Effectively supporting a platform as extensive (and complex) as Office 365 is challenging, and you need to know the resources in place are up to the task.
It’s why we made an intentional decision when we introduced our new Office 365 Center of Excellence Managed Services to continue our approach of using only US-based support resources. An offshore approach is often in direct opposition to the goals of our company and our clients.
Digital transformation requires collaboration, automation, and task efficiency, and it relies heavily on clear and trustworthy communication among key stakeholders of an organization, their teams, and their vendors. I have had countless conversations with business users and owners who are frustrated with poor customer support and then turn to Shadow IT as a result of their poor experiences.
This trend of short-term cost-savings by using less expensive resources overseas has permeated beyond its original usefulness.
There is a place for offshore work, but directly engaging with business users to assist with the training, support, and implementation of Office 365 tools and capabilities is not one of them. Why? Because the successful adoption of Office 365 requires a change in people, NOT technology.
You need the right tools for the job, and this job is about applying the right people to the process. Business users are listening only at a point when they have a need.
If there is a communication, culture, or technical barrier at that extremely impactful point in time, there is a chance you lose the opportunity to solve that organization’s problems.
I look at each and every one of those moments as the most critical aspect of digital transformation. If we can help that one user in that instance, some small magic happens: We gained a little more of their trust. We gave them some knowledge they lacked previously. They use the tools a little more than yesterday. They might tell their colleagues about this.
However, if the situation ended poorly, it can have a big and negative impact on the business as a whole. With the wrong people assisting your business users, you’re probably moving the needle in the wrong direction.
This applies to more than offshoring, it applies to poorly skilled support staff in general. It all adds upon the same — if your business users don’t receive the required experience during the overwhelming majority of their direct encounters, you are most likely doing more harm than good.
If your organization cares about digital transformation, keep this in mind as you build your plan to actually enable your broader workforce to adopt these tools. And if you’re interested in how we deliver expectational services by using only US-based services, learn more about our Office 365 Center of Excellence approach here.