Manila Electric Company (MERALCO) - Office365 The New Normal

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Name of Organization / Company: Manila Electric Company (MERALCO)
Category: N01 - N02 - Award for Innovation in Technology > N02. Award for Innovation in Technology Management, Planning & Implementation > All Other Industries

Entry Title: Office365 The New Normal – maximizing productivity for Meralco’s Digital Pivot



Meralco is the largest electric distribution company in the Philippines and is serving more than 6 million customers. This century-old company has a franchise area covering 36 cities and 75 municipalities and consists of more than 5,000 employees.

For a very long time, employees of the company were using outdated office productivity tools that presented many challenges such as low e-mail storage allocation, outdated features that cannot support employees’ needs, and inaccessible documents outside the office.

Recognizing that the utility industry is evolving, Meralco needed to address these challenges to better serve its customers. As part of its digital transformation and the emergence of the “third IT computing platform,” Meralco adopted Office 365 (O365), a cloud-based suite of productivity tools that allows users to collaborate anytime and anywhere.

However, like other legacy companies, changing the way users adopt a new technology proved to be the biggest hindrance.

The key tactic to the successful migration of users to O365 was humanizing the deployment of such a technical tool. In order to carry this out, various implementation strategies were executed.


A. Solid Change Management
CIT's collaboration with HR and Corporate Communications was needed to craft and execute a comprehensive change management plan to ensure a seamless transition and user acceptance. To add, the implementing team also had one-on-one meetings with Meralco senior officers to explain O365 and gain their buy-in. These officers were also requested to speak during the roadshows to encourage employee support.

B. Strategic Internal Communications
Communications materials were regularly sent to the users to provide them with visibility and to prolong the hype on O365. They were designed by considering the various use cases and the right balance of useful information and encouragement. Materials were branded to be sent by the project sponsor termed as "Ask Gavin" (from the name of the Chief Technology Advisor) to add credibility and were released during time periods that will most likely garner the highest views (11AM and 3PM). Furthermore, messages were created by including the actual name in the message to create an illusion that the announcement was made specifically to an individual thus reinforcing accountability.

C. Extensive Handholding Support
Roadshow sessions to discuss O365 were conducted on the 67 locations prior to the actual date of migration of each site. The implementing team personally visited users on-site to discuss the features of O365 and support the employees on their technical concerns. This was further reinforced by setting-up an O365 website for all quick reference guides.

D. Segmented Deployment
The enormous number of Meralco email users and geographically-scattered locations were broken down into smaller groups for easier management of migration activities. Deployment began with offices located at the Meralco headquarters in Pasig and was followed by remote areas.


By the end of the deployments, 4,544 users in 67 deployment sites have been successfully migrated and 43 roadshows were conducted. Based on the survey results, O365 garnered a 4.44 general user satisfaction rating (5 being the highest). Furthermore, satisfaction on the email application rose from 89.86% in 2016 to 98.28% in 2017. Some of the users’ feedback mentioned that O365 is:

• “Very effective and reliable. Feels like I have a portable disk drive in my pocket every time.”
• "This is the best software to save and get all the data we need.”
• “Transitioning us to O365 really gives us a jumpstart. It is eliminates our frequent archiving to free up space. Mobility is phenomenal.”

Meralco’s deployment is now considered the O365 migration benchmark in the Philippines with Microsoft saying that it was “digital transformation at its finest”.