Innovator of the Month: Lara Knight

We're thrilled to announce our February "Innovator of the Month" - Lara Knight! Lara is the systems applications manager and Box service owner at one of the largest home builders in the US. She has transformed the way her company works by thinking about technology and its deployment in a simple but effective way: she focuses on the end users and their needs.

We sat down with Lara to learn more about her journey.

How long have you been managing Box at your company?
I was with my company for 6 years before I moved into IT in 2013. At that time we were focused on our transition to mobile, making sure our employees had access to the information and files they needed twenty-four seven. In 2015 we went company-wide with Box, scaling to support thousands of people accessing data on their mobile devices.

Why did you decide to move into an IT role?
I moved into an IT role because of my innate curiosity for technology. I love knowing how everything works. Before joining the IT Team, I was the top power user of technology on my team. I asked for access to new software and trained my colleagues to use them quickly and effectively. That's when I asked to join the IT team, and I feel so fortunate they took me on board. It was a very natural transition.

What's a project you're particularly proud to have worked on?
Retiring our legacy storage system and transitioning that content to Box is one of my most impactful projects to date. We didn't have a lot of time, but we had a vision and were motivated by the result we were driving to. I attended BoxWorks 2014 with my team and that's when Box for Office was announced. My team and I looked at each other and said "that's what our customers want. This fulfills our users' needs." We knew that Box was thinking the way we were and that boosted our confidence in the product even higher.

How do you get people to adopt new technology?
The key to a successful deployment is to "train the trainer." Identify and enable your power users with the knowledge we in IT have. How do you identify your power users? Simple, look for the people who are curious and excited about the product. I can tell who those people are right away because I was one of them.

How did you identify power users for Box?
Look to the questions people ask. People who come with challenging questions, like how they can set up automations, FTP content up to Box, and manage large migrations are already thinking big picture. These are your power users. The people asking the tough questions and pushing the boundaries of what a product can do are your best word-of-mouth advocates.

What's one tip you would give to IT folks deploying Box?
Keep up with the needs of your customers and listen to patterns in their requests and questions. But it's not just up to you in IT. A successful deployment requires department leaders and end users trust you enough to speak candidly about their problems and needs. That is when you can really transform the way your company works.

Thank you to Lara for taking the time to share her experience and invaluable knowledge. You are the reason Box becomes more powerful each day as we identify new use cases, and hear how we can enable every user you manage.

If you have a question for Lara you can find her on Box Community at @laraknight.

Learn more about the "Innovator of the Month" customer recognition award here. For more information please contact innovator-of-the-month@box.com.