“Keep it personal.” That’s the message we keep in mind, always. Disruptive technology – like the cloud – can be challenging. Big changes can bring enormous opportunities, but getting everyone on the boat often takes time. At ProServeIT, we understand the concerns customers have because we embarked on our own cloud journey four years ago. It wasn’t easy, but ultimately our transition paid off in tremendous business success, and that clued us in on the most effective strategy for defeating those initial doubts: overcome a customer’s mountain of doubt by showing them the value – the very personal, specific value – that awaits on the other side.
We’re primarily a managed services partner, so we depend on customer usage. As we started moving customers to Office 365, we heard from delivery teams that while the Line of Business owners had the big-vision understanding of what the new technology could accomplish, that vision wasn’t making it to the end users. All they saw was big, difficult change.
We needed to communicate the enormous value of Office 365 to customers’ employees to drive active use with very personal, tailored messaging. We’d been using Customer Immersion Experience (CIE) methodology with those Line of Business owners, why not do the same for a key group of end users, to demonstrate the impacts to them? It worked so well, we eventually created the role of Adoption Consultant.
The Adoption Consultant works in tandem with the delivery team and is dedicated to helping customers maximize the technology they’ve bought. One of Ben Murney’s roles at ProServeIT is Adoption Consultant. He works with end users to help them understand the best use cases to adopt, what additional training employees might need, and how everyone can take advantage of cloud services.
“My job is to help a client’s end users understand how their company’s move to the cloud can really positively impact them and make their job easier,” says Ben. “I take them through the tasks they do on a daily basis and show them features in Office 365 or SharePoint that directly relate to them and those tasks. They get really excited about this new tools set that can improve their day – every day – and get them working better and faster and get them out the door sooner.”
Depending on the client’s needs, Ben may work with every role at a company to showcase how cloud solutions can improve productivity and efficiency. And while Adoption Consultants aren’t there to sell, often their conversations with end users result in cross- and up-sells. “They tell me about problems they encounter or ideas they’ve had to make their jobs better; I can take that feedback to the production team and we can add an existing solution or build one. While it might come at a little extra cost, it makes end users a whole lot more excited to adopt and use the technology,” Ben says. “And that’s usually worth it to the customer.”
“It’s fun to see customers get excited about solutions we present,” Ben says. “When we introduce Skype for Business, for example, they immediately see the benefits – you have a group of 10, only eight can make it to the meeting, but you don’t have to reschedule when you can record. That’s the best part of the job, when I see them realize how much better and easier their jobs can be. They’re not worried about learning the new system now; they just want to know how soon they can start!”
Just about every organization knows the pain of investing in technology they thought would change everything, only to have no one use it. While there’s no one-size-fits-all solution to easing the cloud transition journey, we believe our philosophy of keeping it personal can make any transition more successful.
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