Wolters Kluwer swaps a static intranet for an enterprise social network

2013-07-12

The idea of replacing a traditional or static intranet with enterprise social network is an idea that has been floating around for sometime. However, opinion is quite divided - some will tell you can't and shouldn't be done, while others will urge you on to just do it.

In this case study global information services and publishing company, Wolters Kluwer group, made a deliberate decision to replace their intranet with Yammer.

Their process began with a review of their original intranet in early 2012. They found that:

By mid-2012 they made the decision to begin replacing their old intranet with Yammer, which had already being embraced by early adopters since 2011 as the result of an internal innovation program. Those early adopters discovered for themselves what a different user experience a collaborative, social platform could provide:

"Compared to the Sharepoint intranet was noticed soon that Yammer has a very different effect. The intranet is used to share with colleagues from a specific project documents. The interaction is limited. Yammer is previously used to link that knowledge to people and thus strengthen the two platforms together: one to gather knowledge and the other to share knowledge."

(Note: Translated from Dutch to English by Google Translate)

Wolters Kluwer report that:

“Though still at an early stage, Yammer has been a resounding success. More than 80 percent of all Kluwer employees, including senior management, regularly log on to Yammer to find and share information.”

While there are clearly signs of bottom-up adoption in this example, this is an interesting case of a company not just accepting the existence of a shadow social collaboration system but instead fully embracing it.

Of course, Yammer is now part of Microsoft and embedded in Office 365 - it will be interesting to see if overtime Wolters Kluwer eventually return to SharePoint because of this integration.

You can read the full case study on SlideShare.

UPDATE: If you are interested in the origins of Yammer being used at Wolters Kluwer, there is a great post on their own Intelligent Solutions Blog from one of its early adopters posted in July 2011. They write:

" I am based in New Zealand as a medical writer, but through the Wolters Kluwer yammer network, an internal twitter of sorts, I am able to engage with people I would never, ever have had the opportunity to. It enables the sharing of articles, ideas, surveys, and applause across many divisions. Enabling information to be shared freely allows transparency across the organisation, opening up discussions to other perspectives, maybe inspiring people with the work you have done or are struggling with"

They also mention the use of Ning at a local office level, prior to Yammer.

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