A Shift in Mindset: Embracing Social Collaboration in the Enterprise

“Shared information multiplies its value, hoarding information diminishes it. Increased transparency not only helps to share the information, but builds trust.”

David Coleman, CMS Wire


A Shift in Mindset


Enterprise collaboration is more than just bringing people together; it’s about enabling people to work better together and to deliver business results faster. David Coleman discusses what he calls the collaboration shift: “The collaborative shift is a shift in mindset. It incorporates attitudes, morale, culture, relationships and more, but fundamentally it’s a paradigm shift in the way you think about work. It includes considering the ‘we,’ as well as the ‘me.’”


But why change? A colleague of mine always references David Weinberger, who stated, “The smartest person in the room is the room.” You may be an expert in your domain, but learning new things and solving problems alone takes time. There is a definite business advantage in being able to find experts with the knowledge you need hiding within your organization or somewhere in the company. It’s going to be faster to leverage their expertise when you need it.


KG.pngApplying the Collective Wisdom


CIOs are starting to think strategically about collaboration. Collaboration itself needs to be a strategic initiative, one that can be integrated into all of the services that IT provides. Why wouldn’t you want employees to be able to work better and with greater velocity through having access to the collective wisdom of “the room?”


It sounds easy, but it’s hard to apply what you don’t know firsthand. IT itself has to embrace collaboration and work more collaboratively to apply some of the social collaboration concepts to solve problems.


As an example, I helped a small team learn about crowdsourcing and apply it in IT to solve a problem. Together, we designed an IT cost-cutting idea jam using our internal collaboration platform to source and collaborate on new ideas from IT employees. We explained that employees delivering services are in a great position to understand the details of how IT really works and that we needed their valuable insight. Over a three-week period, a community formed. IT employees submitted ideas, reviewed their peers’ ideas, and commented or asked idea owners for clarification, which further developed the ideas. Employees were able to vote the ideas up or down.


By the end, IT employees were engaged — they provided 98 new ideas on how to cut costs from the ground up. Then, the small team I worked with facilitated virtual discussions with the top idea owners and facilitated a lot of matchmaking so people with similar ideas could collaborate. Many of the crowdsourced ideas are being implemented today.


This IT idea jam community learned how to apply crowdsourcing and use social collaboration to move their own organization forward in a cost-effective, productive way. They are now advocates of collaboration. And there are efforts like this happening every day across the company. People are starting to see the value in collaboration.


Best Practices


At Intel, we’re focused on enhancing our existing collaboration experience to increase the velocity and to leverage knowledge of the whole organization. We are connecting employees around the world to each other and to content they would have never had visibility to in the past. It’s about breaking down organizational, geographical, and hierarchical barriers so that employees can solve problems together.


The modern workforce, especially Millennials, has learned to expect a high level of feedback and social interaction when online. Leveraging social actions like shares, mentions, or voting, or introducing gamification, can help boost productivity, performance, and engagement.


It’s been a journey. We have made substantial improvements as we evolve in these four areas: integration, security, engagement, and mobility. Our goal is to make sure our employees and business partners can collaborate easily and effectively so that business opportunities are not missed.


And we are in the midst of that shift in mindset, a collaboration shift.

To continue the conversation, please follow me on Twitter or use #ITCenter.

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Dishing up Some SMAC Talk

I have been a huge proponent of social media and social networking for the past few years. It’s been an interesting to see how social networking, once reserved for friends and family, has made its way into the enterprise workplace. Individuals are now more mobile and have a range of choices for what device(s) they utilize for any given task. There is more data than ever before, and a desire to turn those bits of information into insights and actions. And the cloud has created new opportunities to deliver applications, services, and value.


The combination of these transformative trends is known as SMAC: social, mobile, analytics, and cloud. And it’s the result of the increasing consumerization of IT, with users demanding the devices and capabilities they enjoy at home.


Intel IT has embraced the SMAC model with fervor. It’s a great way to give Intel employees the information and services they want, no matter where they are or what device they are using. And helps IT continually improve the speed and efficiency of resource and service delivery.


