Sales is the blood circulation of a company

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How important are sales and marketing for your company? The answer may seem obvious. But actually, for many companies, especially in some sectors like IT or logistics, is not.

Harry Clarijs is a trainer and coach at Value Add, a commercial marketing and business coaching and training company in the Netherlands. value addDuring an interview with us, Harry explained how in many cases companies are too focused on technical things and on the quality of their technology products and lose the focus on sales and marketing, losing also many business opportunities. We talked about many things: how during his training he manages to change the behaviour of his customers towards marketing and sales, the barriers to change and he tries to overcome those.

 

Q: Can you tell me something about yourself and your career?

A: I have an IT background. But since the beginning of my career, I was interested in technology and in people. I then shifted to the sales part of IT, becoming a sales manager and then sales director. Then in 2010, I decided that I wanted to go further for myself and so I started my own company, Value Add. I chose to follow my passion for sales and in helping other people to become more successful in sales, a very important area of the business. The main reason is that in IT most people are technical, and do not really care or are not interested in sales and marketing for the products. They are only worried that the products and software are working, and the processes are followed. But sales are fundamental for a business. So, knowing how things work in It, I decided to especially focus on helping IT customers to reach more success in sales and marketing for their companies. A very small example: customers of an IT company, they don’t buy SharePoint, the technical solution itself. Instead, they buy collaboration and what collaboration means to them, also using SharePoint as their means and tool to be collaborative in the digital workplace of today. So, if you focus on collaboration, you can sell more than focusing only on the technical aspects of SharePoint!

Q: And what do you specifically do to spread this message around IT companies? A: Well, first, I organize these power sessions that are a sort of short workshop in which I motivate the customers and make them understand why it is important to focus on sales and marketing for their business. During these sessions, I address common topics like “how to get more customers and how to grow existing customers”. Besides that, I also do coaching, like 1:1 session with the customers. Then I do also training and business cases.

Q: And does it feel to be a trainer nowadays with an IT background? A: It’s s a very nice feeling! I shifted from a desk job to an office job and now I am always surrounded by people and giving workshops and training. I like to be open and help people with the right training they need, inspire them to achieve more. I enjoy very much when people are growing also thanks to me and my work. This gives me energy!

Q: What is the main challenge of being a trainer in this field? A: I would say the main challenge is to deal with an audience that is always very different and with different requests, needs and goals. It is important to adjust to them but sometimes it is also hard to speak their own language and to meet their expectations. Also, sometimes it is difficult to make people understand some concepts and above all make them actually implement into their business what I taught to them. Many times, they are very enthusiastic during the sessions, but then they do not act concretely.

Q: So, part of your job is also to make people change their behaviour and ways of working? A: Oh yes, definitely! That is one of the most important parts because if you are not acting, everything you learned remains useless for your business. Q: Yes indeed… A: And you know, change is always difficult. But change is vital for your business. You have to push people to change, otherwise, it’s a waste of time, money and above all opportunities for you and your business. You need to have the right attitude to change.

Q: What is your strategy to make people change? A: Reluctance is something concrete. Many people are reluctant, they are not convinced that the right thing is to change their behaviour and ways of working. But you know, with these people, it doesn’t work to convince them. That is the wrong strategy. Instead, you have to let them practice, see the benefits and the concrete outcomes. Only in that way you are going to succeed with them.

Q: I think that experience is really the best strategy. A: Yes, and it is fundamental to also count the different communication styles of your audience or your customers and use the most appropriate for them.

Q: And in your daily practice, which kind of barriers do you experience the mist in your audience towards change? A: Well some people say that they can do it themselves and they have no need of help from external people since they consider themselves very experiences and thus they think they can do it. But eventually they don’t do it, they don’t even try, and they go on postponing. Some other people do not accept the fact that someone else knows more than they know, and that person can teach them a better way of doing things. But then when they are experiencing the difficulties, then they ask for help and then I help them. So, these are the most frequent obstacles.

Q: And how do you overcome these obstacles? A: What I do is to be patient, helpful and work on making them experience the difficulties and how they can solve them in an easy way. And focus on the results, because everybody, in the end, wants to see the results.

Changing the ways of working of people is always challenging. This is a universally valid concept, applicable to every sector and toe very change, learn how to use new technology, a new way of working or a new marketing and sales strategy. However, as Harry tells us, with the right attitude and the appropriate strategy, nothing is impossible. Learn more on our PACE change management strategy and download our PACE whitepaper.

Social media trends 2019

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In the social media world, the pace of change has always been very high. Among the social media apps, new functionalities are constantly released, providing to users an always new and engaging experience. But sometimes, these changes regards also more serious matters than new filters for your Instagram or new emoji for your messages.

social media Regarding this point, 2018 has been a very important year. Indeed, GDPR, the scandal of Facebook and Cambridge Analytica, fake news and political events, privacy issues and stealing of data, fish cats, hacks and age restrictions (like in the case of WhatsApp). All this had an impact on how users behave and what they demand from social media. They indeed demand more valuable content for the time spent on social networks, they want also to share more content and communicate with the world while being protected and treated like humans and not like demographics. There is a clear need for truthfulness, humanity and authenticity.

But what about brands and companies that use social media to reach their customers, prospects, employees, partners, and other audiences? How are they reacting to these big changes in the industry? Certainly, it’s not easy to keep on creating valuable and authentic content while dealing with budget constraints and market dynamics.

So, which will be the social media trends for 2019?

Hootsuite, one of the most used and successful social media management solutions, produced a report based on an annual survey of 3,255 Hootsuite business customers, interviews with industry analysts, and exhaustive research. The result? They identified 5 key social media trends for 2019.

Rebuilding trust

trust in teamsWith the recent happenings around fake accounts, stolen data, fake news and Cambridge Analytica, users and consumers are questioning the privacy, accuracy, and ethics of almost every social network. According to Edelman’s 2018 Trust Barometer Report, this results in the fact that 60 per cent of people no longer trust social media companies. As a consequence, users are returning to traditional and trusted journalism and local news resources with 71 per cent of people agreeing that social media should do more to support high-quality journalism.

trust

To keep pace with these changes, brands are focusing more on generating transparent, quality engagement. The old-fashioned one-size-fits-all approach to social media is being replaced by personalized, context- and audience-specific messaging. Moreover, to boost trust, companies are leveraging their own internal experts and employee advocates, rather than rely on celebrity influencers.

