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  • Posts tagged ‘case study’

    Learn How Southeastern Railway Achieved Gold-Metal Success with Their Social Intranet

    Can a social intranet dramatically improve operations and productivity in your company? The answer is YES.

    Southeastern Railway

    Chances are you’ve had the experience of waiting on a train platform and the train doesn’t show up or the day is filled with rampant delays and the messaging of what to do next isn’t provided. Imagine having to deal with those transportation scenarios in a city that is hosting the Olympics? Well gleefully those potential nightmares didn’t happen when the city of London hosted the 2012 Summer Olympic and Paralympic Games. The UK’s premiere passenger rail service, Southeastern Railway, was operating seamlessly and successfully moved 7.7 million people over 16 days. Southeatern’s stellar achievement is attributed to the implementation and management of Workforce, its social collaboration platform powered by Socialtext technology.

    Download this case study and learn how Southeastern Railway is moving at award-winning pace due to social collaboration across the enterprise.

    Motley Fools Collaborate with Socialtext

    Established in 1993, Motley Fool is a true Internet veteran. Harboring many tech savvy employees, the company encountered an issue with siloed information in various disconnected social media tools. Different departments were using Sharepoint, blogs and even Yammer to collaborate on ideas and store information. Unfortunately, this limited employees to only the tools that they were invited to use and there was no way to conveniently share information with the entire Motley crew. The company needed a fresh and simple way to communicate and collaborate company-wide. Sticking with their non-traditional ways, and realizing Yammer was not meeting their needs, the company adopted Socialtext to develop a customized social intranet called, “Jingle” to let their employees easily access and share information.

    Socialtext was fortunate enough to have Anessa Fike and Jeb Bishop from Motley Fool join us recently for a webinar to discuss the many successes Jingle has provided the company. See below slides from the webinar.

    View more presentations from Socialtext

    Since deploying Socialtext, Motley Fool has experienced benefits from increased collaboration and communication, to a significant decrease in noisy email traffic, and improved employee wellness and bonding. Jingle offers employees from different departments and different offices, around the world, one place to come together and obtain the information they need instantly.

    Motley Fool has just scratched the surface of what is possible with Jingle. The company has been able to take advantage of the communication features to reinforce community and corporate culture, develop groups based on shared affiliations and interests, consolidate conversations to allow everyone to contribute, and made it easier to find and share information. On a regular workday, Jingle is open on computers and continuously checked for updates and information. From edits and reviews on documentation, news feed updates or newly added groups, the phrase “Did you Jingle that” is often being thrown around the office.

    Socialtext’s flexible infrastructure allows for customers to customize their intranet Widgets, which Motley Fool leveraged to develop tools for employee access convenience. These dashboard pages include: Quick 360 Feedback, which provides a place for employees to ask for and provide feedback on a work related item; a Quick Start page that offers quick links to get you started on Jingle; and Important Fool News, which hosts links to the top news items for that day. Jingle is proven to be user-friendly and easily adoptable. Although Jingle is being uses throughout the entire company, the technology department has the greatest adoption rate.

    For a company dedicated to its employees, Jingle has provided Motley Fool with a great resource teamed up with a fun element that has brought people together. This is clearly displayed by having groups such as QuarterlyChallenge, in which employees rally together once a quarter to identify and accomplish a company challenge; or the Wellness group, which puts an emphasis on employee health and allows for daily workouts during the workday. Jingle has truly become the core of the company’s collaboration, providing a comfortable space for employees to brainstorm on business initiatives, bond over similar interests, learn about company events and keep up-to-date on news.

    To learn more about Jingle, you can view the full webinar with Motley Fool by registering here.

    Webinar Recording: See How Two Socialtext Customers Leverage Knowledge with Social Software

    Yesterday, Socialtext participated in a KMWorld webinar called “Social Tools for Business: Engage, Optimize, Collaborate.” Alan Lepofsky, our Director of Product Marketing, gave a talk on how social software brings people to the forefront by not only surfacing what content and knowledge is shared across a company, but by which colleagues. He also talked about how social tools enhance key business processes, encourage expertise sharing, and eliminate knowledge silos.

