A major financial services company based in Ireland engaged SureSkills to assist in the deployment of its workplace transformation initiative at its head office. The firm’s workplace strategy was to provide a new user experience, enabling greater collaboration and mobility while providing a modern, flexible and secure workplace. A large part of SureSkills’ engagement involved moving close to 500 employees from Windows 7 workstations to mobile devices running Windows 10, combining a suite of new tools. This would change how the employees worked, giving them the freedom and capability to collaborate with colleagues and serve customers from anywhere.
Upgrading from a legacy platform.
In determining what it wanted its workplace of the future to look like, the financial organisation chose to replace a legacy on-premise email platform with Office 365 and Outlook in the cloud and join its global colleagues on a single platform for collaboration. Working with its IT partner SureSkills, the financial services company identified Microsoft Windows 10 as a platform that would provide the capabilities it needed to enable staff to work from anywhere. Combined with a new corporate Wi-Fi, always-on VPN and multi-factor authentication (MFA) app, employees each received new laptops to give them the option to work from any location, both in the office and from home.
Access from anywhere.
At the same time, the company embarked on an ambitious physical refurbishment of its head office space, investing in its building and its people to provide a modern open-plan office space to enhance collaboration. Now, every workspace has the same configuration, with two monitors and a docking station. With many staff standardised on Windows 10 (in addition to some Citrix users), employees can log in and access their data and applications from anywhere, both within the building and outside, both wired and wireless. This project built on existing projects that the company had done to move some of its IT estate to the cloud.
Complex project management.
This project was a highly complex project in terms of scheduling that required significant planning and testing over eight months, from January to September 2018. The deployment part of the project ran in tandem with the building renovations and involved a series of rapid sprints to meet sometimes daily deadlines. With this project, timing was critical: it was crucial that the company provided its people
with the capabilities to operate in their new physical office environment from day one, so it and SureSkills aligned to ensure that each phase of the construction ended with the delivery of the technology our staff needed to do their jobs. Continuous batches of new laptops were ordered, imaged
and prepared, alongside application compatibility testing and finally deployed to the users. “We were running tests with the applications team. It was a very time-intensive project in that respect,” says Carlos Da Silva, IT consultant with SureSkills.
User training eases transition.
To ensure a seamless transition for employees, the financial company leveraged SureSkills’ learning and development capabilities as part of this project, providing in-house Windows 10 training, Office 365 workshops and hands-on sessions to our staff. SureSkills recommended that the firm should develop a ‘quick start guide’ to explain all of the changes in the workplace. SureSkills also assigned a team of technical staff to stay on site at the company offices for some time after the move, to help people with any queries and show them how to do tasks with their new systems.
Flexibility without compromise.
Windows 10, together with Office365, are accessible through the cloud. This is far more flexible, while offering higher levels of data protection. “Going from a legacy on-premise email platform to Windows 10 is a big leap – like going from a dune buggy to a Ferrari,” explains Da Silva.
The project was a huge success. Users immediately saw the benefits of being able to continue working seamlessly from anywhere in the building, and to collaborate more easily and effectively with each other. Productivity levels increased and NPS scores improved. Working with SureSkills, the financial services company has been able to deliver a modern, future-ready workplace, giving its people the tools to work from anywhere. The project achieved the vision to provide staff with an IT solution to complement its new-look building. By integrating technology with the physical environment, it has delivered a new user experience and new ways of working.
SureSkills was flexible, extremely close to the project and ultimately more of a partner than a service provider. Their people became an extension of our team. They stayed with us to develop the plans and schedules, and they brought the right mix of skills to the work, from project management through to technical expertise to solve issues.
IT network service manager,
financial services company.
|Rigid user experience||Minimal user disruption|
|Legacy office tools||Increased collaboration|
|Restricted remote access||Improved mobility|
|No collaboration technology||Higher productivity levels|
|Poor meeting room experience||Improved security and data protection|