Office 365: 4 Ways to Add Customer Value in a Congested Marketplace

Office 365

…make it as easy as possible to capture and store documents and emails within Office 365, a problem OneDrive was meant to address.

Most employees start and end their days in their Outlook inboxes. This means that if they need to access their files – to send them to a client, for instance – there is a tedious process for this simple task. With SharePoint, for example, they need to open a new tab in the browser, navigate to the right SharePoint site, and then download that content before attaching it to the email. To move an email or an attachment from the inbox to SharePoint entails a similarly lengthy process. Many workers go through this progression multiple times per day, which offers an opportunity for huge time savings.

Make It Easier to Share Links and Notifications from One Central Location

Most users find it challenging to share content with colleagues using Office 365, meaning that very often they revert to sending content via email attachments. This not only creates a security risk for those working in regulated industries, but also results in users working on multiple – and potentially conflicting – versions of the same content. Inevitably, this often results in wasted time or confusion as multiple iterations are created and efforts are duplicated. Teams is one answer, for a chat-based workspace.

The opportunity here lies in breaking down barriers between workers and their content, and making it easy for everyone to access a single version of the truth. VARs and resellers should ask: How can we streamline the document sharing process across apps?

Make It Easier to Discover New Information

Searching for and discovering information in an intuitive way has been a challenge for many companies, and Office 365 is no different. Typically, if a user wants to find something, they have to first know what they’re looking for, and then use the Office 365 search tools to discover that information. However, this only works if workers know exactly what they’re looking for — and that’s not always the same as what they need.

VARs and resellers have access to a growing collection of solutions, including Delve, that support the discovery of information. Advancements in AI, natural-language processing and machine learning in particular have facilitated the ability to add a semantic layer to apps that will help surface information based on topics. For information workers, this includes materials colleagues have recently produced that could help discover key information they didn’t even know existed.

Although the marketplace for Office 365 may seem oversaturated, there is still an incredible opportunity to sell value-added services that enable knowledge workers to bring together multiple cloud services into a single, coherent picture. Employee frustration is growing as new apps are constantly being thrown their way. These knowledge workers are increasingly tasked with saving and recalling documents, emails and other artifacts — both in their everyday workflows and for compliance.

VARs and resellers can play an important role in helping organizations reduce the volume of employee-facing tools and cut down the noise.

David Lavenda is co-founder and vice president of marketing and product strategy at He is a veteran high-tech marketing and product strategy executive. David co-founded Business Layers, an identity management company, serving as VP of marketing and product strategy from its inception until the company’s successful sale. 

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