Adding Custom Branding to SharePoint Online and Office 365

Microsoft-Recommended Strategies

Avoid custom master pages

Microsoft maintains control of a set of master pages, allowing them to regularly update Office 365’s ‘evergreen’ platform with new functionality. So, when you apply a custom master page to your site, even if it is an exact copy of an OOTB master page, your new master-page version will grow increasingly out of date. This popular graphic borrowed from a conference presentation explains it. Continue reading “Adding Custom Branding to SharePoint Online and Office 365”

Four ways to massivley boost User Adoption of Office 365

User Adoption must be the primary focus of any Office 365 implementation, and you must start early, way before you roll it out.  Let me know if this is true.  Your executive or director has decided that your company will adopt Office 365.  Everyone jumps for joy, all your pain points have been solved. The only thing that has happened is that you get your email from Exchange Online and not exchange On-Prem.  What happened?  While the technical aspects of an Office 365 Rollout are simple, getting users to fully understand what is possible and use all the services can be hard.

I will repeat; User Adoption must be the MAIN focus of any Office 365 implementation.

You agree?  Good.  Next Question.


I got you covered.

Here are four ways that your company can increase Office 365 user adoption.  First Step, think like Apple.

Have an Event

Apple has an uncanny ability to generate buzz to get people excited about new technology.  They are arguably the gold standard for putting on a show around new tech.  Adopt this style to get users excited about using Office 365.

  • Have all employees stop work and attend the event in person or via video with Skype for business broadcast.
  • Invite company leaders to share how the new tech will impact the people.
  • Show employees’ real-life examples of how Office 365 can make their life better.

Give some free swag or a snack, that never hurt people form showing up.  The basic idea here is to show off what can be done and show it off to everyone.

Keep Office 365 Visible

Continually remind that Office 365 is here and the services are great.  The more the users see the services in action, the more they will try to see if they too can use it.  This is your advertising. Start early and do it often.  Here is how to get started:

  • Create a poster campaign that highlights key events in the adoption process, from the launch and ongoing training to helpful how-tos and use success stories everywhere.
  • Get feedback from employees, try a weekly email, tweet, or Intranet Poll.
  • I love lunch-n-learns, a social place that provides employees with user tips in a relaxed atmosphere. A great place for Q&A.

Game Time

Make it a competition.  People and groups love to work against each other to WIN.  That is a Win / Win.  They win a prize, and the project has better user adoption.  It is said that a good incentive program will increase the frequency of behaviors.  Use this for User Adoption.

  • Rewards Programs that allow users to get points for using the services of Office 365
  • Have team competitions, where groups get together to share their best user tips about Office 365 Services. The Judge will award a gift to a sporting event, dinner, etc.
  • The Wall of Fame, who does not want to be on this wall. Recognize users that shown they can use services of Office 365, provided feedback, or mentored other people.


Office 365 is intuitive, for an IT expert maybe.  I have found that different departments use Office 365 in different ways.  Begin by developing use cases and success stories; these can be shared between departments and aids in the Office 365 User Adoption.  As word travels from department to department, user adoption comes quickly and a lot faster than you will anticipate.  Success is contagious and when you share success and get other departments using Office 365, your ROI increases.  Here are some starters:

  • In-Person training sessions where top users share how they use Office 365
  • Online videos that teach users how to quickly use all Office 365 services.
  • A monthly newsletter or email communication that share useful tips and innovate use cases.

A bonus accelerator of User Adoption, use Office 365 as you are driving adoption.  This shows future users how easy it is to use and create.  Speeding up user adoption will speed up the Return on the Investment of Office 365.

Microsoft 365 Enhanced Cyber Security is Right for All Sized Businesses.

Protect your employees from phishing and ransomware

Cyber criminals use phishing and ransomware attacks to get people to download viruses and malware or unwittingly give out sensitive information. These attacks can cause significant issues for a business, ranging from loss of customer trust to financial woes.

To help bolster your defenses against phishing, malware, and viruses, Microsoft 365 Business now includes advanced protection from cyberthreats, including: Continue reading “Microsoft 365 Enhanced Cyber Security is Right for All Sized Businesses.”

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