With around 60,000 employees, in 100 countries, processing about $20 billion in orders each year, Baker Hughes, a GE company (BHGE) understands that the modern corporation’s biggest competition is its complexity. They also know, from experience, that solving for productivity and employee engagement solves for almost everything.
At Dreamforce 2018, Shan Jegatheeswaran, VP of Commercial Excellence at BHGE, revealed the story behind BHGE’s massive digital transformation. Watch his presentation here and get the highlights below.
The short story of BHGE’s digital transformation.
BHGE’s transformation began with their sales organization, back when the company was GE Oil & Gas.
GE Oil & Gas knew that they needed technology that supported the way that their salespeople do business and could help its commercial organization integrate their silos. They also knew that they needed to boost adoption and create more human experiences for the humans keeping their business running.
How might they bake a culture of productivity, engagement, and collaboration into the interface that their people use every day? By partnering with Skuid and Salesforce, the company quickly rewired their entire commercial organization, redesigned an entire spectrum of commercial processes, and glued it all together with their new CRM, a platform they call Deal Machine.
Deal Machine created a common commercial language for everyone in the organization. “We now have collaboration happening organically,” Shan says.And then, Shan and his peers started to wonder…
What if that could happen across the organization? Just 24 months later, through the use of Skuid, Salesforce, and other technologies including Tableau, Seismic, and AWS, BHGE had GRID, a branded set of digital experiences, tied together with common data taxonomy, design strategy, and customer experience.
So far, GRID has expanded beyond Deal Machine to include inventory for sales, incentive management, an internal learning platform, and enterprise content management.
This suite of connected apps correlates the company’s data, helps operationalize insights, and solves risks, with a 6% reduction in target risk since December 2017. Perhaps one of the greatest indicators of GRID’s success was when GE Oil & Gas merged with Baker Hughes to create BHGE.
Just 60 days after the official merge date, the Baker Hughes sales team was fully integrated with the commercial organization at GE Oil & Gas, with everyone speaking the same language across individual teams and time zones.
GRID’s initial success has created a voracious appetite for more. Already in progress are People Machine (visibility into employees) and Price Machine (pricing guidance for frontline sales), with new products for market share and slot planning on the horizon.
Lessons learned from the digital transformation strategy.
BHGE isn’t the only large organization who embarked on a digital transformation journey in recent years. But they’re one of the few that’s been largely successful. What makes BHGE different? What have they learned?
1. Make data your priority.
What makes GRID so successful? Shan says it’s the data taxonomy, or how you organize the data, and that it should be prioritized over everything else.
Before attempting anything at scale, he says, fix the basics. Take your data from messy and static to clean and accessible. Understand, integrate, and optimize your data models to foster connection and efficiency.
Ask: who needs access to this data? What needs to happen on the back end to make processes flow seamlessly? When it comes to data access, BHGE defaults to an open policy, where everyone from the intern to the CEO has read/write access to the data in the systems (with a few exceptions for highly confidential information).
For them, this policy fits into their culture of collaboration and cooperation, so that their discussions can center on the tasks at hand, not on access and security.
2. Believe everyone wants to do the right thing.
Too often, Shan says, we expect technology to solve for poor processes and unclear accountability. But digitizing a bad process will inevitably result in a bad digital process. Instead, businesses should spend their time on solving the business problem, and then use the interaction between technology, design, and culture to drive the right behavior.
“I honestly spend about 98% of my time on solving the actual business problem, and 2% of the time on the technology,” Shan says. Instead of putting the focus on rigid “targets” and “controls,” empower employees by showing them their impact and trusting their judgment. When you trust your employees, Shan says, behavior changes.
For example, one of the senior dashboards BHGE created, Shan says, was inspired by Orange Theory. Orange Theory, true to its name, uses a color-based system to convey data to users and help them to focus on the right things and understand the results of their actions. And that’s exactly what BHGE did for its senior leaders.
With the new dashboard, users don’t need a lot of training to quickly identify which areas need attention. They can direct their conversations to the metrics that matter, instead of getting lost in data and KPIs. The system makes it easy for them to do the right thing.
3. Focus on real human solutions.
Remember that while it’s called “digital” transformation, everything you do in your business goes back to human relationships.
When designing your app, make it easy enough for Shan's mom to use. You’re not building an application that will do XYZ to deliver XYZ results. You’re creating humane experiences for humans, both your employees, and your customers. Understand what your customers and employees want so that you can humanize and simplify the complexity of your organization for them.
With human-centered design, you can delight users and keep them coming back. In fact, when Shan builds an app, he tries to make it easy enough for his mom to use. How do you measure how well you’re doing? Shan stresses that it’s through user adoption.
Are people using the tool you built for them? If they are not, you’ll ask “Why not?” But if they are, you should also ask “Why?” for future growth. Shan says that when partnering with an organization like Skuid, you can take technology out of the discussion so that you can focus on real business problems and real human solutions. Ready to see why Shan chose Skuid? Try it for free.