Why Onboarding is Key to Driving Office 365™ Adoption

Written by Malini Rakheja on Mar 29, 2016

The demand for Office 365™ among SMBs moving to the cloud continues to rise with over 50,000 new small and medium-sized businesses signing up every month!

Service providers and VARs alike are looking to get their share of the pie, leveraging Microsoft’s Cloud Solution Provider (CSP) program to resell and bundle Office 365™ with their own services and other cloud applications.

As more players get into the space, having a compelling value proposition will be core to increasing service activations and expanding into selling additional value added services (VAS) and other SaaS later on.

So what is that value prop? At AppHelp, we believe the first key component to a successful Office 365™ reseller strategy is human-assisted onboarding. By offering your customers expert onboarding services, which can include everything from activation, setup and configuration of their services, to getting their data migrated quickly and safely, your customers can start seeing immediate value from their investment while establishing your brand as a trusted partner in their business.

Jared Spataro, general manager of Enterprise Social at Microsoft, says it best in his blog post:

"If you’ve worked with new technologies before, you know that a real success story takes more than just making the tools available. To really get the most out of an investment in a new technology, you have to help people understand what they can do with it."

No onboarding. No usage.

Onboarding isn’t just beneficial for increasing service activation rates, it contributes to the overall customer experience delivered by your brand. New research by TSIA shows that product consumption is actually the best indicator of customer satisfaction and loyalty.

"Measuring consumption and adoption is the most crucial—customers will not abandon technology they are using on a daily basis."

Yet an under-served majority of small businesses are charting the new Office 365™ landscape without the expertise needed to fully benefit from all that the software has to offer.

Office 365™ MVP, Steve Noel, who has helped deploy Office 365™ to thousands of businesses, says the learning curve can be steep for users.

“Users take for granted that Office 365™ is going to be easy to use because it’s in the cloud,” he tells AppHelp. “But one of the biggest hurdles is that end-users sign up and then activity stops.” Often, the challenge is getting Office 365™ properly integrated into their business.

Research from Better Cloud paints a similar picture. In a survey of more than 1500 IT professionals, 44% of respondents using Office 365™ chose “unfamiliarity with the browser-based experience (as opposed to desktop)” as a primary barrier to adoption.

That said, these adoption issues can be quickly turned around by giving users access to expert advisors who will take the time to get a thorough understanding of a customer’s business in order to help them achieve the benefits they seek from their Office 365™ solution.

The benefits of partnering with AppHelp

High quality onboarding is one of the most essential features to driving adoption of Office 365™. Done well, it can be a brand-building asset that showcases what customers can count on from your products, services, and people.

As a recent addition to the AppDirect family, AppHelp’s white label onboarding services can be integrated into your cloud marketplace to help you increase adoption of Office 365™ and deliver the complementary services that your SMB customers want.

The benefits:

Why-Onboarding-is-Key-to-Drive-Office-36

Contact us and onboard your first Office 365™ customer today!