Part one of a three part Q&A series
A seventeen-plus year veteran of KiZAN Technologies, Bryan Cornette today serves as Director of Communications and Collaboration. Cornette has worked with CoreView for eight or so years, and in his current role, works closely with CoreView to drive Microsoft Office 365-related managed services, including Cloud Voice, Office 365 Optimized Adoption Managed Services, Office 365 with Collaboration Services, and the Office Essentials Plus and Cloud Identity service.
KiZAN has its own rich story to tell, and in 1995 was picked as the first ever Microsoft Solution Provider Partner of the Year, and today serves as a proud Microsoft Gold Partner – just like CoreView.
In fact, during the COVID-19 health crisis, KiZAN Technologies worked closely with Microsoft to let doctors and other health care professionals take care of patients without donning and possibly contaminating personal protection equipment (PPE) through the development and implementation of Microsoft Virtual Rounding using Microsoft Teams. Learn more about these efforts in the CoreView blog KiZAN Helps Hospitals Battle COVID with Free Virtual Doctor Rounds.
We spoke with Cornette about KiZAN’s Office 365 managed services, and the role CoreView plays in driving adoption and managing the popular Microsoft SaaS solution, as well as KiZAN’s participation in the Microsoft Champions program, which trains end user Teams leaders
CoreView: How does KiZAN leverage CoreView services?
Cornette: We are a management services company. Our biggest push is around CoreLearning. We developed an adoption change management program where we use reports concerning adoption, consumption and usage. Campaigns and CoreLearning is where we have the biggest push.
As a service, we have done a big push around adoption and usage because Microsoft cares deeply about active user and consumption. We have a few managed services that are all around adoption and making sure the clients are taking advantage of their licensing, and using what they bought. We leverage the combination of CoreView reports and campaigns, and subsidize that with either some of our own instructor-led training if it is Champions Network network training, or CoreLearning with the Just-in-Time Learning (JITL) how-to videos from CoreView.
CoreView: Overall, which CoreView reports are most crucial?
Cornette: Usage (especially an increase of favored workload and decrease of old workload), largest consumers of a workload (to gain insight for the business to build a Champions network), and licenses consumed vs. owned.
CoreView: What is a Champion exactly? I understand it stems from a Microsoft Teams adoption program.
How are you defining that? A power user?
Cornette: A power user. Essentially an influencer within the business that uses the solution, leverages it, and sees the value early on. But not just a power user. It has to do with their personality and them as a person. They could be a power user, but not want that attention – having people always coming to them, or not always wanting to be on the cutting edge of things.
We work with the business to define who these people are. We want people that are not just power users, but get excited about change. A power user that hates change is definitely not who we want to put in the Champions network. It is that power user who gets excited about change and enabling their coworker to do more or just do things easier so they have more time to do other things for the business.
CoreView: How do you work with Microsoft? I understand you worked together on Project Tandem to drive Teams, of which the Team Virtual Rounding to make doctors more efficient and safer treating COVID-19 is an example as we mentioned earlier.
Cornette: We had an offering with Microsoft’s Customer Success Unit called Project Tandem. We went in, deployed Teams, created Champions network, and leveraged CoreLearning. We ran campaigns in a managed service fashion to move them from not using Teams at all, or some people not even having Teams. Of course, COVID pushed some of those numbers up. However, before that, we were going from less than 15 percent usage for places that already owned it, to well into the 60s and 70 percent within three months.
And more importantly, in this program we focus on “proper” usage, training users to make the best use of the tool; not necessarily focusing on “easy” adoption tasks. When a customer’s needs called for Live Meetings, or Teams Channels for collaboration, we would drill into that with the Champions and training departments, and tech users to leverage the right tool for the job. CoreLearning made that much easier for us to deploy and promote.
CoreView: With the adoption campaigns and learning, is KiZAN handling this, or are you giving the tools to an IT person who is figuring out the campaigns and so forth? Who is doing that kind of lifting?
Cornette: When it is a true managed service, we do the campaigns. We also do a Champions network where we train 10- to 15 percent of their staff, get them excited, and show them the resources. These Champions are pointing people to how to use it, how to best leverage it, and what it means to their business. These Champions know their business better than we do. We just know how to use the tools. We work with them on where we can make the most impact for the customer and staff in leveraging Teams, OneDrive — the whole collaboration suite.
Some customers ask, “When this is over, and we want to keep the platform, can we do these things as well?” Primarily, though, it is we as a service provider doing the campaigns, reporting, those pieces, supporting their key business units and the Champions network along with it.
CoreView: Customers do not necessarily have CoreLearning or CoreAdoption. You are driving it from your end and providing it all as a service. They are not accessing or managing the CoreView solutions. It is all done through KiZAN experts, correct?
Cornette: For those situations, it is mostly us managing it. However, they do have access to the videos we enable in Teams. Many customers, when that is done, say, “I want to keep this. What do I do?”
CoreView: How many customers have you worked with on Teams adoptions?
Cornette: Through Project Tandem alone, it is 15 to 20 in the last seven months ranging across industry verticals such as hospitality and manufacturing. Humana was a big change management customer of ours, but that was before Project Tandem. T. Marzetti, they are one that ran through it as our managed service. They asked, “What if we want to keep this forever just for us — and not have you do it anymore?”
CoreView: I understand you are using the adoption campaign functions through CoreAdoption. Moreover, on the learning side, there are times when you are deploying our 30-second to three-minute videos. Lastly, you integrate your own instructor-led content, and manage that as part of these CoreAdoption campaigns. Is that correct?
Cornette: We offer the entire gambit of training options. The CoreLearning videos are great for follow-up. Let’s say if it’s for the Champions network, and we doing hands-on, one-to-many instructor-led training. They walk through different lab scenarios — and then do the actual tasks — learning by having to do it, not just having to listen and maybe not have their full attention.
Everybody learns differently. However, everybody retains the best if they can do it. So we do the Champions network for that reason. Then we do one-to-many for other groups of people, and maybe record those for them to watch. Then with all of that, the 30-second to a few-minute videos, are perfect when they say, “I know I learned this thing in class, but I don’t exactly remember how to do it.” It is a great resource for that.
CoreView: What type of job titles and executives are entrusted with maximizing the use of Teams through adoption?
Cornette: The higher the better. We at least want to get to the CTO, preferably CIO. We need buy-off and support there. I have seen the direct reports of C levels enrolled in our Champions network. That is very helpful.
Learn More About KiZAN and CoreView
Read Part two and three of our KiZAN Q&A series:
- Part Two: How CoreView Helps Drive KiZAN O365 Managed Services
- Part Three: How KiZAN Uses CoreView to Support M&A Services
Interested in Partnering with CoreView?
Grow your Microsoft MSP or Reseller business by sharing the award-winning CoreView SaaS Management Platform with your customers. Learn more on our CoreView partner page.
Doug Barney was the founding editor of Redmond Magazine, Redmond Channel Partner, Redmond Developer News and Virtualization Review. Doug also served as Executive Editor of Network World, Editor in Chief of AmigaWorld, and Editor in Chief of Network Computing.