Carrots not sticks get Microsoft employees to the cloud

Jan 30, 2017   |  

Companies getting ready to move their employees to the cloud always have one big question for Microsoft IT – how did you do it for your employees?

The secret is candy, and lots of it. Or at least candied carrots.

“We used Office 365 and the capabilities there as the carrot to get people into the cloud to organically just flock to Office 365,” says Jim Adams, a Microsoft IT technology evangelist. “The feature set is so rich, and the accessibility from any device, anywhere, anytime, including their phones, tablets, iPads, whatever, was sufficient to get mass adoption and viral adoption of things like OneDrive and OneDrive for Business.”

Adams told his story at this recent Microsoft IT Showcase roundtable question and answer discussion on moving to the cloud. At the session, subject matter experts like Adams answered top customer questions on how Microsoft IT moved its 114,000 employees to Office 365 and Microsoft Azure.

For Adams, the answer to the question was easy, get them on Office 365 and forget about it.

“They could simply get to their stuff without even thinking about it,” he says. “That’s a pretty powerful incentive – if couched properly, and if you make a concerted effort to educate your people as to the benefits of the cloud versus what they traditionally use, it almost becomes a no-brainer to adopt the cloud in mass.”

Another reason for quick and wide adoption is it became much easier for employees to park their stuff in the cloud than on their hard drive, says David Johnson, a senior IT program manager who specializes in SharePoint.

Going from storing stuff all over the place to OneDrive for Business is something employees appreciate because it makes their lives much simpler – store everything in one place and access it from any device, Johnson says.

Making it easy was a big deal.

“Our employees’ content came from out of the woodwork because they were storing it in other places they probably shouldn’t have been storing it,” Johnson says. “if we can’t empower employees, we’re doing something wrong and they’re going to work around us. Employee empowerment is key.”

Other topics discussed at the roundtable ranged from asking what Microsoft is doing to secure the cloud, to how it monitors employee use of Office 365, to how Microsoft Azure supports Internet of Things scenarios.

Click here to watch the full webinar. Look for a list of time-stamped questions where you can watch Adams, Johnson, and other IT experts answer top customer questions on how Microsoft moved its employees to the cloud.

To get the full story on how Microsoft IT uses the cloud, go to our Cloud at Microsoft online course at Microsoft Virtual Academy here. There are 21 modules within the course and each is made up several short, easy-to-digest videos.

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