Switching apps dilemma, or not?

Someone send me the following ZDNet article “Survey confirms collaboration and the apps that come with it still suck – We’re wasting so much time collaborating and toggling between apps it’s a miracle any work actually gets done.”

The problem with this survey is that the loss due to the self-centered tools like email is not taken into account. The switching between tools, in my opinion, is compensated more than enough by the gain in team collaboration productivity.

It is also not surprising that it is exactly the older generation that cannot keep up and prefers to stay with the email client because the longer you are used to working a certain way the more difficult it is, in general, to change and start doing thing differently. Just human nature.

The strength of Office 365 is exactly what it is all under one roof and you are less and less switching because you are just moving around within 1 environment.

Office 365 apps are getting so integrated with each other that you can go start speaking about the One Office app. What we might now consider as all separate apps of Office 365 to switch between, are actually just different areas of the One Office app, where you do different things for different purposes.


This article fits with a statement put in one of the Collaboris community guest Teams channels: “one or several team members were heavily established in Outlook – meaning: the mail archive was the primary information repository for these members and they had a very large and detailed mail archive with folders, categories, automated rules, and more. For these members, the switch from Outlook email to Teams conversations equaled a loss of control over how they own and manage the information (an email in Outlook is personal – a conversation in Teams is collectively owned and cannot be tagged and archived individually like a mail).”

What we read here is the reason that blocks modernizing, knowledge sharing and enhanced productivity.

This is typical “me” thinking instead of “we”.

With personal inboxes info is not available for lookup by Team members(in case they were not in the loop of the email cycle). Keeping everyone in the loop by email creates a hog of emails back and forth. Also maintaining documents in your attachments as file storage is entirely not where your mail client was meant for.

So how do we break this line of thought and get people to understand the real power of One Office 365 and forget about the switching apps idea?

The what’s in it for US factor!

Another community post stated: “Have any of you introduced Teams into an organization that already uses Yammer & Skype? What experience or reaction did you have from your user base? My organization is not exactly tech-savvy and is only beginning to come to terms with Yammer and Skype 😄

I my opinion “coming to terms” should change to “embracing” what only works in case the “What’s in it for us” question can be answered by each user with a positive answer driving the user to want to adopt for the benefit of the entire company towards a more productive, enjoyable and efficient work environment, cost reduction and quality of work inprovement.

The focus should not on the need of an IT department to force the new tools on the users but to find the specific need of each user group and the organization that can be better full filled with using more of the capabilities of Office 365.
Especially in an organization with a very conservative attitude, this can be difficult. Here it is very beneficial to find yourself some progressive users that are eager to improve and get new tools and get them test and demo “best use cases” to the rest of the organization.


Lets embrace the One Office 365 app and start to explore how it can enhance our work!


See also my article Office365 Apps Adoption


Author: Martinus Hamers

Hi, My Name is Martinus and I am a self made Office365, focus on SharePoint Online and Teams, administrator and architect. I have been spending my time the last years with an international organisation as a functional application manager for SharePoint Online providing administration, architecture, setup, providing training info and updates and second line support tasks for all the global sites worldwide.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: