Selling Adoption Services

It’s no secret that Partners have challenges selling change & adoption services. I’m talking specifically about Partners who will provide offerings to complement other professional services they provide, like technical delivery. Proposals are subject to scrutiny and in the absence of a value proposition, change & adoption will be one of the first things to go in a re-scoping exercise.

“It’s OK. We do change & adoption ourselves”

Organisations like Kloud deliver a range of professional services centric to our mission to ‘move organisations to the cloud’. In order to succeed, we call upon other competencies to support technical delivery such as project management, delivery management, and change & adoption.

Your investment in change management equates directly to the impact you think a change is going to have. You take into consideration the impact to people your organisation, the cost of delivering activities to support them, and logistics required to deliver them.

“There are known knowns; there are things we know we know…. But there are also unknown unknowns – the [things] we don’t know we don’t know”

Sometimes the impact of change to your organisation may not be clear because the functions of the technology you are introducing aren’t fully understood. In-house change teams can struggle applying what they’ve been taught in practice.

In my experience a successful change team is a coalition of people who can engage the business, people who understand the technology, and people who understand the methodology. The objective for Partners therefore, is to present a compelling offering to their customers which brings together the customer’s knowledge of and ability to engage with their business, and the Partner’s experience of delivering change management activities specifically to the (cloud) services it specialises in.

The Return on Investment

The value proposition for an adoption service is crucial. Prosci have led the charge. They understand that demonstrating a return on Investment is key in prospective customers adopting their own change management framework. The assertion is that success (based on measures you define) will depend on a level of investment in managing organizational change (whatever that looks like; small to large). There are many attempts to distil this into a basic equation (e.g. CHANGE + CHANGE MANAGEMENT = SUCCESS!)

Prosci constitutes a valuable and powerful set of tools and techniques, hardened by years of investment and research. I see it as a box of tools that can be selectively applied. Partners can provide compelling offerings by taking the foundation of these methodologies and developing compelling, cost effective solutions to support their products and services. We see evidence of this through the evolution of change and adoption services Microsoft are providing through FastTrack, available to Partners to support adoption of O365 workloads.

When forecasting ROI, Partners can refer to their own case studies to demonstrate ROI and draw parallels between engagements (“the conditions are similar, therefore the outcome will be similar”). Those that are licensed to do so can call upon the Prosci ‘library of statistics’ to support their value proposition.

Partners like Kloud who specialise in the enablement of cloud services can lean on the capabilities of modern cloud technology to support their campaigns. O365 in particular (My Analytics, Power BI Adoption Content Pack, Yammer) can serve up many measures and insights that historically would have difficult to elicit. In short: technology is helping to strengthen the change management value proposition.

The funny thing is, Partners need a change management framework to successfully embed a change management competency within a customer, and the same is required sell the value proposition within its own organisation (to its sales representatives, account managers, engagement leads). Consider this a good test of your offering.

Moving forwards, now is a great time for Partners to be discussing change management with their customers. What’s their level of maturity? How successful have initiatives been? Is the ROI clear and is it retrospectively validated? What is their current view of Change Management? What are they looking to Partners to provide?

Connecting Surface Hubs to Microsoft Operations Management Suite

At Kloud, we have Surface Hubs in our Melbourne, Adelaide and Sydney regional offices. It makes sense  to monitor them using a central service, to which monitoring and diagnostic information can be aggregated.

This blog post covers the process of connecting your Surface Hub devices to Microsoft Operations Management Suite (OMS).

Before you start:

  • You need a Surface Hub (yes, obvious I know) set up and connected to your network. It’s a good idea to setup the device account before you connect it to OMS.
  • You’ll need to have registered an OMS workspace. Select a pricing scheme (there is a free option) suitable for you. (New to OMS?)
  • You’ll need read access to your Azure Subscription (else you won’t be able to add solutions to your workspace).
  • Ensure your Surface Hub device (network) names can be used to differentiate the devices if your enterprise has more than one Surface Hub. The hubs will be listed by device name (not device account) via OMS dashboards. You can change the device name via Settings > Device management > About)
  • You’ll need the administrator credential for your Surface Hub so that you can connect it (it will ask for this when you launch the Settings app)

Step 1: Add the Surface Hub Solution to your OMS Workspace

Sign-in to OMS at <workspace>.portal.mms.microsoft.com. Open the solution gallery. Look for the Surface Hub Solution:

Surface Hub Solution

You can add Solutions to your Workspace providing you have read-access to your Azure subscription. It’s going to add a new tile to your Workspace’s Home Dashboard, but you won’t be able to interact with it until you’ve connected at least one Surface Hub, so you’ll see this:

Surface Hub (No Connected Devices)

You’ll need the workspace id and workspace key. Get these from Operations Management Suite via Settings > Connected Services > Windows Servers (you can use either primary key or secondary key as your workspace key. I recommend you make this information accessible from the Surface Hub as you’ll need to copy/paste it. Use OneNote, a text file on your OneDrive, or email it to yourself, whatever works.

OMS - Windows Devices

Note this view denotes the number of connected Windows Computers. Surface Hubs are Windows Computers, so adding a new one will increase the number of connected Windows Computers by 1.

Step 2: Connect your Surface Hub

Now, fire up your Surface Hub and open the Settings app. You’ll need the Administrative account to access the Settings app on a Surface Hub.

From the Settings app, browse to Device management, then tap Configure OMS Settings.

Hub - Device Management

Enter your workspace ID and workspace (primary/secondary) key. Tapping apply will kick-off the enrolment process. This will provision an agent on the Surface Hub which is going to talk to your OMS service.

Connect to OMS

Step 3: Back to Operations Management Suite

It may take some time for each Surface Hub to register with OMS. The tile says ’up to 24 hours’ but for us it happened within minutes. You’ll know the device has enrolled because the tile on your home page will update:

Tile - Active Devices

Next, you can fine tune the information an installed agent will send to OMS. These agents are installed automatically on Surface Hubs when you connect them to OMS.

From Home > Settings > Data, you can select items from the Windows Event Logs you want sent from devices to OMS. The example below will push logged entries with a level of Error in both Application and System logs.

Things to note:

  • If you change the device name after the Surface Hub has been enrolled, OMS will treat the renamed device as a new device, since it differentiates by device name).  It’s a good idea to set a proper device name (and settle on a naming convention for all your devices) before you connect one.
  • OMS will not collate historical diagnostic logs from these devices. It will start collecting new information as soon as the local agent configuration is updated (i.e. you tell OMS to start collecting additional information from the device.)