Remote work has become a cornerstone of many industries and the demand for effective and efficient cloud solutions has surged. Microsoft FastTrack stands as a beacon, offering a lifeline to businesses in their digital transformation journey. This service facilitates the seamless deployment and adoption of Microsoft 365, alleviating the commonly faced complexities and challenges in the process. This article serves as your comprehensive guide to Microsoft FastTrack, helping you understand how to leverage it to maximize your business’s productivity and digital efficacy.
An Inside Look at Microsoft FastTrack
Microsoft FastTrack, a service provided by Microsoft, assists organizations in implementing and adopting Microsoft cloud solutions, ensuring smoother and faster digital transitions. Recognizing that transitioning from on-premise solutions to cloud-based ones can often be challenging, Microsoft designed FastTrack to support businesses every step of the way. A critical aspect to note is that this service comes at no additional cost for eligible subscriptions, significantly reducing the financial burden of cloud migration. This alone positions FastTrack as a vital resource for businesses in their journey towards digital transformation.
What is Microsoft FastTrack?
Microsoft FastTrack is a customer success service designed to help businesses smoothly and successfully migrate their workloads and data to the cloud. From assessing the current state of your organization to developing a personalized success plan, FastTrack ensures you have the resources, skills, and support needed for a successful cloud migration. It’s the reliable partner you need when deciding what workloads to prioritize and how to navigate the complexities of the digital transformation process.
FastTrack has been operational since 2014, and during this time it has served a multitude of customers, devised countless success plans, and facilitated the migration of a significant volume of data. These results are a testament to FastTrack’s efficiency, with customers reporting saving an average of one month by leveraging this service.
The Potential of Microsoft FastTrack for Your Business
FastTrack isn’t just about moving your data to the cloud; it’s about transforming the way you operate your business. By accelerating the “time to value” from Microsoft 365 suite capabilities, businesses can experience an improvement in productivity and efficiency.
From migrating files and email from competitive platforms to reducing training costs, FastTrack can offer immense cost savings to your business. For example, if your organization is grappling with an expensive legacy system, migrating to the cloud via FastTrack can substantially decrease your IT expenses, thereby freeing up funds to invest in other strategic areas of your business5.
Key Takeaway: Microsoft FastTrack serves as a powerful tool for businesses looking to transition to cloud-based solutions. By leveraging this service, organizations can save time, reduce costs, and enhance productivity. Understanding what FastTrack is and its potential for your business is the first step to a successful digital transformation journey.
How Does Microsoft FastTrack Work?
Delving deeper into the FastTrack process gives us an understanding of its streamlined and structured deployment methodology. This methodology is broken down into four crucial steps: Developing a Success Plan, Addressing Pre-Deployment Challenges, Enabling Your Cloud Solutions, and Maximizing User Adoption.
The FastTrack Deployment Methodology
FastTrack’s deployment methodology is designed to accelerate and simplify the onboarding process across Microsoft 365 and Azure. This systematic approach starts with creating a Success Plan and doesn’t stop until user adoption is maximized. FastTrack’s deployment methodology is not a one-size-fits-all; it’s tailored to fit the unique needs and specifications of each business, making it a reliable partner in your digital transformation journey.
Laying the Foundation for Deployment
The first step of the deployment methodology is to create a Success Plan. This personalized plan is your guide to successful deployment. It assesses where your organization stands, identifies what actions should be taken before, during, and after the deployment, and provides clear, actionable steps to achieve your goals.
Addressing Pre-Deployment Challenges
After developing the Success Plan, the next step is to address any potential pre-deployment challenges. Softlanding assists in this crucial phase by helping you remediate any issues. By identifying and resolving these issues ahead of time, FastTrack ensures a smoother and less stressful deployment process.
Enabling Your Cloud Solutions
Once the pre-deployment issues are resolved, FastTrack works with you to enable your cloud solutions. This involves migrating workloads and data to the cloud and implementing the appropriate cloud tools and services to suit your business needs.
Maximizing User Adoption with FastTrack
The final step in the FastTrack deployment methodology is maximizing user adoption. By providing training and support, FastTrack helps you ensure your team is proficient in using the new cloud solutions which will help maximize the value of your IT investment.
Key Takeaway: The FastTrack deployment methodology provides a comprehensive, systematic approach to cloud migration. By following these steps and making the most of FastTrack’s resources, you can ensure a smooth and efficient digital transformation for your business.
FastTrack Services: Exploring the Microsoft Solutions
FastTrack encompasses a broad array of Microsoft services, each designed to enhance your business’s productivity, streamline your processes, and ensure your data’s security. Let’s delve into these services to better understand how they can benefit your organization.
