Digital Transformation and Security in Office 365

Digital Transformation and Security in Office 365

Jun 7, 2019 4:44:43 PM / by Gary Swanwick

A summary of our webinar, covering what's possible with today's Office 365.

Watch the webinar below, or read the summary.

DT Webex_Trim


Unlike computers, humans only have one processor, which usually makes us pretty useless at multitasking and retaining information. To highlight this, think back to your time growing up, and when you were first asked to rub your stomach and pat your head at the same time. I imagine it was a struggle, wasn't it?

Psychologist, George Miller, notes that ‘people have a limited ability to retain information, which worsens when the amount of information increases’. The majority of information that computer users experience in a business is on their emails, through constantly sending documents back and forth to each other. This is a prime example of how technology is needed within organisations to improve our efficiency.

Here are some stats about email that I think you’ll find interesting. Over 246 billion email transactions are made every day, it takes 11.5 seconds to process an email and it will take you 30+ seconds to act on an email.

If you were to process 120 emails a day, over the last year you would have lost roughly 80 days. Which is the equivalent to climbing Everest twice. For the travellers among you, that’s 83,000 miles that could have been covered. The equivalent to flying around the world 21 times.

Sending files via email causes all sorts of delays and makes it difficult to get hold of information quickly. One of my aims for digital transformation is to make email a communication tool again, not a data transfer tool, so you streamline your work and increase your time efficiency.


What is Digital Transformation?

Digital Transformation revolves around the idea of collaboration, making data more accessible between teams and projects, so there is less reliance on an individual. Digital Transformation can be defined as ‘the use of digital technology to solve traditional problems’. The goal is to reach ‘digital business maturity’.

What would ‘digital business maturity’ achieve for your business in terms of time saved? You can save 15 minutes per day for a 25 worker team, which is the equivalent to 1,406 worker hours saved per year. This all adds up to 40 weeks you can save on worker time.

Typically, the time that can be saved would allow a business to hire another full time member of staff, which would reduce workload from other members and increase your employee efficiency and happiness.

An example of Digital Transformation that you’ll all recognise is in the form of the smartphone. 10 years ago you’d need multiple stand alone devices: camera, mp3, maps, internet etc. Now all of these items are in one place, ready for when you need them immediately.


What’s available inside Office 365?

Office 365 has a plethora of tools and apps available to users, and not enough users understand how to optimise their features for business. Here’s a selection that I believe will benefit your business’ Digital Transformation:

Teams - Communication tool

Sharepoint - Content management

Yammer - Enterprise social network

Power BI - Connect and present data in a visual manner

Planner - Task scheduling

Flow - Automating day to day processes



Microsoft Teams is a great communication tool that businesses can use. Teams has more functions than the likes of Skype, handles video calls very well, allows for multiple conversations and collaborations and you have the ability to subscribe or mute channels you don’t need. The fact that you can access Teams from your mobile device if you’re out of the office and have access to virtual meeting rooms allows for excellent team collaboration.

Another advantage to Teams is that new starters or members of staff moving teams can access information immediately on a certain channel and get brought up to speed quickly.



Microsoft Planner is a task scheduling application that allows you to organise and share files, update task progress, assign tasks and attach files to these tasks. Planner also allows you to have conversations with other users without having to switch applications, this streamlined and efficient approach is one of the main factors in Digital Transformation. Planner is also accessible across all devices.



Sharepoint is Microsoft's version of Slack. Sharepoint is great for content management, the application allows users to build and tailor a centralised hub for files, allowing everything to be stored in one place.

Sharepoint also offers a ‘versioning’ feature for documents, this allows all users to work on the same document without having to update the file and create new and excess versions. Sharepoint also includes dynamic search features, the system will learn from the users reactions and offer the best results for the search.



Yammer is your social layer across Office 365 and is used as a social engagement tool within the business. This application allows you to broadcast campaigns, organise your social network, share insights with other employees and allows enterprise microblogging.

Yammer can be used on multiple devices and is for less formal communication that doesn’t belong on Microsoft Teams.



Microsoft Flow allows users to create and automate workflows and repeating processes that would be used over and over again in your business. Every flow will begin with a triggering event and a follow up action for that event. You can create social media flows which can record positive or negative interactions or even automate responses for a MailChimp campaign, as Flow can identify a person as a lead/prospect to give the marketing team a greater insight. Flow allows a user to work less but do more.



Power BI is a business analytics tool that allows you to connect and present data in a visual manner. This application allows users to visualise data and share insights across the organisation. Users can embed Power BI dashboards inside applications allowing hundreds of data sources to be brought to life in an easy to manage dashboard.

Power BI eliminates the need for repetitive reporting, long gone are the days where you’d need to email or print off reports to show colleagues. Live data reports allow users to have instant access to stats.

Microsoft’s Power BI has impacted Epoq-IT significantly as its dynamic reporting has wiped out the lag time between finding data and reporting the figures. This application allows us to see our KPI’s, ticket volumes and response times whenever we need to.

Our Head of Innovation Drew Williams has calculated that 96 hours have been saved per month on reporting from multiple data sources, with 95% more time being allocated to clients. This is all due to 5 manual internal reports per day being saved. This allows us to focus on our clients more and improves customer satisfaction.


Digital Transformation Workshop

Our workshop to help you to achieve Digital Transformation consists of 4 stages:


  • Phase 1 - Kick off

Digital Transformation is all about working together collaboratively, not about individuals, we want people involved right from the start. In this phase there is a workshop meeting with stakeholders and participants to work out what the desired outcomes are.


  • Phase 2 - Assessment

More in depth interviews where we identify collaboration goals, challenges and priorities. We’ll generate assessment reports and a targeted action plan.


  • Phase 3 - Education

In this phase we’ll provide education on Microsoft Teams, Power BI, Sharepoint etc. We’ll define what they are, best practices for these applications, guest access and value of the project.


  • Phase 4 - Deliverables

In the final stage we set out a roadmap and give recommendations as the transformation plan begins for the business.


Securing Office 365

Office 365 is very secure but that does not mean that your business is completely safe, with many attacks coming from attachment hacks, browser exploits and credentials harvesting.

Over 6.5 million dollars has reportedly been gained from ‘SamSam’ attacks in the last 12 months, and 63% of SMEs are reporting security breaches in the last 2 years. All it takes is 1 unwitting employee and your business could be compromised. SamSam ransomware attacks target vulnerabilities in your remote desktop protocol (RDP), Java-based web servers or file transfer protocol (FTP) and gain access through weak passwords.

‘Multi-factor authentication is an amazingly effective tool for preventing the abuse of stolen credentials. If you’re not using it now, you should be’. - Sophos Labs

And of course end user application is extremely important, there is no better way to protect yourself than to educate your users on how to be safe. At Epoq-IT we regularly provide nuggets of information to our end users to keep them safe.


How can we help?

At Epoq-IT when helping you achieve Digital Transformation, you’ll have your own certified project manager and we’ll run our Digital Transformation Discovery Workshop with you from the start. We’re also well positioned to be your one stop shop for licensing, design, implementation and management for this journey.

Topics: IT Service Management

Gary Swanwick

Written by Gary Swanwick

I lead Epoq-IT to deliver strategic IT service management, building strong relationships with SMEs to manage IT systems and services that support growth and align with business objectives.

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