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Case Study: The Inform Team helps Mott MacDonald work better with their customers using Microsoft Lync

By 5th December 2016October 10th, 2023No Comments

Mott MacDonald is a global engineering, management and development consultancy focused on guiding their clients through many of the planet’s most intricate challenges. Mott MacDonald engaged The Inform Team to help its 16,000 staff, across 180 offices and 150 countries, improve how they work with customers, by adopting Cloud PBX using Microsoft Lync.

The Initiative

Mott MacDonald finds opportunities in complexity, turning obstacles into elegant, sustainable solutions. Improvement is at the heart of their offering – they use their ingenuity to save their customers money and time, reduce risks, increase efficiency, maximise sustainable outcomes and advance best practice. They draw on the talents of their teams across sectors, geographies and disciplines, bringing the right people together, at the right time, from anywhere in the world. Mott MacDonald invested in Microsoft Lync as its new global communication platform to support their collaborative approach.

Realising the success of the Lync implementation relied on people embracing new ways of working, Mott MacDonald chose The Inform Team to establish global adoption of Lync among its employees. We were chosen based on our proven experience with similar technology adoption programmes, and our clear understanding of the challenge. Following a pilot of Lync in one of Mott MacDonald’s key UK offices, The Inform Team established that employees needed a clear understanding of the following four key areas in order to accept Microsoft Lync and embrace new ways of working:

  1. Why they should change, driven by benefits to both the organisation and them specifically
  2. How Lync contributes to Mott MacDonald being better than their competitors
  3. How to confidently and efficiently use Lync both internally and externally
  4. Common misconceptions around the application of Lync

The Approach

The Inform Team applied their 3Es™ Methodology, Excite, Equip, Embed, to support Mott MacDonald:

Excite – While it was clear Lync would deliver organisational benefits such as reduced travel costs, people needed a compelling reason to get on board – they needed to understand what was in it for them. In conjunction with Internal Communications, The Inform Team established the benefits for each type of employee at Mott MacDonald, including project team members. Microsoft Lync enabled project teams to instantly share plans and drawings with customers and suppliers, rather than waiting to do so at a project meeting. This meant less project downtime, less rework, and a better service for customers – project teams were instantly more accessible, more available and as a result, more productive. Similar scenarios were identified for each employee type, and communications wrapped around those scenarios, making them relevant and meaningful, making people want to change the way they worked.

Microsoft Lync was deployed on an office-by-office basis. Communications were timed to mirror the deployment schedule so messaging was relevant at the time it was received. They pointed to videos explaining in 2-minutes how the deployment of Microsoft Lync was aligned to the strategic Business Improvement Programme, and how it would help everyone work more effectively.


Equip – The Inform Team recommended a training approach based on how people worked, and the extent to which they’d need to use Lync. This ensured training was relevant and Mott MacDonald were investing in the skills and knowledge of their people appropriately. The following courses were offered:


Getting StartedPresentationAll staff1-hr
Collaborative WorkingInteractive, hands-onProject, admin, sales, bid, senior execs2-hr
ChampionsInteractive, hands-onExisting IT champions


ReceptionInteractive, hands-onSwitchboard operators3-hr

The training was developed considering not just how to use the software, but how it impacted policy, process, best practice and etiquette.  Results were extraordinary, those who attended the Collaborative Working course were 92% more likely to use online meetings, rather than either travelling or using outdated conference calling facilities, and 59% more confident in using Lync, versus those who did not attend.

Courses were delivered to the global audience virtually, using Microsoft Lync itself, by certified training consultants to ensure training was interactive, hands-on and engaging.

In addition to establishing Lync expertise among specific job functions, The Inform Team established expertise across a global network of champions to reduce the reliance on support from the Service Desk.

Embed – The Inform Team surveyed users to establish their confidence and whether or not the new tools were indeed fully embedded.  The results were surprising, whilst there had been a significant increase in usage:

  • Alternative tools including BT MeetMe, Citrix GoToMeeting and Cisco WebEx were still in use and were still being licensed.
  • There was a common misconception that people who did not have Microsoft Lync could not attend Lync online meetings, so usage was lower than it should have been.

This highlighted the need to continue to reinforce the many benefits of Lync usage, and enabled SIS, Mott MacDonald’s central IT function, to retire alternative tools earlier than anticipated. The Inform Team developed a communications plan, partly aimed at disproving common misconceptions, one of which being, customers who did not use Lync could not join online meetings.

The final challenge for any technology implementation is to consider the impact beyond the project. The Inform Team now run a virtually-delivered IT Induction covering the various technologies in place within the organisation, to ensure that all employees are onboard with Mott MacDonald’s ways of working.

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