This article was originally published on Digital-Adoption.com

WalkMe’s Realize event is the must visit digital adoption conference of 2020. 

In this article, we’ll learn everything there is to know about the Realize conference, including:


Get your Free Digital Adoption Certificate




  • Dates
  • Location
  • Topics
  • Who should attend
  • Why attend

Plus, we’ll cover the essentials of digital adoption – what it is, why it is so important to businesses in the digital age, and how to implement digital adoption strategies.

To start off, let’s look at the digital adoption conference itself.

A 30-Second Guide to Realize, the Must-Visit Digital Adoption Conference of 2020

WalkMe’s Realize conference is a digital adoption conference … in fact, it is the company’s first digital adoption conference and one of the first digital adoption conferences in the world. 

It is a unique conference that offers business professionals a unique opportunity to network, hone their skills, learn about digital adoption, and much more.

Here is a quick rundown about the facts of this conference:

  • Realize is a digital adoption conference hosted by WalkMe, the company that pioneered the digital adoption platform (DAP)
  • WalkMe’s first-ever digital adoption conference is being held March 10-11, 2020, in San Francisco California
  • For professionals interested in digital transformation, it presents a rare opportunity to see and participate in the future of technology adoption

Of course, this list just covers the basics of this event. 

Realize FAQ

Those interested in learning more about this conference can learn everything they need to know from the FAQ below.

Why attend?

As mentioned, this conference is the go-to event for any business professional interested in digital adoption and transformation.

Attendees can expect:

  • Keynotes from digital adoption leaders, exploring topics on digital adoption, technology, digital transformation, and more
  • A crowd of like-minded professionals who are also interested in digital transformation and adoption
  • Insights, practical skills, best practices, in-depth knowledge, and much more

This conference is focused on digital adoption and technology adoption, a critical stage in the digital transformation journey.

In the coming years, this area of business will become even more prominent and important than it is today.

Professionals who want to get a head start and help define the future of this field would do well to attend this conference.

Where and when?

Here are more details about the time and location:

  • The first Realize conference takes place in at City View At Metreon, San Francisco California, on March 10-11, 2020
  • Attendees can access discounted rooms at the Intercontinental Mark Hopkins or Virgin Hotels San Francisco (discount codes available upon registration)
  • On March 10, the schedule consists of WalkMe specialization workshops, an opening keynote, breakout sessions, the expo, the evening event, and Realizers award ceremony
  • On March 11, the day begins with the morning keynote, then follows up with breakout sessions, the expo, demo stations, and finishes with executive meetings

More detailed schedules will be available once registration is complete.

How much are tickets?

Early bird rates are $799, running until January 15th, 2020.

After that, prices are $1299 per person.

Who can attend?

Anyone who is truly interested in technology adoption, digital adoption, and digital transformation.

This includes:

  • WalkMe customers, prospects, and partners
  • Industry analysts
  • Journalists
  • WalkMe employees

And anyone else who wants to help “shape the future of digital adoption.”

What else do I need to know?

Here are a few final details:

Finally, to take full advantage of this event, it is best to register early and be prepared.

Below, we have created a couple guides to help attendees get ready.

How to Prepare for the Realize Digital Adoption Conference

Here are two guides that can help registrants make the most of this digital adoption event:

What to Pack

Every event is an opportunity for growth, networking, and development.

But, mundane as it may sound, it’s important to pack right.

After all, a drained battery or the wrong clothes can really throw a wrench into your conference plans.

So be sure to pack the right things before attending, such as:

  • A map. Today, most people use Google Maps or an equivalent, making life much, much easier. Be sure to save key locations in your phone, such as the Metreon and your hotel. And make sure to keep event maps handy when you’re planning your day.
  • Extra batteries and chargers. Be sure to keep extra batteries and chargers on hand, in your day-carry bag. 
  • Enough devices. It never hurts to have an extra tablet or laptop ready, just in case something goes wrong. 
  • A to-do list. Make a list of your top priorities – such as people to connect with, questions you want answered, or companies to check out – then keep it on hand throughout the event. 
  • A list of companies and people to contact. Every event is a networking opportunity, and this digital adoption conference presents an excellent chance to meet others who are passionate about technology adoption, digital adoption, and digital transformation.
  • The right clothes. It doesn’t hurt to prepare a mix of business casual and formal wear, in case you want to make adjustments day-of. Also, be sure to check the weather before departure and bring layers – March is not the warmest time of year in San Francisco.

