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The Digital Workplace: Managing multiple vendors effectively

The way we work has changed almost beyond recognition. Increasingly, we think of work as something we do rather than somewhere we go. It’s part of the digital workplace, where advances in technology are enabling people to make more intelligent decisions about how and where they work.

It’s interesting to note that Gartner described the digital workplace, not in terms of the technology involved, but as a “business strategy aimed at boosting employee engagement and agility through consumerisation of the work environment”.

Vendor strategy

It’s a strategy that no business can afford to compromise. Digitisation is transforming entire workstreams, from HR to sales and marketing, and it requires multiple, specialist vendors for solutions in security, device and data management, as well as productivity and collaboration applications such as Office 365. Introducing a number of specialist technologies simultaneously is challenging, but the rewards include an empowered and happier workforce, while delivering better experiences to end users.

At O2, we work with organisations large and small to transform their digital workplace. We’ve always considered ourselves as solution agnostic, so we are able to identify solutions, and to select and manage digital workplace vendors, without prejudice. Working with a lead vendor who manages each of the other vendors can be a highly effective way to simplify your digital transformation – without compromising the quality of solution.

Delivering real benefits: Surrey & Sussex Police

We have an excellent track record in this field. Take our work with Surrey & Sussex Police, for example. We equipped 3,000 police officers with handheld devices, pre-loaded with apps that let them complete tasks from any location. And we enabled these devices to securely consolidate and access sensitive data from over 35 different systems.

With access to data anytime, anywhere, they have cut nearly two hours per officer per shift, digital policing is also saving an estimated £7m for Surrey and Sussex Police as a whole.

It wasn’t the technology on its own that delivered these outcomes. It was the time we spent with employees throughout the force by understanding their roles, processes and challenges that enabled us to identify the solutions that would deliver the greatest benefits.

How to refine your digital workplace?

Where is your business on its digital transformation journey, and what does a successful digital workplace look like for you? Designing your digital workplace strategy needn’t be overwhelming. These straightforward steps will help you deliver a digital workplace transformation with the greatest impact:

1. Define the problem you’re solving

Unlock a real problem, so the answer to the question ‘is this making my life easier?’ is yes.

2. Take people with you

By communicating, training, building trust and giving people a sense of control.

3. Put the employee experience first

Understand employees, roles, personas and processes, then fit tech round people, not people round tech.

4. Promote from the top

Foster a culture that embraces modern and flexible digital workstyles, while accepting that not every role can be digitised in the same way.


If you’re looking for more information, we’ve published a guide to support businesses with their digital transformation. You can download ‘The digital workplace of the future’ here.

And when you’re ready to take the next step, talk to us. We’re here to help, regardless of whether it’s as the lead vendor in a major implementation, or just for a bit of advice. You can contact us here.


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