Launch of a merged intranet and first steps to an integrated social media platform #epem

Johan Hillebrand, Head of Internal Communication at ABN/Amro.

Two main challenges Communications has: information overload (too much email…) and they couldn’t find information. Another thing that was mentioned was: stop paper communication, move to digital. They decided to take on these challenges by building a new intranet.
Goals for the new intranet:
  • Fewer channels
  • Offer relevant information
  • Centralize content

They choose to have the intranet look a lot like their internet site. No complaints about confusing the intranet for the internet yet. (They launched a couple of weeks ago.)
They kept the look and feel very simple. They combine general and local news. They assume people have 10 minutes to read news and cluster that in a box.
ABN has a separate social media platform (not integrated in the intranet). It's called Arena. It was built by one of their contractors. They plan to integrate it into the intranet in the future. But the look-and-feel is the same. They piloted within retail-banking (and it’s still in pilot phase). The platform was set up so all staff can engage in a dialogue.
Objectives for the social platform are:
  • Create dialogue with staff
  • To share knowledge in order to improve our services
  • To accelerate problem identification
  • Etc.
First feedback on both seems hopeful.

Business challenges in migrating a large intranet to an employee portal at Nestle #epem

Helen McCarthy, eCommunications Manager at Nestle.

Nestle is a huge organization. 280000 employees at Nestle (100000 in factory), 449 factories, operations in 83 countries.
Nestle runs their old portal on SAP. Of course they also have email, fileshares, etc.
What they needed was collaboration, up-to-date content, reduced information overload, transactions/workflows, global vs local communications, ability to target, confidentiality/security.
They set up a new portal based on SAP. One landing page, showing relevant information to the employee. But the employee couldn’t decide if he/she wanted something else targeted to him/her. The targeting was too restrictive. The technology was as well.
So, they had a Kit-Kat break! ;-)
They now want to model their intranet around their internet site. Their internet works and won awards. It was built on Sharepoint and so the intranet will be as well. They're aiming for the iPad as the standard of usability. Nestle's intranet will have the employee in the center. Though some targeting will still be there, to get management messages through.
From the audience there was a word of warning about making the internet and intranet look-and-feel the same: it can seriously confuse employees.

Intranet opportunities and challenges in a multi-brand organization #epem

Jenni Laajarinne of Amer Sports Corporation is the first speaker today! 6300 employees. Amer Sports is behind brands as Wilson, Atomic, Salomon and Suunto.

Her talk will focus on using social media applications to encourage community-thinking.
She has a case example of our organization using and internal social media application to encourage community thinking in the year that marked the company’s 60th anniversary.
They have home-grown CMS, created by IT. They have 6 brand intranet and 4 business area intranets. These intranets are pretty autonomous: the look-and-feel is different, the structure is different, etc.
They were looking for a fun and exciting way to celebrate the company’s anniversary. They wanted to take the opportunity to celebrate the employee’s passion for sports. They set up an intranet page to share their sports moments. It ran for 3 months (so it should be simple to use for there is no time for adoption!) and there was a monthly prize. Employees could upload text, pictures and videos of their sports moments.
The content could be searched in all kinds of ways (type of sports, year of event, name of contributor, votes, comments).
They also defined what they would like to measure to tell if it was a success or not. It was a mix of soft and hard targets. Like: raise awareness of Amer Sports and passion for sports, raise awareness for anniversary, gather at least 100 sports moments, engage 2250 absolute visitors during the campaign and increase usage of the Amer Sports intranet.
They 106 sports moments and the number is still growing even though the campaign has been stopped. 3500 unique visitors and lots coming back more than ones.

Social networking with Sharepoint 2010 @ ABB Global #epem

Next speaker: Stein-Ivar Aarsaether, ABB Global Web Management.

ABB is a global leader in power and automation technologies. 117000 employees. ABB has a long history (founded in 1883 after lots of mergers).
ABB’s intranet is a traditional CMS-intranet, based on Lotus Notes. In 2002 they were one of the top-ten intranets of the year (Nielsen).
Problems they have:
  • Hard to find information and services you’re looking for
  • Difficult to keep content updated
  • Lack of collaboration tools

