Consumption of Cloud Technologies / #Microsoft #Office365 is something everyone ‘craves’. I suppose that’s the physical measurement of adoption. There’s been many theories and good examples on how to achieve adoption, but sadly many companies fail. I suspect it’s because we’re focusing on the wrong stuff. Here’s some tips on how to achieve that.



Many companies have purchased Office 365 licenses for their users, very few are using more than Exchange & OneDrive. With the introduction of Teams we experienced greater consumption on SharePoint (as that’s the storage) and users are exposed to more through the Tabs they can add. Still we have a consumption issue:

Consumption, also known as “usage,” refers to how much cloud computing a customer is actually consuming. ~ Julie Bort (Business Insider)

I understand what the problem is and help customers daily to overcome this. To help you see this from a different perspective I’ll use the analogy of healthy eating habits.

The smoothie maker:

Bob is a 37 year old ex-bodybuilder and fitness coach. It’s his job to see new clients (Management and IT Decision Makers) and convince them that smoothies are the way to go.

Some of the benefits listed are:

  • Reduction of canteen staff as users will now prepare their own smoothies
  • Less waste with regards to takeaway containers and food not eaten
  • Regular updates to the features of the equipment
  • Daily additions on recipe website

Other non-tangible benefits would be:

  • Healthier, happier employees
  • Less sick days
  • Employees have more stamina and energy – more productivity
  • No longer are employees restricted to meals, they can now also make juices, iced teas and cocktails with their smoothie makers
  • Employees can now take their smoothie maker with them, and have meals wherever they are, at any time, in any location as long as they have power (and ingredients of course)
  • Should the employee leave the company, Bob’s company will confiscate the smoothie maker

Company X is sold on “reduction of canteen staff” and decides to move across to the smoothie subscription license where each user gets a smoothie maker, meal plan and access to recipes online.

The results:

Based on information supplied by Bob, this product sells itself as all employees want to live healthier, so change management is minimal.

On the day of the switch, Company X sends an all company email out, informing employees of the decision to be healthier, giving instructions of where they can pick up their new branded smoothie maker and include a URL to the online instruction and recipe database should they require assistance. They also add a link to a motivational video by the CEO on healthy living and how much better everyone’s lives will be.

A month later management asks for reporting on usage and it’s noted that consumption is much lower than expected. Upon investigation, they find that employees started bringing their own food to work and some are quite negative towards the new system as they don’t see the point / don’t like healthy foods. Surprisingly enough, many wanted to, but never even used their smoothie maker as they didn’t know how to switch it on.

They’re shocked with the results, not understanding what went wrong and after consulting with other companies, they bring in a qualified nutritionist to solve the problem.

I’m sure by now you’re seeing my point?

Personally I love healthy foods. I make smoothies daily with fruits, kale, celery, ginger, turmeric and cayenne pepper. I’m an early adopter. I’ve learnt to love the taste and I know it makes me feel much better than unhealthier food choices. That’s also why people with an IT background tend to adopt systems much faster. There’s not much convincing needed there.

But, to understand where we’re going, we need empathy for where we’ve come from. Employees have eaten unhealthy foods all their life. It’s all they know, it’s easy and they understand the system of getting lunch with their staff card.

So how do we do this different?

Doing it right:

1:  Create AWARENESS

A couple of months before the switch start an awareness campaign. This could consist of:

2:  Cultivate DESIRE

3:  Share the KNOWLEDGE

4:  Ensure the ABILITY to change and use technologies

  • Communicate and launch Office 365 (login details etc.)
  • Implement Feedback and Support Mechanisms
  • Start rolling out Training – compulsory (Teams / OneDrive / SharePoint / Exchange)
  • Also cover compulsory Office basics (include latest releases Microsoft Office)
  • Offer additional training (Forms / Flow / PowerApps / Sway etc.)
  • Build a product governance portal and add resources to Teams – see more here

5:  REINFORCE the change

Added after publication:  Thank you Simon Leyland for reminding me to add the prerequisites for user adoption.

Change Management (above) is but one component to ensure user adoption. If the following is not in place already, you won’t achieve the desired outcome:

  • Executive and Senior Management buy-in and support (must be visual)
  • Digital Strategy & Digital Literacy of employees (could form part of project)
  • Project objective to be communicated before engagement with stakeholders commence.
  • Communicate failures and successes
  • Project team which consist of proper representation of the various business units / pillars / departments.
  • Project responsibilities and KPI’s will be addressed, adjusted and documented for all stakeholders
  • Power Users must receive a mandate signed by their managers
  • Right product, right place, right time

There you go, a Change Management Plan for free. It also follows the ADKAR methodology. Easier than you thought, but also more work than you ever could have imagined. But I promise you, if you do this right, you will change the way people work and at the same time change the company culture where employees are happier and with time become self and lifelong learners.

Other Resources:


SharePoint Conference 2019 in Vegas: May 21 to 23

Honored to be speaking at SharePoint Conference in Vegas, May 21-23, 2019. Follow & on Twitter for more updates, and click here to register: REMEMBER to use my discount code (SCHYFF) for $50 off! See you there!

New Initiative:

Every couple of months I’m going to travel to a new country, rent a motorcycle, and travel to as many communities as possible, for 15.2 days. Purpose would be to create awareness around Digital Literacy and give users an overview of Office 365 Apps and Services and how it can transform their lives. I’ll do video and written blogs to capture and share my journey and experiences.

Feedback would be crucial, and I’ll be using Microsoft Forms & Flow to gather valuable feedback for myself and Microsoft. I will be inviting other community members to join me on my journey when I’m in their respective areas.

Of course it wouldn’t be possible without sponsorship to help support this cause. Reach out if you’re interested on getting involved in any way, here’s a link to a Microsoft Form that can be completed:

REgarding 365:

“You can also find me contributing to REgarding 365. I’m a member of a group of enthusiasts, sharing their stories, thoughts and opinions about Microsoft 365. Catch us at | @regarding365 on Twitter and regarding365 on YouTube

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