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Coca-Cola European Partners build a single digital workforce

The coronavirus pandemic has caused seismic disruption to businesses. The sudden need to enable vast remote working has caught many off guard, particularly those with legacy IT.

Coca-Cola European Partners (CCEP) is one enterprise that could have easily found itself among those organisations in reactive mode, were it not for its proactive approach to building a truly mobile workforce. Formed through the merger of three separate Coca-Cola bottling firms, the combined organisation has made it a priority to deliver a single unified digital workplace for its 23,300 employees across Europe.

Given the wide-scale incompatibility of CCEP’s legacy systems and the vast geographic disparity between the original company platforms, including around nine email systems and twelve collaboration platforms, the challenge was achieving this vision quickly and cost efficiently. Trying to bring everything together involves a huge amount of duplication and complexity, so CCEP had to decide how to simplify this and best connect its users.

OkTik infographic

“Our original thought was to go greenfield, build new and move everybody to it,” says Neil Charlton, director of technology solution delivery at CCEP. A common approach among big organisations, this typically involves engaging a large consultancy firm that steers towards the adoption of standard operating models. It didn’t take long, however, for Charlton and his team to realise this wasn’t the right journey for CCEP.

“The big providers in the industry are moving to commodity solutions, which works well if you’re willing to build a new solution and move everybody,” Charlton adds. “But if, like us, you want a hybrid model that gives you stability as you integrate legacy with your new environment and enables users to transition through that smoothly, then boutique consultancies are a better option. They have the experience to do the integration, deal with the complexity and work through all the challenges.”

This realisation saw CCEP collaborate with boutique consultancy OKTiK Technology to design a digital workplace programme with automation at the heart. OKTiK created solutions that connected systems within CCEP, which many people thought couldn’t be connected, and the speed and predictability provided by the OneTiK Automation Platform negated the need for CCEP to bring in large teams of IT people to migrate users.

This created a foundation that then allowed CCEP to integrate and establish a transition path to its new environment, built around Office 365 and Windows 10.

OKTiK’s tailored approach to meeting CCEP’s objectives, as opposed to just advocating standard operating models, is best represented through the unified project management dashboard it built. Powered by the enormous amount of data and intelligence being automatically collected and managed from the end-to-end automation process, the dashboard provides a real-time view of what is happening. This enables CCEP stakeholders to streamline the project, predict issues and resolve challenges promptly.

The programme has been the single biggest enabler of remote working for CCEP. Hitting the velocity of migrations at the start of January meant that by the time a global pandemic was declared in March, momentum was already strong enough to enable a seamless mobile workforce. Migrations grew from zero to 700 users in two weeks and this is now approaching 400 a day, which would be impossible to do manually. Meanwhile, Office 365 has enabled its staff to share and secure data more effectively.

To deliver complex change, you need to work effectively with third parties; OKTik truly integrate with us, creating a one-team spirit focused on solutions

“With over 23,000 people to migrate, and all the back-end complexity, we needed real-time reporting to prove it’s working and automated,” says Carlton. “The dashboards allow us to report to the chief information officer or chief executive on the status of migration in every geography at any time and fix any problems as they occur.

“They are used every day and through the COVID-19 crisis have actually helped to create real energy as everyone can see the counter ticking up in real time. To deliver complex change, you need to work effectively with third parties; OKTik truly integrate with us, creating a one-team spirit focused on solutions.”

While every large company’s IT environment is different, OKTiK has developed a construct whereby it can go into any organisation with a proof of concept and within four weeks enable them to see what they can deliver with the full automation platform. The construct is flexible enough to adapt to unique environment challenges and, through an evolving partner ecosystem, its capabilities are extending rapidly.

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