In a truly digital workplace we anticipated that if we did things right, we were going to generate a lot of data: peer-to-peer and group conversations, documents being created, modified and shared, process workflows needing to automatically communicate with stakeholders, plus all of the central strategic news, blogs and video messaging that are integral for a company to push out to our colleagues. We wanted to digitise the water cooler, the meeting room, the office desktop and the canteen in a digital environment. Not just be another corporate noticeboard.
The question we asked 25% of our workforce in face-to-face discussions was: how can we help get value from the immensity of data we produce, without the background noise being overwhelming? It took half a year of consulting with our colleagues, but the brave answer they came up with was they wanted TalkTalk to trust our colleagues to choose what they needed to know. And that's what we've done.
How we mix social and productivity data together
At the core of The Wire is a subscription-based newsfeed that aggregates content from our team areas, our digital workspaces and project environments and our fun social side. My newsfeed for example is filled with updates like our intranet project team's documents and task list updates, the CEO's comments on my last blog post about collaboration and a bit of competition about who has the most followers. Plus a team drink invite or two to celebrate reaching 1 million TV subscribers.
Now, when we follow a budget document in a workspace, a user is automatically pinged when it's updated. Follow a colleague and get updates about what they're up to or when they blog. @mention a colleague and start a conversation. Write a team update on a team site and share news with who's following that site.
We've turned social media into a productivity tool not just shares of cat photos.
Where the newsfeed information comes from...
Conversations and personal blog
Commodifying conversation and personal expertise
With @mentions, hash-tagging and Microsoft Lync integration, our users can communicate with whomever they want whenever they want. Publicly or privately. Ping the CEO a question about our year end results and get a real response. Blog about an area of expertise, whether it's guinea pigs or fibre optic internet technology and share with everyone. Our philosophy is genuine self service and genuinely openness.
An employee's digital home
These are our areas for a team to share news, meet the team information and useful documents with the entire company. But they also provide a private team-only area just for the team to have internal discussions and share documents. Every team gets one, and permissions are set automatically whenever someone joins the company.
If a team posts something truly awesome, they can flag it to our central Internal Comms team who can inject it into everyone's newsfeed stream mixed up with their other content. It's like having our very own internal advertising platform.
Unlike team sites where access to private areas is restricted to our HR structure, our workspaces are self service. They can be created by anyone for long or short term projects. The owners can choose who is invited to access the site, and users who don't have access can request access form that owner.
We help project managers organise online, with task lists that link tasks to the to do list of the colleagues who's been assigned the task. We also offer 5GB of cloud storage for documents, that can be accessed anywhere with an internet connection. Our users don't even need Office installed on the device to view Word, PowerPoint and Excel documents, which open directly in the browser.
Our Groups are completely open, no permission needed to join and contribute. We've seen everything from Cats & Coding to groups for People Managers' development programme.
Our results so far
Since launch, we've seen a 2,000% increase in pageviews, a 100% page increase in pages per visit and a doubling of time on site.
That's just Phase 1...
Name: Amir Akhrif
Company or organization: TalkTalk Group