“I now know why we have SharePoint and Office 365!”

Understanding Office 365

During my time as a Senior SharePoint Consultant, I have visited numerous customers and clients to assist them on their journey in developing a Digital Workplace. One extremely simple statement alluding to new knowledge of why an organisation has chosen to embrace The Cloud, SharePoint and Office 365 has led me to write this article.

As you will know by now, the quote in question is “I now know why we have SharePoint and Office 365”. So, a little bit of background. . .

Digital Workplace

Working with a large organisation (over 3000 personnel) I was involved in a number of Office 365 and SharePoint workshops, with the objective of bringing core areas of the business in alignment with new solutions being rolled out. However, I came across staff members who were already making use of a minor amount of this technology as it had been partially released, with no real engagement strategy.

The team in question were making use of a SharePoint Site and Lists to manage a set of data. They were already disillusioned with SharePoint as they were missing key features like search and filtering – thinking that this was not available within Office 365 or SharePoint.

The team were instructed to hold on to their questions and doubts, and await the 3 hour workshop that was planned as it was to cover Office 365, SharePoint, Features, Functionality and also include some hands-on sessions to increase product knowledge and usability.

When the session came to an end, it was at this stage where I received the response of “I now know why we have SharePoint and Office 365” with the team realising that all their requirements could be met with some minor developments.

So why did this resonate with me so much?

The so called “missing” functionality of the solution that was provided to this team, had disengaged them from Office 365 and SharePoint in its entirety. This team would have been providing a falsified message to other teams and users in the organisation, based on their experience, that would soon spread – becoming a parasite for the SharePoint implementation.

This was in no way the teams fault, as they were working with the system and the knowledge (or lack of) that was presented to them. However, these issues would have been resolved earlier in the process had the time been taken to fully gather requirements, test and perform quality assurance on the developed system and provide the relevant training & knowledge handover that was required.

I walked away from the workshop in question, knowing that I had slightly improved the chances of a successful Digital Workplace for the company in question. Although, there are sure to be many more false and misunderstood messages circulating users that will need to be removed before they gather too much momentum.

In Summary…

…understanding and knowledge are the most powerful tools that should be provided to the people of your organisation. The development of the most perfected Digital Workplace will be halted if your users are unable to work with them to the fullest potential. Purchasing the licences for Office 365 and SharePoint is only the beginning of Digital Transformation in the workplace. A successful implementation will be improved with all personnel walking away from training and workshops uttering the message “I now know why we have SharePoint and Office 365”.

Thinking about introducing Office 365 and SharePoint into your organisation? Already have it, but have poor user engagement? Please get in touch to see how we can assist you in providing the best return on investment & create an efficient Digital Workplace through the power of Digital Transformation – with YOUR PEOPLE at the heart of the engagement.

AMT Steve Glasspool

This article was written by Steve Glasspool, our Senior SharePoint Consultant.

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