It’s a scene we’ve all witnessed, sometimes daily. A manager walks through the office, glancing at the computers to see what people are working on, and people start closing browsers faster than you can say: “Facebook.” Cue the nasty email reminding people to save the social networking for lunch breaks and off-hours.
But not all managers see social media as a distraction. Some companies recognize that human need to socialize online as an opportunity. Kevin Campbell is an IT Solution Delivery Manager at Keurig Green Mountain, and he says SharePoint is key for team building. “We wanted more interaction among employees,” he said. “We have people working hundreds of miles apart, and getting them to bond is really hard.”
Company officials wanted to make it easier for employees to network, but Keurig had grown so fast that the company had outpaced the usefulness of their intranet. They needed more than a few tweaks. They needed a wholesale redesign of the platform.
Keurig is world renowned for their innovative beverage brewing technology and socially responsible business practices. Their growth has been phenomenal – growing from a $120 million company in 2006 to a $4.4 billion company in 2014– yet the company was still trying to get along with the SharePoint intranet they installed in 2007.
“I really liked their knowledge and style. They were really committed to understanding our needs and made recommendations that were better than what we could come up with on our own.”
IT Solution Delivery Manager
One problem was that the SharePoint site had multiple homepages for different departments and locations. They needed one site where all employees can get the same information, regardless of the language they speak. “The site needed to be universal, but it also needed to offer regional information specific to that location,” Campbell said. “For instance, employee benefits regulated by law in Canada are very different than those in the United States. People need information that’s relevant to where they work, but we wanted the presentation to be uniform.”
Lastly, the intranet navigation and search functionality needed to be improved. People were struggling to find important documents and work flow sometimes suffered as a result.
Solution & Results
Campbell and his team met Aerie Consulting through another vendor, and ideas quickly turned into action. “I was new to SharePoint and really nervous about the upgrade. So we hired Aerie as a subcontractor and worked with them on some initial work before going full on,” Campbell said. “I really liked their knowledge and style. They were really committed to understanding our needs and made recommendations that were better than what we could come up with on our own.”
Keurig is now launching a new SharePoint platform that’s entirely based on search. Documents are “tagged” according to navigation search terms, making them easily accessible in various contexts when an employee searches.
The company had also recently completed a new public-facing website. Aerie’s team suggested they take the same look and roll it into the intranet design, a move that created greater brand consistency and saved money. “We are a consumer goods company, so we are big into marketing,” Campbell said. “We have brand consistency all around and that is huge for us.”
Now when Kevin Campbell walks through the office he sees employees on a whole new social network – the Keurig Green Mountain SharePoint site. “When staffers interact online they see a face with the name. People share links and populate their profiles. We’ve even put in ‘like’ and ‘share’ buttons. The bottom line is our people feel more connected with each other and that’s invaluable when you have more than 6,000 employees.”
Keurig understands that SharePoint is a means to an end, a place where innovative ideas can spread and grow, and Aerie Consulting is helping them make that happen. “They are good at what they do, and they are humble about it,” Campbell said. “We can’t wait to see what’s next.
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