UPDATED 13:30 EST / MAY 22 2019


Q&A: Atos combats ‘watermelon effect’ to transform the employee experience

According to a study from Gallup Inc., an astonishing 87% of employees are not fully engaged in their work. By seeing employees detach from work, some businesses are starting to focus on their engagement rather than on their productivity.

To help sharpen end-user engagement and make employees happy, Atos SE, a digital transformation information technology service company, is partnering with VMware Inc. and Dell Technologies Inc. to shift focus from service-level agreements to experience-level agreements.  

“People talk a lot about this watermelon effect, where it’s all green outside, but red inside,” said Melanie de Vigan (pictured, right), digital workplace services portfolio director at Atos. “So, all the [key performance metrics] are green, meaning the server and infrastructure are working, but at the end, the end user is not happy. We’re moving away from the infrastructure, and we’re getting closer to the business, taking measures that are going to show what is going to impact the business.”

De Vigan and Justin Grimsley (pictured, left), product marketing at VMware, spoke with Lisa Martin (@LisaMartinTV) and Stu Miniman (@stu), co-hosts of theCUBE, SiliconANGLE Media’s mobile livestreaming studio, during the Dell Technologies World event in Las Vegas. They discussed employee engagement; driving transformation by focusing on people, places and platforms; and how XLAs can help (see the full interview with transcript here). (* Disclosure below.)

[Editor’s note: The following answers have been condensed for clarity.]

Martin:  In order to enable digital transformation to be real, it’s got to start with the people. So, Melanie, talk to us about the transformation of the modern workplace and what Atos is doing to facilitate that.

De Vigan: I think, really, when we talk about employee experience, we need to look at it from a holistic point of view. So at Atos, we used to talk about people, places and platforms. “People” is all about the company culture, how people are engaged, what type of leadership [runs] in the company. “Places,” of course, is about from where you work. And, of course, the “platform,” [which] is about the IT, the technology that is going to enable all of that. What are the tools that you give to the … employee to be able to perform his job.

Miniman: So, Justin, how does VMware tie into the picture that Melanie was painting there?

Grimsley: For us, the three major trends that we see are that users are no longer tied to the company network. They’re working shoulder-to-shoulder with their customers, or in the coffee shop, or at home. They’re accessing all sorts of different types of applications now. It’s SaaS applications; it’s virtual apps. And then the third trend is they’re using all sorts of different devices.

And so, we really see these three trends coming together as a way for organizations to change how their employees work. And Atos, VMware and Dell are coming together to help enable that for our customers.

Miniman: End-user is something that we actually have seen [Microsoft CEO] Satya Nadella and his team with end-user computing growing out. But, can you comment on the news of the week, as well as the importance of bringing Microsoft into this discussion?

Grimsley: I think what we see now is this: customers are making different investments. Some customers are making investments in Microsoft 365, and others are making them in Workspace ONE, and so now, we can maximize those investments. It’s really a “one-plus-one-equals-three” scenario. And then we have services from companies like Atos, and Dell, and others that are coming around to help drive transformation across any of the devices that employees are using — whether it is a Windows 10 PC or whether it is a mobile device and accessing Office and other applications on it.

Martin: How are you [Atos] kind of leading in that [employee transformation], to really drive business outcomes, like a business being able to generate more revenue?

De Vigan: What we’re really looking at now is how do we make this employee experience tangible? So, it’s all about moving towards a data-driven approach. So again, we have this “people, places and platforms,” so we’re going to collect the data from the devices.

At Atos, we manage 4.5 million devices, so this is that much data matrix that we can collect to understand what’s happening. It is the same with the feedback of the end-user, understanding how they work, like on a collaboration solution … [and] how they can change so that in the end, we are going to be able to give some insight.

Miniman: What are some of those key measurements? How are you looking at these environments today when [you] have all this data versus maybe how would [you] have done things in the past?

De Vigan: People talk a lot about the watermelon effect, where it’s all green outside but red inside. So, all the KPIs are green, meaning that the server and infrastructure are working, but in the end, the end-user is not happy. So today, we are talking about experience-level agreements … which are really going to show how does the service perform and what makes sense for the employee at the end.

Grimsley: one of the interesting things that we see now is that IT teams aren’t just measured on cost. They’re being measured more and more on employee experience. We’re seeing companies do employee net promoter scores now. And so, I think that’s what Atos and others are really bringing together for their customers and for our joint customers.

Martin: So I’m hearing that one of the things that Atos is enabling is that cultural transformation. It’s not just about having new KPIs and changing SLAs; it’s driving change for entire business units to impact that whole company.

De Vigan: With KPIs, there is no “one size fits all.” There is not one KPI that we’re going to apply to all our customers. It’s about understanding what is important for [a specific] customer, and then we can define with them the key matrix that we need to follow.

Watch the complete video interview below, and be sure to check out more of SiliconANGLE’s and theCUBE’s coverage of the Dell Technologies World 2019 event(* Disclosure: Dell Technologies Inc. sponsored this segment of theCUBE. Neither Dell nor other sponsors have editorial control over content on theCUBE or SiliconANGLE.)

Photo: SiliconANGLE

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