How a 100,000 Person Organisation Deployed Office 2010

Ok… it’s Microsoft that’s the Organisation.  But, our IT team does a great job of sharing the details ofBb687780.ITShowcaseUI_image(en-us,TechNet.10).jpg how we run technology, the lessons learned from our early adopters.

This is shared through Microsoft’s IT Showcase, and an example is the Whitepaper of Deploying Office 2010 at Microsoft

While the whitepaper covers a lot of the technical details, I love the section on Employee Adoption and Lessons Learned, included here:

Employee Adoption

One of the most important deliverables for any technology deployment is to ensure a successful adoption by employees. During the Office 2010 deployment, Microsoft achieved this by:

  • Providing a simple and easy installation
  • Providing Work Smart productivity training
  • Capturing feedback to improve the overall experience

Between April and June, 2010, over 51,000 employees self-installed Office 2010. 80 percent of these employees adopted the new product with very little IT support. Some employees opted to attend local self-installation fairs or Work Smart productivity training courses hosted by IT managers worldwide.

Following the deployment of Office 2010 RTM, Microsoft IT conducted a satisfaction survey that included a sample of employees from around the world. Results from the survey indicated that:

  • 91 percent found Office 2010 easier to use than Office 2007.
  • 94 percent reported that the new features in Office 2010 will improve their productivity.
  • The Net Satisfaction (NSAT) score for Office 2010 was 152 (target was 130), an extremely high score for a new product.
  • Employees surveyed reported a potential savings of 15,459 hours in productivity, which equated to about $1 million for the number of employees include in the sample.

Employee comments

“Main benefit to me is speed - vast performance improvement is great.”

“I love the photo editing capabilities built into PowerPoint, Word, OneNote, and Excel.”

“I love the social network features of Outlook.”

“I think Office 2010 will be a real breakthrough for our productivity.”

"PowerPivot for Excel is very powerful.”

“I love Office 2010; I was blown away at how much of an improvement that could be made to 2007 because I thought it was rock solid.”

“The feature I like the most is the Outlook e-mail sorting by conversation which improved my productivity a lot.”

“Before joining Microsoft Slovakia I used to work for a company using Win XP and Office 2003 for over eight past years so switching to Win 7 Enterprise and Office 2010 RTM was a GREAT upgrade for me.”

Best Practices and Lessons Learned

Microsoft IT learned that the following best practices can help ensure a more successful deployment of Office 2010:

  • Try to anticipate the top client issues and address those issues in advance. Use companywide communication to help discover these issues.
  • Educate users:
    • Provide training before, during, and after the deployment. Make sure that a range of training aids are available to suit the time and location requirements of employees.
    • Take the time to market the new products and features to employees to help build excitement before the deployment.
    • Create FAQ for employees and include known issues.
    • Create an internal Web site that makes content about the new features readily available to all employees, including information about how the new version of Office will help increase productivity.
    • Offer the ability for certain enthusiastic users to be early deployers of the product and become advocates within the business groups as deployment becomes mainstream.
  • Use information gained from Helpdesk calls as feedback for creating self-help support tools.
  • Make communications about the deployment that come from the IT department readily distinguishable from routine e-mail announcements so that employees are less likely to disregard them. Be sure to include information about the deployment, scheduling, and available training.
  • Train Helpdesk technicians on the new Office 2010 features before deployment. If possible, deploy Office 2010 to Helpdesk staff before deploying on a larger scale. Have training and support content ready, especially if any issues were found during application compatibility testing. These issues will generate the most Helpdesk support calls. A well-prepared Helpdesk staff can result in significant cost savings for the company by helping employees to remain productive during and after the deployment.
  • Get stakeholder signoff. Before the deployment begins, any organization should ensure that key stakeholders review all possible customizations so that only the relevant settings are modified. Reviewing customizations with appropriate stakeholders ahead of time helped Microsoft IT ensure a successful deployment and avoided confusion.
  • Customize the deployment appropriately. Microsoft IT considered the effect of customizing a deployment by using both the Office Customization Tool and Config.xml to apply the customization as intended. The customization settings defined in Config.xml take precedence over the customizations in the Setup file that the Office Customization Tool creates. Use caution in editing the Config.xml file. Introducing errors while editing the Config.xml file causes the file to ignore customization settings.

Microsoft IT also learned that the following best practices specifically contributed to the success of LOB application compatibility testing, as part of the larger deployment:

  • Ensure that all critical Office-dependent LOB applications are tested, and address issues before deploying, if possible.
  • Focus on applications that export or import from Excel spreadsheets or use Excel add-ins. Excel accounted for almost two-thirds of the issues found in testing internal LOB applications at Microsoft.
  • Plan and budget sufficient resources for the project to perform the testing tasks and participate in the program.
  • To streamline the entire application compatibility testing, create a centralized application compatibility program with a dedicated testing coordinator.
  • To monitor issues discovered during LOB application testing, use an issue-tracking system.
  • Maintain an application portfolio database that tracks application technology dependencies, contacts, purpose, and test results for each application.
  • Enable the application owners to do the actual testing because they are most familiar with the applications. Their knowledge of the application's functionality is essential for obtaining the best results.
  • Create an overall schedule of testable software builds to be released to the IT engineering groups and develop a testing schedule based on this release schedule.
  • Create an internal Web site to communicate the schedules for deployment and application compatibility testing. Use the site to provide details for individual application compatibility testing projects.


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