Organizations of every size and across sectors faced drastic workforce changes when the COVID-19 pandemic spread across the globe in early 2020. Governments worldwide enacted strict physical distancing requirements that affected just about every facet of life—work, travel, entertainment, etc. Organizations had to adjust to new ways of working rapidly, including remote work, while maintaining their daily operations and continuing to serve their customers and citizens.

As Canada began enforcing measures to slow the spread of COVID-19, a large Canadian road and public transport agency faced the challenge of transitioning its 4,000 employees to remote work. Speed was of the essence. Restrictions imposed by Canadian governments demanded an immediate response. In addition, maintaining employee productivity was critical. For help in meeting these challenges, the agency turned to CGI.

Bringing remote employees together

As agency employees began working from home, a top agency concern was maintaining productivity. How could employees continue to perform their jobs effectively without the structure and resources of their office environment?

Key to maintaining productivity was enabling employees to collaborate, even while working separately from home. To facilitate collaboration, CGI helped the agency select and implement Microsoft Teams, a unified communication and collaboration platform that features a wide range of capabilities to connect employees, including chat, video meetings, file storage and application integration. 

Implementing Microsoft Teams in record time

Following an agile/sprint-based approach for solution rollouts, CGI implemented Microsoft Teams for the agency’s 4,000 employees in just over two weeks. The initial rollout focused on essential, high-priority Microsoft Team features, while subsequent sprints added nice-to-have capabilities such as live events and corporate telephony system integration. 

CGI piloted Microsoft Teams with a focus group to gather feedback for planning an agency-wide deployment and then staggered the rollout to remaining staff in waves.

Online user training helped to accelerate adoption of the platform. CGI also facilitated adoption by providing training to level-one service desk staff and other support personnel in advance of the rollout, along with reference guides and FAQs.

The implementation went smoothly, and employees enthusiastically embraced the new tool. Thanks to the platform’s robust features and ease of use, strong collaboration among employees continued, despite the disruptions of the pandemic, and their productivity did not decline. 

Through CGI’s Microsoft Teams expertise and solution rollout experience, the agency was able to respond rapidly to pandemic workforce pressures, and with Microsoft Teams in place, it will continue to benefit from a strong collaboration platform as it rebounds from the pandemic.