Challenge

With operations in some the world’s most isolated locations, oil companies have a wealth of expertise in delivering remote work. But for many of these companies, the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic has given the concept of working remotely a whole new meaning.

For one national oil company, the uncertainty presented by this crisis brought into stark contrast the need to enable virtual work for its employees. The company knew that getting people to work remotely was essential to keeping operations running and driving collaboration across its company. It also knew that remote collaboration would serve it well in the future, especially with its ongoing transition to digital and technology enablement.

What Accenture did

To make remote work possible for more than 50,000 people, the client set its sights on a unified collaboration platform that would allow all of its people to connect, communicate and collaborate. An essential component of an ongoing project — the rollout of Microsoft Teams — would be prioritized and accelerated alongside a speedy change to the working culture of the client’s organization. All of this would need to be done within the space of just two weeks.

The team first established the requirements and dependencies for remote work. With the help of Microsoft to generate quality assurance, and leveraging the technical expertise of Avanade – a joint venture between Accenture and Microsoft – the team then defined the technology landscape and developed a rollout plan to drive the adoption of the Microsoft collaboration suite. Finally, the team prepared employees for the transition through communications across multiple channels and through the deployment of a set of tools including a hotline, chatbot and learning portal.

People and culture

Increasing remote collaboration while ensuring seamless communication and workforce flexibility were key goals of the engagement. The client's people are connecting like never before.

An essential part of these cultural and workforce changes was the enablement of virtual training through the learning portal. To understand how employees would interact with the new tools, the team also leveraged different end-user personas to orient learning content and capabilities. Today, the client's office-based users are safely working from home, while key leadership meetings are held via Microsoft Teams.

Value delivered

In just two weeks, the client was able to unlock mobility and seamlessly move to remote collaboration. The delivery of modern remote work solutions through Microsoft Teams is helping ensure business continuity while building a more digitally enabled workforce. The project has also given the client better business agility and responsiveness to macro-events through keeping people connected across its organization.

More than 20,000 users are all working virtually, leading to an overall increase in the accessibility of meetings. In just four weeks after deploying Microsoft Teams, the client saw greatly increased interaction across its business. This included:

300,000

active chats

30,000

one-to-one calls

16,000

channel posts

30,000,000

minutes of video and audio meetings

Perhaps most importantly, the client’s people are benefitting in real and tangible ways. The project has helped the client’s people remain safely at home with their families while also staying connected to each other and their work. It has helped build new models of operation in the company and an understanding that more flexible work conditions improve efficiency. And it is releasing employees to work in a way that supports their work/life balance and keeps them engaged and enthusiastic for the company’s agenda.

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