Product mindset buzz words continue to dominate the headlines, but for VMware’s IT team, keeping employee success at the forefront of innovation is nothing new.
Last year, VMware IT took a big step forward in their product development evolution and piloted a new employee network designed to improve the efficacy of their products and services, through collaborative design. The pilot was so successful, colleagues around the world were signing up to partner with IT on the next generation of workplace innovation.
VMware’s obsession with colleague success can be traced back to the relaunch of the End User Services team under the new name, Colleague Experience & Technology (CET).
Quick Facts on VMware’s Colleague Experience & Technology Team:
- CET includes VMware’s Oasis Colleague Support, Unified Communication & Collaboration, VMware’s Anywhere Workspace Engineers and more.
- The team operates with a singular focus – provide delightful technology experiences to VMware’s colleagues, customers, and partners.
- Since its start, CET has been the engine behind the tools, processes and policy that enable VMware’s 50,000+ global workforce to deliver their best work.
Over time, CETs commitment to employee experience transformed everything from what they delivered to how they worked. Pam Cocca, VP Colleague Experience & Technology explained, “The team understood that success is not just about delivering remarkable technology but about delivering remarkable outcomes. Through our product mindset journey, we reinforced our focus on delivering a delightful colleague experience.” In support of this mission, CET looked at bringing their “customers” closer to the various stages of IT’s product development process.
CET’s product and service owners needed an official channel to engage employees, throughout the various stages of the product lifecycle. Enter the IT Influencers, a network of employees representing the many roles, regions and business units across VMware. The network gathers vast and diverse employee perspectives through rapid, closed feedback loops and funnels those insights back to the product teams to shape the future of VMware IT’s tools, services and policy.
As Lori Harrison-Smith, the network manager explained, “We launched the pilot through a post in VMware’s #watercooler Slack channel. Anyone interested was invited to complete a short survey to gather their region and role context, what they were looking forward to influencing, and what they hoped to get out of the network. It’s been great to see how eager they are to be part of it. People are eager to partner with IT because they understand that VMware products are delivered by IT organizations across the industry, so the insights we surface through the network also support our customers through the VMware on VMware.”
Today, VMware IT’s product owners are leveraging insights from IT Influencers to improve releases or re-think their roadmaps. Most recently, the IT Influencer network engaged with VMware’s Security Team, helping identify where policy might be at odds with innovation and where our applications and tools can go the extra mile to make compliance simple and frictionless.
Influencers are also partnering with VMware’s Virtual Campus team, an immersive virtual world platform to support remote collaboration. Through the Influencer network, employees are helping evaluate the new platform and suggest where it could be leveraged within their teams before it launches to the entire company.
The response they received when the program launched was exactly what the team was hoping to see. While many say easy collaboration and personal partnerships keep them active in the Influencers network, there are many other perks to being an IT Influencer, including early access to new technology and invitations to collaborate with product owners.
“Finally! I am very excited about this network!”
“Let’s be vocal and make this effort successful!”
“I absolutely love this! Thanks so much”
What’s next? As new product and features prepare to release, network members will be instrumental in introducing solutions to their areas of influence around the world. While previously, new IT tools and services were communicated through one-size-fits-all channels, today the influencers can demo solutions , provide context and collect feedback for further iteration.
While many say easy collaboration and personal partnerships keep them active in the Influencers network, there are many other perks to being an IT Influencer, including early access to new technology and invitations to collaborate with product owners.
Influencers take pride in having their voices heard and their experience valued, and IT is delighted to know their customers thrive: a winning outcome for any product development organization.
Learn more from VMware IT at https://twitter.com/vmwonvmw