GroupWise move to Office 365: debunking the myths of what users may lose

High productivity levels are essential for strong business growth. And, now that time has proven cloud IT secure, even highly regulated organisations are enjoying the increased productivity that comes with Microsoft’s cloud service, Office 365. But what if your business is ensconced in old-school GroupWise for email, contacts and calendar? How do you appease users who fear they may lose out in the migration to Exchange Online?

The fear: a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush

Scientists have linked the “bird in the hand” effect with what psychologists call the “endowment effect”, where we overvalue what we have and undervalue what we don’t have. Where this occurs in business and trade, the economic repercussions can be devastating. At best productivity and growth slump, at worst, the life is squeezed out of them.

For users of GroupWise who suspect they’ll lose out in a move to Microsoft Office 365 Exchange Online, here are eight common myths that we can release into the depths of yesteryear. While a couple of these arguments may’ve worked against Exchange on-premises, for Exchange Online all arguments are now void.

With Exchange…

Myth #1: there’s no future-proofing or infrastructure flexibility

With cloud services, such as Exchange Online, this issue becomes irrelevant. The very nature of cloud services means your solution is hosted in the cloud so infrastructure, operating systems and servers are no longer your concern. Instead, you can access Exchange Online using a web browser on any computer. Mobile apps allow seamless access to mail on any computer with an internet connection, or from multiple devices like tablets and smartphones, including Windows Phone, iPhone, Android and Blackberry devices.

Myth #2: it’s often difficult to upgrade

With Exchange Online you’re automatically given the latest software versions and security updates available. Not only is it not difficult, but you don’t even notice it going on behind the scenes. You just get on with your work. It’s an enterprise-level solution that requires little investment and management overheads. Instead, you get all the capabilities of Exchange Server without the need to buy, upgrade or manage hardware – you just pay a monthly subscription.

Myth #3: you won’t get cross-product collaboration

You can, if you want to, simply migrate your email and not your calendar or contacts. Office 365 will work regardless. That said, it makes more sense to move calendars and contacts to the cloud so users can access them securely wherever they are, exactly as they would in the office. So they’ll have access to global address lists, tasks or shared calendars to schedule meetings, book meeting rooms or other resources.

Myth #4: you’ll need lots of storage space

Exchange Online gives you 50GB mailboxes and the ability to send messages up to 150MB in size, so your staff can always be productive and part of the team, wherever they are. In the Office 365 Enterprise E3 and E5 Plans, Exchange Online includes archiving and legal hold capabilities, plus unlimited inbox storage to meet compliance needs. Data loss prevention (DLP) policies and digital rights management also help make sure sensitive data isn’t emailed outside your business.

Myth #5: you’ll miss out on a home view in Outlook

Like GroupWise home view, Office 365’s SharePoint acts as a personal productivity cockpit. Users can design it to work the way they want it to, pulling in web pages, data feeds and teaming folders. Furthermore, they can share and collaborate on documents, and access them securely from anywhere with an Internet connection.

Myth #6: you don’t know who’s accepted an appointment

Exchange Online has a feature that allows you to see exactly who has accepted or declined meetings, marking their response in the calendared meeting.

Myth #7: you can’t retract a sent email

Just as GroupWise would allow you to delete an email before it gets opened, so can Exchange Online; Message Recall will delete the email from the recipient’s inbox. To avoid a rash ‘send’ in the first place, you can also set up a delayed send rule, say for one minute, which could be just about enough time for a moment of better judgement.

Myth #8: your most used folders and contacts aren’t at your fingertips

Again, untrue. In Outlook, you can set up your ‘favourite’ folders. And Office 365’s Skype for Business pushes your most frequently contacted associates to the top.

(Apologies: the video takes six seconds to load – but we believe it’s worth it)