    He highlighted these themes through the lens of two Socialtext customers: GT Nexus, a global supply chain company, and Hayes Knight, an accounting firm in Australia and New Zealand. Below are slides from yesterday’s webinar, along with Alan’s commentary. We hope you enjoy them, and let us know if you have any questions.

    Why Professional Services and Consulting Firms Are Embracing Enterprise Social Software To Better Serve Clients

    One key aspect of social software rests its flexibility, a quality that allows it to be utilized by a variety of industry verticals to improve business processes and facilitate enterprise wide collaboration.

    Following our announcement that highlighted how media & publishing customers have harnessed social software to turn disruptive market conditions to their advantage, today I’m happy to share the stories of innovative companies in the professional services and consulting arena who have done the same.

    From executive recruiting firms to digital marketing companies, these companies use social software to share knowledge internally, coordinate more effectively on projects and ultimately serve customers faster.

    Companies such as Egon Zehnder, Ogilvy & Mather, Momentum Worldwide and Eurogroup Consulting exemplify how professional services firms can benefit from having their employees share more information openly, and retain their knowledge as a long-term, strategic asset.

    • Egon Zehnder — With Socialtext as the backbone, executive search firm Egon Zehnder built a new intranet that empowered people to update content and share knowledge in real-time. Egon Zehnder’s “intranet 2.0″ includes current research on specific industries, functions, and executives; up-to-date information on the firm’s work with strategic clients; approved templates for engagement proposals; current marketing materials describing the firm and its approach to specific types of searches and thought leadership on industry trends.
    • Momentum Worldwide — This global integrated marketing agency uses the Socialtext collaboration platform to generate ideas, collaborate, and manage projects with some of its major blue-chip clients.
    • Ogilvy & Mather — This large digital marketing agency has implemented enterprise microblogging and wiki workspaces to improve business processes inside call centers for its major clients.
    • Eurogroup Consulting — Based in Europe with headquarters in France, Eurogroup Consulting is a management consulting group comprised of independent consulting firms throughout 16 countries who band together under the same brand and organization for shared resources and industry knowledge. With Socialtext, the firms located in disparate locations share collateral, best practices and research to better serve their business customers.

    We look forward to sharing more industry specific stories in the coming months. In the meantime, please see our customer page for companies in your industry who are transforming their core business processes and driving new opportunities with enterprise social software.

    Case Study: In Disrupted Media Industry, Meredith Drives Profitability with Enterprise Social Software

    If you follow the media industry, you know how much it has struggled to adapt its business model to the Web. But what’s not written about as frequently is how some media and publishing companies are using social software — one of the very technologies that disrupted the industry — to pursue new business opportunities and grow revenue.

    That’s been the case at Meredith Corporation (here is our full case study we published today). Meredith counts 23 subscription-based publications in its portfolio, including Better Homes and Gardens and Ladies’ Home Journal. With its various properties, Meredith serves a readership of nearly 75 million women.

    Meredith has been using Socialtext to manage subscriber campaigns, respond to market changes, and ultimately drive profitability in its circulation. Meredith utilizes Socialtext Signals for microblogging to share and discuss new ideas, SocialCalc (a social spreadsheet) to manage subscriber campaign reports and online workspaces to collaborate more deeply on strategic marketing projects.

    At Socialtext, we focus very heavily on the business value that social tools can generate for companies internally. As someone who cheerleads for media companies who work hard to adapt to market changes (I used to work for one), I was encouraged by Meredith’s strong results during the course of my research.

