Digital Transformation

Case Study: Implementing Social-Based Collaboration

At the Gartner Portal conference, John Stepper, Managing Director at Deutsche Bank told his story of implementing a social network within a large German bank.

Most (large) companies are stuck in finding the right people and data

  • Early AdoptersEarly adopters – usually the same people
  • Little lasting change occurred
  • Introduced MyDB – Social Network – basically rebranded Jive OOTB
    • Modern Backplane – more appropriate than meetings and email in many circumstances
    • This pilot stuck and made a difference
    • Adoption is increasing
  • 7 Elements of an enterprise collaboration strategy
    • Platform
    • Commercial value community managers
    • management engagement
    • advocate network
    • center of excellence
    • individual benefits
  • Application to own organization is more important
  • Success looks different at different levels
    • what worked 2 years ago may not work now
  • 7 Questions
    • Can we do that? (What have our proposal, and business case, but there are plenty of people that are ready to say no! HR, Legal, Workers council)
      • Yes, we can.
      • Platform is opt-in. People chose to use the tool.
      • Ratings and private groups where turned off.
    • What if people do something stupid – people say something they shouldn’t?
      • e.g. @queendemetriax_ tweeted she was an islamic terrorist getting ready for a big event against American Airlines. She was a 14y/o girl and was arrested by the FBI.
      • No anonymity – Good policies – 1-click to flag content (rarely used)
    • What’s it worth?
      • Initial business case based on intranet spent – well under the true value
      • 50% emails
      • 30% meetings
      • learned helplessness
    • Will anyone use it?
      • Got budget for 12,000 people to use it once.
    • Is it official?
      • Is it for the unwashed? IT? Backoffice?
      • Is it for real work?
      • People thought it was “Facebook” – and said I’m not using that.
      • People wanted something official, with prestige. – Barak Obama.
    • Will businesses use it?
      • Content and convenience are the killer apps
    • What else can we do with it?
      • Other 6 dragons have been slain.
      • We can make work more fulfilling
      • People hate work – it’s dehumanizing


  • Working out loud
    • Bryce (Eli Lilly)
    • Using social platforms at work: something like OPENPediatrics.
  • “Without myDB, our project would be much more difficult”
  • “I’m happier”

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Brendon Jones

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