WEBINAR: Watch Google’s “Digital Transformation” Session with Sprint, Harvard and MightyHive. Get Your FREE Copy of the Sprint Case Study


Last year, telecom giant Sprint (now T-Mobile), completed a digital transformation that caught the attention of Harvard Business School. Seeing it as an example of a business trend marketers should pay attention to, Harvard published a comprehensive case study for its graduate students in July, and Google brought it all to life for Part IV of its “Digital Transformation” series on October 29.

Google assembled an online panel comprised of MightyHive CEO, Pete Kim, Harvard Business School professor, David Bell, and T-Mobile SVP Digital Emerging Products, Rob Roy. Each shared their unique experiences and views on the MightyHive/Sprint partnership, including technical and personnel challenges, and how the case study reflects a business challenge faced by many brands today.

Watch Digital Transformation with T-Mobile, MightyHive & Harvard Business School


In 2016, Sprint set out to simultaneously address changing consumer habits and improve operational and advertising efficiency. “When the CEO tells you to figure out how to do the largest Fortune 500 transformation, you have to come up with some unique ideas using goal posts that are really far out,” Roy shared during the webinar. “I challenged the team, but the effort [came from] the individuals who wanted to do something really unique…that hadn’t really been done at [this] scale…and do it all while trying to grow the business.”

Roy set out to establish a cultural change that would put Sprint on even ground with companies—partners and competitors alike—that were born in the digital age. “How do we digitally transform the people [so that] digital runs throughout the organization?” posed Roy. “We created a bunch of new processes and experiences within the larger part of the organization and that led us to the next steps; bringing media in-house, building unique apps, etc. We needed the whole company on board and not just a digital team trying to hit a couple KPIs and we were very pleased with the results.”

“We needed the whole company on board and not just a digital team trying to hit a couple KPIs”

– Rob Roy, SVP Digital Emerging Products, T-Mobile 

Professor Bell echoed Roy’s assessment of the need for cross-department collaboration: “Understanding business situations requires understanding how everything fits together,” he said. “Management needs to be cross-function not just within the functions, and I believe this case study shows that.”

Pete Kim added that digital transformation is unique to each company. “We didn’t come into [the partnership with Sprint] with an assumption that in-housing was the right solution,” he explained. “There are many ways to skin the digital transformation cat, if you will. From the broad spectrum of options—total outsourcing to 100% in-housing—the first thing is to understand where on that spectrum each particular client belongs. And that is an assessment [of the] business itself and the preparedness of the teams.”

Get your FREE copy of the Sprint case study published by Harvard Business School in July. 


Both Kim and Roy recognized that digital transformation requires every company to charge into uncharted territories. “The people that we brought in are the type of people who are excited by the challenge and don’t want to rest on norms,” explained Roy. “We created something very unique that has given us more and more opportunity as we peel back the onion. I had an amazing set of individuals and partners in MightyHive and others to actually make this thing happen.”

“The next five to ten years are going to be a reckoning,” said Kim. “People should understand that [digital transformation] is really going to happen and it requires change agents who have the vision, courage, and authority to move.”

Get your free copy of the case study and watch the session to learn more:

WATCH “Digital Transformation” to hear Sprint’s stories. 

DOWNLOAD the HBS Case Study to learn how Sprint executed a complete digital transformation.

VIEW the Slides from the Digital Transformation session.