Social Collaboration Brings Crucial Value to the Enterprise

 Author(s): , Posted on December 14th, 2011

Today business teams are more global and mobile than ever, working on more complex products and services with less time to deliver.  They need to be equipped with better tools to be productive and successful. Enterprise social platforms cater to this business need by connecting people, not through the traditional organizational hierarchy but by common interest, expertise, and goals through unstructured social interactions.  This new social layer creates a free market for information within the enterprise, allowing demand for information to meet the supply in an organic, natural, and efficient way, without much oversight, governance or control.

Navigating this unfamiliar terrain certainly introduces new challenges as it involves a departure from traditional technology and structured process management – the very same factors driving its success. However, the benefits are worth the effort.  For many decades organizations have been working hard to automate the daily enterprise workflow.  We have been successful in transactional, repetitive tasks but missed the mark in human collaboration where expertise, judgment, and intuition are frequently exercised.  Sometimes automation fails as it focuses too much on how work should ideally be done and misses the point on how people actually do the work.

Social computing allows people to communicate their experiences and thoughts in a natural way by taking individual experience, context, knowledge, and relationships into account.  Whether this new method of social collaboration is used to streamline and support a case management process or for customer collaboration or to improve internal knowledge management process, it yields exceptional results.

Allow me to illustrate.  At Unisys we have witnessed the power of social collaboration through our internal social network and knowledge management initiative.  The purpose of this global initiative was to make knowledge sharing and social collaboration an integral part of the corporate culture and improve the reach and quality of internal knowledge exchange.  We used enterprise social computing to enhance the ability of employees to connect and collaborate more efficiently and share knowledge more effectively on our enterprise collaboration platform.  This solution is already being used by 15,000 of our 23,000 employees and fully integrates with our existing global enterprise content management solution.  Plans are to integrate it with our sales force automation solutions and other enterprise applications.

We continue to gain visibility for our progressive use of social media tools internally to build a collaborative, knowledge-sharing environment.  Following the recent case study in Harvard Business Review, Increase Your Company’s Productivity With Social Media, Unisys is one of five companies featured in a new infographic on Five Companies That Are Rocking Social Media where it is featured along with Dell, Morton’s, KLM, and ABC.  You can read more about our social collaboration initiative in Leveraging Social Collaboration to Increase Agility and Competitive Advantage.

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