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A global manufacturer enlisted Slalom Consulting’s help in a strategic divestiture of its industrial packaging capabilities. We helped it plan and implement an enterprise collaboration suite with Microsoft Office 365.

Innovating around the globe

When a global manufacturer wanted to bring its employees closer together, we helped it plan and implement an enterprise collaboration suite.

Our client, a global manufacturer, enlisted our help in a strategic divestiture of its industrial packaging capabilities. A core component of successfully standing up its new entity was collaboration.

Done right, divestitures can help companies establish strategic capabilities and refocus business models. But the process can be daunting. And without communication and collaboration, it’s easy to fail.

We partnered with the manufacturer to bring employees of the divested company closer together. We helped plan and implement an enterprise collaboration suite to unite employees across the newly-established company.

From preparation to global collaboration

Our client envisioned a global network of connected employees that could share ideas and best practices and promote standardized business applications and processes—whether interacting with a coworker down the hall or halfway across the world.

Together, we designed and implemented a multi-phased program to support preparing for change, executing change, and operationalizing the transition.

The team consolidated numerous messaging applications across the business units. This meant implementing centralized email, calendars, file sharing, instant messaging, and Microsoft Office 365 collaboration features enabled through SharePoint. Critical to the effort was understanding which applications were impacted, developing implementation plans, and creating a high-level roadmap with timing and dependencies.

Building a people-impact view across the entire program allowed them to centralize and streamline the communication and change process, rather than each employee getting 35 different communications from 35 different change events in a single week, says the Slalom project lead.

A big challenge was figuring out how to let one employee see or use what another employee can’t, whether it was access to printers, meeting rooms, calendars, or employee directories.

The team also built an architecture landscape to provide the organization with a picture of the current and future state of all its systems. To Mike Driscoll, director in Slalom’s next-generation infrastructure practice, and the client leadership team, this was the most valuable deliverable of the project.

“The Slalom team was instrumental in helping us achieve a very aggressive timeline for our company separation, as well as rolling out the company’s first global common tool.”
Client CIO

Collaborate to innovate

The divestiture united five independent companies—containing 53 distinct organizational entities—with employees around the globe. Not only did each company have its own legacy tools and platforms, they were divided by differing native languages and cultural norms.

Overcoming those barriers took a clear understanding of the organization’s current and future state—and a sensitivity toward cultural nuances.

Joining two companies is easier than separating, says the Slalom project lead. She likens divestitures to “trying to change the wheels on the train, when the train is going 75 miles an hour.”

Effective collaboration is key to that effort. Without that, you have people scattered around the globe, without shared best practices and a common foundation, and time-to-market suffers.

“Once you collaborate, you can get on to bigger and better things,” the project lead adds. “So, learn to crawl before you walk. Now they’re walking; soon they’ll be running.”

Seamless collaboration around the globe

The resulting Office 365 collaboration suite is a central element of the business’ foundation, says Driscoll.

Now, the newly-divested company’s employees can interact globally to share ideas and best practices. The collaboration tools are allowing employees to seamlessly collaborate and engage as one company across the Americas, Europe, and Asia.

The technology, tools, and processes are helping the company further embrace its innovative culture, allowing it to push innovation in new, unprecedented ways.

The Office 365 collaboration suite continues to offer untapped capabilities for employees: it’s enabling new communication capabilities such as surveying employees and publishing global policies, procedures, and enrollment—all focused on making the organization more effective and productive.

30 legacy email platforms consolidated into Microsoft Office 365
53 global business units united
3,000 employees in 20 countries

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