Our goal at Centric Consulting is to help you address the issues that may hinder your business success. Meet your problem solvers from Louisville who always strive to deliver an unmatched experience just for you while providing solutions to your business and technology challenges.
While helping find solutions to our clients’ toughest problems, we’ve learned a thing or two. In this blog, we share insights from our Louisville team of seasoned solvers on overcoming today’s business, technology and people-related challenges.
Meet Your Problem Solver
Chris Durham | Partner, Director, Louisville Practice Lead | Business and Technology Consulting
THE BUSINESS PROBLEM
Our clients face unprecedented challenges with changing economic, technological and workforce trends. Some of the most common challenges I hear about from clients relate to technology transformation and the pace of innovation and change.
Leaders must implement technologies to stay relevant and competitive. They often navigate the complexities of selecting, implementing, integrating and gaining team adoption of business-critical new technologies. Our clients across industries are also reacting to the trajectory of increasing customer expectations. Customers expect easier, more seamless, more personalized, and more convenient experiences every day.
Our clients feel this pressure to change, adapt and innovate quickly. From the outside, these changes may seem small, but behind the scenes, these changes can represent data strategy, technology transformation, new agile approaches, and business process improvement — not to mention workforce and culture changes.
We help clients meet this challenge by providing a focused, experienced, capable support team. We walk alongside their team and provide deep experience and capabilities to select technology, support roadmaps, plan implementations, provide system architecture and data strategy, deliver project management, and support adoption and change management to ensure success.
For example, our team supported a local industry leader in the air travel intelligence and distribution industry to deliver a transformation focused on two major components: technological infrastructure and company culture. The technology transformation included internal infrastructure, a move, build and configuration within AWS, and delivery of data products for customer reporting tools and business intelligence applications. As a legacy organization, the cultural transformation was equally critical, truly requiring a business transformation to a culture of agility and rapid product delivery.
To help clients deal with the pace of innovation and change, we can provide multidisciplinary support from a team of over 2,000 experienced business and technical SMEs to build a force around clients. We identify the roadblocks. We lock arms with the client. We face the challenge head-on, and we can bring the horsepower, experience and capabilities to get our clients to the goal line.
As we look to the future, I’m excited about the opportunities for generative AI to improve internal business processes and productivity and create a new landscape for our client’s customers. Our team is working daily with clients to develop their AI strategies and roadmaps. This work includes governance, policies and risk; communication strategies; brainstorming use cases for specific teams or departments; and evaluating existing systems and data strategies to meet future AI opportunities.
I started my career in the early days of internet technology. I expect these new advances to be an equally wild ride, and I’m excited to be a part of this journey with our clients.
Meet Your Problem Solver
Byron Walters | Senior Manager, Managed Services Capability Lead | Modern Workplace
THE TECHNOLOGY PROBLEM
As we perform assessments, cloud migrations and implementations for our clients, we notice an ever-increasing trend: our clients often lack the resource expertise or bandwidth to provide support for their own cloud environments. Daily support challenges in a client’s cloud environment can range from small issues, such as cloud user access, to large, time-consuming, ambiguous problems, such as broken Power Apps functionality.
However, it is not often cost effective to hire full-time resources with the niche expertise needed to manage dynamic cloud environments. So, clients are increasingly looking for trusted partners to deliver their cloud-support needs and allow IT staff members to focus on other high-priority challenges in their environment. The challenge is finding the right partner among the many vendors claiming to be cloud experts.
Through our 10+ years in the Microsoft Partner network, we have learned that implementing the Microsoft Cloud platform — along with keeping up with daily support — can be overwhelming for our clients. So, we built our cloud-managed services support offering to cover all aspects of Microsoft Cloud — including M365, SharePoint, Teams, Intune, Power Platform and more.
Another insight has been that clients need a single point of contact to coordinate all of our consultants’ work. To fill this need and extend our “unmatched” culture to our clients, we created our customer success manager role. Customer success managers proactively and consistently build relationships with the client while maintaining a catalog of proactive services. that facilitate proactive communication and provide critical support information even before it is requested. These value-added services include monthly product changes and environment impact updates, platform usage statistics, security vulnerability reports and quarterly business reviews. Together, these services help clients develop the cloud strategy that will help them achieve their technical vision.
We also know our clients are excited and intimidated by the rapid growth of AI, but we have been here before. Our long experience with cloud technologies has demonstrated that, when properly managed, clients can get the most out of disruptive innovations while minimizing the risks. We are already innovating ways to help our clients do that as we have many times before, and we are evolving our managed services offering to provide ongoing support for our clients’ AI environments as well as the cloud.
Finally, we realize that our clients’ needs go beyond the cloud. We have expanded our managed services framework to include other technology platforms such as Salesforce, NetSuite, Robot Automation and more. This allows us not only to meet our clients’ IT challenges wherever they exist but also to keep learning alongside them.
Meet Your Problem Solver
AJ Holley | Senior Manager, National People & Change Team | Organizational Change Management
THE PEOPLE PROBLEM
One of the common pitfalls I see within organizational change management is a varied understanding among business leaders regarding the time and type of support needed to enable successful change. Some feel that change management is simply dedicated resources providing communication or training during a project. While these solutions may be necessary, companies need leadership and sponsor elements put in place early and often.
For example, I had the good fortune to work with one business leader and client recently who truly owned and drove change-related activity – not just being on project update calls or sending out emails about the change and how it would affect his teams. He quickly took the opportunity to share (in person) his knowledge of “what and why” and offered creative ways to involve his core leaders so the message was not just top-down. He was always present and struck a fine balance of providing direction while also delegating to empower others.
He came through on his commitments, both large and small, and provided appropriate words of confidence and understanding in every kick-off or work session. Unfortunately, exhibiting that kind of leadership during a change is rarer than it is frequent.
As soon as I meet project stakeholders, I try to provide examples of how leadership and behavior are unpredictable parts of the change. While statistics, machines, processes, and Xs and Os are predictable, people are not. Leaders need to flex and determine when to step in or when to allow things to play out. Moving through complex or sensitive transitions with any level of success requires a very proactive partnership and a shared view of how we will plan and deliver change actions.
One tactical way to address the gap is to offer change management education up front. Yet this is not always feasible because we are often brought in at the last minute, and the project or initiative is already underway. Additionally, leadership is usually expected to run the daily business during the change, so available time for learning sessions is often not an option.
But if we can even informally discuss change management when getting to know them, we can help leaders be more aware and aligned on the complexity and impact the change will have on the organization — and what it will take to enable a positive transition for its people. That is why we need to constantly coach and build trust early in the relationship.
In summary, businesses are claiming more than ever that “change is the norm,” yet the challenge remains to manage it effectively across all affected audiences. Helping leaders accept their role as models of proactive behavior (“I’ll tell you why we’re doing this, and how I will help.”) is a natural and powerful way to help organizations thrive in a continual state of change.