The Hoozin team visited the Microsoft SharePoint NA conference in Las Vegas last week. There were about 2500 attendees with lots of sessions and an active sponsor area.
It was really interesting to see the dynamics and hype around Office 365 and how it has evolved. So far there has been about a 70% adoption rate of Office 365. This means the move to Cloud is now in high gear.
More and more customers see Microsoft Office 365 in a positive light, particularly with mail and calendar. However there remains the challenge of user adoption and ease of use. The breadth of Office 365 is not necessarily accessible for the average end user. Is this because of the way Office 365 is conceived? We don’t think so.
What’s missing is the single experience between Document Management, Intranet, Social, Community, Collaboration, and web responsiveness. This means that many of the Office 365 features still exist on their own. Additionally there is lack of integration with existing platforms such as Salesforce, SAP, QlickSense, Jira, etc. So while Office 365 is there it remains separate from the end user in most business contexts.
Almost all our conversations at the conference started with the idea of helping Office 365 become a better experience. But is this really all we want? Perhaps there is more than just the commodity Office 365. Imagine moving your company to a culture of getting all their work done online in their own personalized digital workplace. Let’s look at the three basic steps that would move you in that direction:
First add your existing applications into your Intranet. Our approach is to build small “widgets” that can be integrated into a landing page which displays the core information that users need to do their job. As your library of widgets grows the user will experience the landing page as their entry point of the entire collaboration and application landscape. So it’s not just Office 365 email anymore.
Work on an Intranet strategy that is well calibrated with your collaboration and social strategy. In other words, your Intranet should also be your corporate content management system. Sync it with your Active Directory or HR database. Make sure that your Office 365 investment is well connected to this new Digital Workplace so users don’t have to bounce around from site to site to get their work done.
If needed store documents through your high end user experience directly in Office 365 without exposing the user with the Office 365 UX. Have an integrated email and calendar right on the Digital Workplace.
Finally go for the full Digital Workplace. Audit your existing applications and make sure you have an entry widget for all the popular ones. Build an excellent eco-system of widgets that the user will experience as their entry point of the entire collaboration and application landscape. Some widgets are more appropriate inside the context of a community so take the time to make sure they show up where it makes sense for the end user.
We aim at targeting content to the right user but also the right application to the right user all within a web responsive mode.
Hoozin sees the culture shift happening from an Intranet to a Digital Workplace, powered by an excellent end user experience and next generation adoption rates. Remember, adoption comes before productivity.