    “Since Meredith began using Socialtext in the fall of 2008, its subscriber numbers bettered an industry that was in decline. According to the most recent State of the News Media report, the magazine industry’s paid subscriptions, which make up nearly 90 percent of magazines sold, declined 1.12 percent overall. Meredith, meanwhile, in the second quarter of fiscal 2010, increased its circulation revenue by nearly half a million dollars from the same period a year before.
    In a disrupted industry where flat revenue or even light losses are viewed as an accomplishment, the increase wasn’t lost on Meredith’s investors when the company reported its financial results. In fact, the company reported that the “revenues, profit and related margin in Meredith’s circulation activities (that) increased in the second quarter of fiscal 2010 compared to the prior year (were) driven in part by efficiencies in subscription operations.”

    I’m not Gonna Pay a Lot for this Enterprise Social Software!

    When I was a kid, there was an incredibly stupid (but apparently memorable) ad campaign for Meineke mufflers, in which various characters stubbornly declared “I’m not gonna pay a lot for this muffler!”

    I thought of that ad campaign while reading our recent case study on Egon Zehnder’s use of Socialtext.

    Enterprise social software is supposed to be cheap. There’s open source, there are plenty of low-cost competitors, and there are hosted options. What Egon Zehnder discovered, however, was that a lot of these options–even the so-called “free” options–weren’t nearly as good as they first appeared. Here’s how EZI’s Bill Hopkins describes it:

    “Once you factor in the total personnel cost of implementing and maintaining a Sharepoint or some other major piece of on-site infrastructure, the price gets a lot higher than just the software. We didn’t have budget for dedicated FTE’s we could devote to this project.”

    Bill’s thinking immediately went to the possibility of a SaaS solution, but he was concerned that a traditional hosted solution was a non-starter for the Firm’s leadership.

    “Security is incredibly important to us,” said Bill. “One of the reasons why our clients trust us is because they know we are utterly, fanatically discreet. Often the very fact that we’ve been engaged to fill a position would be front-page news if the papers found out about it. From an IT standpoint, that means our data must be completely secure. There was never any chance of letting our data leave the firewall. It just wasn’t going to happen.”

    Bill has put his finger on a fundamental economic challenge for enterprise social software deployments. On the one hand, companies want the comfort and security of keeping their data inside the firewall. On the other hand, they’re concerned about the ongoing maintenance burden associated with traditional on-premise installations. This tension is particularly acute for mid-size companies, who have all the same confidentiality concerns as their larger competitors, but fewer IT resources to throw at the problem.

    The good news is that, as Bill discovered at Egon Zehnder, a managed appliance provides the security of on-site deployment without the ongoing cost of maintaining a traditional on-site deployment. You can get your organization–your entire organization, not just a pilot group or two–quickly, easily, and without ongoing support burden. No fuss, no muss.

    You’re not gonna pay a lot for this muffler.

    Egon Zehnder Case Study on Intranet 2.0

    Socialtext has posted our newest case study on enterprise social media: Executive search firm Egon Zehnder International. It’s a real success story of how one of the world’s great professional services firms has transformed its intranet from a crufty document warehouse to a dynamic forum for firm-wide collaboration.

    Amid the globalization of the executive search industry, Egon Zehnder is using Socialtext to connect researchers and consultants world-wide for things like:

    • Current research on specific industries, functions, and executives
    • Up-to-date information on the firm’s work with strategic clients
    • Approved templates for engagement proposals
    • Current marketing materials describing the firm and its approach to specific types of searches
    • Thought leadership on industry and functional trends
    • Expert help handling exceptional searches, i.e., searches with specific and non-standard requirements

    The case study talks in detail about what made Egon Zehnder’s project a success, including:

    • Compelling business case, closely tied to the firm’s strategic objectives in a rapidly changing environment
    • Secure yet cost-effective deployment with the on-site managed appliance
    • Tight partnership and alignment across Training, IT, and the firm’s leadership
    • A solution that took off like wildfire, because it met the needs of users

    I’m personally very excited about Egon Zehnder’s success. Michael Kieran and I worked closely with James, Bill, and Ramona throughout the process. We witnessed first-hand the project’s evolution from a concept in London to a whiteboard sketch in New York to a global rollout to a strategic capability of the firm. It has been an exciting journey and a true partnership.

