Back in June, we were proud to announce that FONA International, a Socialtext customer that designs and manufacturers flavors for the world’s largest food companies, won a CIO 100 Award for its innovative use of enterprise social software to transform business processes internally. With Socialtext as the backbone, FONA built a thriving company intranet that empowers employees to collaborate with each other more effectively to serve customers better and beat competitors.Judged by CIO magazine, the annual award is given to 100 elite companies that “demonstrate excellence and achievement,” and is widely regarded as the most prestigious award for business technology leaders. At Socialtext, we were excited for Steve Brewer, the IT leader who has led their social software effort, and his team at FONA that helped earn this award.
So when we found out recently that Steve also won a “Plus One” award at the CIO 100 ceremony, we wanted to share it with all of you.
If you were to compare the CIO 100 awards to an academic banquet, the Plus One recipients are essentially the “with honors” of the bunch. From the pool of CIO 100 winners each year, only five Plus Ones are given. According to CIO, Plus One winners are chosen from this elite group because their innovative use of technology led to “outstanding achievement toward a business goal.”
Here’s an example of how FONA’s collaborative intranet changed the company’s business processes:
Many FONA employees help the company by participating in taste tests of new flavors. These tests are conducted up to 40 times a month, via flavor panels organized in their Sensory Laboratory. To manage all the logistics and scheduling of the tests, lab organizers would send an e-mail to about 50 people, who each sent back a response requesting the time slot they wanted. The organizers would then go back and forth with each participant either approving the time, or suggesting a new one. The result was more than 4,000 e-mails a month being sent, or 50,000 a year, inflicting a burden on both the organizers and the testers. Now, all the scheduling is tracked via a shared workspace in Socialtext. Each month’s schedule is now posted on a wiki page where employees can see which time slots are available. This new process enables the organizers to send just a single e-mail at the start of each month, which directs everyone to that month’s sign-up page.
On behalf of Eugene, Ross, and the whole Socialtext team, I’m happy to congratulate FONA on this great achievement.