User adoption: why work with a service partner?

Written by Kieran

11th December 2019

Launching a new digital workplace tool?

Are you launching a new digital workplace tool? Do you have a deadline for shutting down the old one? Are you worried about how you’ll get everyone to switch without disrupting the business?

If the answer is ‘yes’ to any of these questions, you’re not alone. When launches like this go badly, people hate the new tool and cling to the old. When launches go well, we call it adoption 🙂  

But can you drive adoption by yourself or should you work with a service partner? Before you can answer this question, first understand what adoption is and what it involves.

What is adoption?

Adoption is the effort required to help people change the way they work. People – often IT people – forget that it’s about much more than deploying technology. The adoption effort required on top of this is significant and easily overlooked.

Let’s look at a clear example.

Everyone thinks iPhones and Android devices are intuitive and easy to use – and they are – but think back to your first smartphone.

Imagine you’d never heard of smartphones but one day someone took your old Nokia and handed you a brown envelope marked “NEW PHONE”. Imagine you’d seen none of the slick advertising or heard none of the hype from your friends. Imagine it came with no packaging or accessories.

You’d eventually figure out how to turn it on, but imagine then there were no onscreen steps for getting started. It isn’t even hooked up to your old number – how will you get your calls? Where do you go to learn? Who can you go to for help?

What would you make of your new phone? Would you spend any time figuring out how to use it? How long before you start missing your old Nokia?

But this is exactly what organisations do when they deploy new technology without promoting the value, helping people get started, or providing learning support and customer service.

Why adoption is so important

This is why adoption is so important. It treats the launch of digital workplace apps as seriously as new product launches in the marketplace. Why? Because we don’t stop being consumers and customers when we go to work. We need to be persuaded and cared for if you want us to buy into and adopt new products and services.

You can now see that adoption is about far more than IT. It requires expertise in marketing, communications, visual branding, learning design, training, coaching, customer service, and more. And the way these skills come together in an adoption project is a discipline in itself.

Why work with an adoption partner?

Adoption isn’t easy, and this is why you’ll want to work with a partner:

• They’ll have done it many times before.
• They’ll have a great reputation and track record for success.
• They’ll know all of the success factors and pitfalls.
• They’ll guide you through the entire journey.
• They’ll challenge you to think differently.
• They’ll have the best experts in the industry.
• They’ll roll up their sleeves and help with the work.
• They’ll know how to handle objections from the business.
• They’ll help you prove value and return on investment.
• They’ll make you look great!

So, if you want to be successful with adoption and haven’t done it before, start talking to reputable adoption partners and see if they can help.

Questions to ask adoption partners

Here are some key questions to ask adoption partners:

• Do you have a tried and tested formula for adoption? (Ask them to explain it.)
• Do you have examples of how you’ve helped other companies with adoption?
• What are the success factors and pitfalls for adoption success?

Start with these questions and see if you’re impressed by the answers.  Why not practice on us? Get in touch today. 


Employees won’t use your new digital workplace tools if you don’t tell them why and teach them how. Sei Mani gets everyone using new tools in the best ways by raising awareness, revealing the value and showing how to work smarter in today’s digital age.

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