Storifying Social

instagram stories Storytelling and curiosity are the basis of social media. However, the phenomenon of Stories on social media is only recent. Nowadays it is normal to have the possibility in almost every social media (consider Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram) to have the Stories, namely pictures or short videos with text and emoji that last only 24 hours and that tell what people are doing in real-time. What was born as a sort of “plug-in” for many social media, is now becoming the new favourite format for sharing. Because they’re ephemeral, they are funnier, perceived as real, immediate and extremely personal. Social media is going from text-based platforms originally designed for desktop use to mobile-only networks that enable users to capture in-the-moment experiences. And this is the main trend companies and brand should focus on for 2019, combining high production posts with other styles, like stories.

Closing the ads gap

Pay media and social media advertising are used by almost every company in the world. Marketers in 2018 have even increased their budgets for social media advertisement. But with the popularity of social ads have come new challenges: Prices are increasing and it’s becoming harder to get noticed. Rising costs and fleeting attention have combined to limit ROI for advertisers and reduce overall margins. The solution? Invest in time, creativity, personalization, entertainment and quality of organic content and boost it with a paid advertisement. In three words: High-quality-content.

Improved Social Shopping Technologies

e-commerceDespite the great efforts and expenditure of money in online and social advertisement, numbers clearly state that shopping through social media is not rocketing. The cause most of the times is a lack of the right technology that bridges from social media to commerce. An example that shows that something is moving, is Instagram. Indeed, Instagram’s shoppable posts now allow users to go directly from discovery to checkout without ever leaving the app. Moreover, video, in particular, is proving a critical bridge

for social commerce.

2019 is the year for retailers to experiment with social shopping technologies!

Messaging, namely 1:1 social experiences

messaging

Top messaging apps like WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger and Skype, now collectively count nearly five billion monthly active users. What’s more, users are spending more time on messaging and less time sharing news on social. This unexpected trend from public to private has also consequences on consumer expectations. Indeed, nine out of ten consumers would like to use messaging to communicate with businesses. Given the level of consumer interest, it’s little surprise that brands are already developing strategies to do messaging right in terms of content marketing, sales, customer support, and more.chatbot

In this scenario, chatbots seem to be THE answer.

Read more about chatbots on our blog Artificial Intelligence? No, Chatbots are dumber than you think.

The impact of Trust in Teamwork

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In November, Silverside participated as a sponsor at the European SharePoint, Office 365 & Azure Conference 2018 in Copenhagen. We already wrote about how great this experience was in the blog More User Adoption, Less Technology.

During the event we had the occasion to meet fantastic people, share and confront our ideas with them, getting to know new perspectives, novelties and new ways of working. We also had the chance to interview some new friends, who were willing to share with us their perspectives, opinions and knowledge.

One of these is the company Solu Digital from Finland. Solu Digital is a Microsoft gold partner that provides knowledge management and analysis models for today’s complex business world. At the ESPC conference, they had the booth number 69. After attending a session about the inner and outer loops of Office 365, we were walking through the different booths and we got engaged with this company, attracted by a big word on their wall panel “TRUST”. Why during a technology conference focused on Office 365 these people are showing and promoting the word “TRUST”?

So, curious about the answer, we started talking with Henry Scheinin, CEO and partner, and his colleague Hanna-Mari Ilola. They explained that they produced a whitepaper on trust. Henry uses these words to describe their work:

“We conducted a research to formulate of a whitepaper, on virtual teams and their success factors. We found out that trust is one of the key success factors of virtual teams. We want to facilitate the creation of a swift trust by bringing more transparency and quality of governance to the creation and management of Teams and Groups in Office 365. This way, we are facilitating better collaboration. Our whitepaper was created together with a Finnish academic consulting company called “Deduktia”. The paper was written in three steps. The first step was to do an interview with our customers to formulate the correct research problems. Next, Deduktia’s researcher, Dr Emma Norbäck did a meta-analysis on what scientific literature and discussion have to tell about these specific problems. The third step was to create a whitepaper on the key findings in the study and to translate our research into actionable points for organizations.”

The main result of their research is that trust is a key factor among teams, especially if we are considering international remote teams that have to work together in the modern digital environment. The work of Solu Digital confirms what Silverside believes in and what we explained in our blog: Trust in teams is the core ingredient of collaboration! Silverside had the pleasure to interview Henry and Hanna-Mari and they shared not only information about the whitepaper but also about their main takeaways from the European SharePoint, Office 365 & Azure Conference. Here below, we present you a short extract from the interview with them.

 

 

Celebrate the Release of Domino V 10.0.1!

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Just in time for Christmas, IBM/HCL has a nice present for the Notes/Domino community.

new release domino

With the release of Notes/Domino version 10.0.1, “the hot off the press” Notes/Domino version 10 gets over 200 fixes that were identified in the primary v10 release. The new minor-release also contains some nice new features and additions. To me, this is another indication that IBM/HCL is serious with its renewed commitment to invest in the Notes/Domino product line.

Some highlights of the new version are listed below:

• The inclusion of MarvelClient Essentials; a client-endpoint-management-tool to analyse and visualize your Notes endpoints (i.e. PC/Laptops). With this, you can view installation details; local notes.ini; available disc space and RAM; deploy files such as your Notes upgrade package; run programs and manage the Windows Registry. Cool!

• The release of AppDev Pack 1 which Enables full-stack web developing using JavaScript, Node.js and Domino on Linux.

• Verse on Premises 1.0.6: This version includes a GUI-language preference, iCAL import capability and several improvements on the new (preview) calendar form.

• Notes 10.0.1 client for Apple MacOS (incl. IBM’s own embedded JVM)

This is again a welcome signal to the market. Even more after the announcement from HCL a week ago. On 7th December 2018, HCL declared the intention to buy the Lotus stack from IBM. My colleagues and I chewed on this news for a while and we think this is actually a positive development. To be honest we will miss the brand-name of IBM, which actually in recent years seemed to have lost the glimmery power of the past. We do need to get to know HCL because in the private realm they still need to earn our trust. At Silverside we did some research on HCL and we saw that they earned the respect of the Dutch financial sector, working with companies like ING, Rabo and Aegon. In conclusion, HCL has concretely proved to be capable of energizing the Lotus products. This certainly made my enthusiasm grow over the last year, but I’m looking forward to all the things HCL will bring to us in 2019.

Read more about IBM, HCL and Domino 10 on the blog IBM brings native Notes/Domino apps to iPad and more in Domino 10.

More User Adoption, Less Technology

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Last week, 26-29 November, the European SharePoint, Office 365 and Azure Conference 2018 took place in Copenhagen, at the Bella Centre. Silverside joined the event as one of the sponsors and our team was there to participate in the sessions and manage our booth.
Needless to say that it has been a great experience, difficult to describe with words.

ESPC 2018

 

Office365 and Copenhagen

More than 2,000 participants from the IT world representing almost 70 international sponsors met in the Bella Center. This was an extraordinary opportunity to enlarge Silverside’s network and gain new insights from the market and the newest tendencies. Having the possibility to discuss our methodology and products with many professionals was an enriching experience from which we learned a lot.

