Seeking alluring tools to attract talent
There is no shortage of competitors in the lucrative Swiss insurance industry, for business and for employees. Although Vaudoise numbers among the top ten insurers in the country, leadership knows that a company’s stellar reputation is not in itself enough to draw in the best and brightest talent. The company plays in a changing world—employees are mobile, often juggling home and work responsibilities, and advances in communication and collaboration have leaped forward. CEO Phillip Hebeisen envisioned a workplace geared to take full advantage of those advances. That meant equipping his workforce with an easily connected, go-anywhere device. “For me, a device must be mobile. It must simplify administrative work and allow our sales people to concentrate on real value-added business work,” he says. “I think it's very important that our IT system help us to accelerate the transformation of our processes.”
When Renaud Sériès, IT Workplace Team Leader at Vaudoise, assessed the digital workplace solution the company supplied for its workers in late 2015, he was struck by one thing: “It was an IT-designed workplace,” he says. “On paper, the devices we had met our requirements. But we were in crisis with them. Our employees were at the point where they would have rather gone back to paper and pen. They found the devices slow to start and difficult to connect to Wi-Fi. We saw that our employees needed to be a part of the device decision.”
What mattered to the employees was the ability to work anywhere. That translated to a light, effortlessly portable device, fast to connect to the internet, easy to use over the course of a busy day, and—perhaps most importantly—a sleek, modern design that was enjoyable to use and impressive to customers. Vaudoise has a large, highly mobile sales team that travels frequently to meet customers and often works offsite. The Lenovo laptops running Windows 7 didn’t offer the portability or ease of use that employees required. “With the Lenovo, the user had a very solid device,” says Sériès. “It came with every accessory you could imagine, but when you combined all those pieces, it felt very heavy and awkward. The sales team didn’t enjoy working remotely or using it to present our policies to customers. On the other hand, Microsoft was there with a sleek device.”
In a trial of Lenovo, HP, and Surface Pro devices, employees unequivocally went for the Surface Pro. This began an enormous shift in paradigm for the company. In stark contrast to the previous disparate computing environment, Vaudoise created a democratized platform for collaboration throughout the company. The Surface was adopted across every discipline, from front office to back office, from support staff to CEO.