How one CIO is migrating 18,000 users to Office 365

Multinational engineering company Atkins is in the midst of transitioning its 18,000 employees to Microsoft's cloud suite. The company’s CIO Richard Cross shares some tips he is learning along the way.

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Product migrations are often the stuff of nightmares. But for Richard Cross, CIO of U.K.-based multinational engineering company Atkins, the decision to migrate 18,000 users from their familiar desktop productivity applications to Office 365 in the cloud wasn’t a difficult one to make.

That’s because Atkins is committed to a "digital by default" strategy, which involves migrating all its IT systems to the cloud by 2020.

Cross says the decision to migrate to Microsoft's cloud suite rather than alternative offerings was also relatively easy. "We did look at Google Docs, but the appeal of Office 365 is our familiarity with Office products," he says. "Also there's the fact that it provides a digital workspace so we can have a whole range of tools in the cloud and access them globally from any device. So it's not just about the products — it's not whether Outlook in the cloud is any good — it's about having this digital workspace.

If you’re considering a move to Office 365, you’ve got plenty of company. While Microsoft doesn’t reveal the total number of Office 365 subscribers, the number of commercial Office 365 seats in operation grew 57 percent year on year, according to the company’s latest numbers, and there are now over 70 million monthly active users.

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