Silverside team ESPC

 

We had also the great possibility to have contacts and interview amazing people who shared their insights, feedback and point of view about the conference (wait a moment, we are working on editing the videos and writing the blogs!).
But the ESPC 2018 has not only been about networking and exchange of perspectives and ideas. A big part of the conference was dedicated to keynotes, sessions, labs and events. Specifically, six keynotes were held by Microsoft experts. Among these, we found this particularly interesting:
SharePoint, Microsoft 365 and the modern workplace” presented by Jeff Teper (CVP, Office, SharePoint and OneDrive, Microsoft, USA) and Dan Holme (Director of Product Marketing for SharePoint, Yammer and Stream, Microsoft, USA). But the themes of the keynotes were all very interesting, ranging from cybersecurity to engaging solutions for Office 365, Azure and the workloads, Artificial Intelligence.
Almost 100 speakers presented super interesting sessions about Office 365, SharePoint and other apps combing their knowledge with experience and the latest trends like roadmaps, user adoption etc. The number of sessions was really high and it is not possible to list them all.

What we enjoyed: Office 365, user adoption and change management

But, Silverside particularly enjoyed the session held by Christian Buckley “Navigating the Inner and Outer Loops of Office 365”. Finally, a proper session dedicated to the user adoption of Office 365 apps, that addressed the scary question: “When do I use what?”

Christian Buckley

 

Moreover, what we really liked about his session was the opening. He opened indeed the session showing the coloured bricks of Insights, referring to how important it is to know the company culture and the character, attitudes and ways of working of a team. Indeed, different teams or departments may have different ways of working, different colours (blue, green, yellow, red). knowing this allows finding better ways of collaboration and better tools.
Another point who made us love Christian is because he referred to the inner and outer loops of Office 365, meaning our ME-WE-KEY methodology that answers the question “when to use what”.
In conclusion, we loved this session so much because finally, a Microsoft expert talked to a SharePoint audience about company culture, change management and user adoption for Office 365, contributing in this way to spread awareness among these topics in a very “technical” community.

We, as Silverside, are experts in user adoption and change management for Office 365. However, these are hot topics that are nowadays missing recognition and attention from the market. Luckily the first signs are coming from Microsoft and some space has been dedicated to user adoption and change management also in this year’s ESPC conference. We were waiting for this moment for a very long time. However, what we experienced is that among the IT professionals there is a big need of user adoption strategies and methodologies (even though sometimes people are not aware that what they need is actually called “user adoption”) and they also expected that many sessions would have talked about user adoption for Office 365. Well, the ESPC 2018 met only partially their and our expectations. We hope that next year the ESPC will have a separate track dedicate exclusively to user adoption and change management of Office 365. But for this year, we can close this blog about ESPC with the sentence: “More user adoption and less technology!”

Download our PACE whitepaper to know more about our methodology to boost the user adoption of Office 365 and make your productivity rocket!

My first week using Microsoft Teams mobile app

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My first week using Microsoft Teams mobile app

A couple of weeks ago I got a new phone and I decided to download the Microsoft Teams Mobile App. For one week, I monitored and observed how the working experience with the Teams Mobile App was changing, highlighting the positive and negative micro-changes. My experience is recorded in this blog.

First Actions

microsoft teams mobile appIt is of course very easy to download the Teams App for mobile. Since I have an iPhone, I went to the App Store and downloaded the free Teams App.

An important step after the download is completed, is to insert the credentials of your organization to sign in. After that, you can start working and using the full potential of Teams. So, one positive aspect is certainly the fact that it is extremely easy to set up and get started!

What’s more, if you are using Teams in different organizations, also in your mobile app you can easily switch among different accounts.

In addition, if you do not have an organization account, you can also use the Microsoft Teams Mobile App for free as a private user, but in this case, the functionalities are limited.

Everything you had on your desktop app will be on your mobile!

microsoft teams mobile app

Another important point is that, once you signed in with your organization account, you will find everything you had on your desktop app, on your mobile. This includes files, documents, chats, conversations, teams, meetings, calendar, calls, contacts. Nothing will be missing!

The look and feel will be a little bit different, but according to me, on the mobile app the layout is visually attractive and well organized in a way that helps you visualize your chats and teams, having everything at hand in your phone screen.

 

 

Stay connected, stay productive!

We all know that nowadays especially, our phones are becoming an extension of our hands, part of our body. We spend an incredible amount of time using our mobiles and it is rare that an hour passes by without even taking a look at our screen to check the notifications we received. Well, I can quantify the amount of time I spend on my phone by looking at the “Screen time” functionality on my iPhone. According to the analytics of the app, I spend an average of 4 hours on my phone. Have you ever paid attention to how much you spend on your mobile? Well, if not, I advise you to do that.

addiction to phone

Anyway, if we are constantly bringing with us our phone wherever we go and on every occasion, the same cannot be said for our laptop or PC. This is also one of the reasons why I decided to download the Teams mobile app. Since my main channel of communication has become Microsoft Teams (and not emails, great achievement !), having Teams only on my laptop was causing me some communication problems and issues.

Indeed, using Teams desktop version on my PC did not allow me to check always my teams and chats and what was going on on Teams. Many times happened that I missed important conversations. Because of the fact that I was out of the office, without my laptop with me, I saw the notifications only hours or days later. As a consequence, I had to read and go through hundreds of messages, I lost the possibility to express my ideas and I lost the flow of the conversation, feeling actually excluded from that necessary (but not planned) brainstorming session with my marketing team.

Moreover, it really takes time to read an entire conversation, stay updated on the decisions and take the required actions if you are arriving late and losing the momentum. Since I am checking my emails only once a day, the email I was receiving whenever people @ mention me, was not helpful to keep me updated on what was going on in Microsoft Teams across my teams.

productivity rocketBut using now the Teams mobile app helped me to solve these issues. First of all, with the app installed in your mobile, you receive push notifications everytime something happens, someone @mention you, reminders of meetings or calls and so on. Even though receiving a lot of notifications a day can be quite annoying, it doesn’t mean that everytime you see a notification of Teams on your phone you have to open the app. It is very handy for me to receive the notifications because just by taking a quick look at my screen, I can see the preview of what happened and decide the priority or importance of my notifications. In this way, you do not really risk to lose important conversations or actions to be taken with immediacy.

As a consequence, what I witnessed is that my personal productivity really rocketed since when I started using Microsoft Teams mobile app.