Productivity with Microsoft 365
FastTrack for Microsoft 365 offers a suite of productivity-enhancing tools. These include Exchange Online for robust email services, SharePoint Online for collaboration, OneDrive for Business for file storage and sharing, and Microsoft 365 Apps that bring together best-in-class Office applications with powerful cloud services.
In addition, Teams provides a platform for seamless team collaboration, while Yammer enables efficient enterprise-wide networking. Furthermore, Microsoft Information Governance and Microsoft Information Protection help you manage and protect your data, and Office 365 ATP safeguards your organization against malicious threats.
Productivity (Microsoft 365)
- Exchange Online
- SharePoint Online
- OneDrive for Business
- Microsoft 365 Apps
- Microsoft Information Governance
- Microsoft Information Protection
- Office 365 ATP
Streamlining Windows 10/11 Deployment
FastTrack also assists in the deployment of Windows 10 or11, the latest and most advanced version of Microsoft’s operating systems. This includes support for Microsoft Edge, the new web browser designed for Windows 11, and Microsoft Defender ATP, a leading endpoint security solution.
FastTrack also provides App Assure, a service that ensures app compatibility when deploying Windows Virtual Desktop. With FastTrack, you can feel confident in your Windows 10 deployment, knowing you have the support to overcome any challenges that may arise.
- Windows 10/11
- Microsoft Edge
- Microsoft Defender ATP
- App Assure
Ensuring Security with EMS
FastTrack helps you secure your organization’s data and manage your digital identities with the Enterprise Mobility + Security (EMS) suite. This includes Azure Active Directory Premium for identity and access management, Azure Information Protection for data protection, Intune for mobile device management, and Cloud Attach for device management.
- AADP (Azure Active Directory Premium)
- Azure Information Protection
- Cloud Attach
Key Takeaway: FastTrack provides a wealth of services under the Microsoft 365 umbrella, each designed to optimize your business’s productivity, streamline your operations, and secure your data. Understanding these services and how they can benefit your business is crucial to maximizing your FastTrack experience.
Why Choose Softlanding for FastTrack?
When it comes to deploying Microsoft FastTrack, you need a partner you can trust. Softlanding, a Microsoft Gold partner and a FastTrack Ready partner, offers a range of benefits and services that make it an ideal choice for your FastTrack journey.
Softlanding’s Expertise and Proven Methodology
Softlanding’s expertise in the realm of Microsoft technologies is one of the key reasons for choosing them as your FastTrack partner. As a Microsoft Gold Partner, Softlanding has demonstrated a high degree of competence and expertise with Microsoft technologies. This certification ensures that Softlanding is well-equipped to assist you in your cloud transformation journey.
Softlanding also follows a proven methodology for FastTrack deployment, ensuring a smooth migration and successful adoption of the solution with your users. This methodology mirrors that of FastTrack itself, ensuring alignment and cohesiveness throughout your digital transformation journey.
The Additional Services and Benefits of Choosing Softlanding
In addition to FastTrack deployment, Softlanding offers a broad range of additional services such as architecture, strategy, project management, and managed services. These services can assist you no matter where you are in your cloud transformation journey, ensuring that you have all the resources and support you need to achieve your goals and maximize your IT investment.
Softlanding uses the same Microsoft technologies as their clients, ensuring that their approach aligns with your business needs and facilitates your successful digital transformation.
Key Takeaway: Choosing Softlanding for your FastTrack deployment means choosing a partner with proven expertise, a comprehensive range of services, and a commitment to your success. With Softlanding, you can be confident that your FastTrack journey will be smooth and beneficial.
Eligibility for FastTrack Services
The availability of FastTrack services as part of your Microsoft 365 subscription largely depends on your organization’s eligibility. Understanding the criteria for eligibility and the license requirements can help you leverage these services to your advantage.
Understanding Your Eligibility
FastTrack is available at no additional cost as part of your eligible Microsoft 365 subscription. But what does ‘eligible’ mean in this context? Typically, your organization’s eligibility for FastTrack services depends on the number of licenses you have.
For instance, if you have more than 150 licenses, you gain ongoing access to FastTrack specialists, technical guidance, and best practices. This means you can have direct access to experts who can help you optimize your use of Microsoft cloud solutions, thus enhancing your organization’s productivity and efficiency.
Decoding License Requirements
If your organization has more than 500 licenses, you can avail of FastTrack’s data migration services. This is particularly beneficial when you’re shifting workloads to the cloud, as it simplifies and accelerates the migration process while ensuring data integrity and security.
