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6 Skills Required to Drive Office 365 Adoption

7 Nov 2019 by Nigel Williams

Adoption has been a prominent topic at Ignite this year, with an initial day of sessions followed by a track dedicated to the theme throughout the conference. One of the most interesting of these sessions outlined a new qualification Microsoft is rolling out – the Microsoft Service Adoption Specialist.   

This talk not only outlined the course, but also the skills required by adoption practitioners, which is what I’m going to run through in this short video and accompanying blog post.

6 Skills for Succesful Office 365 Adoption

1. Organizational Development 

This draws on a variety of fields, including behavioral science and neuroscience to improve the overall effectiveness of an organization. It brings a focus on culture, process and structure to adoption, along with behavioral understanding  one of the most critical, and often overlooked, elements of adoption. 

2. Business Acumen 

This enables the adoption practitioner to understand the business goals and outcomes that the business is seeking, along with a range of Key Performance Indicators. Understanding how the business goes to market, generates revenue, and controls costs will be very helpful in discussions with business stakeholders. 

3. Technical Competence 

Competence in the Services to be adopted provides a vital seat at IT’s table without which any adoption project will be an unnecessarily difficult slog.  Detailed knowledge of each service is also vital in understanding how users will interact with and benefit from the service. 

6 skills to drive office 365 adoption

4. Marketing & Communications 

These skills include the ability to create awareness, engage employees and develop an effective communications cadence, ideally by role by workload.

 5. Portfolio Management 

This is often associated with managing financial or product portfolios. Here we are applying the discipline to projects. This enables adoption specialists to organize multiple projects into a coherent portfolio.  This is helpful in aligning projects to business goals, allocating resources and assessing project risks. 

 6. Leadership Capability

 This is vital in bringing together disparate groups of people and motivating them to pursue a common cause. Leadership skills will also help to foster both confidence and trust, the importance of which cannot be underestimated. 

 Today these skills are difficult to find in a single individual, but the development of adoption as an industry-standard role will start to change that, which can only be a good thing. 

 If you’re looking for expert advice on driving adoption and maximizing your investment, please register for our upcoming webinar: 3 Practical Strategies to Boost Adoption of Microsoft 365

Nigel Williams has spent 30 years in the IT industry in roles spanning Sales, Pre-Sales. Alliances, and Marketing. He has worked in diverse company environments from start-ups to large corporations, with a focus on data and information management. For the last ten years, he has been focused on Marketing, building strong regional and global Marketing teams. His broad experience enables him to understand the needs of Sales, Technical and Marketing teams and bring them together to grow and transform the business they work in. He is also a specialist in developing value propositions and go to market strategies, using methodologies from Market-leading advisory firms. Nigel has two daughters, lives in Oxfordshire and is a keen black and white photographer in his spare time.