SOE stays on track with virtual Windows 10 training over lockdown
A scheduled organisation-wide software upgrade in early 2020 prompted a major SOE to consider the best way to train users right around New Zealand.
To make sure that their team ‘got the message’, they contracted Wires Uncrossed, who then partnered with Auldhouse, to help upskill over 3000 staff nationwide.
“They were rolling out Windows 10 across the business,” says Eithne Sweeney, Managing Director of Wires Uncrossed. “Because their staff numbers are so widely spread, we knew that it wouldn’t be possible to train everyone in person. We also needed to cover more than just Windows 10. It had been a good while since there had been any training on Office 365 or Office products, so we had to make up for probably five to seven years of silence on the IT training front.”
With only around a third of their client’s workforce based in offices, Sweeney says that for most of the SOE’s staff, IT is an ‘inconvenience’. “They don’t use business technology every day, so they’re not comfortable with it. They haven’t been trained, and lack the confidence to try out anything but the basic functions needed to get the job done.”
Locked down but not out
Lockdown accelerated the SOE’s plan to bring everyone up to speed with training. Running webinars was the logical and effective way to cover a large and physically dispersed workforce.
“On the day that lockdown took effect, we started the first of three webinars in cooperation with Microsoft,” says Sweeney.
Keen to continue the training programme, Wires Uncrossed turned to the SOE’s approved training vendor, Auldhouse. The initial requirement was for a series of Auldhouse Anywhere webinars on Microsoft Office, delivered over six weeks. “By the time we finished those six,” says Sweeney, “we realised we had only scratched the surface. So we did another six after that.”
The largest number of attendees at any one webinar was 220 (Microsoft Teams) and the average 120. Topics ranged from saving time with Microsoft Outlook, an introduction to new PowerPoint features, top 10 tips for using Windows 10, OneDrive, and SharePoint, five useful features in Word, Office 365 apps, and more.
Auldhouse delivered the webinars using Microsoft Teams to demonstrate the value of the technology to the attendees.
Both solicited (and unsolicited) feedback from SOE staff was overwhelmingly positive. Comments from staff members included:
“I think this team did everything right, it was such a privilege to join into these webinars every Thursday and during lockdown this was a highlight of the week, something totally different from your everyday tasks and work,” and “Although I am a confident user of O365 tools, I was able to pick up some further information to improve productivity.” Another liked “the ability to watch when you can, and also it is well presented for us NON-IT team members.”
Others commented on the easy to follow instructions, the great content, information, and tips, as well as the step-by-step approach, easy to understand responses, and the ability to watch the video of the webinar again at a later date.
And as for suggestions for improvement, a common request was for the SOE to run more webinars in the future.
Sweeney says she found working with Auldhouse an ‘amazing’ experience.
“I cannot say one bad word about Auldhouse. They are very responsive, and nothing was a problem. They knew exactly what I needed, and what our client needed. The trainer was just amazing at presenting at the right level of knowledge – not too advanced and not too basic. Every webinar had a little bit of stretch for really confident users so they could learn something new and feel their time was well spent.”