Our client is a leading provider of outsourced business services, with offices throughout Australia and Asia-Pacific.  It has been on a dramatic growth journey, and prides itself on its entrepreneurial, agile and customer-focused business culture.

Catalyste was engaged by our client to review their implementation of Google Apps for Business (enterprise collaboration platform) following significant negative user feedback from the initial implementation.  

The negative perceptions and experiences were most acute in the Change Management area, with several departments and high profile users refusing to transition to Google Apps, and mobilising further internal opposition to the initiative.

The experience was so severe that the Executive Team were seriously concerned, and were actively considering reverting to their previous email system.

Catalyste’s Role

Catalyste was engaged to make a determination whether the platform was in fact suitable for the organisation (there had been an assertion that it was “culturally and functionally inappropriate”), and if it was, to identify the necessary interventions.

For this reason, our work covered both the Organisational Change Management and Enterprise / Solutions Architecture domains, and our diagnostic and other outputs reflected this holistic client need for clarity and definition of a course-of-action.

Our work initially focused on a review of the suitability of the platform for the business from a solution architecture and user needs perspective; before moving into an engagement to help the business drive user adoption, skills development and support.

Our work included:

  • Identifying and documenting major options open to the business moving forward, inclusive of insights gained from Catalyste’s own internal deployment experience with Google Apps, and those of one of our key reference clients.
  • Developing a change management framework, and working with the management teams to build a strong ‘governing coalition’ for the initiative, to sustain the change internally, plus working with the business around what Google Apps means for them.
  • Working in depth with users to develop key internal processes, and the way they will use the tools internally – to optimise success, and generate the kind of productivity and collaboration gains that Google Apps is capable of delivering.
  • Helping the business develop detailed, customised and appropriate support materials that involve extensive process awareness, with usage guidelines and hints and tips for Google Apps.
  • Developing a ‘transition to BAU’ framework, including integration with support and ongoing learning and development functions.
  • Spending the detailed time needed to make ‘believers’ and sponsors of leaders and influencers at all levels in the organisation.

Value Delivered

Prior to our engagement, the business was seriously considering completely abandoning it’s Google Apps platform, and returning to a Microsoft Outlook and Exchange solution. This would have involved an outlay of over $1M due to decommissioned hardware and software.  It would also have resulted in higher operating costs – over $3M over 5 years.

After our engagement, the business has experienced a dramatic and sustained increase in business adoption of the Google Apps solution, and many of the targeted productivity and team working benefits are now being realised.

Further Information

Our Catalyste consulting lead on this project was Gavin Ger.

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