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BNY Mellon may have pipped them to the post for the “winner” spot, but the Verizon entry nevertheless stood out. Not surprising, given that they have managed to put a convincing dollar value on savings due to the intranet!

The judges were universally impressed with the work done on making the business case and demonstrating benefits and impact. They also noted some powerful personalization features, including contextual “smartboxes” in the search tool.

Reflecting on Verizon’s entry, DWG’s CEO Paul Miller said: “Verizon stood out for its ability to implement successful innovations with real velocity. The panel felt they were strong in execution and bringing tangible benefits to people and thinking broadly about employee experience.”

Making the business case

The Verizon business case impressed the judges from the outset. Its opening sentence sets the tone: “At the heart of a great customer experience is a great employee experience.” It builds on this by acknowledging the varying roles, locations and tasks that Verizon employees are trying to accomplish and how enabling them digitally ties in to the overall company vision.

And then there’s the dollar savings, estimated at $11.2m for the current year. As one judge put it: “I’m giving them a high mark as their business case slide actually has a dollar value in savings on it!” No mention of page views there, thankfully.

Neat personalized features

The Verizon entry also caught the judges’ eyes for its neat personalization features, which work across desktop and mobile devices and rely on deep integration of services within the portal. Cohesive branding and design provide an integrated experience. This personalization focus is critical in such a large and diverse company and represents the fruit of extensive user research to understand needs across the employee base.

There is also a strong focus on search, with machine learning and NLP supporting search accuracy and efficiency, and contextual smartboxes providing results that anticipate users’ needs.

Measuring the benefits

Major drivers for Verizon’s digital workplace strategy are cost savings and cost avoidance, KPIs that are tracked for every single business case. No surprises then that the judges really rated this team’s work to understand ROI and tie benefits back to business impact and value.

The impressive savings reported by the Verizon team are attributed to: increasing mobile usage, streamlining approvals, user experience improvements, and self-service enablement (for instance, a decrease in the number of questions from users needing assistance due to employees finding what they need via self-serve).

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About the author

Elizabeth Marsh - DWG's Director of ResearchElizabeth Marsh leads the Digital Workplace Group’s member research and events. She is passionate about connecting members to peers or resources and exploring new research opportunities.

Elizabeth is co-author, with Paul Miller, of the new book “The Digital Renaissance of Work—Delivering digital workplaces fit for the future”.

Prior to joining DWG, Elizabeth held intranet management roles at T-Mobile and Reuters, with broad-ranging responsibilities including community management, internal communications and research.

When not busy in the digital workplace, Elizabeth is a keen writer and musician, playing flute in an amateur orchestra and performing with various local groups.

Connect with Elizabeth on Twitter at @digitalsanity or on Google +.

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