Finally, make sure to pack all of these items in a day-carry bag, such as a backpack, that has enough room for all the necessities.

Goals to Set

Here are a few goals to set when attending the Realize conference:

  • Learning. Conference participants will gain insights, knowledge, and practical skills. For best results, though, examine the agenda closely and make a list of learning objectives – that is, ideas and knowledge that you want to take away from the conference. Then, when you arrive, take notes, ask questions, and speak to the appropriate people.
  • Networking. As the conference nears, more details will become available about which companies will be attending. Make a list of key people and businesses you want to make contact with, then check them off as you go.
  • Be inspired. This conference will be packed with some of the brightest, most inspiring individuals in the digital adoption space. It is certainly useful to strategize and plan your visit, but leave space for the unexpected … and just have fun!

Attending this conference is certainly one of the best ways to learn about digital adoption and transformation.

However, another good way to prepare for the event is by learning about digital adoption, digital transformation, and technology adoption.

That’s why we’ve created a digital adoption primer, to help you learn the essentials of digital adoption … before you attend.

Digital Adoption 101: A Crash Course 

What is digital adoption?

And how is it different from other types of adoption, such as…

  • Technology adoption
  • Software adoption
  • Software implementation
  • Product adoption
  • User adoption

Also, where does digital adoption fit into the digital transformation puzzle?

Concepts such as these are more relevant than ever in the digital economy, which is why professionals should learn as much as they can about this topic.

What Digital Adoption Is 

Digital adoption means using your technology for the desired intent and to its fullest capability. Without effective digital adoption, the cost of software can quickly outpace its value.

Today, there are a number of trends fueling the rise of digital adoption, including:

  • Global digital transformation. Digital disruption is driving digital transformation across industries and marketplaces, in organizations both large and small. One key stage in these transformations is digital adoption.
  • Ongoing organizational change. The economy is still evolving, so businesses must keep evolving with it. To keep pace with this economy, organizations and their employees must stay adaptable and agile.
  • User-centric design and the user experience. User-centric design applies to all digital products, whether they are geared towards consumers or B2B users. And because the contemporary user must continually learn new platforms and tools, the user experience is critical for differentiating products, keeping users engaged, product training, and more.
  • Perpetual learning. Today – and well into the foreseeable future – perpetual learning will become the norm. Employees will need to constantly learn and re-learn workplace skills, which means that digital adoption, onboarding, and training should become permanent functions within every business.

One result of these combined trends is digital adoption, a vitally important function in the modern digital enterprise.

Why Digital Adoption Matters

Foreseeing this inevitable development, WalkMe pioneered the Digital Adoption Platform (DAP), a training solution that is built specifically to fuel digital adoption and transformation.

Through DAPs, organizations can enhance digital adoption for their users, regardless of whether those users are employees or consumers.

A few benefits of effective digital adoption include:

  • Accelerated user onboarding. Faster onboarding improves the user experience, decreases time-to-competency, and decreases technical support costs, among other things.
  • Improved software proficiency. DAPs automate many training tasks, helping users become more self-reliant and more proficient. This can keep user skill levels from stagnating, enhancing the overall proficiency and contributions of the workforce.
  • Enhanced user engagement and productivity. Streamlined user experiences improve product usability and user engagement, as well as user productivity.
  • Greater software ROI. Ultimately, effective digital adoption boosts the value of a software investment.

Effective digital adoption clearly offers significant benefits, especially when DAPs are implemented wisely.

Below, we will look at DAPs in more detail. 

First, though, let’s explore two scenarios where digital adoption is most useful: digital adoption for customers and digital adoption for employees.

Digital Adoption for In-House Software Implementation

Businesses that implement software for internal use – such as CRM platforms, HCM platforms, and other complex enterprise-grade software – can realize major benefits from digital adoption programs.

