Vodafone has around 100,000 employees worldwide that are spread over more than 30 countries. Improving collaboration and sharing information was high on the agenda of Vittorio Colao, the CEO of this large, diverse and widespread organisation. As CEO, he felt responsible to break down hierarchical and departmental barriers and stop people reinventing the wheel. Many Vodafone employees use tools like Facebook and LinkedIn in their personal lives. The digital employee experience and internal communications team wanted to bring a similar social networking experience into the professional lives of their employees.
We were looking for a way to improve our existing online collaboration tools with enterprise social networking. Beezy was selected to enable this internal social network. At this moment every Vodafone employee, no matter who they are or where they work around the globe, has an integrated social workplace to connect, find, collaborate and share in a simple and seamless way.
Beezy enables employees at Vodafone to work in a new way. The consumer like UI facilitates new behaviours and cultural change. Beezy´s social UI is simple and minimalistic; it hides SharePoint´s complexity while reusing SharePoint´s strengths (document management, search, portal, etc.) at the same time.
Beezy is native to SharePoint. Beezy is a software layer that “lives inside” SharePoint. As a result no integration efforts are required. Integration is provided out-of-the-box. This results in significant benefits:
- No integration costs
- High quality of SharePoint integration; Beezy has the ability to leverage all of SharePoint’s strengths like search, document management, workflow, portals, collaboration, etc.
Besides the more than 25 Beezy web parts that can be added and integrated to any particular page of SharePoint, Vodafone also leverages Beezy´s RESTful API to integrate applications. These applications are consuming from the Beezy newsfeed or feeding information into the newsfeed.
As a result Beezy´s enterprise social networking capabilities are offered in different areas of Vodafone´s intranet and online collaboration environment. This allows employees to connect with colleagues from across the organisation, find experts, and hold wider Town Hall style online events. They can create and join communities to share information and collaborate. All-in-all this resulted in more engaged employees, increased productivity and improved operational efficiencies.
Beezy provides for software enhancements and customizations while minimizing impact to existing system functions. The first time Vodafone leveraged Beezy´s extensibility was during a Town Hall Proof of Concept back in May 2012. Within 5 days Beezy had been customized and extended to support Vodafone´s Proof of Concept for a Town Hall use case. Moreover, the original master branding had been applied. After a successful PoC it just took 2 months to go live with the first global Town Hall hosted by the group CEO. Many executives followed his example and hosted a Town Hall.
Beezy´s ability to be customized and extended into an existing SharePoint environment enabled Vodafone to reuse and enhance its SharePoint investment.
Vodafone is fully aware that Enterprise Social Networking is not about delivering features, it is about user experience. When employees are given a feature that they really need, but with a complex UI they simply won´t use it. Beezy drives adoption by providing a very attractive and intuitive user experience to Vodafone’s global workforce. Beezy´s UI makes it extremely easy for employees to use the internal social network. It also filters SharePoint complexity for the employees while at the same leveraging the power of the platform.
Executives have to walk the talk
Vodafone sets out to create a culture of participation and sharing. Their senior managers set a strong example. They hold regular Town Hall sessions where they answer employee questions in real time. The feedback from employees about Town Halls is very positive. Employees commented that having a Beezy Town Hall was the best way to hold meetings involving a variety of people from across the globe.