Daniel Popescu, IT Business Strategy Manager at Avaelgo, led efforts to pursue and win this business from a crowded field of partners. Daniel and the team at Avaelgo understood the top priorities for this customer: adherence to data sovereignty and security requirements during the project, as well as a sound adoption strategy for end users. As an experienced services team, Avaelgo knows a migration isn’t just about data. The key to this kind of project is helping users learn about, adopt, and become productive in their new environment. Avaelgo has a strategy for that, and that’s what caught the attention of the bank.
Ask an Ambassador
“We do our migrations in three stages,” said Popescu. “What’s unique about our process is that between the pilot phase and the final migration we have what we call our Ambassador phase. The Ambassadors make an enormous difference in assuring a smooth migration and easy adoption of the new environment.”
After finalizing the project plan, Avaelgo worked with the bank’s in-house IT team to select 650 Ambassadors from various departments. These employees needed to have technical proficiency, but most of all they had to be willing to promote the transition to Microsoft 365, help their fellow employees, and provide feedback as the migration progressed.
Ambassadors participated in early training and migrated ahead of the rest of the users. Then, they were asked to keep an eye out for any issues that came up and help identify processes that needed to be translated from Google to Microsoft. Their experience also helped the Avaelgo team build documentation for the full launch.
“The Ambassadors are at the center of our communication strategy. We give them an email badge that identifies them as a ‘Microsoft 365 Ambassador’ so people know where they can go for help. We also set up a Yammer channel dedicated to questions about the migration,” said Popescu.
Avaelgo kept active communication channels going throughout the migration and beyond. Their plan also included live weekly Teams meetings they called ‘Office Hours’ that could accommodate up to 200 participants. Any interested employees could see demos and bring up challenges they were encountering.
For financial institutions, security comes first
Driving user adoption was just one critical element of this migration. Behind the scenes, ensuring sensitive end user data was secure and adhered to the strict regulations of this customer was a top priority. As a financial institution, there was no room for compromise when it came to protecting customer information.
In this scenario, the ability for MigrationWiz customers to process their migration in the data center of their choice was a key component to maintaining compliance. Using the MigrationWiz instance based Azure Germany, Avaelgo ensured their solution met all security requirements for this institution.
“The bank’s security team tested everything along the way and required documentation. They even mandated an IP lockdown to make sure they could be fully in control,” said Popescu.
As the migration progressed, the team stood up additional instances of MigrationWiz to run in parallel, accelerating overall throughput and ensuring this project was completed on time.