More Than Tech. More Than Data. You Migrate Businesses.

A big reason migration projects fail is because users fail to adopt. Yet very few companies focus their efforts on adoption, and neither do many of your competitors. You know how to migrate tech and data. Now add a well-developed and documented, highly-impactful strategy for migrating users to a whole new experience. Watch your success rate, and your revenue, skyrocket.

 

Begin with the end in mind.

Beyond being one of Stephen Covey’s “7 Habits of Highly Effective People,” this is one of the most important watch-phrases a Migration Wizard must keep burned into their mind.  Why?

Customers Don’t Buy Tech

The decision to “buy” or invest in anything is seldom made in the interest of the thing being bought. Most people don’t buy what it is. They buy what it does. Your business customers don’t buy servers, storage, cloud services, laptops, tablets, switches, routers, or any other piece of tech. They buy what it does for their company – how it helps increase profits, productivity, and efficiency.

If It Ain’t Broke…

Customers hesitate to upgrade their investments in information technologies (IT) because what they have is working. It’s performing. It’s doing its job.

The question is whether or not the current IT state they are using is doing its job as productively as it possibly could. Since customers measure this by calculating the return-on-investment (ROI), profits would need to increase by more than they would invest in an upgrade, with the speed on that return another important consideration. Stated more simply, if they invest $100,000 in an upgrade, how quickly would they receive $100,001 back, and how much more than that would they see going forward?

The takeaway for you is to stop talking about new features and functions. Even the resulting benefits won’t sell the upgrade. Help the customer calculate and see how quickly they’d get their investment back, and how much more they would enjoy in an ongoing increase in profitability.

Migrate the Company

Yes, you are migrating their data. Email. Financials. Operations. Manufacturing. Customers. Research and Development. Lots of data. You are replacing hardware, installing software, changing and improving configurations and scripts and a whole lot of other really cool tech stuff. Good for you.

What’s more important to the customer is that you are migrating them from where they are as a company to a new place. A place with better tools, more efficient processes, more productive people, and more money in the bank. You are migrating their company. You are migrating THEM, the customer.

A failure to see it that way, and to approach it that way, can be fatal.

Part of what you are migrating is the way in which their people do what they do every day. It cannot be emphasized enough. The reason most migration projects fail is because users fail to adopt the new environment. This is most decidedly avoidable.

Focus on the user experience. How are they going to learn the new services and capabilities that are available to them? How are they going to become adept at using them? How are they going to feel tangible improvements to the way things work? What will be their training? Where will their support resources be, and how will they take best advantage of them?

These questions go way beyond tech, and begin with your sincere concern about how outstanding the user experience be.

Back in 1980, Apple Computer introduced their very first retail sales training program called Apple SOS (say it out loud to understand the play on words) which stood for Solution-Oriented Selling. In the qualification section, new salespeople were encouraged to greet the customer, and then to extract not only their functional need but also to extract their need for training. It was explained that this was important to know, but also important because it conveyed the salesperson’s concern with the customer receiving all the value possible from their purchase of Apple products.

It is just as important today to express that concern for value as it has ever been.

WIIFM

It is said that everyone ultimately has the same favorite radio station, WIIFM, “What’s In It For Me” Radio!!!

This is as true of technology users as it is of anyone. The best way to motivate a user to adopt new technology is to show them the value they will receive from using it. Don’t only show them HOW to use it or WHAT to do, but also WHY it is in their own best interest to do so. Show them what’s in it for them and watch them rapidly adopt the new system.

About the author

Howard M. Cohen

Howard M. Cohen is a Senior Resultant and Contributor to the Bits & Bytes Blog. He is a 30+ year executive veteran of the Information Technology industry, an authorized CompTIA instructor, and a regular contributor to IT industry publications.

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