1,000+ users, 15 offices, and a successful rollout: How Sheppard Mullin and Traveling Coaches Partnered for a Windows 10/Office 2016 Upgrade
For Sheppard Mullin, upgrading to Windows 10 and Office 2016 required the support of an experienced partner.
“We’ve worked with Traveling Coaches on several successful projects over the years. It made sense to leverage their experience once more for configuration consultation, training, eLearning and user adoption,” says Curt Montague, Manager of Technology Services for Sheppard Mullin.
The Am Law 60 law firm with 1500 employees in 15 offices had previously paired with Traveling Coaches on programs including security awareness, iManage training, legal trainer certification and ongoing learning content.
The upgrade was a pivotal part of the firm’s desire to keep ahead of the technology curve.
“We decided to upgrade to take advantage of the more secure platform of Windows 10, get ahead of the game on the technology side and leverage more of the Office 365 offerings. The biggest challenge of this project was what we didn’t know, including changes in technology, how it will impact the firm and how we navigate those issues,” explains Montague.
Traveling Coaches, however, brought an impressive level of experience to the project. To date, the company has worked with over 33,000 law firm users on Office 2016 and Windows 10 rollouts.
Future-Proofing IT with applications consultation
With a start date of winter 2016, Sheppard Mullin began their due diligence. The first step was applications consultation from Traveling Coaches. The in-depth, collaborative session delved into how Office is architected, the pros and cons of 365 click to run and Office 2016 and how they apply to the firm’s IT infrastructure and users.
“The applications consultation from Traveling Coaches helped us decide how we were going to move forward from a strategic perspective,” explains Montague. “They gave us insight into how the technology will affect the firm. In the end, they helped us make an informed decision that positioned the firm for long-term success. By opting for 365 click to run, we are better suited to adapt to modern technology in the future. If the firm changes one of our systems or we move to the cloud, we will be ready to integrate with these new systems.”
Capturing attorney attention and attendance
Training represented a crucial component for user adoption of Windows 10 and Office 2016.
Working with Traveling Coaches, Sheppard Mullin arranged for onsite and online learning for lawyers and staff in each office. Of specific concern was attracting attorneys, a group that traditionally deprioritizes training in favor of billable activities.
Using documentation from Traveling Coaches, the Sheppard Mullin training team constructed training sessions targeted for both attorneys and staff members. A combination of trainers from Sheppard Mullin and Traveling Coaches conducted the classes.
“For attorneys, we offered a trimmed down version of the training sessions,” shares Montague. “The training was well received by lawyers. They learned new things. We got good responses from attorneys that normally wouldn’t respond at all – comments like “Wow, I didn’t know that” or “I should go to training more often.” In all, more than 420 attorneys attended and they rated the sessions a 4.76 out of 5 stars. That speaks volumes.”
Feedback from lawyers included:
“Great introduction to Windows 10.”
“Great job. Useful, focused, concise.”
“I found the features discussed in the training to be very relevant to how I work.”
“We’ve been using Traveling Coaches eLearning for years. They bridged the gap and helped people who needed more in-depth training and a preview of what the new Microsoft Office would look like. Overall, it was very effective,” comments Montague.
On-premise training support for an important rollout
As the new technology rolled out in Sheppard Mullin’s offices, Traveling Coaches was onsite to help attorneys and staff acclimate. The company led classroom training, handled floor support and worked one-on-one with partners and others who needed special attention.
“The floor support from Traveling Coaches helped the rollout significantly. We could put our trainers in more strategic locations without spreading ourselves too thin and not have a deficit of support during the rollout. It gave us breathing room to support both a successful rollout and still handle new hire training and other needs,” says Montague.
Montague continues: “Every Traveling Coaches trainer received very positive responses. They were extremely pleasant and prepared. They delivered. People were sad to see them go. In fact, one user said she wished they could stay forever.”
“Support calls are my canary in the coal mine and I use the call volume to determine how a project is going,” asserts Montague. “The Windows 10 and Office 2016 rollout went off without a hitch. We didn’t see a big spike in support calls, and I attribute that to the training and floor support. Users were able to do their jobs.”
Instructor-led training, a collaboration between Traveling Coaches and Sheppard Mullin, saw an attendance greater than 90% in some offices. In addition to the high ratings assigned by attorneys, the staff hands-on meeting (where participants logged in and followed along) scored 4.84 out of 5 stars, the staff demonstrations (that allowed participants to view the solution) earned 4.76 stars and the eLearning landed at 4.63.
“Traveling Coaches delivered again, as we expected them to. We knew they knew the technology and how to engage users. Each trainer was professional, on time and an excellent communicator. They acted as part of the team and gave great feedback. They participated in nightly meetings in which Traveling Coaches and the firm’s training team discussed what happened each day and questions and strategies to address them. I’m really happy with the service Traveling Coaches provided,” he comments.
Montague categorizes Traveling Coaches as professional, flexible and reliable.
“They put out excellent work. Everything went to plan as scheduled with no delays. I’d recommend Traveling Coaches without a second thought,” he says.