This is the third in a series of posts on how a mid size medical association is implementing emergent collaboration strategies and technologies within its organization. Part 1 on Business Drivers, can be found here. Part 2 which covers some aspects of change management is here. Today we are going to be looking out how the platform roll-out and the technology stack. The contents of this case study are based on a series of conversations and interviews that took place in July and July 2011, and conducted with an IT professional who leads the Enterprise 2.0 project at a mid-size healthcare organization. This individual wishes to keep their employer and identity anonymous. All communication took place in June and July 2011. The full case study can be downloaded for free on the Chess Media Group Resources page. Several other case studies and resources can also be found there.
One key thing to keep in mind is that this is not about changing the workflow of employees. In fact, you do not want to change anything – you want to enhance it. If employees have a two-step process to get something done, then you had better make sure that you leave it at two steps or perhaps even make it into one step. Changing it to three or four is not a part of their workflow and thus will not be effective.
Employee collaboration comes before customer collaboration. If you cannot collaborate internally, how can you do so externally? You need to have a better social enterprise, which involves more than the tools. It is also a culture issue. You need to develop the culture and expertise internally before you can do so externally. It is important to point out that the company did not offer any incentives to employees.
There were concerns and resistance from some areas of the company as they were not ready for open collaboration and communication. If there was a platform that would allow for this, then who would manage the corporate communications? Corporate Communications has traditionally managed the content, the editing, and all of the information, and now they would lose control. They did not have the support from many in senior management; however, they are trying to meet with other senior and executive management level leaders to get full support.
How Long Did The Project Rollout Take?
The social intranet project began two years ago but from the initial idea to actual rollout, it took approximately four months. The company began with different collaboration platform and despite it being inexpensive at the start; the long-term cost was more expensive because of extensive support, infrastructure, and technical skills that were required to make it work. The platform might have been the logical solution for a much larger company but it did not work well for the company so they stopped using it. It is still active within the company but it is mainly being used for activities such as vendor project management.
One of the things the company learned was that if they deploy a new tool, it should be able to integrate and/or replace something already existing within the company. Simply adding on a new piece of technology that functions on its own will not be effective.
What Tools Are Being Used?
The current technology stack includes a primary enterprise collaboration platform. This is used as the dashboard and “launch pad” for everything communications and collaboration related within the company. It is the “front door” for the company. Additional tools are accessed within this new platform.
Single Sign On
Behind the scenes, a single sign on box allows users to use the same username and password for all of their applications; this convenience has been instrumental in aiding adoption.
IT Service Desk
This is used to handle requests or support, usually by the IT department. It is also used as a knowledge base for most things IT related. All support tickets are submitted and managed through this platform.
This is primarily used as a document management system, to share information either within the company or outside of the firewall.
Video has become an important part of what the company does both internally and externally. Therefore, it is used for all video needs such as marketing, communications, and internal webinars and programs.
The full case study can be downloaded on the Chess Media Group page.