Learn how to create the best Office 365 User Adoption Plan

7th June, Rotterdam
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Are you looking for best practices to ensure a better outcome for your Microsoft Office 365 project? Learn how to create your own user adoption plan resulting in maximum adoption of your Microsoft Office 365 platform, using our PACE methodology. 

This workshop is intended for anyone responsible for implementing Microsoft Office 365 / SharePoint. Are you a project manager, IT- manager, change practitioner, trainer, or IT professional who needs to ensure a succesful adoption? Then this workshop is for you!

The workshop will take place the 7th of June 2019. The location is Rivium Quadrant 75/5 2909LC, Rotterdam, The Netherlands. 

About the workshop

The world is changing. The nature of work is changing-organisations, tasks, roles and business models. Markets are changing. But you know this. You hear it every day. You live it every day. You probably struggle with the relentlessness of it every day.-the magnitude, ferocity and complexity of it all. 

At Silverside, we have developed a way to make change happen. Happen well. Happen appropriately. Happen in the right direction, for the right reasons, and with the right outcomes. This struggle was the genesis of our PACE methodology-a structured approach for guiding practitioners to motivate and equip their people to collaborate more effectively using modern tools. 

The PACE methodology is based on one key insight: adoption of modern tools is not about one thing. That’s because there are multiple things that work together to create the context and cadence of change. Pulling together the insights across those items is essential in getting going, making progress and achieving the right outcomes over the duration of the change initiative. Starting is not about any one of those factors (and other related factors or elements); it is about all of them. It’s about developing an understanding of each factor individually, and at the same time being able to see the interrelationships and dynamic between them all. 

PACE model

The PACE methodology is designed to be applicable to any collaboration platform you may implement, however, the technical acumen will be specific to Microsoft Office 365. 

Workshop Agenda

This workshop is intended for anyone responsible for implementing Microsoft Office 365 / SharePoint. Are you a project manager, IT- manager, change practitioner, trainer, or IT professional who needs to ensure a successful adoption? Then this workshop is for you!

08:30 Walk in with coffee or tea

Part I: Setting the stage for the User Adoption Approach

  • Start building the best user adoption approach for your own project, based on your culture.
    4 cultures and 18 strategies explained.
  • Explanation of the PACE User Adoption model for implementing Microsoft Office 365.
    What activities, templates, and strategies do you need to focus on, across 8 streams.
10:30 Break

Part II: Current situation and your ideal situation

  • When to use which Office 365 app? Outlook, Teams, SharePoint, OneDrive, Planner, Forms, OneNote, etc. ?
    Faster decision making with our collaboration framework.
  • What are the rules of collaboration?
  • Find your 'Why' and start building a communication plan.
  • How do you find the right ambassadors?
    Examples of customer ambassador & champion programs.
12:15 Lunch

Part III: Creating your User Adoption Plan

  • Start small and scale up.
    • Which productivity scenario's and user groups are you targeting at first?
    • How and when are you scaling up?
  • How, when & what do you communicate?
  • What is your project approach to combine 8 streams to enlarge the scope & scale?
  • KPI Dashboard for successful user adoption.
    What is the ‘cost’ of a high user adoption success rate for Office 365?
15:15 Break

Part IV: Implementing your User Adoption Plan 

  • Create your user adoption strategy mix!

  • Learn about the top 8 productivity scenario’s worldwide.

  • What will you do to make adoption happen more broadly and widely?

  • Divide your budget across all phases and streams.

17:30 Drinks and Bites


Buy your tickets here

Microsoft technology

Top 3 Benefits of attending

  • Create your user adoption plan for Office 365 & SharePoint in your organization by using our PACE methodology
  • Measure  the probable success rate of your user adoption strategies, based on our benchmark 
  • Learn from companies like Omron, SES, Kawasaki, Attero and others in the market, know where to improve your adoption and how to save time and make the change easier

This workshop in your organisation?

It’s possible! We also organise a personalised workshop for your organisation. To request more information about your in-house workshop, click the button below. 

ESPC 2019 webinar: Microsoft Teams, OneDrive and Office – the ideal threesome for co-authoring documents

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The European SharePoint, Office 365 and Azure Conference will take place on 2-5 December in Prague. The programme is already out and it promises to be an exciting conference! But why waiting till December? If you can’t wait to learn, be inspired, open your mind on working with Office 365, then start your adventure now. 

Our senior adoption consultant Sasja Beerendonk will host the webinar Microsoft Teams, OneDrive and Office – the ideal threesome for co-authoring documents on 18th June. Here you have more details.

