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What is a Digital Adoption Platform (The Ultimate Guide) 

By The VisualSP Team
Updated November 7, 2023
Digital Adoption Platform

In a perfect world, we would introduce new software to our teams and they’d adopt it like ducks take to water. But digital adoption can be tricky. This is where a Digital Adoption Platform can be a valuable resource. In this guide, we walk you through everything you need to know about Digital Adoption Platforms. You’ll learn what they do, common features, popular platforms, and more.

What is a Digital Adoption Platform (DAP)?

A Digital Adoption Platform (DAP) helps employees use digital tools by providing support within the applications themselves.

These DAPs help businesses develop and deploy new applications faster and more effectively.

Why are Digital Adoption Platforms important?

DAPs help organizations improve product adoption and user engagement. This is important for several reasons:

  • Improved User Experience & Productivity: People are happier and more productive at work when it is easy for them to learn new tools.
  • Reduced training costs: DAPs can help organizations reduce training costs by providing personalized training and in-context support to users.
  • See software benefits faster: The sooner users adopt new software, the sooner organizations see investment benefits.
  • Enhanced digital transformation initiatives: DAPs aid organizations in better managing digital transformation by offering insights on user adoption and engagement.
  • Reducing the number of support tickets: DAPs assist users in solving problems on their own with self-help resources and guidance in the app. This eliminates the need to contact IT support.
  • Improving user compliance: DAPs assist users in following company rules by offering guidance and training within the app. This can ensure that users are following the correct procedures.

How Do Digital Adoption Platforms Work?

DAPs work by integrating with existing enterprise applications. Once integrated, DAPs can provide users with in-app guidance and contextual self-help resources.

A DAP can guide users through new software features or help them when they are having trouble with a specific task.

DAPs also provide administrators with insights into user adoption and engagement. Administrators can use this information to identify areas where users are struggling and to make improvements to the software experience.

Features of a Digital Adoption Platform

Interactive walkthroughs and guidance

Contextual self-help resources

In-app analytics and reporting

ROI reporting for Dynamics 365 Business Central

Training videos, step-by-step guides, and articles (for example, links to knowledge base articles)

Inline help

In-app communication

Use Case Examples

A DAP is useful in a number of areas, including:

  • Onboarding new employees to software applications
  • Training users on new features and functionality
  • Providing support to users who are struggling with a particular task
  • Collecting feedback from users to improve the software experience
  • Measuring the effectiveness of training programs

Let's say that you have an employee learning a new CRM. Here's how the DAP would assist them:

  1. The new employee logs into the CRM system for the first time.
  2. The DAP automatically detects that the new employee is a first-time user and launches an interactive walkthrough.
  3. The walkthrough guides the new employee through the steps involved in creating a new lead, managing contacts, and logging sales activities.
  4. The new employee can click on tooltips throughout the walkthrough to get more information about specific features.
  5. Once they finish the walkthrough, they access contextual self-help resources to learn more about specific tasks or features.

Here are some real use cases for individuals who utilized a digital adoption platform:

  • A civil engineering consulting and design firm of 1,600 employees deployed VisualSP to train employees on a new CRM. Once they did this, they found they got far fewer questions. Read more...
  • Visa, a financial services company with about 20,000 employees, used a DAP to help employees to use SharePoint. This allowed them to stop in-class user training, saving the company time and money. Read more...
  • A $3.4B not-for-profit healthcare provider of 23,000 workers utilized VisualSP and found that their support costs decreased by 50%. Read more...

Popular Digital Adoption Platforms

Ultimately, the best DAP for your organization will depend on your specific needs and budget. When you choose a digital adoption platform, it is important to carefully consider the features and functionality offered by different DAPs before making a decision.

Here are some factors to consider when choosing a DAP:

  • Ease of use: The DAP should be easy for both users and administrators to use.
  • Scalable: The DAP should be scalable to meet the needs of your organization as it grows.
  • Integrations: The DAP should integrate well with your other enterprise systems.
  • Customer support: The DAP vendor should offer good customer support.

Below is a list of popular DAP vendors. But let’s get this out of the way: as a Digital Adoption Platform, we know we have some bias. However, we have no problem telling potential customers that they’d actually work better with a different vendor. There are several great products on the market, and we understand that it’s all about what works best for you.
So, with that out of the way, here are the pros and cons of the most popular digital adoption platform software:


WalkMe offers its users a comprehensive set of features, including interactive walkthroughs, contextual self-help resources, and in-app analytics. It’s also highly scalable for organizations of all sizes.

We have heard from users that it can be complex to set up (users must go to a “builder school” to figure out how to use it). Time to launch can be long as you learn the tool. Price is also a concern, as this is one of the more expensive tools on the market.


VisualSP is one of the more affordable DAP options. It comes with a comprehensive set of features, including interactive walkthroughs, contextual self-help resources, and in-app analytics. It’s easy to use, quick to launch, and users get hands-on support. Although VisualSP can work on any web enterprise application, it has a strong team of Microsoft 365 experts and comes with several out-of-the box Microsoft 365 resources. If your company uses Microsoft, then you should definitely consider this DAP.