They organized an ABB Intranet Conference in 2007. In 2009 they decided to go with Sharepoint 2010. In 2010 they launched the 1st version. Every couple of months they launch a new version.
ABB uses Google Search.
A new section in their intranet (based on SP 2010) allows employees to follow feeds of other employees (like Twitter). But it could be more interactive, like Facebook. For instance if you comment on someone’s feed he/she doesn’t see that… Commenting on activity stream in SP is not out-of-the-box.
ABB finds it hard to live up to the user expectations based on external experiences (internet).
Customizing SP is a lot of work, but the end result was good. Make clear distinctions what you customize and what not. And don’t expect SP to meet all your requirements.
ABB finds that Sharepoint governance should be multifaceted. Different governance for taxonomy, branding, information architecture, team roles, etc.
ABB finds that Sharepoint governance should be multifaceted. Different governance for taxonomy, branding, information architecture, team roles, etc.
They have governance for:
  • Ordering new team spaces
  • For pricing (free)
  • For cleaning up unused spaces
  • For ensuring the desired level of ‘brand building’
Plans they have are:
  • federated search (based on FAST)
  • move outside the firewall
  • further integration

Establishing social software to drive expertise exchange and how to measure it #epem

Wolfgang Jastrowski of Swiss Re is up next.
They use Jive for their intranet platform (out-of-the-box). The interesting fact is that they don’t train users. Wolfgang is from IT. They provided the platform and have users decide how to use it.
Blogging has not taken off as well as they thought. So they created roundtable to increase blogging.
How did they introduce social media tools inside? In 2008 the company realized that collaboration is key. They wanted a community centric collaboration approach.

  • Better support virtual teamwork
  • Boost information sharing across functions
  • Accelerate agility and responsiveness
  • Advance innovation and solution creation
  • Etc.

In short: they wanted a platform that would support their cultural change.
They went live with Jive in Q3 of 2009. They then already had 1500 users. At the end of 2009 they had 10000 users.
Their key lessons:
  • Strive for long-term objectives but work in phases and take the time needed
  • Position it as an integrated business platform with a clear business benefit and visible executive legitimation
  • Recruit advocates from core business functions as early adopters and role models. Develop business relevant use cases and educate on community management skills. The whole project was done with 5 people: 1 knowledge management, 2 communication and 2 IT.
  • Simplify business case to avoid complex benefits measurement
  • It is a change project, plan it that way!

Thousands of business conversations every month create business value. This leads to a business case. They collect good examples to build their case.
Other ways of measuring value:
  • The number of conversations related to the number of people who have access. After a year 85% is on board. This is OK, but...
  • … they would like to measure the quality of interactions. This can be done by like/don’t like or rating functionality. But will it work. Will employees judge each other’s work? That’s a journey they are now taking.

Question: You remarked that there is also a classic intranet, besides Jive. How will those relate? Answer by Wolfgang: More content is moving towards Jive. I think information like guidelines will stay on the classic intranet. Information that may not be changed/discussed about. The distinction needs to be clear, because users need to know where to look.

Social computing and the collaborative intranet #epem

RichardHare, British American Tobacco is the next presenter. They have 60000 employees. Richard is a Knowledge, Communication and Collaboration Consultant.
He starts out with the question who loves their intranet? And who’s users love their intranet? Not many hands go up.
Complaints about their intranet:
  • Search takes 20 seconds to return meaningless results
  • Content out of date
  • Difficult to navigate when based on hierarchy

… but people still want sites.

They connected the roll out of the content management tool to the roll out of the new corporate brand. This helped pull things together. (He showed several local intranets. Most looked the same.)
Their intranet only has top navigation, no left-hand navigation. Activity updates in the middle, daily news on top. People-centric navigation.
Evaluation of the set-up was done with senior management based card sorting and benchmarking. To define if people can find things and understand what the labels are called.
Social media at British American Tobacco
  • 1997: online communities based on Notes
  • 2004: blogs
  • 2008: social networking

Reason to start had to do with a 2005 survey telling their employees were more afraid to say what they thought. So, they set up communities. But the users needed encouragement. They set up a workshop and wrote a manual on community building. Communities still weren’t flying. So they tied it to the World Cup 2006 and it helped people open up.
Then they opened up the creation of communities. Then moved over to blogging. Also accompanied with some guidelines.
In 2007 they saw social networking taking up speed. So, in 2008 the set up Connect, which is their internal social networking site. This implicitly leads to a people directory. They made a cool visualization with Gephi to show how BAT is connected.
The survey of 2009 showed that employees value these steps and that they are more open (share their voice more openly).
The whole platform is built in-house, based on Lotus Domino.

Integrating collaboration – linking virtual workspaces with your intranet #epem

Oops, missed the 1st minutes of Neil Morgan, Head of Global Intranet at WWF International (5000 employees).
How did they get to their new collaboration platform? Surveyed users by asking questions and watching the way they worked. Based on the survey’s they came up with personas. They found that lots of work was very labor intensive.
To address their ‘problems’ they turned to Google. People were already using Gmail, Google Docs, etc. They went for Google Apps:
  • Calendars
  • Docs (e.g. Forms), Spreadsheets Presentations
  • Google Sites (best practices, wiki space, etc.)