Date and Time: Tue, Jun 18, 2019, 11:00 AM – 12:00 AM CEST

Webinar Description:  There are many apps and possibilities in Office 365 to make co-authoring a smooth and effective process. But many employees lack the digital skills, or are stuck in old habits and using outdated tools. Many employees never learned about the many new features offered by Office 365 apps. Learn how you can be more effective in ‘Co-authoring documents’ using a mix of OneDrive, Teams and Office features. This session goes beyond the real-time co-editing feature possible in Office Online or sharing a file through OneDrive. It focuses on a real-to-life work scenario, where people discover what a combination of Office 365 tools can do to improve their everyday work on Office files. This is a deep-dive in the complete document reviewing process (draft – collaborate – publish). Learn how this can be done smarter and with a lot more fun by using a mix of great features in Office 365 tools: Different reviewing options, inking, version management, speak to text, translation, thesaurus, conversation in Teams, document sharing, among many other cool features. I will show you how to re-think the tools and practices teams use today, with all the old & new possibilities Office 365 offers to improve the co-authoring of documents groups of people have to do every day.

Key benefits of attending: 
– Get familiar with many Office features you never knew about or didn’t know how they could improve the co-authoring process. 
– Understand the powerful mix of OneDrive, Teams and Office (Word, Excel, PowerPoint) features to support your co-authoring though the whole process from draft to publication. 
– Help employees by giving them practical productivity scenarios to help them adopt Office 365, and get more productive and efficient in their daily work. 

Register here!

Highlights from the SharePoint Conference 2019

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Las Vegas and the SharePoint Conference for 2019 was the place to be this week if SharePoint and Office 365 are central to your digital workplace. The conference offers three action-packed days of announcements, learning and sessions, and high visibility from the SharePoint team at Microsoft, even though the SharePoint Conference isn’t actually an official Microsoft conference. I summarized here the key announcements at the conference:

SharePoint Home Sites

SharePoint Online continues on its two-pronged pathway. First, becoming the invisible plumbing for documents and files in Office 365; the past couple of years have seen other apps in Office 365, such as Microsoft Teams, take on the mantle of team collaboration. And second, offering out-of-the-box (or more correctly, out-of-the-cloud) intranet capabilities. Previous conferences have seen the release of Communications Sites (for sharing news and updates across divisions, departments and teams) and Hub Sites (offering a way of logically grouping SharePoint sites with unified navigation search, now that subsites are an information taxonomy no-no). This year the prize announcement was the new SharePoint Home Site, a single Communications Site with superpowers that offers the new front page for the intranet, unified searching, and visual marking on authoritative news items.

SharePoint Home Site

OneDrive-the Files App

OneDrive, now called “the files app” for Office 365, attracted a whole set of updates and new goodness, such as hover-over information on a file with time-to-read data and a brief auto-generated summary, the ability to mark a document for reading later, a way of requesting files from other people, and differential sync, among others. The ability to request files from others offers an experience where you – as the person wanting some files from another person – select a folder in your OneDrive hierarchy and then send a request to the other party. He or she responds by uploading their files into that specific location, and they can only see the files they deposit there, not anything else already there (unless, of course, they already have shared access to that folder). This is a neat usability and streamlining capability, because you can specifically and directly say where you want the files to be put, rather than having to receive them in email, for example, and then save them there. Differential sync for non-Office files – due later in 2019 – is probably the largest practical change to OneDrive that will make the biggest difference in how OneDrive performs. Rather than sending the whole file from a device back to Office 365 whenever a change is made, only the bits and pieces of the file that have been changed need to be re-synced. For example, in the Office files work which already has differential sync, if you change one slide in a 100 MB PowerPoint deck, only that change to the one slide has to be synced, not the full 100 MB every time.

Yammer-the Social Layer

Despite many signals to the contrary some years ago, Yammer’s not dead. Microsoft continues to invest in the product, which it calls the social layer in Office 365, and enables open communication across an organisation. Yammer is getting a new type of post – the question and answer type – which allows a post author to state they are asking a question and are seeking answers. The post author (or a group admin) can subsequently mark the best answer as the best answer, which moves this to the top of the answer list, streamlining quick access in the future for other people who have the same question. Yammer is also getting rich text formatting (bold, italics, underline, etc.), Live Events, the ability to embed a Yammer conversation into SharePoint using a web part, and of particular interest to customers in Europe with data residency requirements, partial support for European data storage. There are also eDiscovery capabilities coming for Yammer, although these haven’t been released yet.

There was a whole lot more announced across Microsoft Stream, Microsoft Teams, SharePoint and other products in the Office 365 stack at the SharePoint Conference. The above is but a snippet, and we look forward to working with customers to put the above capabilities to great use.

