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Landscape of the Modern Workplace

When you start your day what is the first thing you usually do? Even though I hate to admit this, I personally grab my phone and see what all the latest updates from my company are from around the world. With this new digital landscape there is no longer the typical 9 to 5 work schedule; it’s become much more mobile. There are now so many dynamic changes to teamwork and productivity across an organization.

Microsoft Teams is the hub for teamwork within an organization that can connect all the dots and provide a true one-stop shop for the immediate group of people you’re working with. It also allows you to go beyond collaborating on documents alone. It involves, chatting, instant messaging, meetings, co-authoring, sharing information and more all in one place.

Yammer, on the other hand, connects folks across the organization and works alongside Microsoft Teams. Yammer fits in by building the networks of both individuals and organizations, effectively connecting everyone.

Microsoft Teams Capabilities

Microsoft Teams provides a lot of capabilities since it’s deeply integrated with all of the other Office 365 technologies. It has also extended beyond to handle workloads we have on a day-to-day basis, like document management and instant messaging. But now, it also comes with advanced technologies like bots.

Out of the box you can go to the Microsoft Teams store and look for bots you can take advantage of. For example, there’s a bot called WhoBot where you can ask about the organizational structure. I can say, “Who does Jay Leask report to?” and it’ll show the information right away. What makes Microsoft Teams even better is that it’s open to other partners and offers over 150 apps and connectors at the time of writing!

Microsoft Teams Quickstart

Driving Sustainable Adoption

Gartner recently released a report around IT adoption within organizations. It’s called the Maximizing the Value of Office 365 By Making It Part of a Digital Dexterity Program. They had three key findings:

  1. Task productivity platforms, whether that be Office365, G Suite, etc., move is typically a lift and shift initiative, but there’s no new value being delivered.

What does that mean, right? So for me, there’s no perceived value. And that’s just one big challenge. It’s taking that lift and shift approach and not thinking about how we deliver business value right away.

  1. The second adoption challenge that this report found is organizations are ill-prepared to deliver continuous change provided by the productivity platform.

What does that mean? Today, with the nature of the cloud and the innovation that’s coming out, there needs to be a shift on how we think about not only managing and maintaining the platform, but also thinking about where we invest our energy and resources.

  1. The third and final piece, which is really fascinating, is the lack of digital dexterity investment.

So, what does digital dexterity mean? Digital dexterity is the idea of how you make technology, especially an investment in Office 365, as part of the norm for your employees.

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But here’s the kicker: in another study, they found that it takes on average 15-18 months for an organization to adopt a new technology.

So how do we increase Microsoft Teams and Yammer adoption rates?

Step 1: Specify the Rules of Engagement

Something that is oftentimes missing is having an organization come together and say, “Here’s how we’re going to operate. It’ll be more efficient for everyone and since we’re all on the same page everything will flow easier.” Having everyone on the same page and agreeing on how to move forward is a component that is usually lacking when trying to adopt new technology. By outlining rules of engagement, an organization can get into the habit of properly using Microsoft Teams and Yammer.

An example of this would be when someone new joins our team or if there is any company-wide announcement. At AvePoint, we first had leadership and key people in the organization agree to do this. Then we worked with the corporate communications team and HR to say, “anytime there’s a company-all email, be it a new employee, CEO with some announcement, etc., the full message is actually posted in the “All Company” section of Yammer.

So what we would do — because we recognized a lot of people still love their email–is take that conversation thread (the link from Yammer) and write an email to the whole company with a summary of the message in the email saying, “Dear AvePoint family, today we have a new colleague, Brent. He works in the Jersey City office. Click here for full details.” So, when they click on it, it jumps to the full post in Yammer.

Step 2: Facilitate leadership buy-in and engagement

Second, which is very important, is that you have to facilitate leadership buy-in and engagement. What does that mean? It can’t just be lip-service saying, “Hey, we’re going to use Office 365. We’re digitally transforming. We’re going to use all this goodness. But that doesn’t apply to me because I’m  C-level. All I need is my iPhone and my email.” That doesn’t work because having leadership involved, brought in, and taking advantage of the technology—essentially being a good role model—is critical to success.

One example from us, is that we use Yammer for our town hall every quarter. Our CEO, TJ, holds a town hall in a specific office from which we broadcast live using Yammer. This allows people to easily provide feedback and comment. And then, last but not the least, especially with Teams, it expedites organizational agility so we can quickly respond, or in some cases react, to what’s going on.


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Step 3: Ensure quick wins

The third and final step is ensuring quick wins in Microsoft Teams and Yammer. Look for the other people within your organization that are passionate about doing these things and engage them as well. The important thing about this is to really look for other people that can help evangelize your message on your own behalf. This could be done from a Microsoft Teams or Yammer perspective of helping create and bring in other groups of people within your organization.

One of the corporate initiatives that we have as a company is a competition called AvePoint Idol. Every year we have this competition that’s open to everybody in the company. Whoever becomes the AvePoint Idol wins an all-expense-paid trip to attend Ignite as an attendee. We love to make it fun and have people do things like send in short videos saying why they should be the AvePoint Idol for the rest of the company to vote on. You can do things like this or even position your learning around it.

The 90 Day Roadmap to Your Organization’s Microsoft Teams and Yammer Adoption

See how to get your organization’s roadmap to adoption started below!

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