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Plan your Office 365 Launch:

Communication & Training Guide

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About this guide
This guide will help you create a communication and training action plan to inform users about your organization’s
launch of Office 365. With a comprehensive and thoughtfully executed strategy, you can inspire your users and help
them understand the benefits of working in a new way.
The goal is to get everyone ready and looking forward to using Office 365. Use the resources in this guide to:
 Generate awareness and excitement for the new way to get work done
 Get people up and running on Office 365 quickly
 Provide tips and tricks to inspire users to make the most of Office 365 capabilities

How to get started


1. Familiarize yourself with recommended communication and training activities in the launch timeline. Follow
the timeline to prepare and send announcements and set up training.
2. Think about your company’s business goals and objectives, and then choose the Office 365 scenarios that
are relevant to your organization.
3. Plan to use a combination of scenario-based communications and training tactics, linked in this guide, for
each phase of the Office 365 rollout (pre-launch, launch, and post-launch). Resources are oriented by task-
based scenarios to help users focus on the Office 365 capabilities that are relevant to their work.

Plan your communications and training activities


As you plan your Office 365 launch, make use of the timeline recommendations to schedule communications and
training activities.
PHASE TIMELINE CATEGORY DESCRIPTION
Pre-launch (starts 5 weeks before launch): generate excitement about your upcoming Office 365 launch.
Pre- Week 1 Community Create a Yammer Enterprise group to engage with pilot members
Launch/Pilot and anyone interested before launch
Pre- Week 1 Communications Develop communications plan and prepare materials
Launch/Pilot
Pre- Week 1 Training Plan your end user training program
Launch/Pilot
Pre- Week 2 Communications Send a “Countdown email” to let your audience know what’s
Launch/Pilot coming, set expectations, and spark interest by focusing on the
“What’s in it for me?”
Countdown Email Templates
Pre- Week 2 Support Ready your help desk to support end users, and make sure they
Launch/Pilot know about the Office 365 Help Desk Troubleshooting Guide
Pre- Week 3 Communications Ensure that Office 365 has a visual presence throughout your
Launch/Pilot corporate offices with posters, flyers, and teaser videos
Pre- Week 3 Training Set up an internal team site to store training resources such as
Launch/Pilot getting started guides and tips & tricks. You can also direct users
to Microsoft’s public learning center. See Office 365 Learning
Center on http://aka.ms/o365learning
Pre- Week 4-5 Communications Work with internal Communications to make announcements

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Launch/Pilot across your company portal, IT portal, and other internal sites as
needed.
Launch: announce the availability of Office 365 and help employees get started.
Launch Week 6 Communications Send out an “Announcement email” to let users know what’s
available, how to get started, and where to go to find help and
resources. Announcement Email Templates.
Launch Week 6 Training Conduct end-user training
Post-Launch: encourage employees to explore new features and capabilities they may have not tried yet.
Post-Launch Week 8 Communications Periodically share tips with end users by using the “Tips & Tricks”
Week 10 email templates to sustain momentum and broaden the use of
Office 365.
Week 12
Post-Launch Ongoing Training Continue ongoing end-user training series as applicable

Communication and training resources


To help Office 365 users get started, we’ve created five core scenarios that align broadly with the types of tasks that
employees need to do every day, from communication via email and calendars, to storing and sharing files, to
holding virtual meetings and collaborating in real time. Most of the available resources to support your Office 365
launch—training guides, launch communications templates, learning paths, and so on—are organized around these
scenarios.
Use the Office 365 scenarios as a starting point for creating your communication and training strategy.
 Decide which scenarios make sense for your company to promote in your Office 365 launch.
 Use the resources associated with each scenario to implement your email announcements and training activities.

