Change management within IT was a daunting task, says Rajiv Nandwani, VP-IT at Tata Communications. Another challenge was choosing the right platform at a time when social media platforms were becoming extremely popular and IT was expected to deliver quickly and cater to the requirements of young, new-age employees.
One of the ways the that company decided to do that was to connect and allow its huge workforce to collaborate by integrating existing Exchange, SharePoint Lync and Chatter solutions. The entire initiative took nine months at the end of which the efficiency of the companys disparate work groups spiked.
The initiation to the process wasnt driven by IT but by our employees who wanted us to intervene and deliver connectivity, says Nandwani. The entire initiative has ensured cost savings for the entire group as well as improved collaboration across the company, and has also created better results on projects that require the collaboration of cross-functional teams.
As an added HR incentive, the company provided the opportunity for its employees to update their Share Point status updates on each individuals personal LinkedIn profile. Additionally, each LinkedIn profile could be displayed on every users My Site profile. Alternately, users could choose to add a link to their LinkedIn profile as well.
Nandwani says that the company keeps adding new functionalities to the collaboration platform. Recently, for example, the company invited a number of partners to collaborate on Lync. They have also allowed the integration of Skype with Lync and allow staffers to communicate with external customers, an important functionality in a shrinking world.
To those who would like to go down this route, LinkedIns Rao suggests that companies need to identify the right metrics to measure the business benefits of leveraging an external social platform internally. He also says that while change management will be harder, companies can ensure a better candidate experience and enable team efficiency and productivity. Using social media, enterprises can pick up intelligence or collaborate and all this is making the CIO role even more important. Therefore, to decide whether you want to get stuck in the rut of firefighting or get on the next wave of business, the choice is yours.
As history show, the people will get what they want. Its only a question of time.
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