It’s an IT director’s bad dream. The organization invests in a software solution that it expects to pay big dividends, but then runs into cultural challenges. It fails to convince employees to adopt the new software, jeopardizing any return on investment.
There are at least two very general steps to software implementation:
- The technical part
- The cultural part
ClearTech Media, a Southern, Calif.-based integration firm, recently implemented ConnectWise Manage software as part of a company-wide commitment to pursuing more service-oriented business. The ConnectWise software solution was to play a critical role in helping employees transition to managing a lot more service contracts than it did previously.
So there was a lot at stake when it came to software implementation.
On the technical side, client relationship manager Adam Mejia oversaw the ConnectWise Manage software implementation. He was among those involved in choosing the software; physically installing it and customizing it for ClearTech’s specific needs alongside ConnectWise personnel; and leveraging ConnectWise training.
A lot of companies might end their emphasis on software implementation there, right after the vital steps that Mejia oversaw. However, it’s at that point where there is a high risk that the enthusiasm that’s hopefully generated during the education phase might dwindle. This is when any cultural resistance (read: employees simply being reluctant to stray from their processes) may rear its head.
The Cultural Embrace of New Software
ClearTech was determined to make its transition to a more service-based revenue model work. As such, it remained committed to the Connectwise Manage implementation. A key factor at this stage, according to ClearTech president, Christina De Bono, was the efforts of staff accountant Thuy To. “She did a great job of staying on everybody and making sure that we really used the software,” De Bono says. “That made a big difference.”
To downplays her role, but explains that conveying the importance of embracing the software came down to genuinely understanding the impact that it can have on everyone’s jobs. She describes ConnectWise Manage, as employed by ClearTech, as “a ticketing system for our maintenance/service department” that makes it easy to keep track of all the moving parts on a project and make sure an appropriate person is assigned to resolve any issues.
There is a difference between an idealistic embrace of new software and day-to-day participation in it. To’s solution is to convey to co-workers that what you get is directly related to what you give.
“That really helps us,” she says, explaining the benefit versus ClearTech’s pre-ConnectWise approach. “We would depend on email and searching through email threads. Now we have a centralized location where everyone can see the issue. Everyone can contribute to resolving the issue. It really helps us organize our processes.”
Emphasizing the benefits was a critical step. To says ConnectWise trainers helped to convey that each step of utilizing the software contributes to a grand plan. Previously, “You had your own procedure and your own responsibility in relation to a project or a service ticket, but you wouldn’t necessarily know what happens after it leaves your computer. Here in ConnectWise you get to see the mapping of it. You get to see where it goes, how it was resolved, where it came from. Everyone was pretty enthusiastic about that.”
Still, there is a difference between an idealistic embrace of new software and day-to-day participation in it. To’s solution is to convey to co-workers that what you get is directly related to what you give. “They understand that the more data you put into the software, the more you get out of it. The more data you have available to analyze, it becomes more collective.”
Persistence was the key, To says. “It was me constantly emailing everyone and reminding everyone during our staff meeting, ‘Don’t forget about ConnectWise,’” she recalls. “I would say, ‘Make sure you log in your time.’ It was just really being consistent and persistent in reminding everyone.”
That, of course, begs the question: Did To become a dreaded coworker? “No,” she laughs. “I say it in a really nice way.” She adds that ClearTech, in particular, has a staff that is open, great at communicating and quick to embrace an opportunity to improve operations.
De Bono calls To one of the champions of the new software implementation. The reason, of course, is that it’s hard to get people to shift their work habits.
To, however, deflects the credit. “The setting up of the software is the more challenging part, and I was not a part of that. Adam [Mejia] did a really good job,” she says.
The reality is that both steps – the technical and cultural implementation – are vital. ClearTech’s commitment to both is why the integration firm is seeing big ROI from its deployment of ConnectWise Manage.