Office 365 scenario kits


Microsoft FastTrack provides five scenario kits to help you and your team learn more and get the most out of Office
365 capabilities:
 Get it done from anywhere. Get the familiar Office experience on all your devices using a browser or mobile
apps designed to work with Office 365. Download the kit
 Emails and calendar on the go. Get your meetings, contact info, to-do list, and email on any device so you can
clean up your inbox and manage urgent matters even when you’re not at your desk. Download the kit
 Collaborate on content. Store your work files in OneDrive for Business so you can update and share them from
anywhere, sync files and work offline, work on documents with others at the same time, and manage files with
enterprise grade security and compliance. Download the kit
 Make meetings matter. Use the Office 365 apps to connect with others and run effective meetings, while saving
time and resources. Use Skype for Business, Outlook, PowerPoint, OneNote, and SharePoint Online sites to
collaborate better. Download the kit
 Bring your team together. Get connected to the right people, share information across teams, and organize
around groups with Yammer Enterprise. A Yammer Enterprise network helps build a body of knowledge that’s
instantly accessible by any coworker at any time and from any device. Download the kit

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Kit components
Each scenario kit includes templates for email, posters, and flyers, as well as videos and training resources. You can
customize the templates for use in communications during the three phases of your rollout: pre-launch, launch, and
post-launch.

Email templates
Each kit includes customizable email templates for the typical communication tasks in each phase of your Office
365 launch and adoption. Each email includes direct links to training and resources to help users learn about Office
365 capabilities. These links are curated for each scenario. Emails include:

Email type Phase Function


"Countdown" Pre-launch Use this message to generate excitement and inform employees about the
things they’ll be able to do with Office 365. One email per scenario.
"Announcement" Launch Use this message to kick off the launch and instruct new users to get started with
Office 365. One email per scenario.
"Tips & Tricks" Post-launch Use these “tips and tricks” to introduce more Office 365 capabilities and help
users be more productive. Three emails per scenario.

The emails are available as Microsoft Outlook templates (.oft) and Word (.docx) documents. You can select which
templates you want to use, and then customize them freely to suit your communication objectives by adjusting the
copy to fit your company style, adding your company logo, and filling in content requiring < input>. Be sure to send
emails from a pre-determined sender account (such as an executive sponsor's) to a specific target audience.

Posters, flyers, and videos


You can generate anticipation about your Office 365 launch by using the print-ready posters and flyers, and teaser
videos in the scenario kits as part of an awareness campaign around your physical office space.

Scenario Learning Path


When you download a resource kit, you'll also find a scenario learning path (url). The learning path link will take
you to Office 365 scenario-based training, offering tutorials with step-by-step instructions for completing each
Office 365 scenario.

Other Office 365 resources


In addition to the scenario kits, take advantage of these Office 365 resources that focus on specific apps in Office
365, courseware, and ongoing learning.

Office 2013 Quick Start Guides


Download printable guides containing useful tips, shortcuts, and screenshots to help people find their way around
specific capabilities in Office 365, such as Outlook or OneNote. Explore the Quick Start Guides

Office 365 Learning Center


The Office 365 Learning Center offers articles, videos, and in-depth training courses to help you be more productive
with Office 365. Explore Learning Center offerings
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Quick Reference: Communication and Training Actions
Step 1: Build your communication and training plan
 Use the timeline and resources in this guide to plan your communications and training plan, with the
objective to drive Office 365 adoption and help everyone understand the new ways of doing more, together.

Step 2: Prepare email communications


 Customize the email templates from the scenario kits according to your company's needs.
 Decide which email account to send the email communications from, preferably an executive sponsor.
 Fill in the <customer input> parts of the template with the specific details of your launch.
 Edit and combine paragraphs from different scenario versions as you like; for example, you can make one
combined "Announcement" or "Countdown" message for your whole company using parts from different
scenarios.
 Schedule and send Office 365 communications in line with your pre-launch, launch and post-launch plans.

Step 3: Plan for and set up training for Office 365


 Define audiences and scope of training for them.
 Set up an internal team site to provide access to training resources (e.g., guides, training decks, scenario
learning paths, and the Office 365 Learning Center).
 Set up instructor-led training and deliver to your end-users.

Step 4: Make the most of Office 365 conversations on Yammer Enterprise


 Join the Office 365 Network. This is the best place for the latest information and conversation around Office
365. Compare notes, ask and get answers to questions.
 Join the Driving Office 365 Adoption group. Meet and communicate with peers for inspiration and first-hand
experience with driving user adoption of O365.

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