Williams required Adoption and Change Management assistance to support a 5,000 user Microsoft Teams rollout.
Williams is a Fortune 500 company committed to being the leader in providing infrastructure that safely delivers natural gas products to reliably fuel the clean energy economy. Today, Williams manages and maintains the critical national infrastructure that criss-crosses the United States, with more than 30,000 miles of pipelines providing natural gas for power generation, heating, industrial use, and LNG export. Williams’ operations handle approximately 30% of U.S. natural gas.
With 5,000 employees, many of whom operate in the field, the Tulsa, Oklahoma–based company has long understood the importance of efficient, reliable communication. In the company’s earlier years, this meant granting autonomy to each of its business units to shorten response times. As technology progressed, this autonomy lead to a disparate infrastructure, as each business group adopted its own communication solutions, including Cisco TelePresence, InterCall voice systems, and more.
As part of its continuing effort to modernize, Williams established the Collaboration Center of Excellence, an internal group tasked with improving and unifying the company’s collaboration and communication channels. This group found that communications technologies had advanced so much in recent years that the efficiency of modern solutions, implemented across the organization, would outstrip the benefits of siloed, autonomous business units. Williams tested a number of its legacy systems against the latest collaboration and communication solutions. Ultimately, the company discovered that Microsoft Teams improved upon all its established calling, chat, and meeting solutions. However, to support this, they also needed to assure a smooth rollout process for its employees.
Adoption and Change Management to support Microsoft Teams
The company first established Teams as an optional collaboration platform, enabling employees to set their own adoption schedules. Employees quickly took to the platform, collaborating on documents through Teams channels. During this time of voluntary adoption, Williams worked to ensure that the implementation of its new unified collaboration and communications channels complied with industry regulations. After determining the solution met its compliance needs, the company quickly moved to grant its employees access to full Teams functionality.
Partnering with Modality Systems, Williams created an adoption program consisting of internal awareness campaigns and two weeks of daily training sessions leading up to the companywide upgrade from Skype for Business. It took just six weeks for every employee at Williams to adopt Teams, a feat driven in part by positive user sentiment.
After Williams switched from Skype for Business, a network of champions toured the company’s five major office locations, answering questions and building expertise among their colleagues.
Since deploying Teams, Williams has implemented numerous process improvements, witnessed a substantial increase in collaboration and granted its employees in the field many more mobile capabilities. As Williams links more Office 365 services with Teams, the company sees the solution becoming an all-purpose hub for employee communication, collaboration, and productivity.
Safety Manager for the Atlantic and Gulf Coast Region, Williams
“There was a lot of communication between us and Modality around the move, lots of training and tooling to make sure people knew how to use Teams,” says Pohl. “It was a huge success from a change management perspective.”