Innovator of the Month: Laurent Boyadjian

In the French town of Cognac sits the head office of Rémy Martin, subsidiary of Rémy Cointreau Group, where cloud domain manager Laurent Boyadjian has been working to transform the way this legendary luxury brand works since 2005. By partnering closely with Rémy's leadership and different business segments, Laurent and his teammates formed a deep understanding of their colleagues' needs and goals, and implemented technology solutions to match. Laurent's efforts have helped enable over 2,000 Rémy Cointreau employees to collaborate efficiently - a must in the highly competitive French luxury brands market.

We sat down with Laurent to learn more about his journey.

You joined Rémy Cointreau in 2005. How has your role evolved since then?
In France, luxury brands are part of our national identity, so I'm very proud to work for Rémy Cointreau. When I first joined, we were far from entering the cloud space and I worked on IT projects that would bring international teams closer. My boss and I wanted to focus on adding more value to the organization by focusing on needs and tech use cases for each department. I became an advisor to the business: I would sit down with teams, listen to their needs, and advise them on ways to be more efficient by embracing new technologies and best practices. It's a different way of doing an IT job, which is very exciting to me. We're talking about working differently!

How has collaboration changed at Rémy Cointreau since 2005?
Thirteen years ago Rémy was operating like a collection of different companies that were working together. Over the years it has changed to be more agile and connected. We're a small family and many of our competitors are much larger, so change was necessary in order to compete. As one of France's premier luxury brands, we need to be agile in the market. We expect the same agility from our IT solutions.

How has this agile mindset changed Rémy's approach to IT solutions?
We're not a big company, but we're spread over more than 50 locations. When we started this project we had 55 servers and myriad collaboration needs. The need for close collaboration was there, but people were still relying on email to exchange files. Even just two years ago, it was a nightmare to exchange documents with no standardized collaboration tools. Now 13 years later, our IT team has everyone using cloud-based technology to make collaboration more effective so we can focus on improving business processes. Now we can provide insight into projects across departments. Box allows us to create a single vision for Rémy's success.

How have you motivated departments across Rémy to use these new tools?
At Rémy Cointreau digital innovation is not just an IT project, it's a company project. Our CEO was the first sponsor of our initial Box deployment and our general push towards cloud solutions, which also included intranet for collaborative social projects and Skype for video conferencing. The executive sponsorship allowed us to allocate substantial budget to IT for training and change management - which made it much easier to increase adoption. People don't generally like change. But if they understand why they should change and how they will benefit, adoption becomes easier.

That's fantastic! So, what did the Box deployment process look like?
The Box deployment was executed in three steps: first we ran pilots and spread success stories across teams, which created a lot of awareness and excitement for months. For example, our Finance Team used Box for reporting - that was a quick and resounding win. Second, we executed a mass rollout of Box to the rest of Rémy, really focusing on end user training and thoroughly planning change management ahead of time. We are now working on the third and final step, a project called "Level Up." Level Up focuses on how individual groups can improve their collaboration with Box and O365 to realize maximum value from these tools.

What future innovations are you most excited about?
We're looking at how we could save teams the pain of scrolling, searching, and manually classifying documents by using a combination of Box Drive, Relay, Skills, and Governance. I want to offer even more ways to free up bandwidth across teams, and make working with content in the cloud as easy as possible. Together with our business leaders, we will continue to refine processes to make the day to day work of every Rémy Cointreau employee smoother and more efficient.

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