IT teams and end users tend to see new technology from very different angles. The IT team will focus on the mechanics of a deployment, understanding user profiles and the smooth running of the failover, while end users will try to understand how the new technology works and how best to use it in their daily work. This difference must be a key element in Office 365 migration planning. End-user training should not be seen as an addition to deployment, it should be seen as an essential element.
Office 365 deployment brings many benefits and improvements that make life easier for the IT team and end users. However, preparing a company to accept these changes requires serious planning, it is strongly recommended to plan before deployment rather than being forced to urgently address problems after deployment.
If you are considering using cloud-based services such as OneDrive, some users may need an introduction to the service concept, as well as training on the service itself.
This training not only benefits end users, it significantly reduces the number of IT support calls during and after deployment.
The development of an enterprise-wide deployment plan must include end-user representatives. Without understanding their concerns and training needs, the risk of low end-user adoption is high.
It is important to communicate upcoming changes by giving information about the timing and reasons for the migration, and sell the benefits to end users. Business leaders who demonstrate early adoption of new services and identify individuals who can become change champions within teams can significantly drive adoption by all end users. Providing change champions with initial training will enable them to become local expert users. They can then help their teams use the training resources.
Microsoft estimates that if you can quickly get 10% adoption by the end user, the rest will follow. It is therefore important to identify change champions, both in the workshop and in management, using the service quickly.
Although training is available for all elements of Microsoft Office 365 Suite, Windows 10 and Skype Enterprise, one cannot expect anyone to attend more than 500 training sessions. Emphasis should be placed on those elements that will bring the most benefits, such as Skype for Business, and on areas that may need special attention to eliminate friction between end users.
If a user is prompted to use OneDrive rather than an existing shared drive, it is essential that they understand not only why and what the product is, but also how to use it. Previously, they may have had a shortcut set up on his computer to record items. Now it can simply save files via this shortcut, it may not even know the name of the destination drive. So instructing a user to record to OneDrive rather than the H drive, for example, may not tell them anything. However, if you have identified champions of change in the organization, they should identify these potential sticking points and provide local support for their colleagues’ post-deployment.
If change champions can demonstrate benefits to other end users, enterprise-wide adoption will be much faster. Setting a sleep time for older systems will also eliminate the risk that users will continue to use older systems as they used to. It is easier to adopt new products and services than to continue working on old platforms.
Ensuring that all your teams have the knowledge and skills to adopt new services can only be achieved through effective training.
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