Case study for a tech client
[My client] boosts SharePoint adoption for Canada Post’s employees
‘[My client] is a dream come true because folks say, “Hey, I can live in Outlook. I don’t even have to worry about that other stuff.”’
Ross Hebert. Director, Compliance at Canada Post
In order to comply with record and information management requirements, Canada Post had chosen to deploy SharePoint 2013 to centrally store documents and emails. However, because SharePoint requires users to take additional steps to correctly move content to the platform, technology adoption was a major challenge for the organization’s 8,000+ employees.
Canada Post chose to deploy [My client] across their user-base to make it much easier for staff to use SharePoint correctly for records management. Most staff spend their days using Outlook, and so [My client]’s drag and drop interface makes it significantly easier for employees to comply with records management best practice.
Because of the [My client] deployment, SharePoint adoption has been a success story at Canada Post. Employees tag content with metadata, work more frequently in shared environments and encounter fewer issues.
An ambitious organization with modern records management challenges
Canada Post is one of the largest employers in Canada, with 64,000 staff working from 6,200 post offices across the country. Delivering letters and parcels in bustling cities and remote rural locations, Canada Post is a highly successful government business, delivering packages over a larger geographic area than any other nation.
While Canada Post has a heritage almost as long as the history of Canada itself, the organization is modern and ambitious. The explosion in internet shopping has created a major new opportunity for the business which delivers an ever-increasing number of parcels to customers across Canada. Innovative web apps like their online parcel tracker receive millions of hits daily, making CanadaPost.ca one of the most visited websites in the country.
Canada Post also have ambitious plans for internal technology. The organization most recently migrated their IT estate from a selection of disparate systems to the 2013 on-premises editions of Microsoft SharePoint, Exchange and Office. They also combine Microsoft with third party tools like [My client] in order to improve information management and user adoption.
Canada Post in numbers
Number of employees
|13,000 Delivery trucks||6,200
Number of post offices
Parcels delivered since XYZ
Combining technology and strategy for change management
As a large organization, Canada Post is keenly aware of the challenges of deploying new technology. They take a proactive approach to change management, and employ a team of internal consultants who are skilled at training user groups in new technology.
Four years ago, Canada Post began deploying SharePoint 2013 in order to replace an existing estate of file shares, a dated SAP system and some shadow IT cloud platforms like Dropbox. SharePoint was chosen because the organization was already using other Microsoft tools like Outlook and Office, but they also valued the power of SharePoint’s workflows and customizability.
The change management team knew that SharePoint would only be a success if it was integrated into employees’ day-to-day activities. Simply making SharePoint available would not result in mass user adoption. Instead, a gradual roll-out to their tens of thousands of employees was necessary in order to succeed. Canada Post therefore developed a three-pronged approach to change management, which combined change strategies and [My client]’s technology.
Canada Post’s three-pronged approach for high levels of SharePoint adoption
Approach 1: gradual roll out
The first part of Canada Post’s change management approach involved gradually increasing roll out of the platform. Brianne Scott, the project manager at Canada Post explains the process:
‘In the first quarter, we only migrated 66 users to SharePoint – people from our compliance, legal and corporate secretariat. It was definitely tough to begin with, but we learnt a lot from those early experiences. Today, we’ve gotten better and better to the point where we’re doubling the number of employees that we actually bring on board every quarter – and we’re now close to 8,000 users’.
Approach 2: Information Management Champions
A second part of the change management process involved creating ‘Information Management Champions’ (IMCs) in each department. This ‘army’ of IMCs was comprised of employees who could answer questions and show colleagues how to use SharePoint better in their daily tasks. Says Ross Hebbert, Canada Post’s Compliance Director:
‘The IMCs are our greatest allies. They get really excited by the technology, because they get first look at these tools and they get a little extra access. They’re then able to answer questions for other people across the organization, helping regular users’.
Approach 3: [My client]
The final part of Canada Post’s change management approach was to deploy [My client]. The team began using [My client] because it made it easy for employees to simply drag and drop content from their email environments and Windows Explorer to SharePoint.
Using [My client] allowed employees to store emails and attachments in SharePoint and apply the correct metadata. Rather than being forced to switch contexts, open different windows and upload content to SharePoint manually, using [My client] allowed people to carry out the whole process directly from their Outlook window.
From an end user perspective, this makes a huge amount of sense, as Scott explains:
‘If you were uploading content to SharePoint through the browser, you would have to go back and remember to do all those extra things – like checking in content, adding metadata and so on. But [My client] actually prompts you for all that, so you’re not worrying: “Did I check my documents in?” “Can the rest of the people see it?”’
As a result, employees find it much easier to use SharePoint, and [My client] ensures best practice does not slip when it comes to information management. Most importantly, this means people follow your records management policy without even thinking about it, as Hebert explains:
‘[My client] is a dream come true because folks say: “Hey, I can live in Outlook. I don’t even have to worry about that other stuff.” So we have a lot of folks that actually just do all their records management through Outlook and [My client], and they never go on the SharePoint site all day. And that’s a reality. But we’re okay with that, because they’re using SharePoint. And they’re actually practicing records management without even knowing. And that’s the key to success’.
Using [My client] allowed Canada Post to tie their change management approach together. It made it significantly easier for people to use SharePoint, all while increasing best practice records and information management behaviors.
|How [My client] became an essential tool for Canada Post employees
Canada Post’s end users were able to get more from [My client] than simple drag and drop document storage:
· Bulk upload of emails stored in external file shares and folders into SharePoint
· Rapid search of SharePoint when employees want to attach files or links to an email
· A marked reduction of occasions when organizational knowledge is lost when employees leave
· All guidance and manuals available in English and French, Canada’s official languages
· [My client]’s mobile integration with Outlook and SharePoint which allows salespeople to work on the go
A strong partnership between Canada Post and [My client]
Since [My client] was first deployed at Canada Post, the organization has seen a huge growth in SharePoint user adoption. Employees now store far more content in a centralized platform, meaning that the organization complies with its records management obligations. Ultimately, this success is thanks to a combination of Canada Post’s own sensible approach to change management, combined with the ease of use that [My client] introduces to the user experience of uploading content.
To learn more about how [My client] can help your organization boost SharePoint user adoption, plus a host of other benefits, get in touch with [My client] today.