Transitioning Users to Office 365

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Microsoft Office 365 users in the commercial space have grown to over 85 million, up more than 40% in a year. It’s likely your organization has made the move or will soon be moving to Office 365. If your company has invested in Office 365, the first decision you’ll need to make is where to begin. With the current applications already offered (pictured below), users can be overwhelmed. It’s up to your Office 365 leaders and experts to help users decide what technology or feature to use and when to use them.

o365tiles

The chat-based digital workspace – Microsoft Teams, launched earlier this month, is the latest service offering that will entice more users to use Office 365. This is the new work area within Office 365 that provides a modern conversation experience. It integrates with Skype for Business, so teams can participate in voice and video conferences. Along with Office 365 Groups, it brings together the full breadth of Office 365 into one central hub for teams to collaborate. Applications such as Word, Excel, PowerPoint, SharePoint, OneNote, Planner, and Delve are all integrated into Microsoft Teams. The main goal for this latest service offering is to provide users with all the information and tools they need securely on any device at any time.

While Office 365 provides an ever growing set of features, the challenges for IT professionals typically focus on whether the features are mature enough to deploy in their organization. The decision to deploy what functionality the organization needs include business need, compliance, user experience, and support. The decision in deploying new technologies should also be focused on how to prevent users from stumbling over all of the available applications and features in Office 365. To help your organization realize business value faster with Microsoft Cloud, a service called ‘FastTrack’ is provided by Microsoft. The image below from Microsoft Ignite shows the most recent capabilities of Microsoft FastTrack. To further assist your organization, a step-by-step guide with the FastTrack site is available here.

fasttrackcapabilities

A whitepaper from 2toLead on “When To Use What In Office 365” has been published to help guide organizations and users accelerate their usage and adoption of Office 365. This is a great start for organizations that are planning to move to Office 365 or ones that have already deployed it.

Some important factors to help users adopt Office 365 include:

  • Cultural Change – Users will need help moving from their client based to cloud based applications. Establish daily tips to improve understanding and awareness of the new technology.
  • Embraced by Leadership – Business stakeholders and influencers must be identified and engaged early in the new technology
  • Establish Governance – Set clear policies for usage, security, and management of content
  • Pilot – Before rolling out a new application or feature to the enterprise, test usability with a small group of users from different areas of the organization
  • Campaign – Create an effective internal adoption roadmap and channels to capture user feedback

Understanding and providing ways to help business challenges are keys in gravitating users towards Office 365. Adoption is a continuous cycle that doesn’t end after launch date. As your business needs change, and new service offerings are released in Office 365, the adoption cycle will continue to be a key component for your organization. Office 365 is in a state of constant change, the public roadmap can help you keep aware of new features or updates that may be beneficial to your organization.

To learn more on how Centric Consulting can help you with Office 365 adoption, visit us at CentricConsulting.com

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SharePoint Deployment – Employee Adoption Challenge

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According to the Nielsen Norman Group, SharePoint has a strong foothold on the intranet market and its market adoption is projected to grow at an annual average growth rate of 20% over the next four years. Moreover, 9 out of 10 winners of the 2016 Intranet Design Annual awards use SharePoint with an average organization size of 12,500 employees.

Even with these impressive numbers, organizations are still facing the same challenge with employee adoption according to AIIM’s Impact of SharePoint 2016 report. AIIM conducted a survey with a selection of 195,000 community members in June 2016. Some interesting key findings include 11 percent of organizations have reached a plateau in terms of SharePoint adoption. 22 percent say their SharePoint adoption is facing challenges from the user community.

So why is the adoption number so low? Most of the responses were very common, inadequate user training, and lack of senior management support.

The figure below shows the results of the survey on the pace of SharePoint adoption.

sharepointadoption

Clearly, these adoption numbers don’t look so great, organizations do realize challenges still exist. Nevertheless, there is some good news; 58 percent of organizations are making SharePoint training a priority and 50 percent plan to update and enforce their SharePoint governance policies.

So, what can you do to build a positive SharePoint experience to increase the rate of adoption.

Some points to consider from business users’ perspective:

  • Did it make any daily routine simpler?
  • Is it easier for me to find information I need?
  • Can I get to the information I need at any time form any device?

Some points to consider from the SharePoint support team perspective:

  • How can I make the UX design user friendly?
  • How can I improve or automate solutions to help uses’ daily routine easier?
  • How can I lessen IT from becoming a bottleneck?

I recently worked with a client where I used the examples above as guiding principles. The result was a high rate of adoption that translated into measurable benefits to the organization.

To learn more on how Centric Consulting can help you with SharePoint adoption, visit us at CentricConsulting.com