Use case #2 for multiple tenants of Office 365: Partnerships between organizations

This is the second in our series of “The Use Cases for Multiple Tenants of Office 365”, covering why you might need to run more than one tenant of Office 365 in an organization. Or, in this case, across two or more organizations who’ve come together to work as one.

This scenario assumes that each organization is already running their own tenant of Office 365. Now, you need to integrate the tenants to enable users in each organization to find and collaborate with each other. The success of the relationship often depends on it.

A push toward partnerships

It started when Apple teamed up with IBM in 1992.

Their goal: Create an operating system that would rival Microsoft Windows. This highly-publicized alliance piqued the tech industry’s interest in these types of partnerships. Never mind that the alliance flopped. They didn’t create any such operating system. And they lost an estimated $150 million. 

But since then, there’s been a push toward more partnerships like this. Despite the fact that more than 50% of them tend to fail, they’re on the rise. Everyone’s looking for new ways to keep up in this connected, mobile, and global economy.

The scenario: Collaborate in a partnership, alliance, or join venture

In this type of business agreement, two or more organizations come together and collaborate toward a common goal. They might want to innovate on big problems, gain new capabilities, or enter new markets. Some examples:

  • Two or more law firms work together on a class-action lawsuit
  • Regional hospitals might collaborate to fight the spread of infectious diseases in their community
  • Manufacturers and their suppliers might band together to create a complex product
  • Airlines partner up to offer better coverage on their routes

The list goes on. These types of partnerships are much like a marriage. You have to trust each other. You have to work together. And you might have to compromise on the way you do things.

The goal: Share directories and calendars

But one thing you shouldn’t compromise on is your IT strategy. Studies have shown that the most successful alliances are the ones who dedicate a team to the alliance. These folks are tasked with figuring out how to work together, solve issues that come up, and track how well the relationship is working out. 

A key member of this team should be IT. It’s common sense: if people across the partnership can’t easily find each other in the directory or schedule meetings, it will be much harder for them to work together. In fact, they might even stop trying, as sometimes happens in these situations. 

To make it easier to collaborate, IT needs to set things up so people on both sides can easily find each other in a shared directory. Not to mention schedule meetings with each other using free/busy availability. 

Office 365 Managed Services

The challenge: Integrating tenants of Office 365

With more than 80% of the Fortune 500 on the Microsoft cloud (Gartner 2016), there’s a good chance that one or more of the partners will be on Office 365. So for this scenario, we assume that the organizations involved are already running Office 365.

That’s a good start, but it won’t get you where you need to be. At least not right out of the box. As we wrote about earlier, there are some unique challenges that come with trying to coexist tenants of Office 365. For example, you can’t easily share directories or calendars across tenants. Which means your users won’t be able to:

  • Look up new colleagues in a shared directory to send emails and invites
  • See calendar availability to find a good time for a meeting

If your users can’t even do basic things like this—things that we often take for granted—it’s all too easy for your partnership to grind to a halt. So if you want things to go more smoothly, you’ll need to look for a solution that’s outside the box. That’s where we come in.

The solution: Power365

Our Power365 is the first tool that lets you easily coexist between tenants of Office 365. It helps you tether two or more tenants of Office 365 to gracefully share directories and calendars, for as long as you need. And it’s also easy to de-couple if your partnership ends.

Learn more