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© ChangeLab 2019

  • Stien Gijsbrechts

Why software vendors care about user adoption

Updated: Jul 9, 2019


Much has changed for software vendors in the past decade. Information is easily accessible and abundant. The way that people interact with each other through social media has changed the perspective on the value of software. Meanwhile the mobile revolution has had a tremendous impact on how software is used. Lastly the cloud has changed the business model that software vendors are pursuing – from selling a package and it’s installation to effectively leasing their software on a pay per user/month basis.

In the past, once a system was sold and installed, vendors like Microsoft, Oracle, IBM and Siebel amongst others weren’t overly concerned about how well the tools were used. After all, the bulk of their money was earned at that point already and moving to another system was cumbersome and expensive for the customers.

Today however, this has all changed. If a software vendor sells 1000 software licenses in the cloud to a company for $5 per month per license, that creates an recurring revenue of $5000 per month. If however at the end of the contract term only 400 of the 1000 users make use of the software, it makes sense for the customer to cancel the remaining 600 licenses and the software vendor taking a hit. Moreover, if adoption of the new software does not reach a substantial level, the customer is likely to miss the target benefits and abandon the project altogether, or try an alternative vendor. After all, switching is relatively easy in the new world.

This is why Microsoft, IBM, Oracle and many other vendors are emphasising the importance of change management alongside a software project to ensure that the intended users adopt the new tool and the new way of working.

“What does change management entail?” I imagine you asking. It means taking specific actions that ensure the people for whom the software is destined are ready for the change. Those actions include, but are not limited to, communication, impact analysis, training, coaching, handeling resistance, community managent, change networking and others.

If your company is planning to launch a new software tool, then consider this:

  • If you have an internal change office / manager –> involve him/her/them

  • Budget for change management in your projects. This should include time and effort for a change manager, as well as costs of material (for example: posters, videos, workshops, launch event)

  • If you don’t have an internal change specialist and are based in Belgium or southern Netherlands, contact us at ChangeLab!

Stien Gijsbrechts is an experienced change manager and leads the ChangeLabdivision of the Cronos Group. ChangeLab is the change management competence center working with clients and partners on software implementation projects to ensure people readiness and therefore an increased chance of success!


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