MS Inspire 2018: User Adoption, a New Strategic Driver for Customer Success.
July 23, 2018
Everyone seems to know it – there is no use of new technology, if it is not used. Still, most of the business applications are taken into use with no or very little user training. And when trained, the content is mostly about technical features.
This easily leaves user frustrated and out of motivation to use solutions resulting into poor return of investment for businesses. In the era of cloud services, it means also a risk for technology providers. When licenses are moved from perpetual to monthly subscriptions, customers are free to sign off the service at any time, leaving the technology provider out of income.
So no wonder one of the new initiatives P-CSM program announced in Microsoft Inspire was about the user adoption and how to ensure customer success in Microsoft’s most important business application areas Microsoft 365 and Dynamics 365. In following, I will look at the user adoption from perspective of technology providers and implementation partners.
User adoption ensures recurring revenue
For solution providers user adoption is the only way to succeed. Provided cloud service is easy to activate, but as easy to leave as well. Unless the companies get expected value of the service, they will find similar from elsewhere. This results into high level of churn. And more often than not the reason is user adoption. Even with the greatest usability, for user to be motivated in using a solution, one needs to know what it can provide to him. There is always the first time to use and if benefits are not crystal clear, it is always that much harder to get users to return.
Microsoft’s data also shows that pure technology implementation business is decreasing – in case of Office 365 almost one fifth. In contrast, user adoption services are a growing business for years to come. Best of all for the partner, instead of one technology project, you can shift your income stream to ongoing support off business needs.
User adoption is the key for fast ROI
Any business solution investment should pay off as an investment. The faster the return of investment is the more valuable it is for the buyer and easier to sell. The key for fast deployment and followed benefits is naturally the rate of how quickly the solution is adopted into use. Despite the greatest design, very few business applications are self explanatory. That is already the case simply because they are not designed to help an individual needs, but to support corporate function. Therefore, there is always need for reasoning and support.
However, for a service provider and especially a implementation partner there is another important aspect to notice. If the customer users are not adopting the new technology into use, key users of the solution have to invest a lot of time into training and communication. Their focus is in supporting old other than thinking of the next development project or new features to be used. Ensuring fast user adoption does not only secure the future of current solution. It also results in new sales opportunities in faster pace.
User adoption differentiates from competition
Although the need for user adoption is obvious, very few technology companies or buyers really pay attention to it. It is something that a lot of us take for granted or doesn’t see there need. After all the assignment was to implement a new solution rather than fix a problem.
However, a growing number of customers have awaken into the high failure rates of IT projects. According to Microsoft e.g. 75 % of CRM project failures are caused due to lack of user adoption. Therefore, the most successful companies have either integrated user adoption into their implementation model or they are building a separate practice to ensure long term success of the delivered solutions. Although not all customers are specifically asking these capabilities, being able to address the concern of long-term value, gives technology provider an edge over their competition.
User adoption is not something that you can just buy. It is an end result of solution capabilities and set of activities to ensure high usability and understanding. Activities involve communication, training, and on going support to ensure user satisfaction each time to make then come back.
See how award winning Single Click Learning service Happit can help Micorsoft partners to ensure higher user adoption services followed by greater success.