People have largely been working the same way, since the rise of Windows. So the transition to a new workspace, after working in the same manner for 15 years, is huge. Therefore, adoption is an essential element to keep in mind, while choosing a digital workspace. Recently, a care institution with 1,700 employees started using Workspace 365. Our Customer Success Maker, Georgia oversaw the transition to the adaptive workspace.

Before an organisation transitions to a new workspace, it’s good to know what you want to change. As an adaptive workspace automatically adapts to someone’s role, device and location, it’s vital to know what each employee group will be using in the workspace.

Georgia: “The care institution researched the role their intranet and Office 365 would have within their digital workspace. They discovered that introducing Office 365 would only complicate their business processes.

After discussing this with their IT service provider, they ended up exploring Workspace 365. In the introductory meeting, we immediately pointed out the importance of workspace adoption and how it can impact work.”

Adoption digital workspace

What to look for when choosing a digital workspace

Georgia: “After the first meeting, we set up an adoption plan for the entire organisation. Besides a strong inventory plan, we also found it important to give the workspace a fitting name right away.

By giving the workspace a ‘humanlike’ name, the workspace appears more personal to the people who are less skilled in IT. This makes it easier to roll out the workspace in the organisation because we’re no longer talking about a product, but something that’s custom-made for the organisation.”

To increase the satisfaction of the workspace, it’s key to pay attention to the personalisation of the entire workspace. This means that to every person who logs in, relevant information and applications are shown. It’s also important to incorporate your current applications, but also new relevant information sources and intranet components.

Ultimate guide to digital workspace adoption Workspace 365

How do you increase adoption for new and mobile employees?

It’s of great significance that mobile and new employees are able to learn how to use the workspace independently. This is important for mobile employees since you can’t always bring them together for a training session.

Georgia explains how the care institution handles this.

To start off, we organised sessions with key users of the workspace, with whom we’ve collectively designed the workspace. Then it was announced to a larger group during a training session and several enthusiastic people were selected to act as ambassadors in different locations, to inform people of the new workspace and to help them with all their questions. In the first week, they wore printed clothes, to make the ambassadors noticeable and to lower the barrier to speak with them.

The ambassadors also gathered feedback to further personalise the workspace with the right applications, forms and communication channels. For instance, the care providers, who visit clients, preferred support through chat, while people from the head office rather walked over to their IT helpdesk.”

After the goal of the workspace was established, an inventory session took place and the workspace was designed, it was time for the launch.

Tools within Workspace 365 to increase the adoption

To make sure that people, who are new to the organisation or work in other locations, can start working instantly without training, there are several tools within the workspace with which they can find information themselves.

The tools below are useful to increase the adoption for the mobile workforce, such as people who work from home, students or care workers who visit patients. The care institution used these tools to increase the adoption of their digital workspace, Workspace 365:

  1. Introduction video in which one of their co-workers, as ‘captain’ (a sort of workspace influencer), shows them what you can do with the workspace.
  2. How to tile with all relevant explainer videos per person. The videos are available based on permissions that have been assigned by the admin. This way, you can, for example, only see the video about the Document App if you have access to it.
  3. Chat integration with which a care worker can instantly search through the organisation’s knowledge base or contact someone from the IT helpdesk whenever there’s an IT issue. Consequently, the care worker can continue their work instantly, without losing focus on the patient.
  4. Analytics connection to measure the use of the workspace and its functionalities.
  5. Application management which allows applications to only be accessible through the workspace. This increases adoption since people can only open their applications in one safe way. Furthermore, people only see relevant applications based on their role, device, browser, location and more.
  6. News messages and social feeds in the workspace cause people to go back and check for new messages. This gives the organisation’s communication department more visibility. They integrate news from SharePoint, though you can also choose to use the Announcements tile, with which you can also measure the number of views and likes.
  7. The feedback button within Workspace 365 to get a response from employees.

