Spadel, the Belgian drinking water producer, successfully migrated from Lotus Notes to Microsoft products including Outlook, Skype for Business and OneNote, with an online subscription to Office 365, in March 2017. Xylos provided support in the form of a phased communications and training plan to ensure the entire process ran smoothly, with the OASE learning platform playing a key role. As well as being very cost-efficient, this approach also led to a high rate of adoption and new working methods.
Spadel organised a major preliminary meeting at the start of February to ensure employees were informed about the new project in good time. The company then provided weekly update videos internally, along with regular clips about the new package’s features. HR Director Bart Tuyls wouldn’t do anything differently if they had to do it all again: "Because we made our employees fully aware of everything in plenty of time, they were all very well prepared and didn’t resist the migration at all. This gave everyone a chance to warm to the idea, which in turn ensured a smooth transition. It was more evolution then revolution, even though it was still a big-bang."
Employees were given training to learn how to work with the new applications in the run-up to the migration, with Spadel opting for a phased approach. Ambassadors were selected from each branch, based on their passion for IT and the project, and given extensive training in the new applications so they could act as a point of contact for their colleagues. Xylos then provided all the remaining employees with detailed demonstrations in different sessions one week before going live.
Spadel also ordered 600 licences for Xylos’ online learning platform, OASE, on which employees have been able to ask questions about Office since the switch. "They want answers as quickly as possible, and OASE enables this. I like to compare it with Shazam", explains Bart Tuyls. "The fact that our users are continuously supported at all times was a decisive factor in us opting for Xylos; a one-off training session isn’t the right solution for Office 365. We want to use OASE to communicate even more in the future, for example with a monthly tips-and-tricks email and short videos about the platform."
Just like the training, Spadel will start using new software gradually, one step at a time. In March they focused on Outlook, OneNote, OneDrive and the classic Office applications, and Skype for Business is scheduled too, but only with audio for the time being; video and chat will follow soon enough though, thinks Bart Tuyls: "You can’t start using all the Office 365 applications at the same time straight away, so it will all grow gradually, and OASE will be an immense help. We’re already looking at activating Yammer soon, for example."
One of the motives for using the new package is the NWoW: how Spadel can use new working methods. "The fact that our rate of adoption is so high is definitely thanks to our gentle, gradual approach. We can already see that people are moving around less and more likely to hold video meetings, which was also part of the training plan; the demo for our Wales branch was provided as a webcast, for example", explains Bart Tuyls. "We’re collaborating more efficiently now too. Multiple colleagues can work on a single document at the same time, with all changes updated very efficiently, which greatly simplifies our version management. So emailing draft documents back and forth is a thing of the past, just like traditional telephony. We’re using Skype for Business more and more, and don’t even have any landline phones in our Brussels office anymore."
Spadel decided to set sail with Xylos after carrying out some market research, with the water company quickly convinced by their professional approach, concrete examples, and the OASE learning platform. "We’d worked with Xylos before, and they were very impressive then too. They used live demonstrations in our meetings to show how they’d approached things with other clients, and that made things very clear for us. The result is a training and communications plan which reduces our costs. Thanks to OASE, all we needed was a quick demo; the learning platform and ambassadors take care of everything else. This meant our colleagues weren’t kept away from their desks for too long, and Xylos didn’t have any problems providing training for our night teams during their shifts either. This flexibility meant our employees didn’t have to change their sleeping patterns and come in during the day. The collaboration confirmed our good feeling about them, and the feedback from our employees is very positive too. They’re already making very effective use of the new tools", concludes Bart Tuyls.
"You can’t start using all the Office 365 applications at the same time straight away. It will all grow gradually, and OASE will be an immense help."