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  • Writer's pictureHugo Pinto

Digital transformation for the corporate environment

Collaboration and social have become the new hype in corporate enterprise jargon. Every department knows they are key but when it comes to signing off on budgets everyone gets very nervous.

Here’s a good scenario of what you might expect without much set up or tech infrastructure – just you, the social enterprise/collaboration initiative leader, your eyes and ears, a few statistics dashboards and a nice friendly excel spreadsheet!


The company has offices in 14 countries across Europe, the US and Latam, with a little over 6500 employees, that speak 3 main languages – Spanish, Portuguese and English.

These teams were put together from different units and all use different legacy systems and have different IT rules and settings – that makes it difficult for non-cloud based systems to be truly global.

A few alternative systems already in use, even though they are not standardised – and just to clarify, this was tested using a filesharing and social enterprise systems in tandem.


The social enterprise system had been released before in the company, without any specific rules nor guidelines. What you realise in companies that mix young digital-native talent with old school talent is unless you give them something they can’t get elsewhere, they will just carry one resisting evolution.

This makes a team by team approach an essential approach in deploying social and collaboration (and gamification) across a large company. Pick your team moderator, that will be in charge of creating that specific and exclusive content/activity across those systems – usually host on the file sharing system and communicate through the social enterprise group.

Key adoption factors

How can you demonstrate the advantages of the new cloud-based solutions? They are built around the employee needs, not the company rules, but even so, people still need an extra incentive.

So number one, all relevant central information for the whole team was made available only through the filesharing system – if you want it you must go there.

Number two, weekly updates for all global team members with specific information being shared only on the social enterprise environment, integrated with the filesharing locations being displayed only there.

Number three, communicating through the legacy systems and official channels (e-mail, legacy systems, on boarding materials, performance systems, you name it!

The value generation must first be demonstrated on what employees need in their day to day, only then you can change their day to day! Lets look at the example below.

Line: I use my filesharing system to store my files on the company shared drive. I can only access it when connected on my laptop, from my network, and share it with people that use the same system, otherwise i have to download, attach on an e-mail and send it.

Hook: If you use a filesharing system that has your shared files on the cloud, and on ANY device, you can share a link thought the system, using SSO, or post that link directly to your social enterprise system, inviting key collaborators to edit that document on that same location. My backups are automatically done and version control as well.

Sinker: You save e-mails, storage, communications, motivation and TIME!

Food for thought

The time employees spend searching for information about the company or for the right people to contact can rise up to 10% of the overall company costs – read this 2006 article – this is tremendous!

How much more productive would companies be with their employees working en extra half day?

Brass tacks (interesting etymology)

Deploying this system on a 31 people team that worked across 4 offices in 3 different timezones and 3 different languages, we deployed this programme in a month, preparing the typical communications plan explaining the changes, and did 2 workshops to explain how to use, defined an internal social media policy – no it’s not just adding my opinions are my own on twitter – and a lot of one to one 5 minute sessions. We also defined a governance structure to make sure the required monitoring and support was in place, not only within the team, but with the IT and desktop support teams in each regional office. Collateral and manuals were translated and the info-graphics adjusted to each legacy system, and a set of format rules for naming and details – facilitating search.

The data was collected from each of the systems separately so result might not be a 100% accurate representation of reality.

Key analysis

Adoption – We targeted key people within the team that needed this solution badly, so they made sure colleagues felt comfortable and always had someone ready to answer quick questions. They were our early adopters. They expanded the access like a virus within the team and on the third week, we surpassed 50% daily active users vs 8% average in the legacy systems.

Engagement – Average daily transactions in the legacy systems was a daily 9 across the whole team. Average rose to 68 daily transactions, mainly because the tech ran on the background of what you were doing – being productive. No more accessory actions to backup, rename or redistribute – now each member can use the adequate channel for the desired end.

Transformation – The next team in line was another global team but with 150 team members, which elevated the difficulty, but just from the natural collaborative behaviour from this one team, we had requests from 5 other teams, with a total of 450 users waiting to get on the programme. The use case was the reduction in secondary tasks like managing files, e-mails and mailbox quotas, and how you reduce the waste of time and resources to enable employees to do what they were really hired for – their jobs!

Learnings – Overall the team that piloted this collaboration programme saved approximately 8 days of work during that month. This represents a productivity gain of 1.2% with something as simple as implementing more efficient systems, and making sure they’re adequate for your company’s operational needs.

In a Telco, a 1.2% increase in performance might be the difference between a good year and a bad one – Tweet this

This project was carried out for Telefónica Digital while i was Head of Intranet and Social Media. I do not mention costs, because the calculations are quite complex, mainly due to dependencies in terms of licensing. If you’re starting fresh, the cost savings are tremendous if you shave it all down to cost per employee, and especially because you eliminate the need to set up a whole infrastructure to support a simple need as internal communications or collaboration.

What’s your experience with your collaborations systems?

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