Adoption personas Workspace 365 banner

Work more efficiently due to a higher adoption

“Because they properly considered adoption, even before choosing a digital workspace, they were able to choose a workspace that they can extensively personalise. Their own intranet has been integrated within the workspace, which encourages employees to use it.

Also, they’ve given it a name, causing people to feel more connected to the workspace. All separate portals and document locations have been reduced to one environment. By using Single Sign-On in this environment, every employee has access to all applications and information with just one login. Consequently, care workers have half an hour to spare every week and everyone works more efficiently and effectively”, says Georgia.

 

Are you researching new workspaces or are you curious about the adoption process? Contact us.

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Georgia Post

Customer Success Maker

Do you have questions about Workspace 365 or do you want to become partner? Contact us!

95% of Managed Service Provider (MSP) customers have switched MSPs when unhappy with the service they received. Meeting customer needs and expectations is therefore crucial to MSPs, though the expectations of IT leaders have changed. MSPs are no longer solely a vendor of IT products and services, but have become important business partners to organisations. The role of MSPs is changing. One of the reasons for this changing role, are their customers’ changing expectations.

The role of IT in organisations has changed as well – basically every organisation relies on it to some degree, and many of them heavily do. Organisations are transforming into digital businesses that move quickly and agilely, implementing technologies into all aspects of the organisation to deliver optimal value to their customers.

This changes what the IT leaders of these organisations need from their MSP, as they need to contribute to achieving organisational goals, realising growth and enabling innovation – thus, a critical role.

The extra mile has become the new standard

Many MSPs have already adapted to this, creating new expectations for others to uphold. What many MSPs have marketed before as ‘going the extra mile’-services, have now turned into expectations – the new standard. And meeting these needs is vital for the success of an MSP.

So, what do IT leaders expect from their Managed Service Provider?

  • In-depth expertise and skills
  • Extensive knowledge of the market & customer
  • Custom(ised) services and solutions
  • A transparent partnership
  • Great attention to security & compliance
  • Adaptive methodology and mindset
  • Around-the-clock availability
  • Adding additional resource management value

Expectation 1: In-depth expertise and skills

Let’s start with an obvious one, because one of the most important reasons to outsource anything is to utilise external expertise, or capacity you may not have internally.

But nowadays, this goes beyond purely the knowledge of the technological systems the MSP implements and manages. The workings of the partnership between an organisation and their MSP are changing and shifting more and more towards an extension of the own IT department, instead of an entire department that operates separately, externally. And just as you would want to hire the best people for your IT department, IT leaders are getting more critical about who they’re getting into bed with.

Having a fixed offering of services and products and being good at offering it is no longer enough. IT leaders expect expertise on multiple levels and multiple technologies, and for their MSP to be informed on the latest developments. More and more it’s expected that the skills are there to not only find and implement new solutions, but especially developed and customise them for the customer as well.

What does this mean for an MSP?

These high expectations regarding the knowledge and skillset, require a special kind of mindset from the MSP. They can’t rely on solely having and hiring people with knowledge of existing technologies anymore. They need to develop a culture that embraces learning, creation and innovation, and an open mind.

This could implicate that MSPs will expand their business externally as well, building networks and making more use of external knowledge and talent around the globe, to expand their learning capacity and “crowdsource” knowledge for their customers.

Expectation 2: Extensive knowledge of the market & customer

Each company has a different culture, challenges, internal technological skills, and a different way to operate. And the market in which the company operates, is different from all other markets as well.

Today, IT leaders expect MSPs to (get to) know all of these aspects that makes their market, and their company, unique. Before even partnering with an MSP, many require them to be experienced with the current state and developments in their industry. They need to know what’s going on; the state of IT in their specific market. As Sriram Thiagarajan, CIO of Ancestry said in an article by TechTarget:

“We need to keep up with things as they change, and we’re relying on [the MSP’s] knowledge and skills as the industry moves ahead”.

And during the partnership, the MSP should always stay informed on the goings-on in their customers’ organisation.