It looks like you are working with Facebook or WhatsApp…

Microsoft Teams as a social mediaWorking with Teams mobile app on my phone gives me the feeling I am not actually working. Due to the fact that the look of Teams mobile looks like other social media apps, I associate Teams with other social networks like Facebook or WhatsApp. This makes my work less hard and stressful since I am usually using these social networks apps during my free time to chat with friends or read interesting news. In this way, it is easier to work, because I do not have the feeling that I am busy and working when I am chatting with some clients or colleagues about job-related topics in Teams.

To sum up…

I advise everyone who is using Microsoft Teams as main teamwork and collaboration platform in his organization to start using Teams Mobile App. By doing this, you can:

  • Be more productive
  • Save time, be quick and immediate
  • Always up to date and informed about what happens
  • Have everything you had on your desktop app, on your phone
  • Use the same functionalities as Microsoft Teams desktop app
  • Work and collaboration in an easier and faster way
  • You can work wherever you want (in the train, metro, in a cafe…) without having to take your laptop with you (so no need to carry heavy bags with PC, charger, case etc)

I am really enthusiastic about Microsoft Teams Mobile App and it really helped me boost my personal productivity and improve collaboration and remote work.  This was at least my personal experience, but I am curious to hear your experience using Microsoft Teams Mobile App!

Share your experience using Microsoft Teams mobile app

13 + 6 =

Change management is about communication first

Silverside is always looking for real stories about change management. This time, we interviewed Sander Verheuvel, Product Specialist and Business Analyst at Gunco BV. Sander is involved in many change management projects that regard the implementation of a digital platform, the migration to Office 365 and the re-branding of his company. How can he deal with so many change management projects? “Communication first” is his motto.

Q: Can you tell us something more about Gunco?
A: We are a Rotterdam based company, even though we also have some other branches in the Netherlands. We rent and sell lifts, other equipment and machines for companies, but we also offer lease solutions, we repair the equipment and also organize some training. Our strong point is that we deliver very quickly. If a customer gives us a call in the late afternoon, we can still deliver the machine the next morning. The competition is very high in this market and we are aware of it. Being quick in the logistics is our strength to deal with the low prices and discounts that other companies offer instead. Gunco is also part of a bigger Belgian company, TVH that acquired us in 2011.

Q: So, you do many things at Gunco and the quick delivery is your added value. Since you have been acquired, how do you deal with being a local company, acquired by a global company?
A: Well, it’s almost eight years now we are part of TVH, together with many other companies in Europe. That’s why every company was working with their own system and computer programs to do accounting, invoicing, and other operations… So they have started a project to have only one digital platform for every company so that every operation is aligned and the method is the same for all the companies in TVH. And this is why I got involved in change management.

Q: All right… So, user adoption and change management are for many companies “hot topics” nowadays…Do you agree?
A: Yes, totally…

Q: Despite this, we are lacking a bit of insight from the real world. So we started asking ourselves: ”How are these topics applied in the daily practice of organizations?“. We really need insights from real professionals in their daily working practice. And that’s why we are here today.
A: Yes, sometimes theories are good, but then in real life, it is totally different.

Q: Indeed. So how was the impact of change management on you?
A: Regarding the project of the digital platform for me was ok, I adopted very quickly because I was part of the project, involved since the beginning. But it’s a totally different story if we talk about other colleagues that just heard about the project….

Q: So, how was your strategy to deal with change management for this project?
A: First make everyone aware of what will happen with the new platform, what is the project about, what will change for them… In two words, communication and awareness.

Q: All right, so since when you started your change management strategy, how have been things going?
A: Well, as you also know, some people adopt change more rapidly and are more open-minded, other people are different and more difficult to onboard. For us, this category involves technical people and drivers for example, because they leave the company very early in the morning and come back at five in the afternoon or later. So they miss a lot of information and things going on. So I am now focused on this target to making them aware of the upcoming changes.

Q: So, the first step of your strategy is communication, especially with those targets that can be more reluctant to change, right?
A: Yes, informing everybody and communicate the change.

Q: And how are you going to deal with reluctance?
A: So, for now, we didn’t have big cases of reluctance, but in the near future we will encounter this barrier. For now, as I said, the main action is communication and involve everyone in the change project. Also because the digital platform is not the only change that will happen soon. We will also change our name and brand in November and we will move to the cloud with Office 365. And there are more change management projects. So the colleagues have to be prepared for all these little and big changes.

Q: And which channels or methods are you using now to inform people in your organization about all these changes and projects?
A: Via newsletter and emails, but we also attach informative panels to the wall or next to coffee break areas, so that everybody can read and stay updated. Also with meetings of course.

Q: Which barriers and difficulties do you expect will happen with all these change management projects going on?
A: Difficult question… we are expecting difficulties for users in working with Office 365 and the changes in the way of collaborating for example and the same can be said for the digital platform project… But then time is also another barrier. People have to deal with all these changes besides their normal job, tasks and deadlines… so time is a challenge. Another challenge is that we have several branches in different locations, so also making sure that the same information arrives at every branch and are understood correctly, is not easy.

Q: And regarding the Office 365 project, how do you make sure that communication around this project works for every branch?
A: We have selected some Office 365 ambassadors for every branch. They will work closely together from the start of the project and their role is to communicate with their colleagues about the Office 365 project, but also to train and inspire them.

Q: And how did you select these ambassadors?
A: Well, we picked up those guys that have more interest in ICT, are more enthusiastic about Office 365 and have the qualities to spread the information throughout their branch. I personally travelled a lot through the branches, so I also know a lot of colleagues. I knew who to pick for this project.

Q: Ok, so this is the strategy you are implementing right now: communication and ambassadors. But what is your vision about change management?
A: I think it is tough to find the right time for creating and implementing the strategy. So, managing time is essential and also the main challenge. Moreover, change management is about balancing constantly between pushing (because you know you have a deadline) and not pushing too hard (otherwise you can lose the attention and enthusiasm of people). Change management is a daily practice, you really have to do it every day, it’s not just a project of three months and then it’s finished. Once you get started with it, you really have to continue because it is a continuous process.

Q: Based on your experience, which will be your main suggestion to other professionals that are starting out a change management project?
A: I think that communication should be a priority and also involve the colleagues from the very beginning. Keep people informed about the steps of the change process and also which are the impacts of those changes for employees.
Change management is a hard process full of challenges: reluctance to change, people behaviour, lack of time, communication issues. However, small and big companies have to deal with it.

Sander Verheuvel’s strategy is focused on communication first. This is also what our PACE methodology suggests to do from the very beginning of the process. But communication is just the beginning.

Silverside PACE methodology is made of four phases: Prepare, Activate, Capitalise, Enhance and can help organizations to manage change in the method of working and in technologies. Download our whitepaper or register for our PACE workshop to know how we can help you to implement a successful change management strategy!

