SPC 2012: Chris Bortlik’s ‘Overview of the Top 10 Ways that SharePoint Will Help Drive End User Adoption’

On Wednesday afternoon, Chris Bortlik, a SharePoint Collaboration Technology Specialist at Microsoft, presented the final SPC session that I was able to attend.  Chris explained that his job involves working with enterprise customers externally, and with the Product and Engineering teams internally at Microsoft.  For his SPC session, devoted to the top ten ways that SharePoint will help drive end-user adoption, he said that his focus would be on SharePoint capabilities.

Referencing the Technology Adoption Curve, Chris said that his favorite equation is A = V > C, explaining that this translates as Adoption equals Value greater than Change.  In other words, “people have to see that there’s value in changing.”  As a result, Chris said that adoption occurs when: you’re solving a problem; you can demonstrate “what’s in it for me?”; you find a better or different way of doing things; and, not least, when incentives and rewards are offered.

Chris then went on to share several demos in the form of scenarios to demonstrate adoption, beginning with what he called a “getting answers” scenario.  Beginning by posting a question in his Newsfeed, Chris employed a hashtag that others could be following.  Chris mentioned that users can also post directly to a private team from the Newsfeed.  Triggering a sense of déjà vu in me, Chris then posted to a Community site, referencing reputation point acquisition and the Best reply functionality that I had seen extensively demoed earlier in the day.  Searching on a term, Chris showed how you can discover documents, jump into specific sections directly from the search results, and follow a document, person, or site directly.  We then looked at social conversations and at forums in communities/areas with a Best reply marked.  Chris also showed how to set up an email alert when someone comments on a post.  These tactics have been in use at Microsoft (on SharePoint 2013) since early this year, and Chris identified as being key elements in getting answers: Newsfeed, Community sites, search, and email alerts.

For his second scenario, Chris addressed the need to work with others to collaborate on a campaign.  The new ability to put a task-based timeline directly onto the homepage of a team site was his starting point, and Chris demonstrated that Add to Timeline is possible for individual tasks (as is Create Sub-task).  Using OneNote for notes that are then automatically synchronized in SharePoint, Chris went on to demo that collaborative authoring directly in a Web browser is available for PowerPoint, Excel, and Word.  Chris also showed that flagging a conversation for follow-up automatically sets a new task for oneself.  Key elements in this scenario were: timeline, tasks, shared Notebooks, and collaborative authoring.

A flexible work scenario was next on the docket, addressing bring your own device (BYOD) policies, and mobile workers needing anywhere, anytime access.  SkyDrive Pro was Chris’ starting point here, with documents stored locally then, when connected, syncing to SkyDrive.  Chris explained that offline sync is also available.  Discussing the new Office on Demand feature in Office 365, Chris said that it allows you to use full-featured Office 2013 on up to three machines (PC, Mac, and some mobile devices) anywhere without having to install the clients.  When sharing a document, Chris showed how you can now assign view or edit rights on the fly.  As well, mobile features are embedded so that you can easily work with social information when on the go.  Key elements in this scenario were: Office 365, Office on Demand, SkyDrive Pro, and mobile applications.

For his final scenario, an onboarding process to learn SharePoint, Chris began by showing that the Ribbon has been removed by default on newly created sites. Consistent navigation elements, however, are present throughout to aid end-users in getting their footing and finding their way around.  Clicking to Add an App to a site, Chris said that the “SharePoint store makes it very simple to discover and add new apps that are out there.”  Chris explained that your own store can accommodate corporate or public apps. Happily, Bamboo’s own early addition to the SharePoint store, our World Clock & Weather App was used by Chris as an example of a publicly available app.  Explaining the ease of use of the free app, Chris said, “I set this up in two minutes.”


Key elements in the above scenario were the Getting Started area (“live tiles to help new users adjust”), improved look and feel (“more personable and friendly”), and enhanced end-user language (“to make it easier to digest changes”).

With that, Chris shared his list of the Top 10 Ways that SharePoint Will Help Drive End User Adoption:

10. Community sites (badges, ratings, reputation, etc.)

9.  Newsfeeds (mentions, notifications, trending, and following)

8.  Office 365 (anywhere access, Office on Demand, regular quarterly updates, and external sharing)

7.  Mobile applications (social, Office Web apps, channels, and SkyDrive Pro)

6.  Search (previews, social, people, and actionable results)

5.  Tasks (follow-ups, tasks view, timeline, and personal team)

4.  SkyDrive Pro (Windows Explorer integration, drag & drop, offline access, and personal storage)

3.  Sharing (simple invites, email alerts, etc.)

2.  Collaboration (collaborative authoring, comments, presence, and shared Notebooks)

1.  End-user focus (getting started, messaging, look and feel, and apps)

In conclusion, regarding the most critical element in successfully driving end-user adoption, Chris said that “the key is [to] think about solving a business problem.”  Also important is the need to cultivate early adopters and reward them by recognizing and publicizing top contributors.   “Really seek[ing] to try to make it viral” should be your goal from the outset.

Missed any of Bamboo Nations SPC 2012 coverage? Catch up here:

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