What does this mean for an MSP?

MSPs need to look outside their own organisation and market, and into those of their customers. This probably means that some investment in market research and acquiring market insights is required.

Furthermore, time needs to be invested in getting to know the organisation and needs of customers. Not just beforehand, but building a relationship to continually stay informed.

Another way to go about this, is by specialising in specific markets. You can see already see many MSPs reacting to this expectation in this manner. Some specialise departments, others their entire business, to completely focus on specific verticals and completely immerse themselves in their market, in order to cater to them as well as possible.

Expectation 3: Custom(ised) services and solutions

You know the technology and solutions. You know the customer, and the market it operates in. Now make sure that those elements are perfectly aligned.

MSP customers expect that their unique needs are a priority. A selection of standard product and service packages won’t cut it; the deep understanding we talked about earlier needs to be put into action. They do not only expect the best, but it should also be tailored to their organisation, their goals, their processes and their challenges. Whether that’s achieved by creating an ultimate mix of different technologies and services, customising them to align to the organisation perfectly, or developing something new – or all of the above.

What does this mean for an MSP?

You can’t just get by offering the same products and services to every customer. There should be a great focus on the possibility for customisation, and on a flexible mindset. Don’t just rely on what’s already there, but on what could be there as well. If a customer needs something you don’t currently offer, they expect you to find it for them (or even develop it), or they’ll take their business to someone who does.

In order to do so, we already see mergers between many MSPs to create a larger knowledge base over a greater variety of verticals and technologies, and expand their offerings. Though another way would be to get this expertise externally, and partner with other organisations to for instance obtain the developing power to build custom solutions or expand the product range.

Furthermore, it’s recommendable for MSPs to focus on offering highly adaptable solutions from vendors that constantly innovate and collaborate on their solution, such as Workspace 365.

Expectation 4: A transparent partnership

With IT being such a crucial part of any organisation, IT leaders are not going to just ‘let go’ of everything the MSP manages and just trust it will be fine. Not only do MSPs have to earn that trust, they have to prove it as well.

IT leaders don’t just want to hear everything is going great – they want to see it. They want to know what the MSP is doing, about the states of their systems, and what the results of their efforts are. That’s why more and more IT leaders are asking for tangible ‘evidence’ of the MSPs performance, most preferably though data.

What does this mean for an MSP?

MSPs have to have a good overview of what they’re doing for a specific customer – and why, in order to explain why they made certain decisions and do things a certain way, if asked. Systems must be in place to track the results of their efforts.

This requires both good internal and external communication. First of all, it’s best if the customer has one point of contact within the MSP, with whom they deal with every time and who keeps track of the customers’ projects, satisfaction, etcetera; an Account Manager, for example.

Secondly, efficient internal communication needs to happen at the MSP, to make sure that such an Account Manager is completely up to speed, and all this tracked information from different people and departments is collected, united, organised, accessible and ready to be shared with the customer.

Expectation 5: Great attention to security & compliance

You could call cybersecurity a ‘hot topic’, though the truth is that it’ll probably never cool down. In this digital age, technology is everywhere, hackers are getting smarter and privacy and data regulations are getting stricter. The security of an organisation’s systems is vital – often even to its survival, since data breaches and hacked systems can have dire consequences.

With more and more organisations integrating technology into every aspect of their business, this security has also become more complicated. Increased security concerns is one of the top reasons for IT budget increases in 2021. That’s why security demands are one of the leading reasons companies seek out MSPs, with Managed Security Services taking the number 4 spot in Managed Services spend. Companies expect MSPs to support them in creating an advanced cybersecurity strategy, effectively maintaining it, while giving clear insight into how and where their data is being stored.

What does this mean for an MSP?

Every MSP should have in-house expertise on cybersecurity. The expertise to seek out the right systems and solutions, the expertise to monitor them, and the expertise to advise their customer on how to keep their digital business safe.

