Empowering Remote Collaboration at Sherwin Williams

Empowering Remote Collaboration at Sherwin Williams

While remote collaboration has long been a modest concern for many organizations, it wasn’t until 2020 that remote collaboration skyrocketed to the forefront. We all know about the events in 2020, which caused organizations all over the globe to rapidly modernize their workplaces to survive in this new digital arena. Many organizations were already planning to gradually modernize these structures. Then almost overnight, the pandemic turned tomorrow’s nice to haves into yesterday’s should-haves. While each distributed workforce is unique, they do all share the need to be connected in real-time – not only to each other but also to all corporate resources and tools.

Embracing Change

As a long-time developer, I had numerous organizations and individuals reach out for assistance and solutions to help navigate these turbulent times. One organization, in particular, was Sherwin Williams, one of the largest paint and coating manufacturers. Sherwin Williams relies heavily on HCL Connections to keep their teams connected, engaged, and productive. For over five years, I have worked directly with their teams and have developed countless monitoring, reporting, and administrative features to streamline HCL Connections management.

Creating Business Value at Sherwin Williams

Sherwin Williams has one of the largest deployments of HCL Connections. And they heavily rely on the collaborative solution to generate, enhance, and maintain business value. To protect their valuable investment, Sherwin Williams secured VitalSigns years ago to monitor their Connections environment – their Communities, User Activities, Adoption, etc. as well as the underlying components that affect the performance and availability of Connections.

When the pandemic hit, the drastic increase in remote workers not only caused a surge in Connections utilization but also modified how Connections was being utilized. But thankfully, with complete visibility from VitalSigns and diligent administration on their end, Sherwin Williams was prepared.

Modern Digital Solutions

Connections 7 is an exciting release full of many new features that have been able to help organizations facilitate remote collaboration within their new remote workforce. New features in Connections 7 like Orient Me and Touchpoint allowed Sherwin Williams to simplify daily work and easily onboard new users as the number of remote workers increased.

Thankfully, Sherwin Williams had been using VitalSigns to monitor their Connections environment for some time before the pandemic. So not only was their environment very stable, but they also had benchmark performance data, allowing them to quickly identify even the slightest defects in performance as they scaled up.

As they prepared for the influx of activity – they also leveraged VitalSigns to simulate end-user transactions and ensure their infrastructure could handle the increase. This also allowed them to quickly and proactively identify potential issues before actual end users were affected.

Building Value with Collaborative Communities

As the workforce shifted – so did the style in which we communicate and collaborate. The water cooler is no longer a physical area, but could now be a Community within Connections.

Again, thankfully, Sherwin Williams was prepared. In part due to the addition of Community Templates in Connections 7, making it easy to quickly create and edit Communities. But also, because VitalSigns optimized Connections performance and availability, while also providing real-time insights into Community Activity. VitalSigns empowered Sherwin Williams to understand user behavior within their Connections Communities. With this knowledge, it became easier to analyze trends, identify Internal Champions, and make informed decisions.

Empowering the Workforce with Culture & Leadership

The Internal Champions report in VitalSigns identifies subject matter experts within Connections, across all Communities, Departments, and teams. Organizations can then promote their Internal Champions as a valuable resource for users seeking assistance on a specific topic.

It was a great benefit to know who your Internal Champions were before the workplace disruption in early 2020. This allowed organizations to drastically increase their remote user experience by promoting their Internal Champions, and by positioning them in places where they could make the biggest impact.

It was beneficial to knowing who the Internal Champions were before the shift. But it was even more so to actively track Champion activity throughout, and following the shift. We began to see a new kind of “Champion” emerge. One whose role goes beyond a subject matter expert, and is also prepared to take ownership and empower their coworkers to overcome geological barriers.

Like they say you are only as strong as your weakest link – we quickly learned that it was just as important to identify those who were struggling to adopt the solution. Now I didn’t want to create a tattle tale tool, quite the opposite. I wanted to provide managers, team leads, and even Internal Champions with a way to quickly address user pain points and to provide training or assistance where it is needed.

VitalSigns was able to provide with more than just which individuals were struggling, giving them insights into why individuals were struggling. By understanding the why, team leaders and managers can encourage, educate, and properly empower every employee. In the end, Connections provided them with the collaborative platform to stay connected – and VitalSigns gave them the insights and stability to maximize their collaborative potential.

Why RPR Wyatt?

RPR Wyatt’s team of experts has been helping organizations on the Domino platform for the last two decades and we plan to continue assisting Domino organizations for decades to come.

 From enterprise organizations to family businesses, RPR Wyatt is the go-to provider for monitoring, administration, development, licensing, and reporting for all things HCL Domino.

 RPR Wyatt has partnered with HCL Software to help organizations empower their workforce and drive future business value using modern digital solutions and expert digital services.

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