November 29, 2017

This blog series is written by Cyril Belikoff, Senior Director of Office Marketing


This is the fourth and final post from our blog series on the four success factors for driving Microsoft 365 adoption.


Part 1: Enable your business stakeholders with a successful Microsoft 365 adoption

Part 2: Recruit key stakeholders to help with your adoption

Part 3: Identify business needs and prioritize Microsoft 365 scenarios


In this blog post I will focus on the last two success factors – Awareness and Training, outlining best practices and available resources.


Utilizing a combination of internal communication campaigns and training to promote awareness and ensure end user readiness is crucial in overcoming the typical apathy that awaits new technology rollouts. Awareness and training really do have a big impact. According to research, high usage Office 365 customers were more likely to have implemented awareness and training activities as part of their adoption plan when compared to customers with lower usage.


Setting the stage for effective awareness and training

We are all too familiar with how hard it is to get people to change. Let’s face it, most people approach change from a selfish perspective. Therefore, it’s important your communication and training efforts are positioned in the context of what your end users care about most – what’s in it for them. Also, your training must go beyond the procedural “how-to” information for performing tasks with Microsoft 365. Let your end users know why the change is happening and what’s in it for them. An effective way of doing this is to tailor your communications and training around the scenarios you identified and prioritized earlier in your planning efforts.  


Like any change, it’s important to reinforce it to ensure end users sustain their adoption of Microsoft 365 and the new culture of work it brings. Don’t think of your awareness and training execution as a one-time event, rather it should cover pre-launch, launch, and post-launch.


Create internal awareness and excitement

To drive sustained adoption, users must be aware of and excited for Microsoft 365.  This means doing internal communications to promote Office 365 and engagement events. Use the resources we’ve made available, including email, poster, and tips and tricks templates you can customize for your rollout. Have a senior leader in the business be the face of your awareness campaign to validate the importance of the organization adopting Microsoft 365 and getting everyone onboard.


 “We knew we had to be crystal clear with employees about how Office 365 would make their lives easier and help them do their jobs better. So, we branded it as four things: Work Anywhere, Work Anytime You Like, Work Together, and Work on Any Device.”


Joe Kamara

Nec Group, Lead Change Manager




Enable end users to be successful with Microsoft 365

Given the diversity of people in any organization you’ll likely have multiple audiences to serve with your training program. In preparing your plan it’s important to consider:


  • What are the different user types in your organization? What is their comfort level with new technology?
  • What is their role in the organization? What are some of the tasks they perform?
  • Where do users perform these tasks? On a mobile device? In the office using a workstation?
  • How might organizational policies be affected by the integration of the new tool set – e.g., sharing documents, storing files, collaborating with external partners, using email attachments?


Training end users should take on multiple forms to accommodate different learning styles, geographical barriers, and any constraints you face. To get started with your training, take advantage of the available resources from Microsoft, including the Office Training Center and Windows 10 Quick Start Guides. Use your champions to help supplement your training plan, they are very effective at helping ready your end users.


Next steps

Now that we’ve reviewed all four of the success factors for driving Microsoft 365 adoption – Stakeholders, Scenarios, Awareness and Training – your question may be what’s next? It’s time to start planning how you are going to ensure these success factors are in place for your adoption. I’d suggest getting your stakeholders and project team members onboard. Work with Microsoft FastTrack, our customer success service, and a Microsoft partner to build your Success Plan and get further guidance and resources to help you implement these four success factors.


Reach out to us and your peers who are also on this journey by checking out the Drive Adoption community. We look forward to hearing about your Microsoft 365 success story!


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