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How Datacom runs hundreds of campaigns 25% more efficiently

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Meet Datacom

Founded in 1965, Datacom Group is one of Asia Pacific’s leading information technology services companies serving various clients from government agencies to enterprise businesses. The company designs, builds, and runs IT systems and processes across operations, cybersecurity, cloud, digital platforms, payroll, and enterprise.

Datacom is a fast-growing business, and, as of August 2018, it has grown to include a marketing arm referred to as “CMD” - communication, marketing, digital team. The team is dispersed across New Zealand, Australia, and the Philippines, and everyone is currently working remotely.

David Hayward, General Manager, Marketing, and Xanthe Smit, Marketing Manager, are part of CMD and joined soon after Datacom established the department. David and Xanthe manage marketing campaigns for a wide variety of clients in Australasia and elsewhere.
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The challenge

David, Xanthe, and the rest of the CMD team were using inefficient tools to collaborate on projects, and it was becoming increasingly difficult as the team started to grow.

“We’ve got marketing, digital, and communications all under one umbrella. All of us have different responsibilities, but we also often overlap. The tools we were using didn’t give us the visibility we needed into what each team was working on, so as you can imagine, we were unintentionally targeting the same people at the same time,” says Xanthe.

Xanthe was determined to find a better solution, one that would allow the team to gain full visibility into all of CMD’s activities and make planning and tracking campaigns much easier and more efficient.

The solution


Datacom went through a selection process shortlisting, Trello, and Asana for the CMD team. In the end, the team decided to go with Work OS because it’s visually appealing, intuitive to work with, and effortlessly integrates with the team’s existing tools.

“One of the key selling points for me was that it could easily integrate with tools our team was already using, so it was easy to just connect everything from day one. Plus, I really liked the colors and Llama Farm which is used in a fun way to represent my work progress,” says Xanthe. campaign planning Screenshot
“I've certainly dealt with a lot of ‘soulless’ project management software out there, so I was intrigued by the fact that actually takes into account the emotional aspect of project management.

Neuroscientist Antonio Damasio famously said, ‘humans are not either thinking machines or feeling machines but rather feeling machines that think.’ This is something that is important to understand for both marketing and project management.

When I see green on my screen, it evokes an emotion in me because in the system green represents a major project milestone reflecting how far I've come on a campaign. And that's a simple but emotionally motivating ingredient,” says David.

Using a Work OS that suits the team’s working style

There are many teams at Datacom, and each team works differently. And within those teams, each team member has their own working style. It was important for the CMD team to find a flexible Work OS that each team member could tailor to their specific needs and preferences. status view Screenshot
“At Datacom, we’ve got some teams that work in agile and we’ve got other teams that work in waterfall and then we’ve got our team that surfs over the top of both. So allows each team and team member to work using their preferred method. They can modify the platform to suit their own style, and they can do it quite easily,” says David.

Turning communication into action

When the global pandemic hit, the team started to notice that there were gaps in their existing processes and what was working before, was no longer suitable in this new normal. There was some disconnect between what was discussed in Microsoft Teams and what was managed in

The shift to working from home pushed the team to start looking into ways to improve what was being discussed and what was actually happening to their campaigns. It wasn’t long before came out with the Teams integration which would make their processes much more seamless.

“What’s great about having integrated into Microsoft Teams is that we can now have conversations in the context of projects directly on the boards we’ve linked to so we can work more efficiently. The other part we like about this integration is that we can manage and track our projects from one place instead of switching between tools,” says Xanthe. CMD Activity in teams Screenshot

Tracking who's doing what and when

The CMD team is spread across multiple territories and they all work on different lines of businesses. Xanthe understood early on that the team needed a calendar to see what campaigns were running and what was upcoming, so she set up the “CMD activity” Calendar view that is directly accessed through Microsoft Teams.

“We can see what the activities are, who owns it, what stage it's at, the campaign name, the theme, the line of business, but more importantly we can see the target audience that the campaigns we're working on is going to touch and which industries, so that way we make sure there’s no more overlap and we aren't spamming our audience,” says Xanthe.

“If one of my colleagues has got a really great campaign and market, I can easily align with it and maybe even leverage off it because now I have full visibility into my colleagues’ campaigns before I even get started,” says David.

Now, during the team’s Monday morning “WIP” (work in progress) calls, they’re able to pull up the CMD Activities view on and go through everything the team is working on in a short 15-minute call instead of an hour-long one.

Keeping marketing projects moving forward

Xanthe is currently building a Go-To-Market launch for four different services that Datacom is about to release for one of its business areas. She is working on all four concurrently with eight stakeholders across all of them, needing to keep track of all the moving pieces of each.

“If it weren’t for, these Go-To-Market launches would have required twice as much work and taken twice the amount of time to complete. The process is now much more seamless because if something is close to being overdue or potentially at risk, I get notified right away. team tracking dashboard Screenshot 1
On top of that, we’ve configured a dashboard that brings all four projects together, which has proven valuable for our team because one of the stakeholders is the director of that business line. And he doesn't need to see the everyday details. He just needs to see that progress is being made. So being able to visualize that for him has been helpful,” says Xanthe.

Managing expectations around workload capacity

Xanthe added the workload view to Teams to give everyone at Datacom visibility into the CMD team’s capacity at any time.

“Having the Workload view in Teams is a great way to easily communicate our capacity and manage expectations across the business as well. Anyone can quickly open the view and see the red circles, which means we're at capacity or the blue circles where we can take on a bit more, and it helps to manage expectations,” says Xanthe. multi campaign dashboard Screenshot 1

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