CM-PacLife CS

Change management: Enabling customer success in a rapidly evolving workplace

Challenge: New tools, new expectations

More and more, organizations are turning to change management experts to  help them improve the success of technology rollouts. That’s good news for  Vitalyst, which built its business decades ago helping workforces learn new  tools. As tools continued to change, the need for its services grew.

“Organizations adopting a new, cloud-based environment must also help  employees adjust to a faster pace of technology updates,” says Barry O’Donnell,  President and CEO at Vitalyst.

Why do some enterprise technology projects succeed where others fail?  Vitalyst says what makes the difference are programs that encourage adoption  and drive usage. “When you look at the pace of digital transformation and  why projects fail, research indicates that change management makes a big  difference. Customers are six times more likely to succeed when change  management principles are leveraged,” says O’Donnell.

Solution: A methodology to drive technology adoption

Vitalyst focuses on change enablement, a bottom-up approach to adoption that complements essential change management efforts, which tend to be top-down and planning focused. Its proprietary methodology called  PROPEL is based on the Prosci ADKAR (Awareness, Desire, Knowledge, Ability,  Reinforcement) methodology. PROPEL includes customized user training and  support that accommodates the different ways that a diverse, multigenerational  workforce wants to engage and learn.

“PROPEL starts with a Change Enablement Workshop and assessment  that enables us to understand the skill gaps and learning elasticity of an organization,” said O’Donnell. “Some executive-level priorities may be different  than at the user level. PROPEL helps ensure we understand all of those things  and provide the best recommendations for moving forward.”

Demand for Vitalyst services grew as customers around the world adopted  game-changing services like Microsoft Teams, available with Office 365 and  Microsoft 365. It also helped that Vitalyst built relationships at Microsoft,  including with its Customer Success Managers, and with other Microsoft  partners offering complementary services.

“When integrated into a well-designed program, change enablement will  accelerate adoption of new technologies by transferring the accountability  for change to individuals. In many of our most successful  engagements, Vitalyst works hand-in-hand with a world-class change  management practice like Microsoft Services, to bring its program to life and  deliver optimal technology consumption.”

Barry O’Donnell
President and CEO, Vitalyst

Teams represents an entirely new way of working. To realize the potential of  Teams for cross-team collaboration, says Keith Carvalho, VP of Alliances at  Vitalyst, organizations must prioritize learning and help employees build the  skills they need to use the app effectively. The goal is to get employees to  adopt Teams for chat, conversations, meetings, files, and tasks. Here is a look at  one Microsoft 365 engagement.

Pacific Life – Insurance
Pacific Life believed that Microsoft Teams collaboration tools could help it  support digital transformation across its 3,500-person company. Nancy Wang,  who oversees change initiatives at the California-based insurance company,  says the company considered Teams a new communication channel that could  supplement email and replace its intranet. Wang says Pacific Life also realized it  wasn’t enough to deploy Office 365 and Teams. They had to get people to use  the tools.

Value: With Vitalyst, she says the company was able to maintain its focus and  keep the project on track. Because Vitalyst used Teams to manage the project,  leaders learned it faster and grew into advocates. Vitalyst also brought writers  and communication professionals to create use cases and documentation to  build out the internal Resource Center. “It was such a heavy lift and it was just  such a relief,” says Wang.

Results: Six months later, the company says more than 65% of people are using  Teams monthly and more than 80% are using Office 365 monthly.

The Results:


Using Teams Monthly


Using Office 365 Monthly

“Vitalyst made sure we hit our go-live  date. And our usage numbers went  crazy—you know, off the charts. We’re  still working on getting people to do  more than chat on Teams, but it’s a  great entrypoint.”

Nancy Wang
Change Management Center of Excellence Lead
Pacific Life

Lessons learned in the field

It a recent Microsoft Ignite  conference, Nancy Wang from  Pacific Life discussed her company’s  engagement with Vitalyst and  offered some advice to other  companies planning implementation  of Office 365.

Start with Exchange. “We made  the mistake of leading with Teams  even though Vitalyst recommended  Exchange first,” recalls Wang at  Pacific Life. “Teams has limited  functionality without Exchange. We  got people excited once and now—  with the Exchange rollout, which  adds functionality like calendaring, we have to get people excited again.”

Conduct pilot groups with non-IT  people. Learn what you’re doing  right and wrong by including some  people who are among your biggest  resistors, says Wang.

Don’t lead with training. Start  with a user assessment, then run a  campaign to build awareness and  interest. People need to understand  the value to them and the company,  says Wang. “If people don’t have  the context for what you’re doing,  why you’re doing it, what’s in it for  them and how they are going to  benefit, you will be disappointed  with your result.”

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