• February 26, 2020
  • by Chris Schwan
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O365 Enterprise: Adoption Brings Magic to the Modern Workplace

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When I started with the Technology Experience & Enablement team at WBM, I found it difficult to truly explain what I was doing. I was working in an innovative new department, and in a brand-new area of IT, and that made it a challenge. While sharing my new role and our team’s mission with others, I’d often find myself rambling on (albeit passionately) about end user interviews, employee enablement, Microsoft O365 Enterprise, optimized workflows, and ROI. But what did it really mean? I knew I was making end users more efficient and their work lives better, I knew I was educating and training them on new tools that were making a positive impact on their day-to-day work, and I knew I was strategizing with business leaders to increase efficiencies and build happier staff. However, I was stuck on how to sum it all up in a clear and concise way.

Then it hit me…I’m working in an area of IT that wasn’t even required 10 years ago, or at least not as required. The evolution of the Modern Workplace has far surpassed the average users’ understanding of how to leverage it for their benefit, and Microsoft O365 is a great example.

Here’s just one illustration to make my point. In my Outlook Inbox, I have created automations that scrape inbound emails and flow attachments directly into my OneDrive storage. This means I can quickly find important attachments without wasting time having to save emails or search through a mess of correspondence. This took me all of 3 minutes to configure. When I show it to end users, they instantly see its real-life application in their own work and have an immediate sense of amazement. They can easily envision how this setup would help them, and there is a combination of excitement, wonder, gratitude, and even relief. While I would consider this a simple use of end user experience technologies, many users see it as something more akin to well, “magic”.

While magic really has nothing to do with it, I find these efficiency-enhancers everywhere. The reason is because technology capabilities have far outpaced the current understanding of the average worker, and this gap creates people who are intimidated, who feel like they can never catch up, who don’t understand where to begin, and who are ultimately under-efficient as a result.

What does this rapid technological advancement of Office 365 mean for businesses? It means their ROI on O365 or O365 Enterprise gets smaller and smaller with each new feature and integration launched. Why? Because the users haven’t adopted the existing features and integrations. My job is to help recover that investment for the business while making their end users happier, more productive, and more confident and excited about meaningful new features.

The good news is that mobile devices have prepared users for this modernization and evolution of their workspace (making my job infinitely easier). We all have smart phones that update every night. There are some mornings I wake up to 20+ updates to applications on my phone. Some changes are small and not even noticeable, while others are huge and change the way I interact with the application. However, the point is that evolutions are normal in our digital age–our apps change, and we adapt and adopt.

The same is now happening through our Technology Experience & Enablement program at WBM. We help users realize that their tools for work change and evolve for the better, and they can adapt and adopt without being afraid. End users frequently find joy in new features they didn’t even know existed. This is because someone took the time to understand what they were trying to accomplish, and then demonstrated real-life use cases applicable in their day-to-day. From there, the growth in productivity and feature adoption is exponential.

However, for a user to achieve these new levels of efficiency and happiness, they need some help. They need a baseline knowledge of their applications, and often some modernization of their workflows. Once this happens though, and a level of comfort is attained, the average end user works more efficiently. Equally important is that the fear is gone; they are open to continuous improvement through incremental feature adoption, and their productivity increases as they continue to utilize Modern Workplace technologies. In my repeated experience, this positive momentum is hard to stop.

In short, end users are ready for technology to streamline and empower their work, and businesses need to take advantage of this changing landscape. Doing so means increasing employee satisfaction and productivity, but it also means you are maximizing your investment in powerful tools like O365. As far as what I do? This is a big part of it, and it’s very rewarding to help.

Are you ready learn more about how Microsoft 365 capabilities can transform your business and bring you into the Modern Workplace? Join us on March 5th, 2020 at 9 AM PST / 11 AM CST for our webinar, “Implementing Microsoft 365: Realizing the Full Value of your Investment from Day 1”.

Sign up at the link here.

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Chris Schwan

Chris Schwan

Chris is the Senior Consultant and Service Adoption Specialist on the Technology Experience & Enablement team. Chris started out at WBM on the staffing team and his passion for helping end users find their path extends into his work with his current team. Chris works closely with end users to examine how they work and find ways to make their day to day lives better through technological adoption with a net benefit for the businesses employing them. This blend of problem solving and working closely with people plays to Chris’ strengths and allows him to make a real difference in end users’ day to day work lives.

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