Furthermore, as we discussed earlier, the MSP of today is a business partner, not just a supplier. This could mean that companies will increasingly expect them not to only provide and monitor systems, but to assist in coaching and training employees on cybersecurity as well. This entails that MSPs should not only have the in-house expertise to implement, monitor and advise, but also to transfer this knowledge to others.

Also, with security threats coming from around the globe and hackers not working nine to five, neither should you. If security threats of breaches to occur, MSPs can’t just wait until office hours start again to fix them. We’ll get further into this around-the-clock availability later on in this article.

Expectation 6: Adaptive methodology and mindset

The market and consumer expectations change rapidly. Organisations need to be more agile than ever to keep up or stay ahead. What works today, may not enable you to win tomorrow. In order for an MSP to become a long-term business partner, they need to do the same.

Therefore, there’s a growing need for continuous improvement and innovation. MSPs should both enable this, and embrace this in their own business as well. MSPs are now expected to continuously innovate, improve their products and services and search for the new and the best. They should proactively anticipate developments and contribute ideas, instead of just making changes when asked and lagging behind events. As Rajeev Ronanki, Senior Vice President and Chief Digital Officer of Anthem said in an article by TechTarget:

“Agility drives everything for us, and we work to ensure the MSPs fit into that model. They need to be adaptive”.

What does this mean for an MSP?

In order to cater to digital businesses, MSPs need to become digital businesses themselves. Contradictive to what some may think, being in the business of digital does not a digital business make; it’s so much more than that.

It’s about innovating and failing quickly, and learning from failures. It’s about letting everyone in the organisation contribute ideas, and encouraging learning and development. It’s about using technology in every possible aspect of the business, in order to improve all business processes, facilitating efficient collaboration and to stay ahead of the curve.

Want to know more about becoming a digital business? Check out our Ultimate Guide to Digital Transformation.

Workspace 365 Ultimate guide to digital transformation

Expectation 7: Around-the-clock availability

As mentioned before, hackers won’t wait for office hours. And neither will system failures, downtimes, crashes and other calamities.

Companies hire MSPs to make sure their systems are being taken care of. All the time. So when problems occur, they expect their MSP to be fully committed to resolving them and restoring systems – whether it’s 9 A.M. or 9 P.M.

What does this mean for an MSP?

“Not a nine to five mentality” just got a lot more meaningful. Leaving the office at the end of the day with nothing other than an answering machine for calls until the next morning is not done. As an MSP you hold a big responsibility to your customers and their business, and you’ve reassured them their IT was in good hands with you. Now make sure it is. There should always be an after-hours (emergency) service available, with people ready to fix any occurring problems.

Expectation 8: Adding additional resource management value

IT is more than just systems to help people do their work; the role of IT is so much bigger now. It’s there to streamline processes, increase productivity, improve information- and data sharing, you name it.

Something all those things have in common, is that they free up time, money and manpower to spend on important matters: the things that add value to the business, such as creation and innovation. In fact, a survey by Apps Associates showed that 86% of IT decision-makers said that an MSP partnership would permit IT to focus on critical corporate initiatives.

As a business partner, MSPs are expected to actively contribute to freeing up these resources. To spot processes that can be done more effectively, data that can flow more freely, and advise and implement IT to realise this.

What does this mean for an MSP?

MSPs need to get more involved with their customers’ business than ever before. You should no longer just be an expert in IT, but an expert on how IT can improve one’s business too. Besides technology, MSPs need to elaborate on strategy as well. Expanding the range of services and expertise, and offering a more holistic approach and partnership to their customer.

Final thoughts

Many Managed Service Providers need to drastically rethink the way they offer their products and services, in order to meet expectations. Their customer is no longer just that, but they’ve become long-term partners that expect a two-way street of collaboration and knowledge sharing. In order to accommodate this, MSPs need to transform and embrace the new way of doing business.

Are you an MSP and are you curious about how Workspace 365 can enhance your workspace proposition? Request a partnership program.

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