Microsoft Office 365: It’s different!  The way you use it is different… the way you train end users on it is different!  Office 365 is not an individual application. Driving user adoption of Office 365 involves using integrated applications to achieve a result. 

Why are so many end users and their companies having issues with adopting Office 365? User adoption of Office 365 requires a very different approach than the one that might be used for previous versions of Office applications like Office 2010 and Office 2013.

But why is it so different?

Unlike previous versions, Office 365 combines a set of productivity applications like Word, Excel, and PowerPoint with an even larger set of online applications like Teams, Planner, and OneDrive. The suite of applications share features that can be used together to form a solution. So, it’s no longer as simple as selecting one application over another and training users on that single application.  Driving user adoption for Office 365 requires a different thought process – to see the forest for the trees.  With that perspective in mind, it’s all about using the entire toolkit to enhance productivity because the technology works together to solve complex business problems.

For example, instead of thinking,“I need to use Office 365-Calendar” you think, “I need to schedule and conduct an effective meeting”.  What that means is you can incorporate different features from  Office 365 applications to make business meetings more effective (see Figure 1), from scheduling the meeting to engaging participants, to co-authoring, to collaborating on meetings minutes, to tracking action items. You exploit the capabilities of Office 365 to meet all your needs, to be more productive – not just getting the meeting request out…

Office 365 capabilities work better together. 

With modern day Office 365, you begin to think in terms of scenarios and solutions, not tools. You need to keep this in mind when planning for user adoption. Users will gravitate towards looking at the tools from a “this one or that one” perspective. Instead, people need to be shown a more holistic view as to how the applications work together to solve a business challenge and improve their productivity. Now you consider “How can better collaborate across my team?”  and determine the suite of tools that best supports your needs – do I use Yammer, Skype  SharePoint, and OneDrive together to be more productive?

You’re changing the way people work through technology!

When it comes to change, people are naturally resistant.  Unfortunately, we’re creatures of habit!  Unless we’re explicitly shown how to incorporate Office 365 apps and features into our day-to-day work, we’re confused and overwhelmed by all the choices and options available, and simply revert to what we know – the old, familiar computer/desktop-based tools. A solid Office 365 adoption strategy will explain what services are available, how they work together and how to incorporate them into your day-to-day work to make life and work more productive. At the end of the day, Office 365 will only be a worthwhile investment if you are taking advantage of the services that are available in a way that is meaningful to your organization and users.

Do you want to learn how to drive serious adoption for Office 365? Well, then you won’t want to miss our upcoming webinar, Office 365: Planning your Digital Transformation Using Effective Organizational Change Management.

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