Monday, November 29, 2010

Strategic intranet governance and business driven adoption of social media for increasing value @ BT #epem

Wow, that’s a whole mouthful! This is the first presentation at Employee Portal Evolution Masters 2010 in Berlin. I’ll be live-blogging through this conference. The subtitle of the conference is Strategic business approach for employee portal lifecycle management and integration of social media in rapidly changing digital environment’. Another mouth-ful!

Mark Morrell, Intranet Manager of BT has the honors of opening this conference. The title of his talk is the title of this blogpost.
BT’s intranet is about 16 years old. It started in 1994. It’s available to 140.000+ employees including 3rd parties. All information and applications are online. They can access it wherever they want. They use it for collaboration online too: blogs, wikis, podcasts, RSS, Twitter. Their intranet was also a push towards a more paperless office.
They benchmark their intranet through the Intranet Benchmarking Forum. And they’re one of the best…
Why did they start using social media? Social media is technology embedded in social behavior. Social networks, global data networks, etc are BT’s business drivers!
Social media also meets the demands of the younger employees. Nearly 90% of BT people under 25 use social media. Less than 50% of BT people over 50 use social media. Mark sees people are blending work with personal use of social media (also relates to more BT employee working from home when they want). For that reason they use social media that is already available as much as possible. Like Twitter. They therefore use one persona not different identities for all use of social media. So, there’s not a personal and work Twitter account for Mark.
Social media external is used to interact and develop new relationships with my customers, partners and suppliers. They don’t use it as a marketing tools.
Mark stresses in general social media tools are easy but you should also make sure they stay that way. Also w.r.t. social media guidelines. They have guidelines for using social media. E.g. no anonymous posting. Balance guidelines with benefits as well as risks.
Benefits are:
  • Finding the right person
  • Finding the right information
  • Joining a community of interest
  • Sharing/creating views and opinions

They want to actively research the benefits people have gained by use of social media.
Mark walks us through their intranet. You can find much of this on his blog. No commenting on BT news yet. Employees can submit their news (like birthdays) but it is curated. They show the last 3 wiki-pages, blogposts and podcasts on their Intranet homepage.
They have about 700 active blogs (at least 1 update every month).
The BT wiki (based on Mediawiki) is related to as their encyclopedia. Navigating through blogposts and wikipages is done with tagclouds a.o.
BT also has regular CEO chats (with the real CEO).
Mark also tells it took quite some time to convince senior-management to allow and adopt social media inside and outside the company.
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