About the Customer
PulteGroup, Inc., based in Atlanta, Georgia, is one of America's largest homebuilding companies with operations in approximately 50 markets throughout the country. Through its brand portfolio that includes Centex, Pulte Homes, Del Webb, DiVosta Homes and John Wieland Homes and Neighborhoods, the Company is one of the industry's most versatile homebuilders able to meet the needs of multiple buyer groups and respond to changing consumer demand. PulteGroup conducts extensive research to provide homebuyers with innovative solutions and consumer inspired homes and communities to make lives better.
Scope and Challenges
For more than 50 years, PulteGroup has been helping people fulfil their dreams of homeownership. It is the industry’s sole multibrand homebuilding company and specializes in serving customers in all phases of the homeowner life.
In 2015, PulteGroup wanted to better share information with its employees through video. This included communications from senior management, training, and virtual tours of homes, but the company ran into technical limitations with existing software. “We were also having connectivity and time-lag issues, especially out in the field,” explains Jacob Skaggs, SharePoint Developer at PulteGroup. Most company representatives have 4G connections, which have limited bandwidth. “We needed a solution that would function efficiently outside of a direct connection to our corporate network.”
To address this challenge, PulteGroup evaluated several video solutions. “While I was doing the research, Microsoft released an early version of Office 365 Video, and it was integrated alongside SharePoint Online as an all-in-one cloud solution,” says Skaggs. Office 365 Video is a more secure companywide destination where PulteGroup can upload, share, and discover smooth-streaming videos across employees’ devices. It also brings video to social communications through Microsoft Yammer and, when PulteGroup adopts it, Office Delve.
Skaggs notes that it’s simple for the company’s administrators to manage permissions, add or remove video channels, and spotlight key content. “It’s easy to delegate administration,” he says. In particular, Skaggs appreciates how easy it is to create video channels to focus on a specific subject, department, or team. And he says that competing video solutions would have required significant IT resources to manage. “Office 365 Video didn’t need any of that. All we had to do was turn it on.”
Outcome and Implications
PulteGroup now has training channels to support its well-structured sales curriculum. Skaggs says, “It’s scenario based and lends itself well to video. Our sales representatives can access the videos at any time, at any point within a video, and watch a video multiple times. It’s a living archive that is easy to navigate.” He notes the company will be using Office 365 for self-paced IT training as well on proprietary internal applications developed for sales consultants, construction, procurement, finance, and other line-of-business purposes.
Kim Cole, Training Specialist at PulteGroup, adds, “I look forward to a broad implementation—watch a video, have it become a social experience, like it, follow it, comment and make posts about it. I think that’s valuable, especially for sales consultants.” Once a video is in the system, it’s easy for people to share it through email and Yammer, to view it on their own devices, and make it available wherever users are, sometimes beyond a network portal. “We used to host these videos in an Adobe Captivate environment, but we’re migrating them to Office 365 Video to simplify IT management,” adds Cole. The company also has instructor-led training. “We record the lessons and post them to Office 365 Video so that everyone can easily access them anywhere.”
"The capabilities of Office 365 Video, alongside SharePoint Online, represent a tremendous productivity value: it’s not intrusive, and it’s reliable. It’s a great way to reach large audiences and targeted audiences alike." -said Jacob Skaggs: SharePoint Developer at PulteGroup
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