The Road to Awesome SharePoint Adoption in your Organization

We have just returned from a wonderful experience at the lovely SharePoint Saturday Utah event. Simeon and I had the pleasure of speaking at our first SharePoint Saturday. I have attended many of the SharePoint Saturday events, donated Creative Maven bags for local Sacramento events and when I ran global marketing at AvePoint we must have sponsored at least 20-25 events a year, but neither of us had been a speaker. I have always loved the nature of these events - home grown, community based and with terrific content.

Our presentation was called The Road to Awesome SharePoint Adoption in your Organization with a focus on user adoption, change management and governance for Office 365 and SharePoint 2013.  Simeon and I decided to focus a bit on our history together as we both have been working on SharePoint for a long time.  He started in 1998 building the product that became SharePoint and I had the pleasure of being on the marketing team and pushing this new technology out into the world.  In building the deck over the course of a few weeks we started really going back and talking about all the projects we did together.  It is pretty amazing to do that with someone you've been friends and colleagues with for fifteen years.

Simeon took me through the original roll-out of SharePoint to the "business" meaning all of Microsoft at the time and how they did it and how it was to manage the datacenter and IT team that made it happen. We also laughed about how I accidentally deleted the first 125 case studies ever written about SharePoint and came running in a panic to their lab saying to him and Lonny Lippold - WHY isn't there a undo button in SharePoint?? Feedback up close and personal from eating our own dogfood introduced a recycle bin into the product.

Story after story kept coming and we got on a roll and started capturing our past together. I started digging and pulled up the brief from our "Accelerate with SharePoint" & "I Want My My Site" internal Microsoft campaign - which as the time was the largest internal user adoption campaign that had ever been done. This rolled out to 65,000 people at the time. This brief was a cookie cutter for how you push adoption through an organization. Simeon had brought up Steve Caravajal, Scott Jamison, Dux Raymond Sy & Mike Grafham’s awesome adoption whitepaper that came out in 2013 and we compared them side by side - funnily enough they were amazingly similar. 

With the issues with adoption continuing from the beginning of SharePoint's introduction to the world we built our presentation with our own personal stories from our collective past while embracing what is available now and giving some insights into what is the future.  We are lucky to have so many amazing colleagues who work in the area of user adoption daily - Sue Hanley, Rob Bogue, Penelope Coventry - and we referenced them heavily in our talk.  We went through the basics of an adoption checklist.  And we also gave a little demo of our product Content Panda which we think of as both a disruptor and one of the best catalysts for helping people change and adopt software & ideas in the marketplace today. 

Check out the presentation and if you have other thoughts or ideas or resources that we can put up to help businesses with adoption, please let us know.

2014 was a big year for Content Panda - getting a product to market and "ready" as a startup isn't easy and now having both the free version available for install and being able to finally talk about our premium version which allows for editing, tagging and adding a business's own content is unbelievably exciting.   

We'd like to thank the organizers of SPS Utah for giving us the opportunity and being our “first time” speaking at the SPS Events and being so lovely.

On a personal note, I can't say how lucky I feel to realize ideas and dreams with a good friend that I met across a foosball table in building 25 on Redmond campus so many years ago because of SharePoint.