One possible drawback of VisualSP is that it only works for users who are already working in the Microsoft ecosystem (as that is how they are automatically activated). If your organization is on the Microsoft stack of applications (Microsoft 365 or Dynamics 365), this shouldn’t be a problem. It’s also worth noting that VisualSP does not work on desktop applications (with the exception of Microsoft Teams).

You can try VisualSP for free here.


Pendo provides its users with a user-friendly interface and powerful analytics capabilities. It is mainly targeted to work on websites and web-based applications for external users.

Some find that it has limited features and can get expensive as organizations grow.


Whatfix includes a wide range of features, is easy to use, and allows you to segment users. It also comes at an affordable base price.

Users have noted that it’s not as scalable as some other digital adoption platforms and it can be complex to set up and configure. It can also get expensive as you start adding internal applications that you want to support with it.

What Is the Implementation Timeline for a Digital Adoption Platform?

The implementation timeline for a Digital Adoption Platform will vary depending on the size and complexity of the organization, as well as the complexity of the tool you are using. However, a typical DAP implementation timeline might look something like this:

  • Weeks 1-4: Planning and preparation. This includes identifying the software applications that will be used with the DAP, as well as the users who will be using the DAP. You will also need to develop a communication plan and user training materials.
  • Weeks 5-8: Integration and testing. During this phase, you’ll integrate the DAP with your existing enterprise systems and test it thoroughly to ensure that it is working properly.
  • Weeks 9-12: Deployment and training. You'll then deploy the DAP to users and provide them with training on how to use it.
  • Weeks 13-16: Ongoing support and monitoring. Provide ongoing support to users and monitor the effectiveness of the DAP implementation.

At VisualSP, we provide a Quick Start Guide to help users hit the ground running. We’ve found that VisualSP users can launch in as little as two weeks.

How Do You Measure the Effectiveness of a Digital Adoption Platform?

Measuring the impact of a digital adoption solution is important to ensure that it is delivering the desired results. There are several ways to measure the impact of a DAP, including:

  • Increased user adoption and proficiency:
    • Number of users who are actively using the DAP
    • Number of tasks that users are completing using the DAP
    • Time it takes users to complete tasks using the DAP
  • Reduced training costs:
    • Tracking the amount of money that is spent on training new employees and on training existing employees on new software features and functionality
  • Faster time to value for new software investments:
    • Tracking the amount of time it takes for users to adopt new software applications and to start using them to achieve their goals
  • Enhanced digital transformation initiatives:
    • Number of new software applications that are deployed
    • Number of employees who are using new software applications
    • Level of user satisfaction with new software applications
  • Reduced support costs:
    • Number of support tickets that are opened, the time it takes to resolve support tickets, and the level of user satisfaction with support services
  • Improved user compliance:
    • Number of compliance violations
    • Cost of compliance violations
    • Level of user awareness of company policies and procedures

Looking for a simple calculation? Here’s a quick and easy way to calculate ROI on a DAP. VisualSP customers have access to analytics that give them a clear picture of how effectively the tool is working for their team.

VisualSP also makes deployment of Microsoft Clarity a seamless process, giving you greater analytics into how users are navigating with your various web enterprise platforms. This can help you identify areas where you could provide greater support through your DAP.

In addition to these quantitative metrics, it is also important to collect qualitative feedback from users to get a better understanding of how the DAP is impacting their experience. This feedback can be collected through surveys, interviews, and focus groups.

By measuring the impact of a DAP, you can make sure that you are getting the most out of your investment and that the DAP is helping you achieve your goals.

What Are the Most Common Digital Adoption Platform Implementation Challenges?

  • User Buy-In: Users can often feel reluctant to try another tool. It is important to get buy-in from users before deploying a DAP. This can be done by communicating the benefits of the DAP to users and by providing them with training on how to use it. You may also want to create a pilot program to test the DAP with a small group of users before deploying it to the entire organization.
  • Content creation: Creating DAP content can be time-consuming. However, there are several ways to streamline the process, such as using templates and reusing existing content. You can also use a pre-built library of content from your DAP vendor. For example, VisualSP comes with out-of-the-box content for several Microsoft 365 platforms.
  • Integration: Integrating a DAP with existing enterprise systems can be complex. However, working with your DAP vendor can help to make the process easier.
  • Budget: DAPs can be costly, especially for big organizations. However, there are ways to lower the cost of using a DAP. Identify which features are most important to you. You might discover that you don't require the most expensive DAP...a more affordable option can meet your needs just fine.
  • Change management: Implementing a DAP can be a significant change for users. It is important to manage the change effectively to minimize disruption and maximize user adoption. One way to assist with this is by appointing a change management champion.


Selecting and implementing a Digital Adoption Platform may seem like a daunting task, but it’s well worth it. DAPs help users learn and use software applications faster and easier by offering interactive walkthroughs, contextual help, and other resources. This can lead to increased productivity, improved job satisfaction, and reduced training costs.
If you are serious about improving digital adoption in your organization, then a DAP is a must-have.

Try VisualSP for free today.

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