Office 365 is new territory for Microsoft. It\u2019s a transformational move at the center of their productivity stack. Tried and true products like Office, Project, and Visio are being transformed into online solutions. Right now that\u2019s a mix of in-the-cloud and on-premises, what some call \u201csoftware plus services.\u201d But the reach is extending beyond the center: now there\u2019s CRM online, Visual Studio Online, SQL Power BI, Microsoft Azure, Azure Active Directory\u2014and the list keeps growing. We all know how that\u2019s affecting the licensing\u2014shifting from \u201cI own it\u201d to \u201cI\u2019m pretty much renting it, forever and ever.\u201d That by itself is a tough choice for many customers to make, and requires careful and thorough due diligence. And while I won\u2019t detail this today (really), I want to remind you to talk to us about our Microsoft License Optimization (MLO) process if you\u2019re struggling with it\u2014we can help.\nMicrosoft Office 365As promised, licensing, and financial aspects of O365 aren\u2019t what I\u2019m writing about today. Today I\u2019m playing \u201cSuper Mario\u201d and I will actually talk about plumbing. Seriously, that\u2019s the best way I know how to describe the other half of the O365 decision. Office 365 not only transforms the way you buy, it also transforms the way you consume. With O365, the traditional methods of deploying and using these solutions also get a makeover. Here\u2019s why: every user needs a cloud identity to use O365. Hmm\u2026\nWill you do that manually, synchronize, or federate with your Active Directory to provide single sign-on? Will you require multi-factor authentication for extra security? How will you deploy and manage Office\u2014will you use \u201cClick-to-Run\u201d which basically lets Microsoft\u2019s cloud handle everything? Will that work if you have line-of-business applications that are dependent on Office? Do you want to maintain control of updates? Because there are no more upgrades with O365, just frequent builds that are pushed out automagically. I personally use click-to-run (don\u2019t tell IT because they would freak), and this new button magically showed up in Excel one day that wasn\u2019t there before, and it was a very useful feature. Usually new builds make things better, but just recently Microsoft did something with SharePoint Online that seriously disagreed with my corporate proxy settings. What\u2019s worse, I can\u2019t change it, and my vital custom-lists simply disappeared in IE 11. But voila, they still show up and work fine in Google Chrome. Cloud has an exciting element of mystery and from time to time surprise, so you need to be prepared to deal with it. With Office 365 there are new pipes to lay, connections to make, new data flows, it goes on. And there you have it, ta da, plumbing!\nSo where do you begin? Please try to resist the pictorial stereotypes of plumbers, as they provide a much-appreciated service, and you won\u2019t need a wrench or the knowledge to sweat pipes. We\u2019re here so you don\u2019t sweat your O365 experience. When we started our serious conversations with customers around O365, we noticed a pattern. There was so much focus on the licensing and finance jungle that the plumbing never seemed to get the right amount of attention. The outcome? O365 would spring leaks when it came time to actually start using the pipes. So we invented the Office 365 Online Readiness Assessment to help customers plan for the plumbing. It\u2019s a complimentary no strings attached tool you can access at your leisure. And we built it ourselves, based on our time in the trenches.\nHere\u2019s how it helps. There are a few key areas you need to start thinking about, and our Assessment addresses those areas and gives our experts the data necessary to help you build that leak proof plan. That\u2019s how the assessment works\u2014once you complete the \u201cEssentials\u201d bits\u2014we can actually begin with just that information. But we\u2019ve also included sections around cloud identity, selecting the right set of features for Exchange, SharePoint and Lync, and planning for the new Office 365 Pro Plus.\nFill out as much as you want, hit submit, and three things will happen:\n\nOne of our O365 plumbing specialists will contact you live and work with you to transform that Assessment data into actionable intel to help you make the right O365 decision.\nYou\u2019ll get a copy of our new e-book \u201cUse IT: Office 365,\u201d which is jam-packed with screenshots of the O365 portal and step-by-step instructions on how to set things up. We wrote this guide to showcase the same steps we used to set up our own O365 instance, and updates will be available as we add to it.\nYou\u2019ll get a copy of the Assessment via email. When we\u2019re done, you will have a firm grasp of the issues, and a plan in place for how you\u2019re going to deal with them.\n\nSo with a little plumbing help, you can be on your way to a stress-free O365 adventure. Okay, there may be a few surprises, but that\u2019s what we\u2019re here for.\nIf you're thinking about Office 365, we recommend taking our Office 365 Online Readiness Assessment. This template was designed by our experts to answer your question: \u201cIs my organization ready for Office 365\u201d? Start Now!