Deepak Bhandary, Social Enterprise Program Manager for Schneider Electric, presented at the Gartner Portals, Collaboration and Content Summit in London.
With skepticism around the summit of the long-term value of of enterprise social networking, Deepak’s presentation came as a ray of hope. What he showed was that delivering a social platform requires an organized approach if it is going to have a chance at success. It’s neither a “build it and they will come” or “provide and pray” approach that has tainted the audience. If you take one of these ad hoc approaches the success rate drops to less less than 10%, according to Gartner analysts.
But Schneider Electric has a very clear vision of what they need to do to support their high-growth global company. Underpinned by the statement, “If only Schneider knew what Schneider knows,” they have a strategic vision supported by the very top of the organization.
From Strategy to Execution
The vision was branded Connect and it was delivered by the Social Enterprise Program that has three technology building blocks—Employee Portal, Collaboration Platforms, and Integrations.
The collaboration platform provides clear information architecture to ensure that all existing applications were integrated and leveraged. Without those integrations the social platform is inert, siloed, and isolated. This presents a challenge to many organizations, particularly if their social software platform struggles to integrate with all the obvious legacy systems with ease out of the box.
The comprehensive architecture is best described with the picture below.
Start Slowly and Build Success
Pilot user groups were identified which provided both cross-functional and geographical diversity. This covered 6,000 users. After a relatively short period of time the pilot users demanded that they wanted to collaborate with a wider group of people.
The pilots were such a success that the organization was ready to move forward with a big-bang global launch to all the knowledge workers. The success of this approach is clear from the statistics that are tracked on Schneider’s Adoption Dashboard. To date, there have been 95,000 users activated and in a few months the 6,000 pilot users grew to 45,000 users who had logged on across 114 countries.
But more important than the initial flush of excitement about the new platform are the adoption trends over time. As you can see from the diagram, there are 30,000 users who log on weekly; and now the team is working to encourage the 85% who are readers to play a more active role.
Ultimately, the success criterion is defined by what value the platform is providing. This is best measured by looking at use cases. Some typical use cases include the below:
– Effectively animate an expert community; develop a culture of collaboration & trust, unlock knowledge, assistance in building/retaining company expertise, transform implicit knowledge into explicit knowledge, and seamless networking capabilities across the company
– Easily find a skilled resource; access to user skill sets and experiences
– Exchange information on projects in a project virtual room; ease collaboration and information exchanges, limit emails, single place to find project information and exchanges
Clearly there are other “competing solutions” that were in existence before the social enterprise platform was rolled-out. The migration onto the tibbr platform was achieved by encouragement rather than by IT mandate. This has taken longer in some areas, but the program is strategic and long term; therefore the team is prepared to be patient. The benefits of a global platform to its users become obvious over time. This is clearly a far more powerful approach as it reinforces adoption and engagement.
The social program is not yet complete, but the benefits of the approach to date are very clear. Schneider Electric is reaping the rewards of a structured approach and Schneider is a lot closer to knowing what Schneider knows.
Learn more about how Schneider Electric rolled out collaboration software to over 150,000 employees by checking out this webinar.