Let’s be honest, nobody really likes change. Especially not on an organizational level. Sure, savvy leaders can recognize that change is necessary to keep pace in a competitive landscape, or that change can ultimately make work life (and real life) easier, more productive and fun. Even still, change isn’t any less scary.

Migrating to Microsoft Office 365 is no exception. It will usually and understandably evoke some level of anxiety. When I meet with IT departments, a typical conversation begins with a careful explanation of the ways in which our CDW software services team can assist in the transition of their data environment to its new secure home in the cloud. That usually works to make IT comfortable with their role in the process of change. After hundreds of these conversations, though, I’ve noticed that the most insightful IT pros ask one particular follow-up question:

“What about the end users?”

It’s so easy to get absorbed in the intricacies and the how of the change that we lose sight of the why. And remember, the “why” of Office 365 is to make work for the end users easier, more productive and fun. That’s pretty hard to do if they’re just left flapping in the breeze as an afterthought. It’s also why I’m excited to introduce our partnership with BrainStorm and their QuickHelp program.

A Change for the Better

BrainStorm is a training company, one frequently tapped by Microsoft to train their own internal users and partners. Their QuickHelp program supports an Office 365 implementation in two key areas that few IT organizations are prepared to handle on their own:

  1. Customizing a prelaunch internal marketing strategy to get end users not just alerted to, but excited about the upcoming change
  2. Providing post-launch virtual training and help desk resources, to make sure that your end users get the most out of their new tools without putting undue stress on the IT department

The QuickHelp program typically begins 30 days before your planned deployment date for Office 365. You are assigned a trainer or concierge that helps you with important pre-deployment activities. First, they work with you to customize internal marketing materials, letting your users know that Office 365 is coming. These messages contain everything from best practices to prepare for the transition to tips about new helpful features that will really get your users excited.

But at the core of the program is the QuickHelp web portal. It’s an online library of thousands of short two-to-five minute instructional videos on different aspects of Office 365, including topics like how to add an email signature or activate a video conference. This library is searchable, but more importantly customizable. Your QuickHelp concierge will design recommended training plans for different parts of your organization. After all, your finance and sales departments probably use and value pretty different tools. Individual users can be assigned these custom training plans, and progress can be tracked from a central administration console. Finally, included in the program are monthly live instructor-led web trainings that delve deeply into specific product areas like data visualization in Microsoft Excel.

Give Your Help Desk A Break

QuickHelp works on a per-user, annual subscription model. BrainStorm openly admits that some organizations use their product solely for deployment support. However, a lot of my customers see value in the long-term relationship. After the first major deployment, QuickHelp can be used as an onboarding tool to get new hires up to speed on how your organization communicates. And imagine how much quieter your help desk would be if simple questions like “How do I share my screen?” were just a portal-search away.

You make the leap to Office 365 because you want it to be used. What’s the sense in making the shift if everyone’s too afraid to take advantage of it? Brainstorm’s QuickHelp program not only puts end users at ease with change, but also empowers them to make the most of it. The average QuickHelp customer sees five times higher internal usage of Office 365 features than those without it. So, if you’re looking for a way to excite and support your internal Office 365 customers, look no further.

If you’re searching for a way to maximize user productivity in Office365 talk with a CDW solution architect who can help you orchestrate the change that your organization needs.

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