Would Microsoft Teams be used more effectively if customers had to pay for it rather than it being bundled for “free” into Office 365 packages?

Here’s my logic…

The successful adoption of any software depends on good change management around its introduction. The amount that is spent is directly proportional to the overall cost of the project.

Whilst companies pay for O365, most of the project cost gets consumed with technical migration and basic user familiarisation. And as a result, most organisations see Teams as “free”. And 10% (or whatever your change management budget usual is) of zero is zero.

And so most organisations deploy Teams on the “Field of Dreams” principle – build it and they will come.

Except they don’t

And that’s because, for most people in most large corporates, Teams is really confusing. It does a bunch of things that they can do elsewhere with tools with which they are familiar, and it sucks to try to take it outside of the boundaries of the organisation (not because of the product, per se, but because of infosec and policies and lack of familiarity).

So they ignore it and, besides, they’ve got a tonne of email to deal with.

Sometimes, after the event, organisations will call for help. This has become a good revenue stream for my consulting business.

But by then you’re facing an uphill battle because initial impressions are bad. Software devotees might not believe this, but most people aren’t bothered about new software. They’ve got jobs to do, and learning new stuff takes time they don’t think they have, even if the thing promises to save them time.

So.

Make Teams a paid-for product.

It would mean lower take up in terms of “installed base”.

But clients deploying it will take it seriously because they have spent actual money on it. There is an investment to realise value from rather than the Field of Dreams nonsense. Proper change management investment gives a fighting chance of the product actually being used.

And by paid for, I don’t mean just the freemium BS of Slack and their ilk. No one in big corps outside of tech and digital uses Slack at scale. Pockets of it are everywhere, sure. But in the UK WhatsApp is way, way more common.

And by Change Management I don’t mean ADKAR alone. All that does it allow you to shape a marketing and comms campaign for a product launch. I mean stuff that goes way deeper like this: https://stamplondon.co.uk/delivering-collaborative-advantage/

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