Many customers have bought into the idea about Office 365 as a tool-kit for the modern work place, making it possible for users to work better together, work from anywhere and work with confidence.
How to solve SharePoint Online and Office 365 user adoption
From a technical stand point, all of the above is actually possible with Office 365, since the technology and the features available is state of the art. Furthermore, being a cloud based service, Office 365 and the underlying applications, will always be updated.
So far so good.
However, in reality, most organizations are basically experiencing Office 365 as a new way of licensing and are finding themselves stuck in Outlook and the classic Office suite. They have little or no clue on how to adopt Office 365 in a broader perspective.
The reason for this lack of Office 365 user adoption is not to be blamed on the features of the various Office 365 applications. This is for most organizations rooted in a poor user experience since every single application has its own UI with little in common across the Office 365 palette.
This leaves IT admins, digital workplace consultants etc. not to mention the users frustrated since they don’t know exactly where to begin and where to end with Office 365. All they know is that most of them are still fighting shadow IT dressed like Dropbox, Google Drive etc.
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Hard for the users
One of the applications in Office 365 that, from a general point of view, make the most sense to use first is SharePoint Online. This is where all the content of the organization should sit and be made accessible to the different user groups from any device, anywhere. Sweet as it may sound, the reality is that the somewhat “different” logic of e.g. SharePoint Online, often leads users to choose to share their content via Dropbox or other easy-to-use file sharing services. This alone is a huge problem, since shadow IT brought in by the users, account for a significant amount of data breaches, ransomware etc.
One way to deal with the low user adoption is to train and educate the users in the various applications. Still, for frontline or blue collar workers, this is rarely a sustainable way to user adoption, since the applications they are trained in, are just too complex and difficult to master.
A glass plate principle
A new and innovative way to solve the Office 365 user adoption issue and minimize shadow IT is to add an interaction layer on top of Office 365. An interaction layer works as a “glass plate principle”, giving the user an easy and intuitive user experience without holding any data. Data stays, in this case on SharePoint Online, at all times. This way, the users will be presented with a single UI, that has all the features the user need from various Office 365 applications, to get work done. No more need for 3rd party file-sharing services. So, happy users and happy IT admin.
If you want to learn more about how other organizations have benefitted from a simplified “glass plate” UI, you can read a few select case studies here: http://simplyso.com/office365-solution/customer-testimonials/