Could Microsoft FastTrack Be Saving You Time and Helping You Get the Most From Microsoft 365?
Did you know you can get ongoing free guidance from your FastTrack Ready Partner?
What is Microsoft FastTrack?
For businesses, moving to Microsoft 365 can seem intimidating. Where do you begin, and what workloads make the most sense to use in the cloud? Without proper support, the transition to cloud-based services can be challenging at best. That’s why Microsoft provides the FastTrack service: to help businesses successfully deploy and implement Microsoft 365 solutions, such as Office 365, Windows 10, and Enterprise Mobility + Security (EM+S).
FastTrack helps provide a smooth transition with Microsoft engineers and Microsoft FastTrack Ready Partners working alongside your team. Via Microsoft FastTrack, you get access to a suite of best practices, tools, remote assistance and resources to help get the job done. The best part is that FastTrack is not a one-time use. You have access to it for the lifetime of your Microsoft 365 subscription.
You may already have direct experience with Microsoft FastTrack, in which case you are familiar with the program. However, given its expansion to include a very select group of the less than 200 top Microsoft 365 FastTrack Ready Partners globally with domain and industry expertise, with enterprise-level organizations, the capabilities and benefits of the program have greatly expanded. Read on to learn how you can reap the latest program benefits and leverage dedicated FastTrack partners, like us, to gain the expert assistance you need to keep your Microsoft 365 deployments current, secure and fully utilized.
FastTrack for Microsoft 365 Eligibility Requirements
Anyone with a current and eligible Microsoft 365 plan subscription can use FastTrack planning, onboarding, migration and adoption services. Customers with 150 or more seats get additional benefits, such as access to remote guidance from FastTrack specialist, which could include Microsoft employees, or approved Microsoft Certified FastTrack Ready Partners, like Steeves and Associates.
Microsoft FastTrack for Windows 10
You get access to FastTrack for Windows 10 when you purchase at least 150 licenses for an eligible service or plan. You are then able to work with FastTrack specialists who provide advisory and remediation guidance if you encounter issues as you deploy to Windows 10 and Office 365 ProPlus and stay up-to-date at no additional cost.
Microsoft FastTrack for Office 365
You get access to the FastTrack Center Benefit for Office 365 when you purchase at least 150 licenses for an eligible service or plan (see eligible plans here). This allows you to work with FastTrack Specialists to assess, remediate, enable, and drive usage of those services. These specialists also provide migration guidance.
When you purchase 500 or more seats, you are eligible to have a Microsoft FastTrack Partner perform data and/or email migration, freeing you to deploy more products at one time.
Microsoft FastTrack for Enterprise Mobility + Security (EM+S)
Gain access to the EM+S FastTrack Center Benefit when you purchase at least 150 licenses for EM+S or any of its individual cloud services in an eligible plan (see eligible plans here). This lets you work with FastTrack Specialists to assess, remediate, enable, and drive usage of those services. These specialists also provide migration guidance.
What to Expect from Microsoft FastTrack
Embarking on a transition to the cloud can leave you with more questions than answers. To help alleviate some of that uncertainty, Microsoft FastTrack provides your business with the following:
- Ongoing access to your FastTrack specialist
- Guidance for onboarding and adoption
- Guidance for supported services
- Email and data migration (with 500+ seats)
- Access to best practices, self-serve tools, resources and remote adoption workshops
Of course, some aspects of the migration will still be up to you and your team. The hands-on side, including things including project management, on-site readiness training, remediation is up to you to handle.
If you purchase fewer than 500 seats, you will also have to manage data and email migration. This can still be a daunting task for businesses, which is where Microsoft’s FastTrack comes in. This program provides increased support and resources to customers from Microsoft approved partners, like Steeves and Associates, who can further assist you in your transition to the cloud.