Task management in Office 365: Use To-Do

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Surviving in nowadays’ modern work environment and digital workspace where technology, collaboration and productivity are higher than ever, is not an easy task. Technology enables us to be more productive at work, doing more things in less time. Tools and apps facilitate us to manage our daily work and collaboration reached a new era, with smart tools that allow people to work together remotely from everywhere in the world.  Well, I am also part of this working environment, exposed to all this technology and fast way of doing things, managing tasks, collaborating and much more. Sometimes I wonder: During my working day, which is the most difficult thing to do? The answer for me was: managing all the things that I have to do, simultaneously. In one word? TASKS.

Personal tasks

As I said before, technology comes to help when we are talking about planning and managing tasks for various projects. I am not just talking about your Outlook calendar, but something more than that. As almost all of you, readers, know, Microsoft Ignite 2018 took place in September and many announcements have been done. The protagonist of this conference was doubtless Microsoft Teams and all its new integrations with other apps. Following the on-demand sessions remotely, my interest was caught by a session of about thirty minutes
presented Simon Chan, senior program manager, about how to manage my personal tasks across Microsoft Office 365. 

And actually, this section answered my main concern: How can Office 365 help me manage all my daily tasks across different plans and projects?

Microsoft task ecosystem is complex. There is a multitude of tools for general purposes, tasks, work, project management that we can use in Microsoft Teams, Project Online, Planner, Outlook, OneNote, To-Do. And the possibilities are almost infinite. But this session focused specifically on managing your personal and individual tasks using the Office 365 app To-Do.

To-Do, your personal task manager

To-Do is basically your personal task manager that helps you manage your tasks every day across different platforms. Since today, in order to keep track of all these tasks happening everywhere, you needed to manually add them inside of To-Do. However, the vision of Microsoft is to put the user at the centre of the task management process, with control on all the tasks he is assigned to or has to accomplish.

Microsoft vision To-DoSo the plan is to capture all the tasks and requests across all the different apps and organize them in one single place: To-Do. Thanks to this, your productivity flow will highly benefit. But Microsoft is just at the beginning of the process to build this vision.

New Features in To-Do:

  • My Day: it is a daily to-do list that teaches you to focus and achieve your most important tasks every single day. Moreover, “suggestions” tasks completed in To-Dogives you an overview of everything you had to do, but haven’t done yet. It helps you to be really intentional about the tasks you want to achieve that day. And this tool really works. Microsoft, thanks to a research, found out that actually 75% of tasks within My day are completed.
  • Intune: Microsoft enabled support for Intune in To-Do. Intune is a cloud-based service in the enterprise mobility management (EMM) space that helps to distribute applications while keeping your corporate data protected. It’s quite surprising that the company’s task management application was not supported by this platform but now that this support will soon arrive, it will make it significantly easier for Intune customers to deploy the app.
  • List sharing: an easy way to collaborate on your listed tasks. A way to manage tasks in really small groups. You can share a list of tasks by creating a link and share it with the app you use the most (like Microsoft Teams). People who will receive the link are invited to join your list on To-Do. You can decide when to stop sharing your lists whenever you want.
  • Steps: You can use steps to add more structured details to your tasks. But what you can also do with steps is to add subtasks where you can break down larger tasks into smaller and more achievable steps.
  • Importance: A more permanent way to Dark mode in To-Domark some tasks with high priority. But it is also a simple way to prioritize across lists. And it stands out visually, grouping all high priority tasks in one simple overview.
  • Dark mode: It is available right now and you can have your To-Do app with a dark background. Everything has been studied properly in order to make visually attractive all your lists, tasks, priorities and highlights, despite the dark background.

 

To-Do new integrations across Microsoft Office 365

  • Outlook tasks integrationOutlook integration in To-Do is available now: when you add a task inside of To-Do it appears also in your Outlook tasks. Everything sinks one to one. This integration is really helpful for everybody who establishes workflow between their email and Outlook tasks. Now they can just add those tasks on the phone in their To-Do app.
  • Outlook Web Email Integration: your To-Do lists are integrated into your Outlook Web Email, so you can easily drag and drop tasks from your emails in your To-Do lists. This integration will also help you manage your inbox better and reduce the number of emails in your inbox while keeping track of all the tasks you are required to do. Moreover, you can manage your tasks while checking your emails without switching between different apps. Coming in late 2018.
  • Outlook Calendar Integration: with To-Do integrate into your Calendar, based on your lists of tasks and priorities, you can easily manage your calendar and block some time to focus and accomplish high priority tasks, without living your Calendar. Coming in late 2018.
  • Flagged emails: The way flagged emails work is very simple, but it is also an incredibly powerful tool. When you receive an email that requires you to take some actions, simply click the flag, go to the To-Do button on your Outlook, and you will find that flagged email directly on your To-Do list. Flagged emails work across all Outlook clients. Coming in late 2018.

Planner integration in To-Do

  • Planner and To-Do: Planner is the place to go for all your team work management. In Planner it happens that you are assigned a lot of tasks. And to see all your tasks within Planner, you have a window called “My tasks”. However, what if you want to see in one place your Planner tasks, together with all your other tasks (like from your Outlook or other apps)? The answer to this is the integration of Planner in To-Do. This integration will be rolled out in spring 2019.

 

With these new features and integrations, Microsoft makes To-Do a more usable and flexible task management app. It seems that To-Do will become THE hub for task management, while Microsoft Teams is the hub for collaboration. If you want to know about the new features of Microsoft Teams announced during Microsoft Ignite 2018, read the blog Microsoft Ignite 2018: Microsoft Teams, the hub for teamwork.

The untold story about change management

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Silverside is working with change management and user adoption for more than a decade. From our experience, many organizations are struggling with these processes when a new technology is being introduced in the company. The risk of a badly managed change and user adoption strategy is high without the right expertise and methodology. Despite the fact that many organizations have problems and face difficulties, it is not so common to have customers or affiliates that are open to talking about their struggles and realities when things do not go in the right direction.

But telling the truth, with awareness, is the first step to change. That’s why Silverside presents this anonymous Q&A done with one of our customers. This can be an example and source of inspiration for another company that identifies in this specific organization. Mark, the IT manager, shared with our marketing team the real, untold story about how change management is being underestimated and unexploited by his company, causing many troubles in their process of change towards Office 365.

 

untold story-change management

 

Q: Can you tell us something about yourself?
A: So, I am an IT manager for a company in the Netherlands, working there for close to 5 years now.

Q: During your working experience as IT manager, when did you first encounter change management or user adoption?
A: Apparently you are supposed to know about change management from the technical point of view, but not really. Mostly it depends on your vision and gut feelings, but also on the management vision about it. They take decisions, so they have to be on board first. Change management is something that does not really incorporate revenue. We try as IT, but it is pretty much unrealistic. The main problem is that when projects around change management are running, the people at the head of the management always think they invented the wheel, but actually, there’s no strategy at all.

