What are the main issues with Office 365 adoption?

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Hello everyone, just a quick question, I’m just trying to understand the common issues people are facing when adopting Office 365. What are the kind of main issues when getting your colleagues to start using Office 365? Keen to hear some of the challenges and how you overcame them!

8 Replies

From what I have experienced you cannot just show them the applications and say hey look at what this can do, look at this functionality. You need to find a specific use case for them that applies to their every day workflow. If you can prove that this part of Office 365 will somehow make their lives easier then they will take the time to learn...i.e. do you have a coworker in accounting that is printing and handing off invoices for someone to review and approve? "Hey did you know you can save that document in SharePoint and have it automate with Microsoft Flow to the manager for payment sign off? think of how much time you will save."


Once you can show them one efficiency in Office 365 then that helps drive the desire to learn more and find other automation in workflows. Without that one use case it is just another thing they have to add into their busy work day to learn about and so you see minimal adoption.


It also helps to find people within your organization who are passionate about the technology and love to learn...form a group of super users who can help drive enthusiasm about the product to the rest.


There is also a handy guide here:


One of the things that I have found is that as an organization moves forward, training becomes an issue. As technology professionals, we will have to start to either train our fellow employees or train the trainers to get that knowledge out to the organization. The days of organic learning are gone because everyone is trained to have quick results.


If we deploy an application and do not train our end users successfully, that product will fail and it will sour all of your Office 365 adoption project.

I think we constantly overestimate or over assume the level of technical skills in the workplace.  Teams is not just another way of accessing and creating documents it is a complete mind shift in approach for everyday working and it frightens people.  When rolling out teams, the digital literacy gap has to be understood and addressed or people will left feeling alienated 

@chriskaye365 wrote:

 Teams is not just another way of accessing and creating documents it is a complete mind shift in approach for everyday working and it frightens people.

Yes, I would agree that Teams is a mind shift but I believe that it is more about resisting change. Even in technology departments that use Office 365 daily and know how to use it do not want to go along with the implementation. It changes the way they will work and that comfort in how they currently do their processes.


All change is scary and people will fight change. We just have to be diligent and continue to champion adoption of Office 365. It will help our businesses move toward the future of technology.

Very insightful Shaun, what activities do you put in place to help with adoption specifically?

@Deleted  For starters, I was able to do End User training, giving an over view of what MS Teams is and how to do some basic tasks. Also, in this training, show some of the additional features that were not available in Skype for Business. 


Last week, we recruited department champions and held a demo scenario with MS Teams to show how collaboration works and to allow the champions to see how to do things first hand. This demo garnered the most excitement with Teams because these champions saw the benefits and now will be able to go back to their departments and help when we go to Teams Only mode on Thursday.

best response confirmed by Deleted

Very much agree on the use case scenarios. There's so much you can talk about but you need to link it something staff would use.


I'm starting off overview sessions and after the first session I said to myself "This is the worse sales pitch I've heard. I don't care if they never use it, just want them aware of it and if they have a use for it".


With my second session, I'm going to focus on collaboration and communication, get them to come up with challenges and user cases themselves and modify the overview based on that. (We'll see how well this works in practice!)


My other issue is somethings the functionality just isn't there sometimes. It might look like Office 365 can do this but when you drill down deeper there's an issue. OneDrive adoption isn't great because staff are used to working with external people and having a smooth sync experience. Requesting sign off with Flow approvals was met with "this record is locked and we can't update it". We can work around it but there's issues sometimes.

Some of the issues I've been coming across in my organization is trying to play catch up. We leveraged other technologies where Microsoft hadn't invested, and now these have become very sticky (Okta/Box etc:) I work in a very large organzation (25k + users) so training all of my users to leverage any of these technologies is tough. When I go back to leadership to show them how far the Microsoft stack has come in a relative short amount of time, I am often met with, well we just spent X million of dollars rolling out these other solutions, what are we getting out of it?

The cost of getting onto O365 has been a huge challenge for me in my organization. I generally try to hit them over the head with the stack vs individual best of breed application argument. In some cases it works, in other cases its just too much money to change the technology internally ( retraining users, documentation, serviceability etc: )


I am not even talking about the licenses, we have those, but they are quickly becoming shelf ware.