J. Walter Thompson pioneers new brands on a global scale with Office 365

JWT breaks new ground with Microsoft Teams

Today’s Office 365 post was written by Jamie McLellan, chief technology officer at J. Walter Thompson.

For 152 years, J. Walter Thompson (JWT) has been moving at the speed of culture—and in some cases even shaping it.

As one of the world’s best-known communications brands, JWT achieved this level of cultural relevance through our deep understanding of people, from our clients to our employees. And as the CTO of JWT, it is my job to make sure the technology we choose is people-first: supportive, intuitive and connected.

We are a people business, so collaboration among employees and across the agency-client line is key to getting work done. We use Microsoft Office 365 cloud-based services, like the newly launched Microsoft Teams, to support frictionless collaboration among the 12,000 people and 200 offices that make up our global workforce.

One of the most appealing features of Microsoft Teams is the ability to start a small project among four or five people, and expand that group naturally with quick and easy onboarding as the project grows. The threaded conversations, tabs and dedicated Microsoft SharePoint sites within Teams make it simple for new team members to get up to date quickly. The faster that new team members become informed, the sooner they can start contributing value to the project overall.

Microsoft Teams connects our organization with an interface that supports the way we work, and I have seen firsthand how diverse working styles and demographics can all flourish within the Teams framework. For the employees in our company who are excited about technology that mirrors the software they use at home, the immediate chat-based collaboration and feedback across devices and the engaging Teams interface are very familiar and appealing. At the same time, employees who prefer a structured working environment, or who are concerned with policy, find that Teams fully meets their needs as well. It’s the best of both worlds and it’s not often that you find a single tool that has such a wide appeal.

The responsibilities of a large IT group extend beyond providing employees with the most effective tools to do their jobs. We are also accountable for the security concerns of JWT clients, which include some of the world’s largest and best-known brands. Microsoft Teams incorporates advanced Office 365 security and compliance capabilities, giving us and our clients peace of mind. It helps, too, that Microsoft is such a trusted entity; clients are likely to feel safer interacting with us in a Microsoft platform like Teams as opposed to a third-party or start-up program.

We chose Teams as a powerful alternative to a disparate collection of ad hoc solutions. Now, our employees all use the same tool that integrates with the rest of Office 365 to support collaboration, while maintaining a high standard of security. We consider Office 365, and all the powerful tools that come with it, a major strategic investment that helps us continue to shape culture at JWT.

In the future, we envision Teams becoming our central platform for collaboration on a global scale. We see it outpacing third-party tools that are not designed for enterprise collaboration, and enticing users back onto a single platform. The value of Teams is simple and powerful: wherever we can collaborate more productively as a team, we are better able to innovate and create stronger brands for our clients.

—Jamie McLellan

Read the case study to find out how J. Walter Thompson is pushing the cultural envelope.

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