In the meantime, register to our workshop around user adoption for Office 365 on 7th June in Rotterdam. 

Making Meetings Better with Microsoft’s Conversation Transcription

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Many of us are interested in improving the effectiveness of meetings. No one (well, almost no one) wants to just attend one unproductive meeting after another, have less time available for getting anything of significance done, and be buried under an ever-growing list of action points from back-to-back meetings. That’s not a business recipe for long-term success. If you haven’t seen it already, please check out our whitepaper on Smarter Meetings; it offers our view on the theory and practice of highly effective meetings in the modern age. Despite the technology that’s on offer to improve meetings, it’s the human practices and principles that are essential. However, we still love great meeting technology, and many people buzzed with excitement at the smarter meetings demo during the Build conference last year.

Microsoft showed off its progress with automatic identification of meeting attendees (based on video identification when they entered the room), multi-speaker speech transcription, and auto-identification of action points and commitments made during the meeting. While it may sound like the domain of science fiction, it’s getting ever closer to practical non-fiction experiences in meeting rooms everywhere.

The Build conference for 2019 has just happened, and while there was no further demo of meeting room technology magic, Microsoft did announce several updates. These included:

  • Conversation Transcription, a feature of Azure Speech Services, entered preview on May 6. Conversation Transcription offers a real-time transcription of multi-user conversations with automatic speaker attribution, even through cross-talk. In other words, just as demonstrated at Build 2018, you can now hold meetings where the spoken words of each attendee are automatically transcribed and attributed, even when more than one person is talking at the same time.
  • Conversation Transcription will help remote meeting attendees be more informed about what is happening in the room (often it is hard to know exactly what that person just said, and in larger meetings, who exactly said it), and when paired with automatic speech translation, will better support cross-cultural teams of people.
  • Microsoft’s mysterious black cone from the Build 2018 demo is a reference design for a multiple microphone array. The black cone version also includes video capabilities – which is why it could identify the people entering the room – but the reference design includes options for audio only or audio and video. Microsoft is working with partners to develop products based on these reference designs.
  • Creating ways for people to use their current mobile devices and laptops to create a virtual microphone array, without having to rely on a physical one being in the meeting room. With the vast majority of meeting attendees having a device of some kind with them, it will be possible to link all available (and authorised) microphones together to create the same effect. Virtual microphone arrays are still in the research stage but watch this space.
  • The ability to complement general-purpose speech and language models with a custom speech model for each organisation. Using a secured and authorized connection to an organisation’s Office 365 tenant, the idea is to analyse for special speech concepts, terminology and people names used across the organisation, in order to better identify and transcribe these words in meetings. Microsoft has released this capability into private preview; you have to apply to take part.

We look forward to seeing Microsoft’s new meeting capabilities at play in our meetings at Silverside. But we won’t forget the deeper human patterns either – a clear purpose, a reason for each person to be there, and a clear sense of where to from here for each meeting.

Download our eBook Architecting Smarter Meetings.

When You're Not Allowed to Talk (Ever)

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While the word “collaboration” is now generally used to refer to the possibility of good things at work, there was a time when being called a “collaborator” was a stinging rebuke. It was particularly used to refer to people who worked alongside corrupt government regimes and ascribed as much culpability for wrongdoing to the collaborator as to those he or she worked with. This ability to work together for good or evil – yes, even in the modern world – had led to various industry and government regulations that require ethical walls to be put in place to prevent communication between specific parties or groups within an organisation. These are commonly seen in the financial services industry to prevent one person from sharing insider information that they are allowed to have by virtue of their job role with a colleague in another division who is not allowed access to that information due to the ability to unfairly profit from buying or sell trades. But ethical walls also exist as a matter of good business practice in large, distributed organisations. Think about the ad agency who provides creative services to two competitors in the same industry; each respective group in the ad agency should be barred from interacting. Ditto in a large legal firm where two separate legal teams are representing different clients in a merger or acquisition scenario. If you want to win such business opportunities, you have to be able to prove that you can absolutely prevent the two respective teams from having any interaction with each other.

The requirement for ethical walls in tools like Office 365 goes beyond just access control to private team workspaces. While access privileges can indeed prevent one group from accessing the workspace of another group, it’s always possible to change access privileges temporarily for nefarious purposes, or for two people on the respective teams from interacting outside of the team workspace to share information. In days gone by, this could have been an email thread in Exchange – “take a look at this document” – or something similar.

Ethical walls demand something much, much stronger. It’s like having a security guard for each member of each team, and any attempt across teams to speak, give someone on the other team anything, or even make eye contact will immediately result in physical intervention. “You must not do this.” “You cannot do this.” “I will prevent you from doing this.”