FastTrack Ready End-to-End Guidance
With Microsoft FastTrack, you have access to end-to-end guidance from Microsoft engineers and/or Microsoft approved and Certified FastTrack Ready Partners, such as Steeves and Associates. This guidance assists your business in the successful deployment of cloud solutions, and the onboarding of users. FastTrack also provides self-serve resources to guide you through the transition, from initial assessment to driving user adoption. Once the migration is complete, you can still access FastTrack if you experience any issues.
How to Envision, Onboard & Drive Value with FastTrack
One of the reasons Microsoft FastTrack is so successful in helping organizations transition to the cloud is their proven three-phase process. FastTrack’s process consists Envisioning, Onboarding, and Driving Value. Although each step will be tailored to your unique needs, this is the general roadmap to FastTrack success.
Step 1: Envision
In this phase you define your vision for success by identifying and prioritizing scenarios and creating a success plan. This plan will be totally tailored to your business, and include both technical implementation and user adoption strategies.
Step 2: Onboard
When your success plan is in place, your onboarding team will request assistance from FastTrack engineers. They will help your team assess their technical environment and work with their IT staff or a FastTrack partner to ensure quick and smooth onboarding and migration.
Step 3: Drive Value
Moving to the cloud is a big investment, and you want to see an ROI as quickly as possible. FastTrack provides businesses with best practices, guidance and resources to increase user adoption. In addition, your business will benefit from tools and guidance that help transform existing IT practices and effectively manage change.
Microsoft FastTrack Drives User Adoption
You can implement all the improvements you want, if your team doesn’t use them, it’s a wasted investment. People tend to be resistant to new technology, so focusing on the people side of the deployment is just as crucial as the technical side. That’s why FastTrack not only helps organizations accelerate deployment, it also helps them increase user adoption of Microsoft 365. Based on extensive research, Microsoft has identified four success factors in user adoption:
- Identifying and recruiting key stakeholders from across the business to ensure that the business reason for change is understood and shared across the business.
- Identifying and prioritizing scenarios that can ultimately translate to delivering a return to the business.
- Generating awareness and excitement with an internal communication campaign.
- Readying end users for the new technology through training.
Through the FastTrack, process, you’ll learn best practices and adoption principles to use within your own organization to drive adoption at every level.
FastTrack Ready Results
Still wondering if FastTrack Ready is right for your organization? FastTrack’s results speak for themselves. Since it was introduced in 2014, FastTrack has helped 60,000 customers to make the switch to Office 365, migrating a total of 12 petabytes of data. It’s been used across five continents and their engineers support customers in 12 languages, while the digital experience is available in 27 languages. Customers have saved an average of one month each, and reduced migration costs as well as training expenses. It’s been used across five continents. Their engineers support customers in 12 languages, while the digital experience is available in 27 languages.
Your Trusted Microsoft FastTrack Ready Partner
As a known ‘go-to’ Microsoft FastTrack Ready Partner, Steeves and Associates delivers additional support and resources, sponsored by Microsoft, to provide an even smoother customer transition to cloud services. The additional resources provided with Microsoft FastTrack enables Steeves and Associates to provide enhanced components for cloud adoption success, such as best practice planning strategies, onboarding support and user-adoption guidance all while even further reducing your time-to-value proposition.
Steeves and Associates will work with you to devise an optimal onboarding and migration experience tailored for your organization’s success. Steeves and Associates also provides Microsoft FastTrack best practices along with resources and guidance to gain user adoption. All of this is provided with expert support and guidance to help organization’s transform their existing IT processes and effectively manage organizational change.
Are you ready to take advantage of everything Microsoft FastTrack has to offer? Get in touch with Steeves and Associates today!
Author: Dave Steeves
Dave Steeves, CEO and Founder of Steeves and Associates, has been on the cutting edge of technology throughout his career with the past 25 years running his own company as Microsoft 1st Canadian Cloud Partner and one of the first Microsoft Certified Partners. Steeves has always been an early adopter and visionary, helping his clients adopt disruptive emerging technologies managing risk with careful selection of viable use cases to create value. When not tinkering in tech Dave enjoys hockey, skiing, and spending time with his family.