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At Forcepoint, Office 365 is not just email in the cloud—it’s an embodiment of our productivity. We collaborate on projects using Teams and SharePoint, communicate in Skype’s chat windows, host important files on OneDrive, and eagerly present our newest strategies and go-to-market plans on PowerPoint. Looking back, making the choice to transition over to this platform didn’t take much thought, but doing it right took extensive planning.

For one, the transition from on-premises to cloud had to be seamless. We didn’t have the luxury of turning off email for a day or two while we figured it out. The moment we sent an email letting our teams know about Office 365, they would tear into it like a pack of hungry wolves (oh how they love new technology). That’s why we started a pilot program, at first limiting the migration to just the IT team. They’re used to confronting technical issues, and so they played an important role in helping us “work out the kinks.”

They weren’t the only ones involved in the initial pilot, however. We needed to know what seemingly unimportant aspects would bother the heck out of everyone, so we went around and hand-selected people from different departments–sales, finance, marketing, and so on—to be our usability guinea pigs. If we could make them happy, we knew we had a fairly decent chance of rolling the program out to the broader team.