Office 365 Distilled EP49: Transformation Acronyms and the forgotten Whisky

Steve and Marijn talk about transformation acronyms.In this podcast we would love to do a shoutout to Sean and Matt for their weekly Microsoft Refresh YouTube show. We think it is a brilliant idea! Every company needs to stay on top of the changes of this evergreen platform. You need someone to stay on track, or lets you think/remember about new possibilities that appear.

Major confession time

Marijn has always had issues with the business case for Sway. Until today.
A customer send a Sway as an email communiquee to all employees and it just looked awesome. I fell in love instantly.

Yes, it could have been a PowerPoint or an automated newsletter email (or am I just in denial ?), but it felt whole.. akin to browsing through a digital magazine.

Digital Transformation team

Every project we do these days is under supervision of a “digital transformation team”.

Lots of customers also want their “business as usual” as well, in these strange times. For example, a customer that went to Office 365 and created their intranet in a team site, because that was how it was in SP2013 as well.. in order to have the minimum amount of change for the employees.

What is the minimum level of transformation that an organization has to go through?

Is Digital Transformation a yellow Camaro transforming into the alien defending robot? Do you have to get the adoption team involved? Is Digital transformation possible without the SharePoint collaboration team… especially with the constant change in the digital landscape?

In order for a proper transformation, you need to go to a team, figure out what needs to change in order to support the transformation, and then focus on that with adoption and training. Yes, it is more expensive then a one-size-fits-all solution, but it will drive that real transformation that you want to have in the organisation.

On the one hand, we have new tools to “easify” and simplify our processes (aka continuous improvement); on the other hand we have new requirements and regulations (for example working from home and security issues).

Where do you start in the transformation journey?

Do you start in updating the processes? Or do you first look at the digital literacy level of the organisation?

First, you need to think: “How can I change? How can I improve?” What are the core applications that you work with? Every week, take a look at a new functionality in the application. Or look at a nuisance within your department and try to fix that. You need to “want to change”. In ADKAR, this is the first letter A, “Awareness to change”.

Take a look at Productivity Score, to check how good you are using the tools at hand.

After you have done the “My transformation” you can look at the “Team transformation”. Curious users with a desire (aDkar) to change will drive team Digital transformation.

All these little incremental changes lead us to organizational change.


As in previous Lockdown episodes you get 2 whisky tastings simply due to not being in the same room. 

Steve surprises Marijn with the brilliant whisky from Islay, the “Caol Ila”. Crazy to see we haven’t tasted this one before!

Marijn keeps it in Belgium with a Molenberg Olorosso Sherry Cask, which he HATED in the beginning when he bought it. Now, when he drinks it again, he is madly in love with it!

About: Marijn

Marijn Somers (MVP) has over 14 years experience in the SharePoint world, starting out with SP2007. Over the years the focus has grown to Office 365, with a focus on collaboration and document management. He is a business consultant at Balestra and Principal Content Provider for "Mijn 365 Coach" that offers dutch employee video training. His main work tracks are around user adoption, training and coaching and governance. He is also not afraid to dig deeper in the technicalities with PowerShell, adaptive cards or custom formatting in lists and libraries. You can listen to him on the biweekly "Office 365 Distilled" podcast.