Episode 35: Managing IT After the BB&T/SunTrust Merger with Paul Butticaz
The #shifthappens podcast episode features a discussion between Dux Raymond Sy, AvePoint Chief Brand Officer, and Paul Butticaz, the Enterprise Architect for Modern Workplace Services at Truist, one of the largest banks in the US, formed by the merger between SunTrust and BB&T. They discuss the challenges of collaboration during mergers and acquisitions, the importance of providing the right collaboration tools and training for employees, and the need for ongoing adoption and change management programs.
Paul shares his journey in the IT industry, spanning four decades, and the significant changes he has seen in technology, including the journey to the cloud and the use of collaboration tools. He also talks about the challenges of change and adoption in large organizations, regardless of the industry. Despite the advancements in technology, people still rely heavily on email for collaboration and often duplicate efforts by sharing documents through multiple channels.
The merger between SunTrust and BB&T to form Truist involved rationalizing and bringing together multiple applications and platforms, which is a long journey. Furthermore, COVID-19 has made it challenging to collaborate effectively while carrying out the merger. This has led Truist to pilot Microsoft 365 for long-term use and provide better collaboration capabilities for its team members. However, adoption of newer technologies, especially cloud-based ones, by financial service companies is generally slow because of regulations and compliance requirements.
Regarding the pandemic, Butticaz acknowledges the significant shift towards remote work, which has accelerated the need for modern workplace platforms like Microsoft Teams. He describes the challenges of transitioning to a work-from-home model, particularly for those who did not have laptops or were used to working with different tools. However, the pandemic also presented an opportunity to accelerate the adoption of technology solutions, and the speaker suggests that remote work is likely to become a permanent part of the industry's landscape.
The success of digital transformation initiatives, particularly the adoption of collaboration platforms such as Teams, is attributed to a well-developed adoption and change management program. The program ensures sustainable adoption of new technologies and encourages employees to abandon old habits and embrace modern workplace practices. The program must be ongoing, as modern workplace services are continually evolving, and new capabilities are regularly introduced.
Butticaz also emphasizes the need for ongoing training and support for end-users to make the transition sustainable and suggests having a permanent group responsible for adoption and support and utilizing resources. He also advises against rolling out every possible capability at once in order to avoid overwhelming end-users and network readiness for consuming these cloud services.
Overall, the discussion provides valuable insights and advice for companies looking to implement cloud-based technologies in their enterprise, including the importance of collaboration tools and training, ongoing adoption and change management programs, and the need for ongoing training and support for end-users.