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5 ways to become an Office 365 champion

Microsoft | Posted on October 9, 2014 by Veronica Skender

Over the past few weeks, we’ve unveiled some of the keys to a successful implementation of Microsoft Office 365. To help digest this mountain of tips, we’ve boiled them all down into 5 straight-forward tips.

1. Define success with Office 365 differently

While it’s tempting to call a technology project a success if the installation happens “on time, and on budget,” #a technology is valueless until it is adopted#. That’s why IT organizations need to start looking at the task at hand as one of adoption, not simply getting the pieces in place. Only once a company starts using Office 365 will the desired #business results materialize#, manifesting as in-progress and target success measures.

2. Rely on clear, measurable objectives for Office 365

Speaking of changing the way we look at success, how will you know you arrived at that value unless you have a clear and measurable way to decipher it? Rule #2 is a continuation of the first. It’s not enough to simply switch focus onto “adoption” as your key success factor, you need to be able to show the money, through a defined set of objectives and goals.

3. Plan for behavior, not features with Office 365

Another common pitfall when it comes to planning for Office 365 is to look at the features, bells and whistles of the new technology, rather than mapping out the desired changes in your users’ behavior. As discussed earlier, real value comes from adoption, and that means it all comes down to how, when and why people interact with their new tools and solutions.

Rather than starting with a feature or specific app, and then figuring out how to fit users into that box, start at the use-case level. Ask yourself what actions and behaviors do we want users to start doing, and what do we want them to stop doing? From there, you’ll have a much more useful technology roadmap.

4. Don’t stop at training with Office 365

Leading up to launch day, you’ve ensured your support team is trained and ready for calls. But your work #doesn’t stop there# .

Once training and launch have been executed, you need to regularly check in to measure Office 365 usage and adoption statistics, pointing back to the objectives you set at the start. The pattern to success should now be obvious: set goals, base those goals on adoption and behavior, and once launched, make sure you’re hitting them. You might spot some areas of resistance you couldn’t have foreseen and it’s your duty to pivot as needed to overcome them.

5. Never stop refining your Office 365 strategy

O365 success is not a linear, easy to predict process. Think of it more as a cycle. Goals will change as new roadblocks and new business directives evolve. Training materials should not be static, but should be living, constantly updated materials, easily accessed by users. Communication and training are ongoing and need to react to changing times, business demands and new challenges.

What can you do to get started?

If you’ve found our series on Office 365 helpful, you will love the recorded virtual summit we share this year. You will get all the same tips and tricks, but in far greater detail, presented by our in house Office 365 pros and change management experts.

If you’re feeling ready to move on to the next stage of planning, we’ve got the perfect starting point with our in-depth, expert led Business Technology Review. This dialog sets clear objectives and maps out how the many technological features of benefits lead directly to your business goals.

It’s a practical way to make sense of an incredibly large and rich offering from Microsoft, one which should be tailored to the unique needs of your organization from the start.

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