A few of those benefits include:

  • Faster, more efficient employee training. A major hurdle in software implementation is training time. The longer it takes employees to learn something, the longer it takes them to be productive. And the less engaged they are. Effective digital adoption decreases learning timelines, helping organizations recoup their software investment more quickly.
  • Improved employee productivity and performance. The more skilled employees are, the more productive they will be and the better they will perform. A strong digital adoption and training program prevents skill levels from stagnating, which helps keep the workforce relevant, useful, and productive.
  • Simplified digital experiences. Not surprisingly, employees who are more engaged at work will be more satisfied with their jobs. Naturally, a DAP cannot transform workplace engagement levels. However, it can help integrate digital workflows, improve the digital work experience, and streamline the digital workplace … all of which help enhance the employee experience.
  • Greater software utilization. When employees only use part of a software program, then the organization will only realize part of its software ROI. DAPs can be used to promote specific features, ensuring that employees use the platform’s full set of capabilities.

Clearly, there are several reasons why today’s modern organizations should develop robust digital adoption programs.

However, the benefits covered above are restricted to software implementation.

Yet digital adoption is a strategic endeavor whose benefits extend beyond software implementation, to the workplace and the organization as a whole.

Below, we will explore some of those benefits in more detail.

First, though, let’s look at how DAPs can benefit product creators, software developers, and app companies.

Digital Adoption for Product Creators

Product developers also have a keen interest in digital adoption. 

In product development, however, different terms may be used – such as user adoption, software adoption, or product adoption.

As with digital adoption in the enterprise, customer-centered digital adoption presents a number of benefits to product creators.

These include:

  • Streamlined onboarding. Onboarding is a crucial stage in the customer adoption cycle. Effective onboarding can dramatically improve important metrics, such as customer engagement and proficiency. 
  • Improved acquisition and retention. One of the biggest benefits to effective customer onboarding is better customer acquisition and retention rates. The initial experience of a product, after all, has a significant effect on users’ perception of a product or service.
  • More satisfaction and less frustration. Better onboarding experiences keep users happier, reducing frustration while improving satisfaction levels. This is important, because it impacts users’ perception of a product, while positively affecting some of the other metrics mentioned in the previous point.
  • Greater lifetime values from users. The bottom line for many organizations is the average lifetime value (LTV) of their customers. Through its positive impact on the metrics covered above, organizations can realize greater value and profit from their customers.

Digital adoption clearly presents benefits to both the organization and its end users.

However, even a quick review of any adoption process reveals the need for effective onboarding tools.

Core Components of the Digital Adoption Process

To understand why DAPs are so valuable, let’s look at the adoption process in more detail.

Digital adoption – or related terms, such as product adoption, user adoption, and software adoption – all cover a specific portion of the user journey.

These can include:

  • Pre-onboarding touchpoints, such as marketing and sales communications
  • Onboarding itself, which can include the initial sign-up, login, product tour, product training, and so forth
  • Post-onboarding product training and communications
  • Technical support and customer support

Components such as these all work together to help users succeed with any new platform or service.

However, any organization that attempts to perform all of these functions on its own will quickly understand the complexity of such an endeavor.

After all, to design an adoption process, businesses must coordinate a variety of activities, including:

  • User onboarding
  • Product tours
  • User training
  • Support functions
  • Data and analytics

Ideally, businesses would have access to a tool that coordinates and streamlines all of these activities – and this is where DAPs come in.

Key Features of Digital Adoption Platforms (DAPs)

As mentioned, DAPs are platforms specifically designed to streamline digital adoption, onboarding, and training.

WalkMe’s DAP offers several specific features that help result in some of the benefits covered above:

  • Contextualized in-app guidance. The WalkMe DAP is a UX and training layer that delivers assistance directly inside of a target software program. When organizations implement WalkMe for Salesforce, for instance, employees can learn Salesforce workflows without ever leaving the application. 
  • Step-by-step tutorials. Walkthroughs are one way that the WalkMe DAP delivers in-app guidance and instructions. These step-by-step tutorials can teach even brand new users how to perform a wide variety of tasks. 
  • Automation. Task automation offers a number of benefits to organizations. Automation, for instance, frees up users’ time for more valuable activities, decreases error rates, and results in massive productivity gains.
  • Software analytics. Software analytics offer insight into user behavior and training needs. This information can be used to improve training efforts over time, reduce error rates, and guide corrective action.

