Successful technology deployments require more than just implementation capabilities. Our Modern Workplace team infuses our adoption and change management expertise into IT system implementations to create secure, scalable and repeatable solutions.
When the world’s top companies – or those aspiring to get there – are looking to create a competitive advantage, they turn to OMNOVA Solutions, a global innovator of performance-enhancing chemistries and surfaces.
Serving more than 90 countries from operations in North America, Europe and Asia, OMNOVA’s technologies, products and services deliver distinctive performance features – helping to support their customers’ reputations as trusted brands around the globe and in a wide variety of markets.
To continue serving in this industry-leading role, OMNOVA sought to transform their workplace to meet evolving business needs, a complex threat environment, and a growing global workforce that isn’t tied down to physical locations.
OMNOVA’s forward-thinking leaders understood that their current workspace – comprised of legacy Microsoft on-premises tools and third-party applications – was making it difficult for employees to stay engaged, access and share information, and productively collaborate across the organization. Their pain points included the use of email as a primary communication tool, reliance on VPN technology which encumbered their ability to access and share information across the organization, and reliance on non-integrated tools such as conferencing platforms.
The company wanted to synchronize their communications and increase the breadth and scope of their cyber security processes and tools. They needed a unified and reliable communication platform to access data and services from any device, at any time, from anywhere along with an enhanced capability to facilitate the secure sharing of sensitive information.
OMNOVA leaders knew that providing employees with this type of flexibility would result in a happier, higher performing workforce, and would also help them to become more competitive with attracting and retaining top talent. To make it happen, OMNOVA needed to quickly and effectively transform their digital workplace.
Enter Centric: Introducing a Modern Workplace Environment
Microsoft 365 is the technical solution that OMNOVA needed to make their vision come to life. It offers innovative tools to form the foundation of a flexible, productive, and engaging work environment. Not only would this environment give employees the ability to more effectively communicate and collaborate, but they could do so through secure, integrated, cloud-based and mobile–friendly tools.
A modern workplace transformation is not accomplished through technology implementation alone, however. While investing in new technology was critical to workplace transformation, OMNOVA needed an experienced partner to keep the project focused on the most important asset: their employees.
To make that happen, OMNOVA turned to Centric Consulting, a certified Microsoft Gold-level Partner, to configure the platform and provide the strategy and support that would successfully guide them along their journey.
Within a matter of months following the deployment, OMNOVA was harnessing the power of Microsoft 365, enjoying benefits such as:
- Enhanced employee communication and collaboration
- IT and Operations cost savings
- Newfound ability to securely access company data from any device, at any time, in any location
- More productive, enjoyable workplace
To help them to achieve their goals, we first consulted with OMNOVA leaders and stakeholders to conduct organizational assessments. We then created a prioritized roadmap to align Microsoft 365 products and services with OMNOVA’s business needs. Our team of experts not only properly configured the technical solution to the client’s requirements, but also applied a viable transition strategy that helped both employees and IT administrators adjust to this new way of working.
Our team was comprised of seasoned consultants with deep expertise in transforming and securing workplaces while also helping to manage the people side of change. Our team included the full spectrum of expertise to accomplish a successful transition:
- Microsoft Solution Architects & Enterprise Mobility + Security (EMS) Implementation Specialists assessed the structure and configuration of OMNOVA’s Active Directory, Exchange Server, and SharePoint implementations to map out the future state of Office 365 and EMS architecture. This team deployed the following technology products:
- Microsoft Office 2016 Pro Plus
- Microsoft Enterprise Mobility + Security (EMS) (including modern authentication for Windows 10)
- Microsoft Exchange Online
- Microsoft OneDrive for Business
- Microsoft SharePoint Online
- Microsoft Teams
To prepare OMNOVA for the rollout of these tools, we provided “white glove” support training to their internal teams. Moving forward, this knowledge transfer allows OMNOVA to scale Microsoft 365 applications and services to their evolving business requirements and workflows.
- Modern Workplace Strategists prepared OMNOVA to properly support and manage the solution by creating a Governance Plan that included policies and procedures, as well as the proper use and maintenance of the platform and its associated tools. They also worked closely with our security consultants to build a framework for managing risk, cost and adoption.
- Adoption and Change Management experts who assessed OMNOVA’s culture and change readiness among the employee base to create a viable change strategy, engagement plan, and communications & training plans. We also identified and partnered with a global team of internal “change champions” to engage employees and provide local training and support. We executed our strategy using techniques and resources developed by Centric and Microsoft. We also established new operating and end-user support models to facilitate adoption throughout the organization.
The Impact: Reaping the Rewards of a Modern Workplace
Our end-to-end solution fused strategy, technical implementation, Adoption and Change Management (ACM), and operational governance with the power of Microsoft 365 to help OMNOVA meet its goal of creating a secure modern workplace.
This transformation, which benefited employees across the globe, happened over months not years.
Since deployment in February 2019, OMNOVA is already experiencing business benefits such as:
- High adoption rates with OneDrive for Business (90.2%).
- After a significant increase in adoption during the early stages of the project, growth has steadied at an average of 130% per month. Two and a half months after the project launch, 76% of the Office 365 users are actively using Teams and have conducted over 52,000 Teams chats.
- OMNOVA is now well-positioned to shift significant financial resources associated with on-premises hosting costs to scale up usage of Office 365 as their business needs evolve. Within just a few months, OMNOVA has seen $79,000 in cost savings from decommissioning on-premises servers and related services. Total expected savings after decommissioning is estimated at $109,000.
- Approximately $15,000 in cost savings was achieved by cutting out duplicative collaboration and meeting tools. Total expected savings after consolidation is estimated at $125,000 per year.
- Comprehensive governance policies have empowered OMNOVA’s IT security department to prevent data loss and effectively monitor sensitive and proprietary information.
- Employees now have seamless access to shared data coupled with the enhanced security and reliability of Microsoft’s built-in data encryption. What used to require a VPN connection, Remote Desktop session, or extra emails can now be completed with greater ease on any device.
- Employees can now access company data through mobile devices that are secured through Azure Multi-Factor Authentication and Microsoft Intune.
- OMNOVA uses Microsoft Intune to determine if a device can be trusted before allowing a user access to an Office 365 application from that device. Intune’s ease of use, transparency and convenience enable users to install the application on their personal devices without worrying about privacy. Users now feel secured and administrators don’t have to wrestle with the management headaches inherent with traditional mobile device management (MDM) solutions.
- Proactively, the team (OMNOVA and Centric) implemented an Azure Multi-Factor solution, coupled with Azure Conditional Access, which requires all users to set up a second authentication method. This automated solution, using PowerShell which executes daily, was implemented in anticipation of calls to their Support Desk from remote users.
As a result of this project’s success, we continue to partner with OMNOVA to help them thrive and grow in the Microsoft environment. As our next phase moves toward completion, we hope to serve as trusted advisors to OMNOVA for years to come.