SPC14 – Real-world challenges and value in introducing enterprise social

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This was a very good presentation by a very enthusiastic presenter. The session focused on …well you can read the title of this post, right? Gargill is a very large company, which uses Yammer, Office365, SharePoint 2007, IE8, Chrome, etc etc. Sound familiar?

The Yammer user-base is around 13% of the Gargill employees (Yammer is still only 20 months old), which is still 18.000 employees are connected to Yammer, worldwide. Gargill is event-driven (many YamJams), but they want to expand this. Keywords: culture change and adoption. But first, the lessons learned of the current implementation:

1. Start strong

Build it and they will come: is total BS (quote). Instead use a business case, seed groups, business leaders, training and support.

2. Seed and feed

Or: start small. Adoption takes time. You are in this for the long run. We’re changing the ways how people work. Create a community (or group) for the community leaders or group creators. In this group, they can share their experiences. Also, organize an YamJam with the business leaders. Use all available channels to promoted the social platform.

And: train & support – the network survival kit: introduce new users using a special “New users” Yammer group. And off course, introduce a help group. Bundle help-instructions into Yammer notes. Also use etiquette guides and stimulate users to update their profile.

Also important is to include the right people when starting up the network. From user, to IT and management.

3. IT is central

Include these when implementing the platform. They are crucial to the success.

4. Risk managers

The same goes for this group. You will need to discuss eDiscovery, compliance, data protection, et cetera. But take care: you do not control people in a social network! You manage and guide, but you cannot control a social collaboration network!

In the end, this was no rocket science. I’ve written a whitepaper on this a couple of years ago (the ROI of Enterprise 2.0) and Sogeti TeamPark goes into this subject as well. But it was nice to hear the experiences of a large company.

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