By Marc Jadoul, Strategic Marketing Director and Engage Advocate at Alcatel-Lucent
The creation of a digital workplace, through the introduction of state-of-the-art ICT technology and new ways of working, puts a clear focus on streamlining in-company communication and collaboration, improving organizational performance, and increasing the overall satisfaction of employees.
In 2010, Alcatel-Lucent launched Engage, a social collaboration platform to facilitate worldwide employee communication and collaboration.
The Benefits of (social) collaboration
With an unprecedented digital data storm raging through the business world, knowledge workers may spend up to 30% of their working day looking for people and relevant information to do their job. A waste of precious time and human resources that can be dramatically reduced by providing employees with appropriate structures, practices and ICT technology —putting mobility, collaboration and knowledge sharing on the foreplan.
When an organization has a clear purpose, collaborative tools can help incubate and develop healthy, knowledge-sharing communities. This makes investing in applications like videoconferencing and social collaboration platforms worthwhile.
Social technologies promise to unlock value in major sectors of the economy and across a range of functional areas. Particularly in those companies that are heavily relying on knowledge. Most commonly cited measurable results of social collaboration are speed to access knowledge and experts, and reduction of communication and travel costs. More qualitative benefits can be found in the domain of HRM (employee retention, empowerment, and engagement) and business culture (information sharing, better communication, and cross-organization collaboration).
Engage: Alcatel-Lucent in-house experience
In 2009, Alcatel-Lucent –in the middle of its global transformation program after the 2006 merger of Alcatel and Lucent– started collecting requirements for a new way of working (supported by appropriate IT tools) to:
- Help the company move from a “product culture” to a “service culture”;
- Better deal with the complexity of a global distributed organization;
- Get access to knowledge and content that is locally stored at different locations.
An employee survey pointed out that workers considered communities as a powerful means to support them in their daily business, and that dedicated collaboration tools could help them to manage knowledge, locate experts, foster cross-company collaboration, limit the number of meetings and conference calls, and reduce the use of e-mail. Qualitative interviews with a number of stakeholders throughout the organization led to a set of functional requirements as listed in the figure below.
Source: Alcatel-Lucent “Reconnect people” taskforce, 2009