Bendelta is a leading boutique strategic leadership firm that is dedicated to accelerating the human potential of executives and organisations to world-class performance levels. With offices in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Canberra, Bendelta advises Asia Pacific’s leading public and private sector organisations, combining expertise in strategy, organisation and development with global thought leaders, incisive thinking and leading-edge intellectual property.
Bendelta requires the highest level of support from its partners to maintain the highest level of service it provides to its clients, and it was with this in mind that it began working with BlueScale over eight years ago, and more recently on a large digital transformation project. Matthew Hull, Head of Insights and Analytics at Bendelta explains: “We have been working with BlueScale as our IT provider for many years now and we have grown to see them as a valued partner.
“About 18 months ago, we had a conversation with BlueScale regarding our digital requirements which are increasing as our business grows. We looked to BlueScale to advise us on what our business required and to take us through the process of achieving our goals.”
One of many factors that kickstarted the digital transformation process for Bendelta was a major office move that was required as a result of the accelerated company growth.
Mr Hull continues: “At that time we had physical servers in our offices, and we knew a move to the Cloud was coming. This was also compounded by our increased security needs and our booming data and insights offering. In particular, some government and ASX-listed organisations that we worked with had very strict data and security requirements.
“The other catalyst was the size of our team and our increasing national and global footprint. We required all our data in the Cloud so that it was easily accessible from any device anywhere in the world.”
Don’t let your IT hold your organisation back
After making the decision to undertake the transformation, Bendelta sat down with the BlueScale team to discuss what would work for them and the best way of making the transformation as smooth, cost effective and impactful as possible.
“We all sat down and BlueScale asked, ‘what outcomes are you looking to achieve?’ and then we mapped out a strategy to take us there. This outcomes-focused approach was appealing to us. BlueScale really did their homework on our organisation and mapped the activity against our business strategy.
BlueScale were great to work with and it was refreshing to speak to people who had a good understanding of what is technically possible or not possible. The benefit of going with a mid-sized operation like BlueScale is that it provides you with access to more senior staff and that made a huge difference.
“The approach from BlueScale was all about collaboration and they assigned teams to each of the core areas that made up the whole transformation and set goals that each team would achieve. They were really ‘on-call’ – I’m sure they had other clients, but it felt like that they were dedicated to us. We could pick up the phone and give them a call at any time with any questions.” Mr Hull adds.
Honesty in delivery
A bugbear of many going through a digital transformation is its IT partner not knowing what is or is not achievable within the budget and technical specifications. This was not the case with BlueScale, Mr Hull explains:
BlueScale was always honest in saying what was achievable and what wasn’t, and we really appreciated their forthrightness during the process.
“One example is that we were considering whether we implemented a completely cloud-based approach or whether we do a hybrid solution, which is having some data sit in the cloud and then some data on servers onsite. BlueScale really talked us through the pros and cons of each approach so our team could then develop a business case to get a decision.
The digital transformation relocated all of Bendelta’s data into the Cloud and migrated the organisation to Microsoft’s Office 365 suite of tools and applications, as well as improving cyber security.
The security update included everything from implementing a multi-factor authentication process to installing a security camera in the office. Other transformation activity included remapping Bendelta’s email system to Microsoft Exchange without losing any data and with minimum downtime. Mr Hull continues: “Email was the first step of the data migration and Microsoft suite implementation, including OneDrive and Microsoft Teams.”
The next stage was the implementation of Microsoft Teams and OneDrive. “This required new learning for our staff through user guides and training,” Mr Hull continued: “BlueScale supported us by creating and providing user guides, that we then evolved into resources and training sessions for the team. Finally, BlueScale provided us with an ongoing technical support process to assist our team in using the new solutions.
The final piece of the puzzle was putting an intranet in place so everyone in our organisation could also access over a million files that the company had developed over its sixteen-year history, and search through these files in a manner similar to a Google search.
“The Bendelta intranet was set up on Microsoft SharePoint and BlueScale played an important role in advising us on how to set it up and maintain it, ensuring all files were easily accessible and securely backed up.
“BlueScale also put a new support structure in place to coincide with the new intranet including training materials and a help desk service. Every file we have can now be securely accessed from any internet-connected device that our team is using, anywhere in the world. It’s quite the step up from what we had.”
The benefits of the process
Needless to say, the benefits of such a transformation in an organisation that relies on collaboration, communication, access to its data and knowledge, and the capacity to work across office locations, is huge. Digital transformations of this nature often solve problems that the organisation didn’t even know they had.
Mr Hull explains: “We are a flexible organisation and this digital transformation has allowed us to now work even more flexibly. We are becoming more efficient that we used to be, and we can now genuinely work whenever we want, wherever we want, with access to everything we need and the infrastructure to support us. A huge step forward for us.
“Then, there’s the benefit of genuine collaboration. Now we can have three or four people working on the same file at the same time while talking to each other through Microsoft Teams.
“From a security perspective we now have peace of mind that we have the correct level of cover for external threats. And from a client perspective we have increased our capacity to exceed their expectations, and we can collaborate with our clients just like we do with each other. This directly increases the value we provide to them and in turn means growth for us. We are more agile and more efficient than we were.
I would highly recommend BlueScale for complex transformation projects,” Mr Hull says, “They can solve large, complex organisational problems, not just through technology and infrastructure, but they take time to understand your business and its strategic drivers and align the solution they provide to them.