Driving a Modern Workplace with Office 365

Posted by Dan St. Hilaire  /  July 8, 2019  /  Microsoft 365, MSP, User Adoption   —   No Comments ↓


Over the last several years I’ve had the opportunity to work with many companies that have moved to Office 365. The most common challenge they all face is user adoption related to Office 365 tools and features. Moving to Office 365 isn’t difficult. You can do it yourself or work with a partner like an MSP (Managed Service Provider) and leverage support from Microsoft as part of the FastTrack Program. Some end up using a mix. The hurdle is getting your staff to work differently and leverage the new tools available to them.

With Office 365 you can’t just deploy it and expect users to work in a different way without a plan. You need to have a plan for adoption. When employees start to work in new modern ways, the business benefits by identifying paths to improve processes that ultimately result in company ROI. I’ve been writing and hosting webinars and workshops on the topic of User Adoption for a few years now. I’m still shouting from my soapbox too because people remain hesitant to change. So, I’ll say it again, if your business is making the move to Microsoft 365, or you’ve deployed and aren’t realizing a benefit, you need to have a plan for adoption.

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Microsoft Teams is Changing How Office 365 is Deployed

The traditional deployment flow of Office 365 starts when the organization decides to move to Exchange Online. Next is the push to OneDrive for Business in order to benefit from the many collaboration features available when documents start to live in the cloud. What is new is the trend we are seeing with Microsoft Teams. Previously, SharePoint was a next step for most businesses after getting OneDrive for Business in place. But now, organizations we are engaging with want to use Teams and emphasize collaboration around content and projects. It’s a shift on SharePoint planning. SharePoint is still important, but Microsoft Teams is quickly becoming the driving force to move shared company content to the cloud. Yes, that content will live in SharePoint, but businesses want to work around it and the way they do that is in the Microsoft Teams hub. More than ever, this charge to Microsoft Teams is sparking a need for a well-thought-out plan and the importance for end-user training. First Midwest Bank. CIO/COO Jo Ann Boylan shares, “As we expand our training throughout the organization, I expect Teams to become the primary collaboration tool across the bank.”.

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The Office 365 Adoption Program

I’ve been assisting businesses for years now in a consultative coaching and training approach as part of what is now our formal Office 365 Adoption Program. Think of it as Adoption and Change Management (ACM). Not every business will create a Microsoft 365 Relationship Manager position like First Midwest Bank did, and that’s where KnowledgeWave can help.

Companies that participate in our Office 365 Adoption Program have access to a Microsoft 365 Services Adoption Specialist that will work with them to build and craft a plan that is specific to the needs and goals of their organization. The program starts with what we call the “State of YOUR Union”. Based on information collected, one of our experts will align that data against our Office 365 Adoption Planning Checklist and our experiences with other companies in order to provide a recommendations report that we review together. It’s the starting point for creating a company’s adoption plan. As we help to build out your adoption plan, we define ways to not only build momentum for adoption but define what will help employees embrace these tools and use them as part of their natural rhythm of work.

KnowledgeWave’s goal isn’t to sell a bunch of training, it’s to help companies build an adoption plan that they can support. Best results for user adoption come from actions businesses control from within their company. Reviewing the recommendations together lets businesses decide where to use KnowledgeWave, when to use their MSP (where they see the most value) while also tackling what they want with internal company staff. KnowledgeWave’s Office 365 Adoption program sparks tipping points within business units and our program’s à la carte service menu lets you customize a plan with KnowledgeWave that works for your business goals. There are no long-term commitments, but rather an opportunity to build a lasting partnership that brings impactful results to your organization’s user adoption of Microsoft 365.

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Topics: Microsoft 365, MSP, User Adoption