AstraZeneca accelerates user education through the Office and Windows Insider Programs

By Jesse Gamble on July 31, 2019

This is an excerpt from the Microsoft customer story AstraZeneca streamlines testing and speeds updates with Windows as a service

As one of the largest biopharmaceutical companies in the world, AstraZeneca manages more than 70,000 Windows devices. The company also deploys Office 365 using a content delivery network.

To help its users get the most out of Office and Windows, Jacqmin and his team develop extensive user education materials. “With each new release, we see features that we know could really benefit our users. It’s just a matter of showing people how to use them,” says Philippe Jacqmin, Hardware and Software Service Manager at AstraZeneca.

Resources include everything from posters, slides, and video for plasma screens to events, tip sheets, and presentations, many of which are translated for global distribution. But work like this takes time and preparing materials on a timely basis can be challenging – especially with new features coming out as often as once a month.

Jacqmin wanted to develop a more efficient process to get materials out sooner. And that’s where beta programs offered by Microsoft for Office and Windows have proven especially valuable. Jacqmin participates in programs for both products, known as the Office Insider Program and Windows Insider Program.

One of the many benefits of these programs has been access to a regular stream of preview builds. Exploring new features within these preview builds have helped Jacqmin prepare tip sheets and other resources well before a general release. As Jacqmin explains, “Early access to preview features gives me time to align these features to the needs and issues of my users and better prepare user education.”

Jacqmin also uses preview builds as an early litmus test for potential issues. If he encounters an issue in a preview build, there are Insider forums for both Office and Windows where Insiders share details about problems and suggestions related to preview builds. Often, Jacqmin will find that an issue he’s spotted has already been raised by another Insider and Microsoft has posted a note confirming that it’s investigating.

Both programs also provide extensive release notes, blogs and other resources to help Insiders stay up to date on the latest features. “Obviously, I can’t keep up with every new feature, and the sites provide a good summary,” Jacqmin says. 

As an Insider, Jacqmin can also submit suggestions for new features directly to Microsoft engineers. This provides Jacqmin with an exciting opportunity to submit ideas that can help address Astra Zeneca’s specific business needs – and get even more out of its Office and Windows investments.

Find out more about AstraZeneca on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

Posted in Case Study, General, Office Insiders

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