Neil stresses how really simple it was to set up Google Apps and how simple it is too use. He also shows how well the parts of Google Apps integrate. Search Docs or Search All from one box. Create a document, share it easily and chat about it in the sidebar. Etc.
How do they link all these sites back into the intranet portal. They implemented a newsroom approach on the central intranet. They want the sites to think more in a newsroom way. Write news items locally with links to more info. This is picked up centrally. They also tie the sites together using search (also Google).

Tips from WWF
  • Online collaboration must start with real world collaboration (trust…)
  • You will make mistakes (fail quickly and move on)
  • Promote a culture of openness in teams (share early and often)
  • Group editing
  • Self-organization
  • Easy authoring tool (promotes contribution)
  • Collective intelligence
Brand development within WWF is done using storytelling.

Reason to Go Google is costs and the range of services. It’s a platform to build on.

Implementing social media features in intranet for effective employee engagement and internal communication #epem

Mikaela Terhil of Wartisila Corporation is on the stage. They provide lifecycle power solutions.
Wartsila recently allowed employees to access social networking platforms like Facebook from inside the company.
They started by integrating the intranets into one intranet. Then they added social features to the intranet, workspaces and office communicator.
Why social features? They wanted to help employees do their work, find the right employees, connect people together, bring expertise and different perspectives together, share knowledge, etc. In short: knowledge sharing and productivity.
So they now have:
  • People search > search over all profile information. Employees fill in profile info, blogposts etc are automatically related, you can also follow others
  • Compass profile > this is personal blogs, which is planned but not implemented yet
  • Personal site > collects and shows all your personal information on the intranet (not MySite, but MS profiles)
  • Poll > to get a feel of what the organization thinks of a certain topic
  • Workspaces > collaborate within a restricted group
  • Wartsila wiki > needs more promoting
  • We are the Doers blog (this is not personal blogging but news with comments, they’re working on that)
  • Discussion board > needs more promoting

All this is based on Sharepoint 2007. She closed off this section by telling stories about successful use of their platform. How it supports their employees to be productive.
They launched social features in June 2010 in the following way:
  • Highlight and banner on the intranet homepage
  • Global news, blogpost
  • Introductory site
  • Training and demo
  • Polling users

Mikaela also relates to how she finds that new culture can be enhanced. True employee engagement is gained through a culture of open internal communication. This should be reflected by the tools (e.g. profile is open to all).
She sees several challenges/opportunities. Adoption rate is not fast everywhere. How to get more on board? How to change the mindset of some senior management? They would like to link this platform more with business goals.

Overall strategy for employee portal evolution into an enterprise 2.0 platform and integration of effective use of social media for employee engagement and internal communications #epem

Next up is Viviane Dupre of Bombardier.
Bnet evolution will be done in a more formal and structured approach. It’s more than intranet; an enterprise 2.0 implementation.
They have high level management buyin for the project. A heavily organized governance model.
Current version of the Bnet employee portal is from 2004 with less than $100.000 investment. It replaced 100 plus intranets. They have 350 content managers. Minimal governance at the content level. Bnet has been identified as a business critical application.
In May 2009 they did a survey. 5000 employees responded to the survey. 64% gave a negative rating of the home page. They also asked what employees actively used on the internet. Like Youtube, LinkedIn. 42% were contributors in 2009.
This project was also used to improve employee engagement. By empowering employees, be recognized. Increased employee engagement should lead to increased customer engagement.
They wrote up a mission for the Bnet. Stressed enabling and increasing productivity.
Three pillars of Bnet: Communication, Personalization, Collaboration. She does not use the work ‘social’ because of the negative connotations it has to some.
Bombardier also uses Wordpress for their blog platform. They are working on a internal Youtube. Not so much for formal communications, but for human interest.
Personalization means LinkedIn type profiles on the company directory. Picture, short bio, blogposts, expertise, etc. Employees can fill in what they want.
Collaboration is about the deployment of collaboration tools to support dialogue, professional networking, communities of practice and collective intelligence.
They are still researching if their new platform actually contributed to improved employee engagement. The results have just been collected.
What are the business benefits?
  • Increased employee engagement
  • Adapt to new reality. Viviane also relates to what young employees expect of corporate tools.
  • More efficient use of staff
  • Lower computing costs
  • Reduced travel expenses.

They consider themselves as followers and tap into experiences from other companies, wrt. tools, business case, etc.
They chose Sharepoint as their defacto platform. (This was decided by IT…) She's not sure if SP will replace WP, but SP will be overall platform.