For more information about DAPs, visit WalkMe’s website.

Digital Adoption from a Strategic Perspective

So far, we have covered the basics of digital adoption.

We have seen that:

  • Digital adoption is an important part of the digital transformation process
  • Continual organizational change and perpetual learning make digital adoption more relevant than ever
  • Digital adoption accelerates training timelines, improves user proficiency, and increases user productivity
  • Enhances the overall value and performance of a software platform

However, these benefits are specific to the implementation of specific products and software.

But digital adoption extends its scope beyond just software implementation to the workplace, the organization, and digital transformation.

It pays, therefore, to examine digital transformation from this context.

Below are a few reasons why organizations should set their sights on digital adoption – not simply software implementation or user adoption.

Digital adoption…

  • Enables and fuels digital transformation efforts. According to Deloitte, digital adoption is a stage in the process of digital transformation. Therefore, unless organizations properly plan for and implement this stage, their digital transformation efforts will be hindered … or, in worst case scenarios, blocked completely.
  • Increases an organization’s digital maturity level. Digital maturity refers to an organizations overall digital capabilities. This not only includes its tools, but also its employees’ skills, mindsets, and abilities. Digital adoption programs and DAPs are clearly critical for improving all of these areas.
  • Integrate and streamline digital workflows. Proficiency with a single digital tool is not enough. In today’s digital workplace, employees use a variety of tools to complete even basic tasks. With the right DAP, organizations can help users improve proficiency across a set of tools, not just a single tool.
  • Improves the functioning of the digital workplace. Workplaces have a number of constituent components: employees, their tools, the workplace culture, business processes, and so forth. Effective digital adoption coordinates and optimizes all of these components together, improving workplace efficiency and effectiveness.

In short: digital adoption is a strategic process aimed at improving organizational performance and effectiveness, not just user adoption.

Though digital adoption certainly does improve user adoption and onboarding, we have seen that it also extends its scope to affect the entire organization and the user’s entire digital context.

Beyond the Basics: Digital Adoption Best Practices, Tips, Tactics, and Strategies

Now that we have covered the essentials of digital adoption, let’s look at some “intermediate” tips and tactics:

Develop a digital transformation strategy and vision.

Digital transformation is, as covered earlier, one of the driving forces behind today’s evolving economy. 

To survive and thrive in this economy, organizations should also transform, which means:

  • Setting a strategic north star. That is, organizations should look forward at the future of their industry, their business, and the digital economy. They should design a vision, a “north star,” that will guide them in the coming years. 
  • Designing digital transformation programs around that vision. Transformation initiatives will likely be complex initiatives that pursue several goals. One organization may focus on innovation, another may enhance its business processes, and another may follow multiple paths simultaneously. Regardless of the program structure, each transformation initiative should be designed to support its overarching strategic vision.
  • Implementing digital adoption efforts that serve those efforts. Digital adoption, a critical piece of so many digital transformation programs, should be placed into the context of its digital transformation agenda. Generally, it does this by streamlining product adoption, onboarding, and training, as we have already seen.

Digital transformation and digital adoption are interdependent processes. 

The more that businesses understand this, the more effective their efforts will be.

Use the WalkMe DAP.

WalkMe’s DAP is the premiere digital adoption platform on the market.

The company that pioneered the DAP – and is hosting the first-ever digital adoption conference – is the first choice for the world’s biggest brands, such as Adobe and Amazon.

Any organization that wants to get the best results from its adoption efforts should look to industry leaders, which is why WalkMe should be the first choice.

Businesses can use this platform for key adoption processes, including:

  • User onboarding
  • Product training
  • Task automation

More information can be found on WalkMe’s website.

