Social Intranet Swisscom Sharespace: A fundamental change to teamwork

20. February 2017 Pedro Brägger Teamwork, Workspace

Teamwork: There are no heroes, only teams

Today’s working world no longer requires the lone wolf or the hero, but rather teamwork – physical and virtual. Many companies today are guided by the principle of ‘there are no heroes, only teams’, hoping that this will lead to greater productivity and better outcomes.

But it is particularly in virtual teams that collaboration can become unproductive, with information failing to flow in the right direction and knowledge already gained not being sufficiently utilised.
All of these companies ask themselves similar questions: what tools do we need for employees to work more efficiently in teams? How can information be re-used beyond the team, where are the links and how can knowledge be shared with as many people as possible?

Companies in the partial solution trap

It is understandable that a team will want to use the best tools for the implementation of its projects. Although individual cloud services may offer captivating design, even the best ones ultimately only solve a single problem. And experience shows that many team projects use partial software solutions. The consequence of this decentralised approach is that you can soon lose the overview of deadlines, documents, correspondence, etc. Moreover, team members lose valuable time by logging on and searching for relevant data on multiple platforms.

A further strike against using various partial solutions is the lack of control over the progress of information and the time wasted in searching for the latest version. Who has changed what in the concept, which is the latest version of the minutes and why don’t team members know that milestones have been changed?

Along with this lack of oversight, there is also the danger of storing the same information multiple times, which takes up space in file servers and mail servers. Not only does this result in higher costs, it also makes it far more difficult, or even impossible, to back up and restore. And last but not least: the use of various partial solutions leads to ‘shadow IT’ and major security risks in the long term. In some cases, this has already resulted in chaos and the loss of vital company data. And, when sensitive company or client data is saved on cloud services such as Dropbox, Trello or Slack, there is a significant security risk and data leaks can lead to costly legal disputes with clients. There are better ways of working together.

New opportunities, new options for more effective teamwork

Companies want to get this situation under control and are looking for a tool that meets various needs. The solution is a central work and collaboration platform for all employees, like the one offered by Swisscom Sharespace.

The improved flow of communication, as well as central data storage that can be accessed from anywhere, increases team efficiency and brings a marked improvement to data security. On this type of platform, all employees have their own profiles, just as they do in social media. Communication and knowledge transfer now take place in multiple dimensions: on the one hand, employees can use a hashtag-based enterprise search for direct, interdepartmental access to the company’s expertise. On the other hand, employees can seek the knowledge and experience of their colleagues in a straightforward way (peer to peer).

Workspaces, the practical digital workplace for teams

Within workspaces, teams can work smoothly with each other using feeds but also communicate with other workspaces using articles. They receive automatic notification of changes to their projects and documents. This brings a measurable increase in productivity and the quality of projects. The SharePoint document management system enables versioning and checking in and out of documents. The distribution of information no longer takes place through attachments in emails, but rather by sending links. The latest SharePoint features ensure that the links sent continue to function, even when the document in question has been moved. Files stay in one place, on Office 365 or encrypted and well protected in Swisscom data centres. With responsive design, all files can be accessed with any device via a browser. And finally, dashboards ensure an all-important overview of news, data and projects.

Teamwork at every level – including the CEO

Sometimes, a CEO can lose contact with the workforce and thus miss the potential slumbering in his or her employees. The following case illustrates how one CEO successfully used social intranet software to solve a problem.

The CEO of an international company is looking for ideas on how to renovate a floor covering in a cost-effective way. He isn’t convinced by the solutions suggested by local workshops, particularly with regards to cost. Through the social intranet, he asks his 20,000 employees for a solution for cost-effectively renovating the floor covering. He receives 124 replies to his query. One of them comes from India and provides an ingenious, simple solution. This idea helps the CEO solve the problem at a much lower price. The CEO then uses the social intranet to thank all the employees who offered ideas, thus greatly strengthening the identification of these employees with the company. This is a good example of the way crowdsourcing can contribute to problem solving and how the potential of employees can be used to the full using intranet software.

Millennials: team oriented and digital

The millennial generation, born between 1980 and 2000, is now entering the workforce. This generation is distinguished by a high degree of affinity with the digital world. They enjoy working in teams and in flat hierarchies, they’re talented, dynamic and the best of them are difficult to find, let alone keep. They are therefore of key significance for the future of companies. Companies really need their wits about them as they enter the battle for the best talents of a generation. This includes creating an attractive digital workplace. Why? Because a flexible approach to work and the workplace is highly attractive to millennials and a digital workplace thus increases an employer’s appeal.

When you look at it like this, investment in a modern collaboration platform becomes a key investment in the future – a future that is already under way.