    Read, enjoy, and tell us what you think!

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    In Challenging Media Landscape, Meredith Publishing Stays Ahead with Enterprise Microblogging

    As the media industry reinvents its business model to contend with the disruptive effects of the Web, I wanted to highlight a Socialtext customer, Meredith Publishing, that’s continuing to thrive by making sure its employees seize on new opportunities and react to change faster than competitors. One tool that aides Meredith employees in that effort is Socialtext Signals, our enterprise microblogging tool, which allows them to share information openly.

    Today’s Harvard Business Review article highlights how Meredith employees use microblogging to track competition and move faster on ongoing projects.

    At Meredith Corporation, the publisher of Ladies Home Journal and Better Homes & Gardens, microblogging tool Socialtext Signals is the platform of choice. Using Signals, the marketing function can post alerts to employees and partners on a wide range of marketing issues, such as researching competitors, brainstorming new ideas for a direct marketing campaign, or analyzing the outcomes of current campaigns.

    Says Dave Ball, Vice President of Consumer Marketing for Meredith, “Signals allows us to break down the silos and easily share information with each other internally. We also use Signals to communicate with groups of external vendors, so we can brainstorm current campaigns with them, propose new ideas and share best practices. It is amazing how much we have cut down on email traffic while increasing our productivity.”

    While the companies that benefit from Socialtext hail from a variety of industries, media companies have embraced enterprise social software more urgently than their counterparts in some other verticals. At the Web 2.0 Expo in New York, our co-founder and president Ross Mayfield held a panel with two clients, McGraw-Hill and The Washington Post, to highlight their use of enterprise social software to drive business value inside their companies. We also wrote a case study to highlight how St. Louis Public Radio utilizes Signals to improve collaboration across departments.

    Meredith’s use of microblogging also highlights the strength of our Signals product in comparison to our competitors: It’s integrated with other critical tools employees use to get their work done. For example, Meredith also uses SocialCalc, our social spreadsheet, to track the progress of their direct mail and subscriber campaigns. With Signals, employees can Signal links to each other, which brings those numbers — and the people and context behind those numbers — into the flow of work.

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    Delicious Productivity Improvements For This Flavor Partner

    We’ve just published a new case study on how FONA International is using Socialtext to help their employees reduce email, break down silos of information, heighten the sense of internal communities, and increase customer satisfaction.

    A few of the benefits include:

    • Reducing one processes’ email output from 4,000 messages per month to 1
    • No longer emailing around Excel attachments, and having to manually merge multiple versions
    • Increased customer satisfaction by providing a self-service extranet, where customers can access the information they need, tailored to their account

    Read the full story here

    One of the things I really like about FONA’s implementation of Socialtext, is the navigation they use, which reminds me of the periodic table.


    Serve Customers Better With Social Software: OSIsoft Case Study

    The Power of InformationSocialtext just posted a new customer support case study on the success achieved at OSIsoft. Support plays a key role in delivering enterprise infrastructure for management of time series data and events for energy, manufacturing and other industries where systems infrastructure is mission critical. With Socialtext, OSIsoft is serving their customers better from across the globe — with 200 global support engineers all pull in the same direction and tapping into collective brainpower.

    OSIsoft’s story was recently covered by CRM Magazine. See part one, Support as Career Destination, Not a Journey, and part two, The Power of Information: OSIsoft uses Socialtext to revamp an outdated knowledgebase.

    For a broader look at Social CRM, from Enterprise 2.0 to public-facing Social Media, see last week’s post The Social CRM Iceberg. From there, the conversation continued with some great posts by Vinnie Mirchindani, Bob Warfield, Tom Foremski, Michael Krigsman, Paul Greenberg and Dennis Howlett.

    About This Blog

    Weblog on gaining business results from social software.

    On this blog, Socialtext staffers and customers explore how companies can gain the most business value from their use of enterprise social software, including microblogging, social networking, filtered activity streams, widget-based dashboards, blogs and wikis.


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