Telligent’s second annual conference, The Big Social, is in full swing. On the first full day, Kip Silverman, analyst and platform evangelist, presented “Many Tools, One Experience -- Reimagining Employee Collaboration at Intel” that provided lots of information about adopting social tools to improve internal collaboration.

Judging a Book by Its Cover

Many conversations about the intersection of social and enterprise focus on engaging customers and attracting new business. However, social tools are also valuable for driving change and improving engagement within an organization -- if it's done properly. This was the focus of Silverman’s presentation, which I had the opportunity to attend at The Big Social.

Silverman began the presentation discussing the evolution of social computing at Intel, which was valuable because it demonstrated organizations don’t have to go from install to social strategic decision making in lightning speed. He was also very candid about the challenges the organization faced as their sophistication progressed. Intel began small with employee blogs and over three years extended their enterprise social adoption into new areas like crowdsourced problem solving

According to Silverman, Intel conducted surveys to find out what was most important to users. The research found user desires revolved around four major themes:

  • Engage me -- when employees feel engaged they are more productive. That means providing tools that facilitate work, not slow it.
  • Feed Me -- providing the right information and making it easily accessible makes users more efficient.
  • Connect Me -- when users feel more connected to the organization they are more committed to goals.
  • Know Me -- when the organization can demonstrate it “knows” employees, it makes them feel more valued and increases their velocity.

Silverman then dove into the importance of building internal user experiences that are just as compelling as external user experiences -- something many organizations overlook.

Prettier and Easier to Use

When it comes to employees, some organizations just publish information and don’t invest heavily in design aspects. Taking time to provide a “pretty” experience that makes information and tools easy to access is critical. Silverman suggests combining multiple destinations to different systems into a single interface, personalized for the user.

Understanding what users value enables organizations to create user experiences they want to use. Simplifying the experience by allowing users to leverage a single interface to touch all the systems they require to complete a task can drive enormous productivity gains.