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Case Studies

Rapid Growth, Uncertain Future

Velti is a rapidly expanding technology company working in the rapidly changing industry of mobile device marketing.  They approached DEGW for support in planning their new New York City office.  Approximately 4o staff were working out of a windowless, "serviced" office, responding to clients and ad agencies who were seeking support in the design and analysis of programs that push advertising out to mobile devices.  The industry is in it's infancy.  As one executive noted, "It's like the internet in the late 90's. You know you want to be there, but you don't know with what, or where, or how often."

Making the commitment to leased space, the group wanted to make sure they created an environment that could be as nimble and flexible as their staff to anticipate and respond to changes in the market.  Bryant led the effort which involved 3 interviews with executives and a half day workshop with all interested staff supported by Jung Hoon Kim of DEGW.

The group rapidly reached consensus and three schemes were created.  The preferred concept was titled "Client at the Core".  It reflected the values of the group as well as the placement of client engagement areas.  It also maximized opportunities to reflect their clients' brands in a number of ways including video and print throughout the space.

As a virtual "start up", resources and square footage are very carefully allocated.  The team agreed to an "alternative work strategy" where there are no private offices, or dedicated spaces.  Instead, three neighborhoods were created.  The sales community, being the most mobile,  is located closest to the entry and the client engagement area.  Sales support is adjacent and slightly more protected.  The technology group, responsible for software development, is located furthest from the disruptions of visitors and a sometimes overly enthusiastic sales process. The entire team is supported by focus booths for concentrated work, small conference rooms, a pantry and open work areas.

The office is set up to be an exhibition and event space at special times or after hours.  The interactive decision-making process has everyone on board and excited about the new opening planned for May.

Aligning Policy with Practice

Salesforce.com's customer support team knew they were working in a mobile way.  Their requirements for a rapid response to customers' questions and issues meant they needed to be available more than most employees.  While "work from home" was accepted, there were no clear policies or consistent practice.  Employees had negotiated their schedules with their managers on a case by case basis often bringing assumptions based on their past experience to new roles or teams.  The rapid growth of Salesforce.com was making it increasingly difficult to keep pace with technology, team assignments and facilities provision.

Salesforce.com approached DEGW to conduct research into the customer support group and design a pilot program for mobility.  Using previously collected survey data, Bryant led the effort to investigate current practices, goals and challenges.  Customer Support had a robust set of measurements for performance, and more importantly had volunteered to test a new policy.  Combining the survey data with manager interviews and series of focus groups, DEGW designed a program with the input of six representatives from Salesforce.com's infrastructure including security, IT, real estate, sustainability, training and HR (Employee Success).

The new program, Flexforce,  has been hugely successful and is being expanded throughout the organization.  It details requirements for eligibility, provides a process for enrollment and defines rules for employee engagement such as time in the office, response times, home office set up and management check-ins.  The corresponding kit of tools is available on line for questions.  Comments and suggestions are posted on Salesforce's Chatter, a social media software.  All employees were required to attend a 2 hour training session prior to enrollment.  The pilot has improved understanding of the program, its benefits and responsibilities.  The business case has documented advantages to the organization and the individuals.  Flexforce has created a community of individuals and their teams who work in this way dedicated to continued improvement and ultimately a customer's improved experience.