Trianz simplifies digital transformation using Microsoft FastTrack and Office 365
Trianz, a global digital transformation consulting and technology services firm—recognized by Forbes as one of America’s best management consulting firms—enables clients to transition to a digital enterprise by leveraging cloud, analytics, digital and security paradigms. When the company planned its Office 365 deployment to enable global collaboration, it reached out to Microsoft FastTrack and applied its own strategic approach. Most of all, it prioritized the employee ease of use factor in every stage of the deployment. In the end, it was all about engagement.
When Trianz considered its own Microsoft Office 365 deployment, it concluded that the shortest path lay in the expertise it could access through the Microsoft FastTrack program. Trianz subscribes to Microsoft 365, which includes Office 365, Windows 10, and Enterprise Mobility + Security. To encourage buy-in from employees, Trianz also relied on the same principles it uses with its clients. Perhaps most importantly, the implementation team introduced an element of fun to engage users and accelerate adoption.
Using a soft touch to spark user enthusiasm
Trianz assessed several market-leading tools before committing to Office 365. “After researching the options extensively, we saw that Office 365 would add the most value for us,” says Paayal Arun Ashok, Manager of Enterprise Collaboration at Trianz. “We wanted Microsoft Teams for project collaboration because it is so tightly integrated with Microsoft SharePoint and the other Office 365 apps, like Planner, Yammer, Exchange, and OneDrive.” It was time for Trianz to be its own customer.
Trianz president Ganeshan Venkateshwaran has strong feelings about implementing change and providing the best way to set employees up to excel. “Organizations that have tried issuing a mandate from the top have failed. Management-only led initiatives tend not to succeed,” he says. “We felt that by introducing an element of fun, we could engage people and bring out the best they have to offer. Following a champion-driven campaign, Trianz now benefits from a strong digital workspace based on Office 365 to accelerate collaboration across the globe.
Building success on Microsoft engineering expertise
Trianz has deep transformation and team motivation expertise, but it knew that its IT team could get up to speed on Office 365 fastest with technical advice from Microsoft. The company met the criteria for FastTrack, the customer success services that’s included as part of an eligible Microsoft 365, Azure, or Dynamics 365 purchase. FastTrack provides IT teams with personalized guidance to plan, onboard, and realize business value from a cloud solution and offers access to engineering expertise, best practices, tools, and resources. It’s an ongoing and repeatable benefit, available for the life of the subscription.
“We started by using the FastTrack team for support and implementation advice,” says Ashok. “But quickly the relationship shifted from one of the FastTrack team as a helper to a colleague who was there to help us find solutions.” She and her team collaborate with the FastTrack team, and they frequently see their questions and requests incorporated in new versions as the apps evolve.
The company has found value in all of its Microsoft relationships. When Ashok has encountered issues beyond the scope of the FastTrack team, Microsoft managers have been there to help.
Creating the master framework
After deploying Office 365, Trianz rebuilt its Project Management Office (PMO) structure on Microsoft Teams, integrating SharePoint for document sharing. Every functional area across Trianz—Sales, Marketing, Technology Delivery, Finance, or Trianz University—takes advantage of Office 365 apps for collaboration on every level. Microsoft Teams is at the nexus of this collaborative initiative. “And with Teams being such a key application for us, we wanted to showcase to rest of the company, not just basic usage but the entire story of how Teams is being used today in our ecosystem,” says Ashok. “We have built custom dashboards to help us drive metrics around usage of O365 Teams. Our analytics team is building a layer of AI and ML capability to drive insights and perspectives that can be used for proactive intervention mechanisms such as increased usage of reusable assets, learning interventions, identifying efficiency drivers, and so forth, which we believe will help drive our strategic unified scaling strategy.”
Trianz uses Yammer for social interaction for its workers—supporting a strong internal culture where employees have their own marketplace and exchange “life hacks” for travel and relaxation. They experiment with creative skills they’d like to build, making small movies and other media. Those experiences bond teams and encourage innovation. And when those teams collaborate on projects for clients, they have the perfect home base with Microsoft Teams.
All Trianz marketing campaigns, whether internal or client-facing, begin life under the purview of Vice President of Marketing Prashant Bhavaraju. His biggest challenge? Convening the right team for the right initiative as the need occurs. “More often than not, they are based in different locations, come from diverse cultures, and have different ideas and perspectives,” he says. “Only when we have the right mix of ideas will we get the best outcomes. That means having the right platform to synthesize all those different ideas and cultural aspects to bring out the best in every member of our team.” For example, his team eagerly adopted Microsoft Planner. “We depend on Planner for campaign coordination,” he says. “We can see the information by milestone style or in other views, and having mobile and desktop versions available is a boon for our mobile workforce.” His team also enjoys the convenience of spontaneous communication with Microsoft Kaizala, a mobile chat app for work.
As Trianz has grown, so have its external and internal marketing campaigns. Bhavaraju’s team drives a raft of initiatives, from brand visibility to PR media, and a swath of other external campaigns that use a mix of traditional and digital tactics. And to continue to strengthen the teams that build Trianz’s marketing capability, the marketing team pushes for ever-greater employee engagement. “As these campaigns have grown in magnitude and volume, what were once small, co-located marketing department teams have grown into larger global teams,” explains Bhavaraju. That means a constant need to collaborate, exchanging ideas, opinions, and assets. It also means the administration needed to track progress, deadlines, and campaign success, and to share learnings. “For me, the success of a campaign depends upon the ease of collaboration, and how well the team can focus on the creative aspect of their work,” says Bhavaraju. “We need an ecosystem of collaborative tools, and that’s where Teams plays a very critical role for me.”
Connecting Microsoft Teams with line-of-business apps
Line-of-business apps proliferate in modern companies, with employees having to access multiple systems like SAP or Salesforce. As the lists of usernames and passwords grow, attitudes sour. Productivity slows. The Enterprise Collaboration team has connected Salesforce with Teams, where Trianz employees access it as a tab within the app. “Now that we can access Salesforce within Teams, employees can easily track relationships from one place,” says Ashok. “Leads, contacts, and any related information can be seen in Teams for instant collaboration. It makes life so much easier.” Bhavaraju agrees. “Our marketing campaigns are increasingly complex,” he says. “Having all these tools and platforms accessible through Teams definitely saves time for us and helps us to reduce time-to-market.”
It all comes down to collaboration—the Trianz team spirit combined with Microsoft support enabled enterprise-wide collaboration, according to Venkateshwaran. “All through our journey, the FastTrack team was there,” he says.
See how Trianz successfully drove its Microsoft Teams adoption here.
Our experience working with FastTrack has been very enriching. Their strong collaboration, quick responses, and expert assistance were all highlights of working with their team.