Hire a digital adoption manager.

A digital adoption manager is in charge of digital adoption programs.

Their duties vary from organization to organization, but can include:

  • Coordinating digital adoption activities. Contemporary organizations adopt digital tools on a regular basis, so it pays to have a position dedicated to managing these adoption efforts. 
  • Meeting or exceeding digital adoption targets. Once organizations look past “software deployment,” they begin realizing that adoption can – and should – be measured.
  • Enhancing the employee experience. Talent management is traditionally an HR function. But digital adoption also plays a key role when it comes to managing and retaining top talent. 

Like customer onboarding specialists, digital adoption managers focus on streamlining the adoption process. 

However, the digital adoption manager centers their efforts on in-house software adoption and improving the digital workplace.

In an era when talented employees are so hard to come by, this function is becoming more and more critical.

Implement a structured approach to change management.

To stay current, organizations must be agile and adaptable. 

They must therefore be ready, able, and willing to change. 

Organizational change is easier said than done, though, which is why change management is so important.

Change management departments:

  • Manage and execute organizational change projects
  • Mitigate risks and overcome obstacles to change
  • Improve the outcomes of organizational changes

Among other things.

For more information on change management, visit WalkMe’s change management blog.

Take a holistic view of the digital workplace and the organization, not just user adoption.

When thinking about digital adoption, it pays to look at the bigger picture of digital transformation, as mentioned earlier.

But when it comes to designing actual digital adoption programs, what does this entail?

Here are a few approaches and activities that can help businesses think past “software deployment”:

  • Integrate digital workflows. Most employees, whether they are salespeople or designers, use multiple platforms in a single workflow. Organizations, therefore, should design digital adoption efforts that focus on workflows, rather than specific tools.
  • Look beyond technology, at the workforce itself. Culture, mindsets, and attitudes all influence employee behavior. To get the most value from employees, therefore, organizations should look holistically at such factors. At times, changes to these areas can benefit the organization and facilitate digital transformation.
  • Manage the entire user experience. For an enterprise implementing software internally, its user base would be its employees. For product creators, its user base would be its target audience. In either case, the entire user experience should be taken into account when designing digital adoption programs.

Tactics and approaches such as these are more in line with digital adoption, because they focus on processes and workflows, rather than individual tools.

Analyze and optimize, don’t “set and forget.”

Digital adoption is like any other business process – it should be continually optimized for best results.

If an organization sets and forgets its adoption initiative, then that program will not be able to keep up with the changing environment.

Also, it is unlikely that the first version of the program will produce stellar results – outcomes can always be improved.

For that reason, digital adoption managers should:

  • Set measurable goals. Targets can focus on many of the benefits covered above, such as employee performance improvements.
  • Apply and track metrics. Digital adoption metrics should be closely monitored and evaluated, to track the health of the project and identify areas for improvement.
  • Learn and optimize. Insights gained from DAP analytics can be used to further optimize the program and make adjustments as necessary.

In other words, agility is as important for digital adoption as it is for organizations.

The more quickly a digital adoption program can respond to its users’ needs, the more relevant and productive it will be.

Learn as much as possible about digital adoption.

There is a great deal to learn about this exciting field.

Anyone who is truly interested in changing their organization, improving their digital workplace, and engaging in digital transformation should learn as much as possible about this field.

Here are a few ways to do just that:

  • Research digital transformation and adoption. Our digital adoption blog is an excellent place to start. Other good resources include the WalkMe blog, as well as blogs from major research firms, such as Gartner, Deloitte, or McKinsey.
  • Learn about DAPs. DAPs are quickly overtaking other forms of digital training, because they produce superior results in far less time. 
  • Attend WalkMe’s digital adoption conference. Finally, be sure to attend WalkMe’s upcoming digital adoption conference. As mentioned, this conference will include insightful discussions, thought-provoking keynotes, and practical skills that can help professionals shape the future of the digital adoption industry.

When researching anything, including industry leaders, it pays to focus on the industry leaders … not the followers.

For that reason, WalkMe – the undisputed leader in the digital adoption space – should top your list when learning about digital adoption.