January 9, 2020
Safaricom is Kenya’s largest telecom operator and one of the major contributors to the local economy. As a leading innovator, it sets an example for other companies in the region, continuously pushing the boundaries of technology and business transformation. To empower employees to move at the pace of change, the company integrated SharePoint and Power BI into Microsoft Teams for a one-stop solution enabling secure, converged collaboration.
Going fast is difficult in a company this size. Fortunately, technology is a great enabler of agility. Safaricom resolved to adopt it to improve task execution, bolster security, and spur productivity with flexible ways of working. To reach these goals, the company retained a local Microsoft partner, Cloud Productivity Solutions, to roll out new Microsoft collaboration tools.
“We wanted a single solution that converges all the different tools we had, and that is trusted and secure. I can safely say that our expectations were met and exceeded,” explains Jimmy Masinde, Head of Digital Experience Excellence at Safaricom.
The aim of the project was clear, and so were its challenges. “Microsoft provided a future-proof enterprise collaboration solution that caters to everyone’s needs, regardless of whether they are on the go, in the office, or working remotely,” says George Njuguna, Director, Information Technology (CIO) at Safaricom. “A variety of diverse communication tools were in play,” adds Masinde. “Content on shared drives had many challenges, from file versioning to rights management. Each person had to wait for another employee to finish work or have their own version, which would be merged into one document later on.”
The combined power of Microsoft Teams and SharePoint resolved this issue. “The versioning on shared files safeguards them from overwriting and deletions and allows multiple people to work on the same file concurrently,” Masinde confirms. With convenience and ease of cooperation came enhanced security―critical to a telecom’s enterprise. “Having a centralized, secure platform for managing and sharing corporate information was essential. In the past, the multitude of tools created islands of information, which led to a disconnect within teams and departments. Thanks to SharePoint and Teams, our staff is now free to communicate without the fear of data breach,” he adds.
Microsoft solutions has helped Safaricom forge a new path in enterprise collaboration. By promoting employee mobility and agility, particularly for people living in remote areas and field staff. “Through daily engagements, Teams has facilitated keeping abreast real-time with forecasts and reports that field engineers consume to draw up their daily actions. Now, they can get up to date almost on the fly,” Njuguna observes.
Collaboration tools had the biggest impact on the Customer Experience Division, which makes up almost half of the company’s workforce. Masinde recalls an example: “When it comes to onboarding new members, the respective accesses are auto-available. In the past, a ticket had to be raised and approved for each of the shared folders before the IT team could grant access. On the same point, OneDrive ensures all business files are always available whenever, wherever you are.”
Satisfied with the project outcome, Safaricom has set its sights on the future. Jeremiah Kibanga, CEO of Cloud Productivity Solutions Limited, has supported the provider with the implementation, shares more details: “Cloud Productivity Solutions and Safaricom are looking to deliver the integration of telephony into Teams, and automate most of the manual processes using Power Apps and Microsoft Flow.” Njuguna adds, “We are working to enhance the experience with the implemented solutions and increase the Power BI integration,” he notes. “There are other solutions like storage tools and Office 365 ProPlus that we’d like to see seamlessly coming together to further enhance employee productivity.”
“Microsoft provided a future-proof enterprise collaboration solution that caters to everyone’s needs, regardless of whether they are on the go, in the office, or working remotely.”