SoftwareOne case study

Improving employee work habits with Microsoft 365 adoption

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By harnessing the power of Microsoft 365 and implementing human-centred change management, the company is reshaping work habits, empowering collaboration and ushering in a new era of business success.

Operating in the extremely competitive and dynamic pharmaceutical retail industry requires skilled people and reliable technology. They are essential to meet the constantly changing business needs. But how to keep operations undisturbed in the face of a major digital transformation?

As this pharmaceutical distributor shows, with the right change management plan in place, even a complex organisation setup can seamlessly transition to new, more efficient ways of working.

Wholesale pharmaceuticals distributor
Digital Workplace Adoption Services

Upgrading technology to keep up with business demand

The organisation is a recognised leader in the wholesale distribution of pharmaceutical products in Poland. They have been building their market position over the last couple of decades, largely through a dynamic sales network and support services.

The company invested a lot in digital workplace modernisation, yet some parts of its technology stack were still to be updated. To improve the efficiency of business operations, as well as workplace perception among their people, they decided to migrate their Lotus Notes to the Microsoft 365 suite.

After executing the pilot phase of the deployment, however, the client realised that the change should not be limited to the choice of technology. Above all else, it had to address the needs of employees and their ways of working.

Their strong attachment to the previous toolset, combined with the working habits built up over many years, were two main reasons the company made a bold decision to find a reliable partner to guide them through the adoption process.

Taking the right approach to change management

Given the size of the organisation, the complexity of the business, and huge expectations for the new technology, SoftwareOne knew the project would have to be extensive in terms of scope but optimised in time to ensure the initiative’s success.

SoftwareOne formed a group of early adopters, called ambassadors, who worked with common Microsoft 365 use cases, guided by the principles of the ADKAR model and our proprietary adoption framework.

In dynamic organisations, an internal network of influencers can be very effective in promoting the adoption of new technology. This is why SoftwareOne formed such a group at the client’s company. Their role was to inspire and educate their peers, which in the long run would benefit the whole organisation.

Communicating the need for change

With the client successfully and actively engaging in the pilot phase, the ground for further adoption development was solid. Aware that success will not be achieved solely with occasional communication or training sessions, the company dedicated some of its resources to fully support the initiative.

Additionally, to encourage the adoption, the client created a storyline that was present in the communication right from the very beginning.

The story behind the change helped to engage employees and ensured their active participation, which is considered one of the success factors from the change management perspective.

The narrative contributed to the positive outcomes and strongly supported the structured and orchestrated adoption activities.

Structured adoption framework

Once the extensive adoption program was designed, the time came to put it into practice. Working with the client, SoftwareOne selected a team of ambassadors who participated in a series of scenario discovery workshops based on the Design Thinking method.

Such co-creative sessions with ambassadors allowed the team to develop a set of unique business scenarios that fit the specific needs and realities of the company, including:

  • Organising Microsoft Teams meetings and working with post-meeting tasks
  • Internal and external collaboration within Microsoft Teams
  • Efficient project management in Microsoft Teams
  • Organising an event with Microsoft Teams
  • Managing own work with various Microsoft 365 tools

Those cases were promoted within the organisation in the next phase of the process to ensure greater adoption of the M365 services.

Meanwhile, SoftwareOne's adoption consultants worked hand-in-hand with the client’s team to outline role and activity plans to tackle the complex subject of change management.

SoftwareOne aimed to engage a group of people on the company’s side – the so-called sponsors who would empower the change initiative with their visibility and credibility, as well as the company managers for supporting the ongoing processes.

The process involved multiple roles and activities, so with the client, we developed the following:

  1. Sponsor plan – engaging the sponsors and highlighting their responsibilities
  2. People Manager plan – defining what actions will be done for and with company managers
  3. Communication plan – describing communication items and who they will be sent to
  4. Training plan – including materials that will be used and a list of training sessions

As the next step, through close and insightful collaboration, SoftwareOne developed a thorough resistance management plan to prioritise the most important resistance factors that could negatively impact the project, such as:

  • An insufficient number of M365 licenses
  • Managers not utilising the communication tools in the most effective way
  • Lack of knowledge about the upcoming changes

SoftwareOne created a comprehensive mitigation plan with a list of action items to effectively address these issues through communication, training, and other required activities.

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Realising the benefits of adoption and change management

To support the client in introducing employees to M365 services, SoftwareOne's adoption consultants delivered a number of activities and assets for the organisation, including:

  • 24+ interactive training sessions
  • 8+ webinars for all employees
  • 17+ how-to manuals available for everyone
  • 100+ internal video tutorials

These elements contributed to the success of the adoption initiative and helped equip the workers with the necessary knowledge and skills to use their new tools effectively.

However, success would not be possible without a strong engagement of the client, whose resources supported the processes. For that reason, upon process completion, the adoption stream was smoothly handed over to the organisation’s internal team.

Thanks to close cooperation throughout the process, SoftwareOne could conduct a successful adoption campaign that left the end users thrilled about and well-prepared for the new M365 solutions.

Building such an attitude from day one enhanced collaboration between employees, improved their overall productivity, and eventually enabled the organisation to gain more from the technology investment in terms of return.

Given the knowledge the client received as a result of its cooperation with SoftwareOne, they can easily continue on their digital transformation journey and benefit fully from their modern workplace capabilities.

The client knows now how to leverage the best practices of change adoption to successfully set the path toward introducing more advanced Microsoft 365 solutions and realise the benefits they expected in the long run.

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