Accenture has already deployed Microsoft Teams as our leading communications and collaboration platform. Now, our vision is to establish Teams as the digital hub for all collaboration and productivity tools and applications.
Accenture employees spend more than half of their daily working hours in Teams. Our 569,000 users share around 589 million chat messages a month, 1.2 billion audio minutes per month and 141 million video minutes a month on the platform.
But with a tool as versatile as Teams, we are always looking for ways to extend its capabilities, so that we can bring common business tools and services together to the place where people are collaborating. We want to maximize Teams to harness the power of the platform and evolve new ways of working. And we want to realize real productivity improvements and value.
Teams is far more than a means to exchange information and ideas. Its platform extensions are evolving our people’s experience with natural connections to where work is generated.
By integrating how people collaborate with where they work, we can reduce response-based activities and navigate across dimensions to unleash powerful new levels of productivity.
“Microsoft Teams helps our people to get work done faster—ultimately, it’s a platform for teamwork and a springboard to business value.”
— Jason Warnke, Senior Managing Director – Global IT, Global Digital Experiences Lead
When tech meets human ingenuity
Working without barriers is part of our organization’s DNA. Our global IT team wants to bring the right tools to where our people work, rather than expecting them to search out multiple, disparate tools to be effective and productive. And we recognize that having a powerful change and adoption strategy is a vital ingredient in making that happen.
As early as 2017, we decided to migrate to Teams, a chat-centered business collaboration platform that brings together people, content and tools to get things done.
But there is far more to Teams than simply a communications and messaging capability. When used as a platform, Teams has a variety of options that can help to build business applications and tailor the platform to meet people’s individual needs. Examples include:
Embedded Web experience within Teams, personalized to an individual user.
Apps added as a tab within a targeted Team, channel, or group chat providing embedded experiences for all members.
Chatbots providing text-based interactions to either individuals or within a Team or channel.
Shortcuts to insert content or take actions on Instant Message (IM) messages without leaving Teams chat.
Apps tied to individual Teams meetings.
Using such capabilities helps us to move from disconnected work experiences to integrated app experiences. So, for instance, today in Teams people can get technology support, connect to common business applications, manage approvals and even access apps focused on mental wellness, such as the Thrive Reset app.
More than 60 apps are available and Teams supports 100,000 support chats and 150,000 support enquiries. In particular, an enterprise bot known as Ask @Accenture is embedded in Teams offering services and advice on areas as diverse as career information, time report submission, mobile device setup, country holiday information and much more. There’s been a 25% increase in usage in this bot when made available in Teams compared to usage on our company portal. With this solution, our employees can get their questions answered up to 70% faster.
As we go forward, we continue to employ change management to progress how Teams is being used. To help our people get the most value from Teams, we guide them to work in a new way and this ongoing approach to adoption is fundamental to our success.
We are planning to introduce more third-party apps and services that bring common tools and services directly to the Teams interface. Building on our strong, established relationships with ServiceNow, Salesforce and Workday, we expect to introduce apps and functions that extend the use of those enterprise platforms.
Also, the pipeline will introduce Power Apps—some built by citizen developers—and other custom productivity enablers, such as a unified, cross-enterprise approvals experience. And we continue to partner with Microsoft as it brings new innovative collaboration offerings, like the employee experience platform, Microsoft Viva. We have already taken advantage of Viva Insights to help our employees gain insights to balance their productivity and wellbeing. With Viva Topics, Viva Connections and Viva Learning, we plan to surface knowledge, expertise, company news and training tailored to the needs of our people within the flow of their day to day work.
A valuable difference
By integrating where people collaborate with where they work, we are able to not only help people get work done faster, but also unleash a new wave of productivity.
We have seen a 20% reduction in the time spent on response-based activities (such as surveys, e-mails and employee actions) and people are spending 35% less time navigating across multiple destinations.
Here are some of the key elements of our journey to enhanced productivity:
Use case prioritization: We’ve focused on strategic platforms, such as ServiceNow, Salesforce and Workday and prioritized unified experiences.
IT operating model: We’ve used a DevSecOps model to enable strategic transformation and identified an implementation partner to scale up faster.
Change and adoption: We’ve focused investment on transformation change efforts.
Governance and environmental management: We’re enabling compliance at scale by creating a standard baseline. We’ve defined governance for app deployment.
Talent development: We’ve enhanced talent by cross-skilling platform architects and developers and use Microsoft certifications to skill up quickly.
Today, the Teams platform is familiar and flexible enough to be used an engagement medium, just like mobiles or the Web. And our people have access to the data, insights and apps they need to work on their best day, every day.
Meet the team
Senior Managing Director – Global IT, Digital Experiences Lead