Today’s Microsoft Office 365 post was written by Jon Kandiah, chief information officer for Three.
Three is one of the United Kingdom’s fastest-growing networks, covering more than 97 percent of the population. We were the first network to introduce unlimited data and offer 4G at no extra cost. But to continue delivering a high-quality, reliable mobile experience to our customers while innovating across our services, we needed to make significant changes to our business, including rebuilding our entire IT infrastructure. We kicked off a digital transformation in our workplace by choosing Microsoft Office 365.
Long-distance teamwork is key to sharing information and ideas across our distributed organization. We have offices in Maidenhead, Glasgow, and Reading, along with 324 retail stores and offshore offices in New Zealand. To keep up with the swift pace of innovation and stay ahead of competitors, we needed to better connect our employees and adopt an agile methodology. To do this, we introduced Microsoft Teams, the chat-based workspace in Office 365, and the concept of circles—groups of five to nine people working in virtual teams across the company. Each circle uses Microsoft Teams as a hub for virtual teamwork. Today, employees across all our locations work together more efficiently using Microsoft Teams in conjunction with Microsoft Planner. We use Microsoft Teams to make our teams more productive, and we use Planner to streamline each circle’s projects.
By bridging geographies and departments, each customizable workspace in Microsoft Teams acts as a foundation for a more agile organization. Microsoft Teams works across devices, including mobile phones, so all employees can participate in conversations anytime, anywhere. We started by creating circles within our People Team—which includes employees from our human resources, property and facilities departments—and assigning quarterly outcomes to each circle. These circles collaborate to improve organizational agility, and the glue that keeps them all working together productively is Microsoft Teams.
Our use of Microsoft Teams has also accelerated the adoption of Office 365 services across the organization. Microsoft SharePoint Online team sites, OneNote notebooks and Power BI dashboards are built into each Microsoft Teams workspace, so people intuitively use them. It’s a totally different approach to rolling out technology—what used to be an IT-driven exercise is now happening more organically, and we are seeing the dividends in improved productivity.
With the introduction of Office 365, we also eliminated the need for third-party products in our organization. We had people using Slack, Trello and Google Hangouts, but we can now offer a suite of interoperable productivity tools that make it easier to get work done—Microsoft Teams, Microsoft Planner and Skype for Business Online—all within the context of Office 365 and our more agile workplace. We trust the advanced security capabilities built into Office 365 and Microsoft Azure Active Directory, so I am comfortable knowing that our company data is more secure.
Three has an ambitious, transformational plan to deliver what our customers need. With empowered, agile and connected employees, we are well on our way to achieving our goal.