Microsoft Office 365 is a vast product that is constantly improved and expanded. It’s a full–time job to stay on top of all the features and functionality – and you already have a full–time job, right? That’s why you should consider engaging an Office 365 developer. The challenge is finding someone with the right mix of knowledge and skills.
A key characteristic of an Office 365 developer is breadth. SharePoint has been around for a very long time; Blue Net was consulting on it way back in 2003 and had a full practice area based on SharePoint 2007. Consequently, there are a lot of people claiming SharePoint development expertise. Fair enough, many O365 solutions rightly involve SharePoint. But narrowly focusing on SharePoint is a mistake. The right developer candidate knows SharePoint intimately but also is an expert in leveraging and integrating other O365 products.
Another important skill of your Office 365 provider is mastery of the Power Platform, about which we’ve published several blog articles. As with O365, the Power Platform is a very large set of ever-changing products and features and it’s not reasonable to expect someone doing O365 development to claim proficiency in them all. At a minimum, your developer should be able to create workflow solutions with Power Automate and forms-based user interfaces with Power Apps. These two technologies make it possible to build solutions that integrate multiple Office 365 products and functionality and take any business solution to the next level. The Power Platform makes the solutions active participants in a process rather than passive tools.
Ideally, your Office 365 developer has experience integrating with the non-Office products your organization is using. Office 365 has hundreds of data and application connectors that make it possible to surface important data inside SharePoint, Teams, and other places, as well as use outside data within O365 business solutions. Your users will appreciate not having to jump between multiple windows to get a task done. Connectors make it possible to get alerts while remaining in Office and route workflows more intelligently.
Finally, an Office 365 developer should be able plan, coordinate and execute migrations between your existing business systems and Office. File migrations are typically a top priority. Stop using file server shares and email attachments and get the documents you need into the appropriate storage with SharePoint, Teams, and OneDrive. A proper migration is far more than simply moving files from one place to another. You should expect improvements and efficiencies that justify the effort. The same goes for spreadsheet migrations. Often Excel is used purely for convenience because anyone can create tracking lists and other process management tools. A competent developer can analyze what you’re doing in Excel and propose far better solutions that extend and enhance the value of the data you collect, and the business processes it drives.
In short, your Office 365 Developer:
- Knows the entire Office 365 suite of products
- Has the experience to architect solutions using the right combination of tools
- Can automate and streamline business processes
- Helps migrate your existing processes to Office 365
Blue Net looks forward to assisting you and your organization in exactly this fashion. We’ve helped hundreds of clients get more value out of their Office 365 licensing investments. We’ve migrated millions of files and email accounts into the Office environment. Our solutions span the full range of Office functionality, carefully crafted to apply the right combination of technology to get the job done with the minimum of effort, and with the goal of using strictly out-of-the-box features so your organization can extend and maintain the solution on your own. Contact us today.
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