks. Exinda allows managers to do just that, setting resource limits on deprioritized forms of traffic and allocating resources to critical applications like those that comprise an organization’s Office 365 suite. Consequently, services like Skype for Business and SharePoint run smoother, improving user satisfaction, productivity and maximizing ROI on an organizations Microsoft investment.

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Watch this 2-minute video & learn how you can easily and quickly ensure superior OFfice 365 performance.