a person sitting in front of a laptop computer

The ‘Big Bang’ approach to digital transformation – and how to make it work

Johanna Winqvist

Johanna Winqvist

Microsoft, Modern Workplace

Read Time, 3 min.

These days there’s no such thing as ‘business as usual’. Change and disruption are the new normal. Just think of the changes affecting your organization right now, with new technology and techniques driving new attitudes and expectations from employees and customers alike. Everything is changing.

And the one thing all those changes have in common is speed. It’s happening exceptionally fast. Which is why, for a business to survive and thrive in a fiercely competitive market, it must react with equal alacrity. Especially when making a technological response to a transformational need.

Meeting the need for rapid innovation

‘When change is the new normal’, a 2019 study by Microsoft in partnership with Dr. Michael Parke of the London Business School, corroborates this view. The research shows that 92% of companies have recently faced technological disruption and concludes that now is the time “to double down on workplace innovation to drive growth”. Specifically, it finds that the most pioneering businesses today are actively building bridges across organizational and operational silos. And that empowerment in the workplace continues to be critical for innovation.

So, what is the best way for a business to successfully introduce a new technology or platform?

The 48-hour rollout: Coloplast’s success story

Arguably, there is no right or wrong way. Every organization is different. But Coloplast, a leading life science company famous for introducing the life-changing ostomy bag, decided to do it with a ‘bang’. A big innovative, organizational bang that – just like the scientific theory of the same name – happened incredibly fast. In short, to get everyone in Coloplast working better together they got 8,000 employees worldwide to use Microsoft Teams – in a mere 48 hours.

Microsoft Teams brings together workplace chat, video meetings and file storage in a single, unified platform. Which is exactly what Coloplast required: “What we needed was a solution that would allow our teams to be agile and to collaborate instantly,” explains René Rasmussen, Coloplast’s Vice President of IT Operations & Support. “That’s why Teams seemed like a such a good fit for us.”

What’s more, by achieving this feat of deployment, Coloplast managed to tick the two boxes that the ‘When change is the new normal’ study found to be the hallmark of an innovative business: breaking down silos and empowering employees, all in double-fast time.

How did they do it? There were four key stages…

  • The pilot programme

200 employees from all 43 of the countries in Coloplast’s network started to use Teams and fed back in detail on their e

  • A structured and detailed migration plan

Starting on a Friday evening, the plan was so meticulously thought out that migration ran ahead of schedule and was complete by Sunday afternoon. On Monday morning when 8,000 people returned to work, the IT team waited nervously by their helpline. Hours passed. The first call was at 11.30: it was an amazed support manager asking if the feedback was correct that no-one had called the helpline. There were only six other calls that week.

  • Migration ambassadors

To help their colleagues adapt to Teams, the 200 participants of the pilot became ambassadors during the wider migration process.

  • An official feedback loop

Feedback was encouraged – urging employees to share their thoughts about features that could be added or improved. This helped established a culture of continuous improvement.

Conclusion

What Coloplast proved so convincingly was that even a global operation with thousands of employees can complete a rapid roll-out if all the right processes are in place. Proper planning really works, but only if it fully considers the human as well as the technical implications of change. Read the full Coloplast story.

Free eBook: Crash course in Microsoft 365 Business

Microsoft 365 Business can make your technology more manageable while improving productivity

Discover more related articles per industry:

Education

  • a woman using a laptop

    Make remote learning work better for everyone. Find out how.

    Since the COVID-19 outbreak first hit China, our education customers in the country have done amazing things to keep students engaged while they transition to remote learning. From eLearning innovations, to keeping students’ spirits high with photo and cooking challenges – teachers and students have shown extraordinary resilience during this difficult time. Now, as the […]

  • A group of students in front of a school

    PCOU Willibrord uses smart automation to define the future of education

    “It’s all about teaching and giving time to the educators, so they can give time to the students. If we can make IT simple, that’s my purpose, my thing.” Peter Schep, ICT Manager at PCOU Willibrord Foundation, explains why he believes efficient IT is central to the learning and development of both educators and students. […]

Government

  • a large old building with many windows

    Raad van State: Creating a virtual courtroom through a remote-working solution

    “This situation has proven that with the right means, support and trust, you can remove half of the desks in your building – and in that sense, I don’t think we’ll ever see 700 people at the same time in the office again.” Ron Lamers, Project Manager at Raad van State, is talking about the […]

  • a group of people performing on stage in front of a crowd

    City of Liège: Facilitating decision making in difficult times

    For many organizations, social-distancing measures brought about by COVID-19 have drastically slowed day-to-day operations – and for some, even stopped them altogether. But for local governments across Europe, like the Belgian city of Liège, slowing down hasn’t been an option.  From supporting citizens and businesses to protecting frontline workers, Liège city had to quickly provide stability during this crisis and ensure important decisions could still be made in a democratic […]

Healthcare

  • Healthcare professionals operating on a patient

    Maasstad Hospital: Working as one medical team during a crisis

    In times of crisis, an organization looks to its leadership for guidance. As COVID-19 spread through Europe in early 2020, Maasstad Ziekenhuis Hospital CEO Peter Langenbach had planned to lead his hospital’s crisis response as he would any other – being present and visible, leadership traits instilled in him during his time in the Dutch […]

  • logo

    Why trust is the essential ingredient in healthcare digital transformation.

    My phone had scarcely stopped ringing for weeks. Now it was ringing again. “Veronica,” said the voice at the other end, “we have an idea!” Immediately, I recognized who it was. I’ve known Carlo Tacchetti for almost as long as I’ve been at Microsoft. He’s a professor at the Vita-Salute San Raffaele University and the […]

Manufacturing

Retail

Discover more related articles per dossier:

Customer Stories

Digital Transformation

  • Two female nurses having a virtual conversation through Microsoft Teams

    Belfast Trust: Reimagining patient care

    “There have been many heroic actions by our staff but we’re not heroes for what we’ve done – I’m just glad we could do our bit to help.” Paul Duffy, Co-Director of IT and Telecommunications at Belfast Trust, is talking about the monumental impact COVID-19 has had on the healthcare sector and how virtual consultations […]

Security & Privacy

  • Woman with yellow hat stepping out of yellow cab with a Surface

    It’s time to make anywhere the safest place to create

    A permanent desk. At one office. In the same part of town. Those days are numbered. We’re moving on, quite literally. In today’s world, there’s a greater need to be flexible; to be able to think, create and share – anywhere and everywhere. To do it with complete peace of mind, too. Redefining teamwork  Companies are embracing new forms of collaboration. […]

Tips