Two people standing side by side one showing a laptop Two people standing side by side one showing a laptop

Seer Strategic Solutions' refreshing approach to change management

With their immersive, people-centered training experiences, Seer Strategic Solutions is a trusted partner for organizations on their digital transformation journeys.

How do you convince 1,000 employees to replace software they use every day with a completely new tool? You probably can't—unless you take the time to build their trust first. Because no matter how innovative a tool might be, organizations won't get the ROI they expect (and sometimes promise) unless their teams are on board with it, too.

This notion isn't new: Businesses have been using the People Process Technology framework to navigate change for more than 60 years. But with digital innovation and AI advancements moving at a rapid pace, it's easy for technology to take precedence over people. That's why Seer Strategic Solutions takes a different approach.

Founded by Managing Partner Sheila Volante in 2021, the consulting firm specializes in end-user adoption and change management for Microsoft 365 software. But Seer doesn't just implement the tools; they take the time to interview their customers up front, prepare them for the change, and support them at every step.

As a member of the Microsoft Black Partner Growth Initiative (BPGI) and the 2023 Black Channel Partner Alliance Catalyst Accelerator cohort, Seer's diverse and multigenerational team bridges the gap between technology and the teams that use it. "Very few implementation partners have active practices with adoption and change management for end users. They can make everything work, turn on all the lights, and hand it over, but it's up to the client to close that gap," said Jason Price, Managing Partner at Seer. "The final stretch of cabling extends from the device to the individual, which represents a crucial juncture. To effectively bridge this gap, Seer steps in to collaborate with those implementation partners and ensure seamless integration."

Navigating a multi-tool transition

A large insurance company with over 1,000 employees planned to migrate from Slack, Zoom, and Webex and consolidate under Microsoft Teams to streamline communication and ultimately enhance productivity. They turned to Seer for help with the major transition.

When large teams use multiple outlets for communication, Price notes that they'll often hit a point of too much friction. "Employees don't know where to go to message somebody. They don't know if they should be going to tool A or tool B, so they have to go to all of them," he said. "That, of course, defeats the purpose, because now a quick little message has taken four times longer to send."

But people are creatures of habit—which proved to be the biggest hurdle for the project. "Their biggest pain point was just that people don't like change. [Employees told us], 'I love our current product, how are you going to force me off of this thing?'" said Volante.

With 16 years of experience deploying Microsoft products, Volante knew that moving to Teams would help their customer consolidate their tech stack and spend—all while unlocking the benefits of the entire Microsoft 365 product suite.

But what sets Seer apart is their ability to make their customers feel seen and heard. Before getting into the actual migration, Seer focused on understanding what the employees valued in their current tools so they could draw parallels—and highlight key differentiators—in the new solution.

"We interview various departments to understand their personas and use cases, who their champions and resisters are, and their general degree of adaptation to change," Price said. "Change management is the bridge between why you bought the software and what you intend to get out of it, but it's also about engaging people and hearing their pain firsthand."

Two people in conversation while walking by a staircase

"If you're trying to affect change in an organization, you have to get buy-in from all levels"

–Jason Price, Managing Partner, Seer Strategic Solutions

A people-centered training experience

Based on their conversations with the organization, Seer proposed their Enablement Experience—a blended program that includes a discovery workshop, user guides, live webinars, and a champions program to drive on-the-job support, employee satisfaction, and active usage for Microsoft Modern Workplace solutions.

The experience gives organizations a chance to try out the Microsoft 365 products in a sandbox environment, ask questions, and explore the functionalities to determine what's going to drive success for their business. "I love these Enablement Experiences. Let's go test-drive the Lamborghini, right?" Volante said. "You typically can sample a product almost anywhere. But in technology, you don't always have that same access."

Another key aspect of the Enablement Experience is that it includes people from all levels of the organization. "When we hold these workshops, we invite the executive admin, the frontline person—folks from everywhere from every department," Price said. "If you're trying to affect change in an organization, you have to get buy-in from all levels."

In less than 60 days, Seer trained 650 of the company's employees. They increased their monthly active usage of Teams to 79.8%, with 384,000 chat messages and over 3,000 meetings in just three months—a feat that can take upwards of 12 to 18 months. But beyond driving product adoption, Seer also succeeded in building trust. Employee satisfaction for their Enablement Experience stood at an impressive 89%, with over a quarter of attendees requesting more training with Seer.

Seer's commitment to their customers doesn't end at delivery, either. Their support extends beyond the life span of a project. "We can talk about what Microsoft is releasing on the 365 product roadmap and how they can bring those new features in," said Price. Seer's ongoing support ensures that customers continue to evolve—and thrive—on their digital journey.

"We're unraveling what folks have thought about change management. It's not just training—it's a totally different concept and experience," Volante said. "Companies are allowing us to be in their home and change their furniture, essentially. And that's the gap we're trying to close, especially with AI products like Copilot coming out. More change is going to be needed in the ecosystem."

Four people around a conference table one is standing Four people around a conference table one is standing

"We're changing people's jobs and daily functions. The people, process, and technology—they all have to work together"

–Sheila Volante, Managing Partner, Seer Strategic Solutions

A different kind of digital transformation

With any system migration or tool implementation, Seer's philosophy about change ... doesn't change. It has to start from within. "The individual change ensures the organization realizes the benefits," Price said, "but most people think it's the other way around."

By prioritizing people in the triad of people, process, and technology, Seer not only facilitates a smooth transition for customers but also empowers them to embrace the change.

Equipped with their existing expertise and the resources, relationships, and opportunities through BPGI and the Microsoft AI Cloud Partner Program, Seer also set a precedent for how change management in the digital era should be approached: with empathy, inclusivity, and a deep understanding of human dynamics in the face of technological shifts.

"You've got to give [people] time to grasp what they're learning and what they're experiencing," Volante said. "Because keep in mind, we're changing people's jobs and daily functions. The people, process, and technology—they all have to work together."

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