Q: Which kind of projects are running now involving change management in your company?
A: Yes, so for now what we have is a migration to Office 365. I am involved in this project more on the communication side, I am an intermediate. But also my role is to help and advise the technicians involved in the potential risks or issues we could encounter. This project is not the only one, we have many other projects running now and more will start soon. So we have the feeling that we are only doing projects and nothing related to the real business.

Q: This issue is related to time, right? Do you feel that time is one of the main barriers also to change management?
A: Yes, because besides your real job and official role in the company, you are also involved in different projects… and that’s why important things like change management are underestimated and left behind. And this is really bad, above all when the top level management does not understand the importance of having and implementing a good change management strategy. And when this happens in a company, that’s really frustrating.

Q: Oh yes, I totally understand it… So, what is your vision on change management?
A: From my point of view, business-wise, any change management project should be welcome. But unfortunately, this is not the vision of this company and there is no way I can make the top management understand this. I have tried several times, but it has always been a NO.

Q: And do you have any idea of the reason why the top management do not understand the importance of change management and refuses to take it into account?
A: I really think there is no specific reason, they just don’t get it, or don’t want to get it. Let’s say it is lack of knowledge, competence, and commitment. So, the thing is that if the directions do not come from the Board of Directors, it’s like moving mountains, it is useless. One person alone cannot go on with a change management strategy, it is going nowhere if there is no involvement of a team and a good strategy that engages everyone in the company, from the employees to the top managers. I am just being frank.

Q: So, from your words, I can understand that the barriers to change management are time, the lack of knowledge and capacity to understand the importance of the topic of the top management and Board of Directors, but also the lack of a proper change management strategy, right?
A: Yes… this is why many projects fail also, due to these reasons… and things have to change first on a corporate level, and only then the whole company can be involved in large-scale projects, like moving to Office 365, for an example. But if the top managers do not embed a proper change management strategy and user adoption strategy in the project, then how can you pretend that from the next day after we moved there won’t be problems all around the company? The negative consequences on users and business will be huge…

Q: So, you are also saying that a change in the culture of the whole company and corporate decisions are needed?
A: Definitely, if we want to go on with the business, be competitive and have success these days. From the management perspective, IT is just about tools, laptops, software and solve technical problems. But this is not correct. IT is about the tools, but also about the users, how to use the tools, how users can work with the tools, and thus change management and user adoption.

Q: And from your practical experience in the field, which kind of difficulties have you encountered in a change management process?
A: Yes, two words: corporate decisions. The point is not whether or not to move to Office 365, the point is the way we are going to do so. Just saying that we are moving and everything’s going to be more beautiful, faster and easier… it’s not true! It can be, but not from the day after the migration, it takes time and effort. And to be successful you need more than a technical migration. You need a strategy, a plan, you need to inform everybody, you need to communicate what will change for users, you need to train them, offer support and so on… and it doesn’t take a week, there are so many things to consider…

Q: In your opinion, what do you need to implement a good change management strategy when it comes to IT?
A: Well a good strategy for sure, but also support and training for end-users. We should also not forget about the competences and knowledge of the management level, that’s also essential. You also need the right people to implement the strategy in all its aspects. I don’t have the magic formula for change management with Office 365 or whatever technology, but I certainly know how NOT to run a change management strategy or migration…

Q: At the light of what you experienced in these years, which kind of suggestions would you give to managers and professionals that are approaching change management projects in their companies?
A: In general, I think that every company should be aware of the knowledge and capabilities that are onboard and if you use them, you are going to move forward. But if you are not using the expertise and knowledge of your employees, people are going to lose interest and slowly you are going to ruin the company. Great ideas, expertise, business cases from past experiences, everything can help if managers consider and listen to their employees as useful resources. That’s why communication is so important.

Q: Well, this was a very interesting story, basically it tells what other companies are not willing to tell the world. But I am sure many organizations will identify with the story of your company and your position in particular. Change management is such a complex and challenging topic for organizations and the struggles are multiple and real. Being aware of the limits, issues and wasted opportunities is the first step to try to do better and going in the right direction.
A: Yes, this is the untold story about change management in real life. Not in every company change management is brilliant and successfully implemented. On the contrary, the story of my company represents one of many other companies in the same situation that need to do something concrete about it. Change management is a great concept, and if applied properly, it can help the organization concretely by saving time, money and reach a positive rate of user adoption. But as I said before, you need the right expertise, knowledge, capacities, strategy, planning, and communication, if you really want to make it a success.

Mark told Silverside the story of how his company is not dealing with change management, with all the wasted opportunities and issues that this behavior is causing. Lack of expertise and knowledge in management, lack of a proper strategy and unused employees’ knowledge and potentialities, are causing serious problems for Mark’s company. The negative impacts regard the business, but also the relationship between employees and the management level.
If you identify with Mark’s story, if you felt familiar with what he told us, or if, while reading the Q&A you thought “this is so true”, then most probably you are struggling with change management, but you also see the potential for your company.

Silverside can help organizations in the process of change and with our PACE methodology, we can offer the right strategy and expertise to reach a positive rate of user adoption with the new tools, while ensuring a successful change process.

running a project whitepaper

Come to our workshop or download our whitepaper to discover how Silverside helps organizations with change management and user adoption!

 

Microsoft Ignite 2018: Microsoft Teams, the hub for teamwork

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Microsoft Ignite 2018 returned to Orlando this year for another news-packed week. The company’s largest event for IT and enterprise developers saw its doors open to more than 26,000 people from 100 different countries.

Microsoft Igite 2018

During the event, many announcements about Microsoft and Office 365 apps have been done. In this blog, we have summarized the main announcements and new features regarding Microsoft Teams, the hub for teamwork. During the session “What’s new in Microsoft TEAMS the hub for teamwork” held by Angela Donohue Group Product Marketing Manager and Marc Pottier Group Manager, the newest features and main future directions of Microsoft Teams have been presented.

A changing modern workplace

As a matter of facts, nowadays we are living in a changing modern place. We are becoming more “social” at work and we use more and more mobile apps. Indeed, according to Microsoft,  45% of employees and workers use social tools at work. Diversity is another keyword to describe the current work environment, since 5 generations are working together in the workforce. Companies are global and there are no boundaries for the businesses. As a consequence, the trend or remote workers is expected to increase, reaching a peak in 2020, when  72% of workers will be remotely. At work, we are more team based and collaborative, since 80% of employee time is spent collaborating. In response to these changing modern trends, Microsoft Teams is evolving to offer companies and organizations all around the world the perfect solution to work in a smarter and more collaborative way in the modern work environment.

changing modern workpalce

 

Teams is the fastest growing business app in Microsoft history

During Microsoft Ignite 2017 Microsoft presented highlights like Guest Access for External Users, Command Box, Cloud Recording, Direct Routing, Inline Message translation and these were just few examples…. And always in 2017, Microsoft announced that Microsoft Teams will become the single client eventually replacing Skype for Business. Now, Microsoft Teams is ready to become Microsoft primary business communication platform!

