Extending the Bamboo Branch: Sharing CIEWG’s Successful SharePoint Rollout at Microsoft Ignite

This blog is the final installment in Content Panda’s series depicting a company’s journey to adopt Microsoft SharePoint. Catch up by reading last week’s post.    

“The boarding door is now closed. Please turn off all large electronic devices and place your mobile phones on airplane mode,” the flight attendant announced to everyone on the flight to Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. 

John closed the lid on his laptop, took a deep breath, and closed his eyes. He visualized taking the stage on Day 1 of Microsoft Ignite, one of the largest technology conferences of the year, to share how CIEWG made the leap to SharePoint.   

He was always a man focused on binary code and server farms, not speaking to large crowds. It had been a wild few months for John and his team of SharePoint champions. From convincing the new president and CEO to purchase SharePoint to putting together a comprehensive plan to educate, train, and sustain users on SharePoint, John couldn’t believe how far they had come 

The results spoke for themselves, though. After deploying first to the new hire class, the team expanded to other departments and realized even better adoption and usage results. They had found the right mix of people, process, and technology to make SharePoint stick at CIEWGAdditionally, John found a reason to enjoy coming to work again. He wanted to make that point clear at Ignite.  

After an uneventful flight, John made his way to the hotel and received all his registration materials for the conference. Only a short cab ride away from the Atlanta Zoo, John decided he would spend his night going back to where it all began – with a panda 

The Atlanta Zoo, situated in the historic Grant Park neighborhood, is home to the only giant panda twins in the U.S., Mei Lun and Mei HuanAs John watched them frolic among the bamboo trees and gardens, he felt a wave of assurance wash over him. My presentation will go well tomorrow, he thought to himself as he walked away smiling.   

After a good night’s sleep, John sat next to his boss Jane, CIEWG’s CIO as he waited his turn to take the stage on Day One of Ignite. He knew if this went well, he could make a solid case for the promotion he wanted for the last five years.  

We know the power SharePoint and Office 365 have to offer companies all over the world. We do find, however, there are still challenges with user adoption,” Julie, a Microsoft product executive, explained to the crowd. “I’m happy to share with you a success story of a chemical manufacturing company, CIEWG, completely reinventing how they collaborate in just a few months with Microsoft SharePoint. We thought it would be better to have CIEWG here to tell you the story. Please welcome the Senior IT Manager who led the successful rollout of SharePoint, John!” 

Everyone applauded as John took a deep breath and took the stage. He pressed the forward button on his remote presentation device, illuminating a huge picture of Hope the Panda throughout the main stage and television screens throughout the Georgia Convention Center. “You may be wondering what a panda has to do with SharePoint,” John started. “It’s more about what the panda can do for our traditional way of working. They have fun, but they also are serious about getting bamboo and other food they need for survivalWe always work hard at CIEWG, but we lacked joy while doing it. Information was hard to find. People couldn’t figure out who to work with on projects. When you spend more of your time finding information than actually doing your job, it’s hard to want to spend at least eight hours a day in the office. We set out to change that with Microsoft SharePoint, and did so in just a few months. I’m excited to share with you how we were able to do accomplish this. 

John then identified the 11 steps to successful SharePoint adoption, from defining the vision and use cases to getting the right people and technology in place to help create an unforgettable user experience. He was afraid he would speak too quickly, but as he looked down toward the end of his presentation, he saw the clock about to hit 0:00.  

“Thank you for your time, and I look forward to answering any questions you may have throughout the week here at the conference,” John concluded to a roar of applause from the crowd.  

“John, that was fantastic,” Jane said as John took his seat next to her. “I’m really impressed with the way you were able to keep the crowd engaged. Your slides were fantastic as well. I know we still have a lot of work to do with completing the SharePoint rollout, but it’s time we promote you to Senior Director of IT. You’ve finally found the right mix of process and people to augment the great work you’ve done with our technology for years. The rest of the company should respect you as much as Andrew and I do.”  

“That’s fantastic – thank you so much, Jane,” John said excitedly as he got his phone out to text his wife. Turns out he wouldn’t need his retirement countdown clock anymore. Thanks to his team, Hope the Panda, and Microsoft SharePoint, he was helping create a company he’d be excited to work for as long as he could.  

We hope you enjoyed our blog series highlighting CIEWG’s road to SharePoint success! Learn more about how Content Panda works seamlessly with you to increase adoption, simplify training and support, promote governance, and centralize management of your SharePoint deployment by visiting our website 

*While the story mirrors a typical SharePoint deployment, the people, places, and company names used are all fictitious. No pandas were harmed in the making of this blog series, either.      

Written by Co-Founder and CMO, Heather Newman

Once a month we share expert opinions on end user adoption, Office 365 and SharePoint that we like from our community.  Receive our next issue by signing up here.