Arkadin is now operating as the Cloud Communications division of NTT Ltd. Together we do great things

Why transformative change depends on successful change management

The pandemic means that businesses everywhere are being forced into a period of transformational change. From now on, many enterprises need to make sure that, if need be, its entire workforce can work remotely.

This raises many questions. Does your business have the right collaboration tools to work productively? Can your distributed workforce work in a virtual environment in a seamless and intuitive way? Can employees make and take calls from anywhere and give you continuity and a quality customer experience? How can you ensure your systems are secure? How do you ensure you are in step with regulatory and compliance requirements?

Making the right decisions

Good questions, all – and ones you may still be looking to answer. After all, The decisions you’re making must be ones that support the business now and be future proofed for the years ahead. Will it involve a new collaboration suite? Perhaps moving your calling to the cloud too?

I’d suggest both will be foundational elements for the future.

I am not going to focus on the technical complexities here, but instead another equally crucial aspect of transformation: change management.

The importance of change management

The right solutions will improve performance, drive down costs, and increase competitive advantage, but only if people know how to use the technology as intended.

That’s why as part of our solutions, we include adoption and change management programs.

We workshop all the details, we listen and consider everything, from the executive level down. Our focus is on where you are and where you want to get to. We don’t simply replicate what has worked with other clients, though of course there are huge learnings we can apply. The most important thing is always how people work in your organization; the inner workings that are unique to them.

There can be resistance. Certain verticals – professional services, law, and finance – are often cited as examples of being change-adverse. What’s different now is the disruption that has taken place. The way people are working has changed. And so now, across all industries, there is a real opportunity to capitalize on this and introduce new ways of working.

In terms of what’s in scope for us, we could be looking at meeting and calling, chat and productivity, information management, data governance, customer experience, enterprise applications, and more. There really can be a lot involved – and so the strategy has to not just take into account the technical transformation but the people side of it too. With technology change you often get cultural changes too – ‘how things are done around here’ – and these can really affect company culture.  

Your partner on the journey

Change management really is crucial – and we make sure we’re active participants in the process. We travel with you on your journey, as your partner along the way, and remove complexity as we go. Our project management teams include experts in change – people change, cultural change, organizational change – and they work together with our technical design teams, and the individual departments within a client’s organization.

Our expertise is in really understanding a business works. We interview department heads and managers and learn how they work. We apply their terminology, we use their acronyms when we train users, and it informs the collateral and videos we create for them to use. We need to be able to talk about what they want to be able to do, and the ways in which the organization and each departments work, and ensure that they know what they can use and how they can use it.

As well as thinking about how we will transition a client, we also agree the best way to achieve it. Will we train everybody? Or train trainers within the organization? Who? And when?

Change needs governance and control

Governance is another fundamental area. You need to think about how people use and can share potentially sensitive data. Yes, we consider encryption layers in your collaboration platform, and how Microsoft handles document information protection, and how Exchange and SharePoint work together if you’re using Office 365, but it’s never just about the pieces in your jigsaw, it’s about how you put them together.

So, what should be available by default to members of your organization? And how should this work for each division, team or individual? What access do guests have to documents that have been shared? Are your messages, calls, videos, files, transcripts presentations too accessible? Or not accessible enough and frustrating your employees.

Making the most of your investment

In many ways, our work is not about deploying an application, but establishing a way of working that’s in sync with how teams, departments, divisions, and whole businesses work. It’s about lifting people from one way of doing things and setting them back down in a new way of doing things; one that is going to be beneficial to them and the whole organization.

Ultimately, we’re focused on helping clients get the best out of their investment. We look at the features that will help them work together and introduce those elements – and do so in the right order. At the beginning of the pandemic, we had clients that migrated tens of thousands of users. in one case this numbered 290,000 users in just two days. Having done that, now we are now going back those users and enabling them with new features. That’s what change management is all about – doing the right things at the right time. Just look at your smartphone – you can add all kinds of apps, but unless you know how they can improve your life, you won’t use them. Yet when you know, it can be transformational.

Moving much faster

The transformations now taking place used to happen over two or three years. Right now, it’s accelerating and organizations want to move much faster. It’s understandable in the current environment.

This is why we do what we do with a proven methodology – one that fits your business, makes you comfortable with the technology, and gives you that advantage over your competitors.

As businesses move beyond rapid-response solutions and look to ensure their future business continuity, we’re here to not just deliver the right technology platforms, but the right change management programs too.

Transformative change has never been more important for so many organizations – but success really does depend on proper change management.


About the author

Charlie is Vice President, Managed Collaboration And Communications for the Cloud Communications division of NTT. He's been in the telecommunications industry for more than 15 years working for providers such as MCI-Verizon, Genesys, West Corporation, and now NTT gaining vast experience across the North American, EMEA, and APAC markets. His primary focus has been professional services related to the adoption of collaborative services and technical integrations for the last 10 years. Now he is focusing on end to end digital transformation services around cloud datacentre and intelligent communications.

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