It’s important to note that the specific licenses required can vary depending on the Microsoft solutions you’re interested in deploying. For example, different licenses might be required for deploying Microsoft 365 or EMS services. It’s crucial to review the specific license requirements for the services you’re interested in to ensure you’re eligible for FastTrack assistance.
Key Takeaway: Understanding your organization’s eligibility and license requirements for FastTrack services is crucial to maximizing these services’ benefits. If your organization meets the criteria, FastTrack can be a game-changer in your digital transformation journey.
Ready, Set, FastTrack!
With the right preparation and a clear understanding of what to expect, your organization can fully leverage the advantages of Microsoft’s FastTrack services to ensure a simple and effortless transition to Microsoft 365.
Preparing for a FastTrack Deployment
Preparation is key for a successful FastTrack deployment. Start by reviewing your organization’s current digital landscape. What Microsoft solutions are you already using, and how are they being utilized? Next, identify your key goals for deploying FastTrack services. Are you seeking to improve productivity, enhance security, or streamline operations? Or perhaps a combination of these? Understanding your goals can guide your FastTrack journey and ensure you choose the most beneficial services.
Once you’ve identified your goals, create a deployment plan. This includes determining what workloads and assets you’ll migrate to the cloud, outlining a timeline for deployment, and identifying potential challenges. If you’re working with a FastTrack partner like Softlanding, they can assist you in creating a comprehensive and realistic plan.
Key Takeaways for a Successful FastTrack Experience
FastTrack can dramatically streamline your organization’s digital transformation journey. However, to ensure a successful experience, it’s crucial to:
- Understand your eligibility and license requirements.
- Identify your goals for FastTrack deployment.
- Prepare a comprehensive deployment plan.
- Consider working with a trusted FastTrack partner like Softlanding.
Take the FastTrack to Success
Navigating the world of digital transformation can be a complex journey. With Microsoft FastTrack, that journey can be simplified and accelerated, allowing your organization to quickly and efficiently reap the benefits of Microsoft cloud solutions.
Whether you’re looking to improve productivity with Microsoft 365, streamline your Windows 10/11 deployment, or enhance your data security with EMS, FastTrack offers a path to success. And with a trusted partner like Softlanding, you can be confident that your FastTrack journey will be smooth and beneficial. So, are you ready to take the FastTrack to success?
Frequently Asked Questions
How can I avail the FastTrack service for my organization?
To use FastTrack services, simply visit the FastTrack website and request assistance. After filling out a form with your organization’s information, a FastTrack manager will get in touch with you to understand your needs and guide you through the process.
How does FastTrack integrate with other Microsoft services?
FastTrack integrates seamlessly with a wide range of Microsoft services, including Microsoft 365, Windows 10/11, and EMS. The service helps in the deployment and adoption of these Microsoft cloud solutions, facilitating smoother transitions and maximizing the value of these services.
What kind of support can I expect during the FastTrack process?
During the FastTrack process, eligible customers have ongoing access to FastTrack specialists for technical guidance and best practices. This includes support during the pre-deployment phase, assistance during deployment, and help with driving user adoption post-deployment.
Are there additional costs involved in the FastTrack process beyond my Microsoft 365 subscription?
FastTrack is available at no additional cost for customers with eligible Microsoft 365 subscriptions. This includes ongoing access to FastTrack specialists, technical guidance, and best practices.
Can I customize my FastTrack experience to suit my organization’s unique needs?
Yes, FastTrack is designed to be flexible and adaptable to your organization’s unique needs. Your FastTrack journey starts with creating a Success Plan that outlines your goals and the specific actions to be taken before, during, and after the deployment.
- “Microsoft FastTrack, Move to the Cloud with Confidence.” Microsoft.com, 2023, www.microsoft.com/en-us/fasttrack. Accessed 22 June 2023.
- “Exchange Online – Hosted Email for Business.” Microsoft.com, 2018, www.microsoft.com/en-ca/microsoft-365/exchange/exchange-online. Accessed 22 June 2023.
- “Build Team Intranets – Share Files | Microsoft SharePoint.” Microsoft.com, 2018, www.microsoft.com/en-ca/microsoft-365/sharepoint/collaboration. Accessed 22 June 2023.
- “OneDrive for Business: Share Files with Secure Cloud Storage.” Microsoft.com, 2018, www.microsoft.com/en-ca/microsoft-365/onedrive/onedrive-for-business. Accessed 22 June 2023.
- “View All Microsoft Office Apps and Services | Microsoft 365.” Microsoft.com, 2021, www.microsoft.com/en-ca/microsoft-365/products-apps-services. Accessed 22 June 2023.
Article Updated for Jun 22, 2023