Microsoft Teams

Skype for Business Online features have been delivered in Microsoft Teams. New customers should just jump straight to Teams and for existing customers there are resources available to help with planning upgrades for Microsoft Teams. Customers that have not yet tried out Teams can access a free version of Microsoft Teams to try an introductory experience. The free version of Microsoft Teams is now available worldwide in 40 languages and includes unlimited chat messages and search, built-in audio and video calling for individuals, groups and teams.

Be more productive with powerful new tools for meetings

At Microsoft Ignite, Smarter Meetings with Microsoft Teams has definitely been the focus of many sessions. Microsoft Teams, with the new features and functionalities, will help employees and team workers to stay productive and connected throughout the meeting lifecycle.

  • Scheduling meeting in Teams: There are many ways to schedule meetings in Teams. For example, using Outlook, you can now invite people outside your organization to join your teams meeting, only remember to add them as guests before the meeting starts. But now you can also schedule a meeting directly in the context of a thread. The advantage is that if you are working in your team and discussing around an issue with your team member, you can directly reply to him with a meeting or video call.
  • Background blur: Now, all Teams customers can remove distractions and focus your video on what matters most. Indeed, it is already available the functionality to blur your screen background during a meeting, so only you are visible (and not your messy living room if you are attending the meeting from home).
  • Meeting recording: Meetings are no longer just a point in time experience. With meeting recording in Teams, you or other invitees who missed the meeting can playback recorded audio, video and content at any time. Pull up a transcript, powered by Microsoft Stream, and search for keywords so you can optimize your time while getting caught up. And it is also indexed, so if you want to search for a particular topic, you can type the topic you want to hear about and Teams will display the moments when, during the meeting, that specific topic had been addressed. Same thing if you are only interested in one person’s speech in particular. You will just jump right to that point. This is very useful if you only missed one part of the meeting or if you are interested only in that part. You don’t need to listen to the entire meeting anymore.
  • Meeting notes: You can type in notes as you are in the meeting, you will see what the notes are and they get posted back into the channel instantly after the meeting is over.
  • Power point sharing: Share your content and open up a presentation during a meeting online. Join this meeting with the presentation simultaneously with your phone. And participants can even navigate through the slides privately, read ahead or look back to review something they missed.

 

remote team work

 

Collaborate as a(n) (international) team

  • Instant translation: Everybody in Microsoft Teams can communicate in their own language, and Microsoft Teams will automatically translate the text for you. Everybody can communicate in the language they are more familiar, no matter where you are in the world. How handy is this functionality, especially if you are involved in an international project? If your Chinese colleague writes a message in your team in Chinese, you don’t have to take Chinese classes to read and understand it! Teams will do the job for you! We are enthusiast about this feature, but we also wonder how accurate the translations will be…With Microsoft Teams collaboration is pushed to the limit! Our principle whitepaper Collaborate as a Team can give you more insights on how to boost collaboration in your organization using Office 365.

Finding expertise

  • Who: In Teams there is the functionality that allows you to know what people are talking about in chats. In the search bar loaded up with capabilities, there is also Who. You can ask the question “Who knows about CRM?” Who will look at all the messages and chats that you have and he will retrieve a set of people that know about that particular topic more than others? In this way, you can quickly and easily find the right person with the right expertise you are looking for. Finding the right person who can answer your question in an easy way can save you much time. For a deeper approach on how to profile expertise and find the right people with Office 365 tools, check Silverside whitepaper Profiling Expertise.

Empower workers in all roles and across industries

Microsoft is extending the power of Teams with new experiences that are tailored to industry-specific and role-based workflows. There are more than 2.5 billion first-line workers worldwide – including factory workers, store clerks, and electricians, among other roles. Why should they be excluded by the benefits of Microsoft Teams for their productivity?

WhatsApp Business

 

  • Home is a new mobile experience that allows first-line workers to see at a glance the most important and relevant info for their day. With Home, first-line workers can clock in and out of shifts/breaks, receive important notes for the day or shift, find out who is working during the shift and save time by easily reviewing information and schedule.
  • Shifts enables first-line managers to plan schedules in an employee self-service and integrated experience. They can create, update and distribute schedules for teams as well as broadcast open and unfilled shifts so that other employees can cover them. Finally, they can review and accept time off requests and swap shifts – all from mobile. For first-line employees, they can swap/offer shifts and request time off, right from their phones.

Teams for the entire organization

  • Introducing SharePoint & Teams Integration: SharePoint is being integrated even closer with Microsoft Teams. This means you will be able to see all the file use and customer use you have created in SharePoint in a surface in Teams. This will help you blend all your business practices in Teams. This will provide a consistent developer and user experience, regardless of whether your code is hosted in the cloud or within an organization via SharePoint.
  • Live events: You can create a new meeting and name it a “live event” and add some people. This will be a live event of one person or more people to many and it will scale up to 10.000 participants. So for example, if you are hosting a webinar you can do that in Teams. You can define who is the producer, who are the presenters and you can choose who you can present to (a specific group of people or it could be public), you can decide if the video afterwards will be recorded, available on demand and so on.
  • Replicate your best Team’s experience with Templates: Found a team setup that works best for a type of project or work style? You, as an admin, soon will be able to easily create new teams based on best practices and lessons learned by leveraging a new REST endpoint as part of the Microsoft Graph API. With Team Templates, you’ll be able to pre-define a team’s channels, apps, and tabs that can help you easily create consistent teams across your organization. You can also define team settings and auto-favorite channels, allowing your team owners to focus on collaborations rather than spending time setting up the team.  All other users, for now, can create a team based on an existing one, without having to start from zero. However, only admins will be able to create proper teams templates.

7 things that will help you running successful projects

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What does all modern knowledge workers have in common? Projects.
The amount of existing research about projects and project management is huge in the academic world. However, even though these studies are useful guidelines, contributing to expanding the knowledge of managers and project managers, sometimes research is far away from real life and daily practice.