Intranet governance and implementation of guidelines for the right and efficiƫnt use of social media tools and intranet apps #epem

Next up is Sean McNiven, SAP. Sean is head of the Social Web.
Sean starts out with Web 0.0. Web 0.0 was and is the coffee machine. It’s still their running communication platform. This platform is now also happening on the web. The rules are practically the same, says Sean. So the guidelines are the same as well. Be honest, be respectful and add value, don’t pick fights, separate opinion from fact, be human, etc.
A brief history of their employee network: 1995-1997 DMS and structure; 1998 SAPNet Communication, Team Collaboration and self service; 205 Corporate Portal based on Netweaver; 2007-200 Corporate Portal, Relaunch Enhanced UI and Personalization; 2010 SAP Employee Network, SAP Corporate Portal + integrated external tools and social media / Enterprise search.
The governance changed considerably over the years. From open/decentral to closed/central in 2007. Now the governance is hybrid: open groups, governed communities, expiry of unused groups.
SAP has many modules that integrate into one intranet. SAP’s intranet is the (only) way to get to SAP information and communication.
They use the Wordpress platform for SAP Internal News. The Star rating is important for them to give feedback to the Communications department. They allow comments on the news item as well.
Remark: SAP sees that the border between internal and external is blurring rapidly.
SAP is using Jive for their communities and groups. Alfresco is their backend. Communities and groups consist of online documents (wiki-ish), discussions, polls or blogs.
SAP Talk is their internal microblogging platform. They use StatusNet. They want it to be easy to post internally and/or externally at the same time.
They also use Wordpress for employee crowdsourcing. They use it to ask or vote for questions or suggestions you’d like to see addressed at Global All Hands meetings and during special information campaigns. Voting is anonymous, posting and voting can be done in your name and anonymously. They see more and more people posting in their name, showing increasement in trust.
(By the way, I just asked Sean if they use this for ideation as well. He said they used social media in general for ideation. They also installed an extension to Jive for ideation. But that didn't work well.)
Video sharing is done, called SAPTube. Everyone can upload videos.
Sean also points to their social media guidelines. He remarks they are getting shorter and shorter. It should be one page max. Or as Microsoft says: Don't be stupid.

Strategic intranet governance and business driven adoption of social media for increasing value @ BT #epem

Wow, that’s a whole mouthful! This is the first presentation at Employee Portal Evolution Masters 2010 in Berlin. I’ll be live-blogging through this conference. The subtitle of the conference is Strategic business approach for employee portal lifecycle management and integration of social media in rapidly changing digital environment’. Another mouth-ful!

Mark Morrell, Intranet Manager of BT has the honors of opening this conference. The title of his talk is the title of this blogpost.
BT’s intranet is about 16 years old. It started in 1994. It’s available to 140.000+ employees including 3rd parties. All information and applications are online. They can access it wherever they want. They use it for collaboration online too: blogs, wikis, podcasts, RSS, Twitter. Their intranet was also a push towards a more paperless office.
They benchmark their intranet through the Intranet Benchmarking Forum. And they’re one of the best…
Why did they start using social media? Social media is technology embedded in social behavior. Social networks, global data networks, etc are BT’s business drivers!
Social media also meets the demands of the younger employees. Nearly 90% of BT people under 25 use social media. Less than 50% of BT people over 50 use social media. Mark sees people are blending work with personal use of social media (also relates to more BT employee working from home when they want). For that reason they use social media that is already available as much as possible. Like Twitter. They therefore use one persona not different identities for all use of social media. So, there’s not a personal and work Twitter account for Mark.
Social media external is used to interact and develop new relationships with my customers, partners and suppliers. They don’t use it as a marketing tools.
Mark stresses in general social media tools are easy but you should also make sure they stay that way. Also w.r.t. social media guidelines. They have guidelines for using social media. E.g. no anonymous posting. Balance guidelines with benefits as well as risks.
Benefits are:
  • Finding the right person
  • Finding the right information
  • Joining a community of interest
  • Sharing/creating views and opinions

They want to actively research the benefits people have gained by use of social media.
Mark walks us through their intranet. You can find much of this on his blog. No commenting on BT news yet. Employees can submit their news (like birthdays) but it is curated. They show the last 3 wiki-pages, blogposts and podcasts on their Intranet homepage.
They have about 700 active blogs (at least 1 update every month).
The BT wiki (based on Mediawiki) is related to as their encyclopedia. Navigating through blogposts and wikipages is done with tagclouds a.o.
BT also has regular CEO chats (with the real CEO).
Mark also tells it took quite some time to convince senior-management to allow and adopt social media inside and outside the company.