As a purveyor of communication tools to many of the large organisations around the world, Microsoft faces questions around ethical wall capabilities in Office 365. In the context of Microsoft Teams, the product was released to general availability on March 14, 2017. Only eight days later – on March 22 – a member of Microsoft TechCommunity asks if there are any plans for ethical wall capabilities in the product.

Well, Dan had to wait for a couple of years, but the new Information Barriers service for Microsoft Teams was released to open preview at the end of April. It enables an administrator to create policies to prevent interaction between people and groups via Microsoft Teams. While Information Barriers was announced for Teams only, it appears that the service will be extended in the future to be a cross-workload capability for all of Office 365, which it indeed needs to become. But the first steps are good, and incremental improvement is fine.

When an information barrier policy is in place, it essentially makes invisible the people who are not allowed to interact. For example, if you try to add a member to a private team, that “not allowed to even make eye contact” user won’t show up in the member search results. Or if someone attempts to start a new private chat, he or she won’t be able to do so. And Microsoft says all attempts to do things you are not allowed to do will eventually be logged so compliance officers can see who is still trying to circumvent the policies in place.

 Action  User Experience if policy is violated
 Adding Members to a team The user will not show up in search 
 Start a new private chat  The chat is not created and an error message appears
Invited a user to join a meeting The user will not join the meeting and an error message appears
Screen sharing is initiated  The screen share won’t be allowed, and an error message appears
 Placing a phone call (VOIP)  The voice call is blocked


Of course, this doesn’t prevent two “don’t even make eye contact” people from meeting after work for dinner or at the local cafe (or pub, for those with a penchant for something stronger). If you have that level of nefarious activity going on, then a private investigator will be needed, because so far, Microsoft hasn’t announced proximity alerts based on user-associated devices with worldwide tracking using Intune and other services in Enterprise Mobility + Security. They probably could do it, but that’s getting a bit creepy.

Join our Office 365 workshop and learn how to collaborate and be productive while exploiting all the possibilities Office 365 offers! Register here

When the Technology Gets in the Way

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At the local Office 365 and SharePoint User Group meeting this week, the first speaker provided a case study on how his organisation was navigating the migration to OneDrive for Business. The firm has a history of the IT department rolling out new technology without any user engagement and change management processes in place, and the speaker – who is new to the organisation – wanted to take a different approach. In advance of the OneDrive migration, the speaker did an admirable job of visiting almost half the offices around the country, engaging with users on how they store and share files, and looking for the personal business benefits of being part of the migration. Three benefits quickly rose to the top: version history across all file types, access to your files across multiple devices, and no need to use a VPN to get access to your documents. A migration tool was acquired to assist with the migration process, current personal home drives were scanned for naming and file type inconsistencies, and a plan was made to move people across to OneDrive for Business in a phased approach.

Easy, right? Not so much.

While OneDrive is supposed to be one of the easier tools to implement, the reality he portrayed was much more complex. Many things got in the way that undermined the project plan, including current infrastructure limitations, unforeseen consequences of previously great decisions, and even the inability of the best available external tech specialists to provide a way through the problems. For example:

  • Some of the first line users accessed computing resources through Citrix, which offers a secure and scalable way of making corporate information available. But OneDrive as a sync client isn’t supported under this scenario.
  • Other business applications across the organisation were saving files into the user’s current personal home drives, but the OneDrive project team had no control over where those other applications saved their files. This made it more difficult to turn off the home drives after the migration of current content into OneDrive for Business.
  • In the face of many technical difficulties, the best available/premier technical professional resources were brought in to help. Even they, unfortunately, were unable to resolve all of the issues and provide a workable solution to pursue in the migration.
  • With the lack of earlier governance around storing documents of shared interest/importance in a shared drive, some users had many GBs of corporate data in their personal home drives. One long-term employee in particular – who had been with the organisation for over 40 years – had almost 70 GB of data in his personal home drive, much of it of corporate relevance. Firstly, this didn’t easily migrate across to OneDrive for Business, and secondly, much of this data should never have been stored there in the first place. While the data is now in OneDrive, at some point there’s a much larger tidying up task ahead to get the corporate information moved into the right places.

It’s pretty hard to help people on the adoption journey to new ways of working when the current infrastructure and new technology keep on getting in the way. But getting the technology and infrastructure to the point of adoption readiness is part of the overall journey, and it has to be done right to lay the foundation for building new and smarter work practices. Hopefully, once these initial issues related to OneDrive are resolved, bringing the next wave of improvements – such as smarter teamwork and better ways of managing meetings – will flow with greater ease.

In the meantime, be prepared to start your adoption journey: Download our eBook How to create your User Adoption Strategy for Office 365.