Take a page from the CMO to drive Office 365 success

Take a page from the CMO for Office 365 success with personas

*Editors Note: this blog was updated April 1st, 2019

You might not think the CMO has much in common with the CIO. But as the role of IT morphs into a more user-centric, customer-first mentality, everyone in the innovation department might do well to look to the other side of the office for some inspiration.

And perhaps nowhere is this better exemplified than with personas.

What is a persona?

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What JFK and Office 365 Success Have in Common

Why setting the vision is key for Office 365 success

Setting the Vision!

Picture this.

September 12, 1962. One year since John F. Kennedy won the presidency. With the nation in a high-stakes space race, the American president stands in front of 35,000 people in Houston, and begins to speak:

“We will optimize our space exploration project over the coming months.”

The crowd yawns and everyone goes home, wondering what’s for dinner, and why they bothered to attend another meaningless political photo-op.

The speech is forgotten and, just maybe, the course of history is altered. All because Kennedy failed to deliver a compelling vision. In this alternate universe, Kennedy never delivered his iconic “We choose to go to the moon” speech, and the lunar race took on a far different trajectory. [Read more…]

Forget about Office 365 features. Focus on this instead.

Forget about Office 365 features. Focus on this instead.

Microsoft Office 365 comes with a long list of new and re-imagined apps, all delivered from the cloud to the desktop and mobile device. Naturally enough, these features are the first thing any IT manager sees when considering the new productivity suite.

What if there was a better way to look at Microsoft’s new offering – one that knocked features down a peg? What if there was something far more important to guaranteeing the success – both in terms of productivity and financial returns – when planning out your Office 365 road map?

This was exactly what I talked about in our Softchoice series covering Office 365 change management. And what I want you to know is this: you can forget the features. Focus, instead, on this.

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Beyond Office 365: Building a Global SaaS Identity Strategy


If you are considering deploying Microsoft Office 365, you’re probably thinking about the challenges of managing user identities in the cloud. For many organizations, Office 365 represents their first “official” SaaS application and will likely pave the way for larger SaaS investments down the road.If you haven’t already, now is the time to think about the systems you need to support a global SaaS identity strategy.

A global SaaS identity strategy has two key components: authentication – or the process of confirming that users are who they say they are – and authorization – or determining what users are allowed to do after they log in. Put another way, you might have a valid passport (authentication), but you can’t board a flight without a ticket (authorization).

As more SaaS apps find their way into the workplace, the more authentication and authorization challenges you will face. Without an overarching strategy, you’ll need to address these challenges with every new SaaS provider – hardly a recipe for success. Here are five drivers that prompt many organizations to think beyond Office 365 and create a global SaaS identity strategy: [Read more…]