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Provide 18,000 computer users with new software—and do it in less than two years: it’s an enormous challenge to say the least. Especially since it involves Office, the software package that most of us can’t go without for even a second. Nonetheless, our IT team was up to the task. Now it’s up to you to make the most of their efforts.
As ICT Director, Xavier Van Moen is at the head of this enormous project. And he’s looking back with satisfaction at the course it’s taken: ‘Our 15,000 students made the jump to Office 365 last year. They did it on their own—as natives of the digital generation would. Clear instructions on our website led them through the installation. And our IT service desk was ready to offer them support if it was needed.’
Switching over the 3000 staff members is going somewhat slower. ‘There’s a bit more work involved,’ explains Xavier. ‘Sometimes it’s necessary to perform other updates without delay. That’s why we, in collaboration with the faculty IT teams, are personally seeing to every single computer.’
Despite this, they’re still right on schedule: there are just 800 users still to go. Are you full of nerves and excitement waiting to see what will happen? Because your account will also be switched to Office 365 sometime soon. You’ll be given plenty of notice before it happens.
Freer, faster, safer
There’s no denying that Office 365 needs some getting used to. But once you’ve mastered the software, you’ll only see benefits. Xavier has summarised them all for you:
- ‘You have access to the latest Office programmes, wherever and whenever you want it.’
At the office, at home or in your favourite cafe. On your PC, tablet or smartphone. It makes no difference where you are when you call on the services of Outlook, Word, Excel or PowerPoint: you always work with the latest version, with your preferred settings in place and using your own files.
- ‘It’s easier to work together with your colleagues.’
With Office 365 and SharePoint, it’s much easier to share files (such as text documents or spreadsheets) with others or to work alongside them on the same file at the same time. And thanks to the integration with Skype for Business, you always have each other’s contact details.
- ‘You no longer need to worry about making backups.’
Office 365 is linked to OneDrive, a secure storage location in the cloud. So your files aren’t just on your computer. That’s definitely one less worry if your computer crashes or if you leave your laptop on the subway: your hard work is safe.
Learn to work with Office 365 is as easy as A, B, C
Xavier has good advice for all his VUB colleagues: ‘The Office 365 package is much more than the next upgrade of our Office software. It delivers a completely new, improved method of collaborating. The only condition is that everyone masters the functions. Because only then will we draw out everything that this software offers us.’
So do yourself and your colleagues a favour: take a look at the films and instruction manuals on the Microsoft Office Help and Training portal. Or enrol for one of the Office 365 training courses via the VTO intranet page.
Do you already have Office 365? Do you have questions that are in need of answers? Or are you stuck on a technical problem? Don’t hesitate to contact our IT team.
Does the completion of the Office 365 project mean that the IT team can rest on its laurels? ‘On the contrary,’ laughs Xavier, ‘it means we will finally have time for a series of major new projects that are in the pipeline. There’s the Power BI for data analysis and reporting, a renewed learning platform, and the upgrade of our network.’
This is, undoubtedly, to be continued …