 

Indeed, many studies exist on project failure, detecting and analyzing the causes of failure for projects in organizations. Among the common reasons for failure there are:

• Poor planningprojects failure
• Poor experience and knowledge of the Project manager
• No monitoring
• Not respecting initial objectives
• Losing control of the team
• Poor communication and collaboration
• Poorly defined requirements
• No risk management plan
• Unrealistic project estimates

What studies do not always address is how to avoid these failures while running a project in the complex context of real business life.
Thanks to Silverside experience with project management, it has been possible to list the seven things project team members and project managers can do to improve the chances of success of your projects.

 

1. Plan

Firstly, you should define the desired outcomes and results of the project, with strict time planning. Another important task in this phase is to assign the right human and financial resources, together with the necessary tools and rules. Finally, find the right project members and equip them with the right tools.

 

2. Methodology

Decide upfront the methodology you will use on your project. What project phases will the project proceed through? What will be the key go/no-go decision points? What are the expected project outputs for each phase? Think of a structured methodology.

 

3. Communicate

Analyse the key stakeholders and communicate with them throughout the project. Your stakeholders can make or break your project. A proper communication plan is needed to communicate in the best way with all your stakeholders, from team members to sponsors, managers or external stakeholders.

 

4. Collaborate

Using the right tools and strategies to collaborate with the project team members and stakeholders is a fundamental task. Too many times the collaboration strategy is underestimated and this impacts negatively on the end results of the project. Office 365 offers many apps to improve project management and collaboration within the teams, like Microsoft Teams and Planner. In this way, you can draw up a project schedule that clearly allocates project tasks to team members and collaborates simultaneously on the same platform and digital workspace in a smarter way.

 

project collaboration

 

5. Monitor

Get your sponsor and key stakeholders together to track the milestones of your project and your achievements on a regular basis. How will you know if your project has succeeded? What are the key indicators of success? Which tools and norms are you going to is? How to correct the process if needed?

 

6. Risk management

Unforeseen events are always happening, you cannot think about and foreseen everything. It’s real life, real work and chaos happen. Do not let an unforeseen event sink your project. Find out what risks can threaten your project and build a risk strategy into your project plan. You will face issues and problems only if you have the answers and strategies to overcome them. Don’t forget to keep track of these and communicate their impact and consequences, while adjusting the planning.

 

7. Learn from mistakes

Use your monitoring reports to evaluate success and failure. Once the project finishes, use these reports to learn for the future, you can always improve your practice. But do not only use statics and diagrams as reports. Ask toy team members and stakeholders how they felt about the project and the collaboration. Was the project a success from their perspective? How did the project impact them personally? From this, you will discover what went well and what did not go so well. Apply these lessons to your next project.

 

running a project whitepaper

Successful projects do not just happen. They require structured planning, the right tools, insightful management, and good interpersonal skills.
Silverside principle whitepaper running a project explores the state of running team projects today, looks at the research on running team projects and casts our vision for improving this important aspect of organizational life. In this way, we offer guidance to project managers and project teams members. With our research and practical suggestions, running a project will be an easier and more successful task.

How to get the most out of your Microsoft Office 365 investment?

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Your IT manager suggested migrating to Microsoft Office 365, as it has been addressed as the best option now for your company. You trust him, you trust the IT team. So you did the migration, bought the licenses and now all employees are in. The investment was huge, and it’s time to get the most out of it. But how do you know whether and how your employees are going to use and exploit the possibilities that Office 365 can offer them in terms of productivity, collaboration and smart working?
By helping your end-users understand how those capabilities can improve their team collaboration and simplify their day-to-day tasks, you can make some positive changes for your company, starting to act for your return on investment.

 

Return on investment

 

 

1. Use Targeted Communications

To change the behavior of your end-user community and make them adopt the new technology, a communication strategy is essential. First of all, you have to create awareness and information about what is going on and what this changes will mean for end users.
You need to customize the message to their job role and specify how the new features can help them to be more productive, meaning do more in less time. So, focus on your audience and their needs. The critical question is “What’s in it for me? “ In other words, highlight the benefits for them.

2. Media mix

To implement your communication strategy, you can use several channels.
Printed material such as posters, flyers, brochures, and reference cards. They can be put up in common areas such as break rooms, printer bays, and bathrooms. Communicate your message and boost discussions, questions, dialogues.
Live events such as webinars, workshops, lunch and training. These are a great way for IT to engage with end users, learn about how the tool works, and discover many opportunities to solve real business problems with Office 365.
Audiovisual material. Videos broadcasted in your collaboration platform, internal organizational channels, WhatsApp groups, social media, intranet, corporate emails and newsletter.

media mix

3. Word of mouth

The good old way of communicating always works. People like to talk with people about what is happening in the organization. Everyone is involved in the word of mouth process to communicate the changes and marketing the new technology. Executives and managers are not excluded. They also have to tell their direct reports to peers telling peers. You can harness the power of peers telling peers by creating a champions program.

4. Champions program

Identify people in your company who see the value of Office 365 through personal experience and are willing to mentor their peers. They will be your ambassadors, promoting the use of the tools to their colleagues and inspiring them to follow their example.

5. Technical support for new users

The IT Helpdesk staff should be trained in what Office 365 can do, as well as how to support users facing problems and difficulties. Moreover, the IT help desk can identify a business productivity problem that Office 365 can solve in ways the end user is not aware, or discover common issues experienced by users that need more training.

6. Learning opportunities

Whether it is e-learning sessions, workshops, live or virtual training, the most important thing is to help users familiarize and experiment with Office 365. Learning how it works, the concrete possibilities and actions they can do in the daily work explained by experts is fundamental to avoid the barriers that can stop new users to adapt to the new tools.

 

conference call Skype

 

7. Keep track and monitor the progress

To do so, Microsoft provides many tools, such as Microsoft 365 usage analytics within Power BI. Thanks to this tool, you can gain insights on how your organization is adopting the various services within Office 365 to communicate and collaborate. You can visualize and analyze Office 365 usage data, create custom reports and share the insights within your organization and gain insights into how specific regions or departments are utilizing Office 365.

 

These seven points represent some tips and general ideas on how to proceed when a new technology, like Office 365, is being introduced in your company. However, to ensure a positive rate of user adoption and a successful change management strategy that will pay back your investment, a more structured user adoption strategy and change management methodology are needed.

Pace methodology SilversideSilverside PACE methodology is made of four phases: Prepare, Activate, Capitalise, Enhance. Managing the organizational changes in the method of working and in technologies is just easier for managers, consultants and end users. Firstly, be aware of the organizational culture of your company and plan a complete and predictive change management strategy in all the aspects. Secondly, acquire the new collaborative business vision and the technologies necessary to implement the strategy. A user adoption strategy is fundamental at this stage to instill change at every level in the organization. Lastly, optimize the value gained by adjusting the strategy, address key challenges and align with the required business outcomes.

Download the PACE whitepaper!