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Empowered workforces drive organisational success

By , ITWeb
Kenya , 10 Jan 2020

Empowered workforces drive organisational success

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Across the globe, IT organisations are under pressure to support their company's digital transformation. This is as true if you're based in Nairobi, Lagos, or Marrakesh.

To maintain a competitive edge, technical decision-makers need to embrace solutions that support their employees and deliver value to customers. This includes the ability to connect teams and people around the world, empower employees, optimise operations and transform products to best serve customers.

To address the evolution of the workplace and what will be required to achieve it, Microsoft partnered with Harvard Business Review Analytic Services and surveyed more than 500 business leaders across industries, including financial services, tech, health care, and manufacturing.

The survey revealed that more than three three-quarters of business leaders believe that the evolution of their workplace strategy, processes, and technology is very important to their company's overall performance, but that less than one-third of those surveyed agreed their company is very forward-looking in its approach to workplace strategies, processes, and technologies.

Finding a partner to usher in change

As a Microsoft Office 365 customer, to empower its employees to move at the pace of change, Kenya's largest telecom operator, Safaricom, integrated Microsoft Teams, SharePoint, and Power BI into its Microsoft suite for a one-stop solution enabling secure, converged collaboration.

"We wanted a single solution that converges all the different tools we had, and that is trusted and secure. I can safely say that our expectations were met and exceeded," explains Jimmy Masinde, Head of Digital Experience Excellence.

Technology is a great enabler of agility. With the assistance of Cloud Productivity Solutions (CPS), a born-in-the-cloud Microsoft partner that understands Kenya's landscape and specific operational challenges, Safaricom has improved task execution, bolstered security and spurred productivity with flexible ways of working.

Secure collaboration across the enterprise

Like leading businesses across the globe, Safaricom's focus is supporting its workforce of the future, and giving its teams the technology and support they need to work in a collaborative way that maximises productivity.

"We recognised the need to implement a future-proof enterprise collaboration solution that caters for everyone's needs, regardless of whether they are on the go, in the office, or working remotely," says Moses Okundi, Head of Converged Service Operations at Safaricom.

"Before we executed this solution, a variety of diverse communication tools were in play," says Masinde. "Content on shared drives had many challenges from file versioning to rights management. Each person had to wait for another employee to finish work or have their own version, which would be merged into one document later on."

In Safaricom's case, working across different versions of the same file hampered productivity and collaboration, a situation that Microsoft Teams resolved. "The versioning on shared files safeguards them from overwriting and deletions and allows multiple people to work on the same file concurrently," says Masinde.

With convenience and ease of cooperation came enhanced security – critical to a telecoms enterprise. "In the past, the multitude of tools created islands of information, which led to a disconnect within teams and departments. Thanks to Teams, our staff is now free to talk without the fear of data breach."

Setting an international standard

The Workplace Evolution, a whitepaper report drawn from the partnership between Microsoft and Harvard Business Review Analytic Services, highlights that most businesses struggle with multiple ways to communicate. In order to increase the quality of communication while simultaneously decreasing the quantity of communications, businesses need to standardize the tools they use. Without standardised tools, people are not problem solving, not collaborative, and not engaged.

In fact, The Workplace Evolution shows that web-based collaboration platforms that bring together capabilities such as chat, meetings, notes, and attachments are foundational to workplace transformation.

Employees are often either drowning in data and content or don't know where to find it. In large organisations, knowledge may be hidden in hundreds of different systems or emails or documents. Modern collaboration tools can start to bring that intelligence together in one space, increasing transparency and efficiency.

Employees need to be able to find other people, projects, and ideas in the enterprise. By reducing the amount of time people must use to hunt down the expertise they need, businesses enable employees to focus on delivering results.

Empowering teams with mobility

Microsoft solutions allow Safaricom to forge a new path in enterprise collaboration. By promoting employee mobility and agility, particularly for people living in remote areas, breastfeeding mothers, and field staff. "Through daily engagements, Teams has facilitated keeping abreast real-time with forecasts and reports that field engineers consume to draw up their daily actions. Now, they can get up to date almost on the fly," Okundi observes.

Collaboration tools had the biggest impact on the Customer Experience Division, which makes up almost half of its workforce. Masinde gives an example: "When it comes to on-boarding new members, the respective accesses are auto-available. In the past, a ticket had to be raised and approved for each of the shared folders before the IT team could grant access. On the same point, OneDrive ensures all business files are always available whenever, wherever you are."

Content with the project outcome, Safaricom has set its sights on the future. "We are working to enhance the experience with the implemented solutions and increase the Power BI integration. There are other solutions like storage tools and Office Pro Plus that we'd like to see seamlessly coming together to further enhance employee productivity," Okundi concludes.

Jeremiah Kibanga, CEO of the Partner company that has supported the provider with the implementation shares more details: "CPS and Safaricom are looking to deliver the integration of telephony into Teams, and automate most of the manual processes using Power Apps and Flow."

Okundi expands on this further: "We are working to enhance the experience with the implemented solutions and increase the Power BI integration. There are other solutions like storage tools and Office Pro Plus that we'd like to see seamlessly coming together to further enhance employee productivity."

To find out how Office 365 and Cloud Productivity Solutions can meet your workplace evolution needs, download your white paper here

Cloud Productivity Solutions

Cloud Productivity Solutions Limited is a technology firm that specializes in helping companies save money through innovation. With offices in Nairobi, Kenya, we are designed to provide clients with the right space and context to think and then execute a far more coherent solution. We help both the large and medium sized enterprise with alternative solutions from those being sold by the last generation of technology manufacturers.

First Distribution

First Distribution is a value-added distributor of leading global brands, providing complex ICT solutions to the Enterprise and SME markets. The First Distribution model is based delivering solutions through trusted, established resellers. Our client base has been built up through a history of consistent trustworthy service and nurturing resellers as business partners.

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