Recently at Microsoft Ignite, I co-presented with my wife Megan Strant on some of the challenges we’ve come across over our many years working with Office 365 across hundreds of customers of all sizes, industries, and countries.
What I would say is that a lot of the points we cover may seem obvious, but I am personally alarmed on a regular basis how many times I come across organisations that fit into many of the covered topics.
Earlier this week, Microsoft unveiled it’s brand new Service Adoption Specialist course in partnership with edX. I had early access to this and completed it rather quickly thanks to it still being somewhat of a holiday period locally.
The course is free to audit, but if you want to add a certificate it will cost $99 USD. There are assessments along the way, so it’s not just a certificate of completion – it’s a validation of knowledge and learning.
As someone who has worked with Office 365 since its predecessor BPOS in the late 00’s, I can put my hand on heart and say that this is the course that everyone who works with Office 365 needs complete. I say this as someone who has done a lot of Microsoft certifications over my career (dating back to MCSE on NT 4.0), and most recently the Office 365 technical exams.
One thing I will say is that the information learnt in this course is not rocket science – especially for those who have been working in change management for a long time. For those who aren’t involved in change management; this may cause some serious learning and impact to existing approaches. Where I referred to ‘everyone’ in the previous paragraph; I mean it – even if you are a technical specialist or just a champion involved in your organisation’s program.
I live and breathe change, because my wife is a change manager and has been working with Office 365 for the past 6 years. That being said, she has been involved in change management outside of Office 365 because the reality is: change is everywhere. And it is because of that that I repeat my sentiment that everyone should do this course because in this new world of constant change we are all in some way involved in its delivery; from being a change manager, to a technical specialist, right down to an end user.
Completing this course (whether you pay for the certification or not) will give people an appreciation of what is involved in successfully driving adoption with Office 365, but more importantly: the skills and knowledge gained in this course can be applied anywhere and on any type of change.
Check out the latest episode of 365 Unplugged where Alistair Pugin and I discuss this course, and below that where my wife Megan and I talk to Anna Chu from Microsoft about adoption in Office 365.