Smart organisations want to make the most of their people. Five year’s ago Vodafone’s CEO recognised that their SharePoint based Intranet had too much one way communication, no real social element, was hard to use and things were difficult to find. His aim was to cut costs, share knowledge and help his people find experts to answer questions internally without having to go outside of the organisation. Vodafone could see the social media sharing culture that was going on in the wider world and they wanted to bring that style of culture inside the company. I sat down with Stanley Awuku, Vodafone’s Internal Digital Experience Manager, and one of the speakers at our upcoming Enterprise Digital Summit, to hear more about their story.
Although Stanley wasn’t around at the start of the project he has been heavily involved for the last 3 years and understands the journey that Vodafone have gone through. They still have the Hub, their official global Intranet as a document repository and for publishing corporate news, but they created an Enterprise Social Network they call Vodafone Circle. This uses a software product called Beezy that sits on top of SharePoint but hides the complexity and gives a very easy user interface for people to find each other, connect with them, create public or private groups and workspaces so they can collaborate, manage projects, and interact. Before Circle (and Beezy) this social element just didn’t exist, but now news feeds from Circle are shown on the Hub home page and the social network has really expanded. Vodafone have more than 90,000 employees spread across 30 countries. Back in 2010 they started small with a proof of concept around what they call a “town hall meeting” for the CEO or senior managers to have a question and answer session with a group of employees online – similar to what IBM calls a Jam. They’ve expanded from that simple use case, and encouraged more and more use over time. They have heavy users of Circle in their legal department, the technology team, in HR and security, but right across the organisation so that they now have over 80,000 registered users and regularly average 20,000 unique visitors.
As well as the workspaces and groups they’ve added things like Vodafonetube, their own internal version of YouTube, or mHub, a mobile application that gives employees access to Circle from their mobile phones and tablets. Stanley speaks regularly at employee induction sessions and talks about Circle as if it’s a bank. He tells new starters that, just like a bank, the more information you invest in the system, the more you get out in the long run. He recognises that new content is still a headache to create and manage but his group prides themselves on giving their users a good experience and listening to feedback.
Stanley will be telling more of the Vodafone story along with their best practice and key lessons learned on 22nd of October at the Enterprise Digital Summit in London. Go here to find out more or to book a ticket to hear this and our other great case study stories.
(Disclosure – Beezy are a main sponsor of Enterprise Digital Summit London)
(Cross-posted @ Agile Elephant)