You can find out more about our SMAC model from Intel Vice President and General Manager of IT, David Aires, and how he and his team are moving to the leading edge of change in the Intel IT Business Review.


Here are a few examples of the progress made by David and his team:


  • Intel IT distributed nearly 14,000 touch-enabled Ultrabooks to our workforce in 2013 to give users a lighter, more mobile computing platform than PCs and laptops.


  • Intel IT implemented a BYOD program two years ago, and a majority of the 45,000 mobile devices at Intel are now employee-owned.


  • The increase in mobile devices has upped the demand for mobile apps. They developed 57 enterprise mobile apps in 2013 alone, and have delivered 123 mobile apps to the Intel workforce since 2011.


  • To increase IT agility and efficiency, they have virtualized more than 80 percent of Intel’s infrastructure and are delivering more services through IT’s internal cloud.

  cloud computing.jpg


These changes aren’t just good for our employees. They are also good for business. By adopting and promoting SMAC, this Intel IT team is boosting productivity, keeping costs down, and staying in front of industry trends.


To learn more how this team is delivering operational excellence, increasing employee productivity, reducing costs, and deploying new technologies raises expectations of IT, download the Intel IT Business Review mobile app.





Download the Intel IT Business Review mobile app to see how we are putting the latest technology trends to use.


And perhaps we can engage in some friendly “SMAC talk.”  Follow me on Twitter: @davidlaires #IntelIT


David Aires

General Manager of Operations

Intel Information Technology

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IT Social Heroes for Employee Social Activation

In my blog, “Why Intel IT Experts Should Use Social Media”  I mentioned that I was working on a pilot program is called “IT Social Heroes.” The goal of IT Social Heroes is to help our busy IT SMEs (subject matter experts) build solid peer relationships and increase their social authority (and that of Intel IT… and Intel) within the IT industry. We wanted the Intel IT SMEs to build social authority by:


  • Building equity in their name plus their area of expertise – by using a unique  key equity term (KET).
  • Improving the SME’s search-ability (SEO for higher Google Rank) over time.
  • Growing social influence (i.e., Klout score, # of followers & connections)


The pilot started with a few Intel IT SMEs in December 2012. For each SME, we did an assessment (to establish a baseline) and then created a game plan of focused actions and metrics the SME would take on his or her own. We provided metrics to help quantify the value of the time and effort they put in. The feedback I received from the SMEs was that this consultation and advice up front was extremely helpful and reduced the trial and error on the part of the SME.


IT Social Hero process graphic.JPG

What Worked

When we brought on a new SME, we created retroactive connections to the SME’s existing content (e.g., white papers, articles, blogs, or videos). For each existing asset, we added the Hero’s name and key equity term or KET. Tagging their existing work required effort but really helped “establish” the search-ability each of the Heroes.


One of our SMEs, an established expert, was completely disassociated with the unique KET we selected together with him. When we started there were zero pages for his name and KET in Google’s index with his KET. It was a little surprising to me that there wasn’t a single web page when you searched his name and the topic that he has been publishing on (without a strategy for his own SEO) for years.  However with the tagging of his content and a steady pace of new content and blogs from him, his Google Trend has been increasing and his page rank has been going up as well.


In the pilot, we asked SMEs to use the #IntelIT (the collective tag that we set up for IT employees use) on all of their tweets so our colleagues in IT could monitor that #IntelIT hash tag and retweet any tweets by their IT colleagues.


For me, as the social media manager, it’s been nice to have one TweetReach report for #IntelIT each month so I can watch the trends of the collective group, without dictating to them to use a common tool.  Here is a graph of the number of tweets and one for tweet reach from the pilot. While the tweet reach varies month to month, overall trend (line shown) for the collective reach is good. Adding more SMEs who tweet using #IntelIT in the future should also help build the collective reach – and influence grow of our IT group.

TweetReach metrics graphs with trend.JPG

We also pulled TweetReach report for the few SMEs in the pilot. I’d like to share one of our SME’s results. Tim Casey (@timcaseycyber) is a cyber risk management expert, with a small, niche following. He wasn’t doing much on Twitter when I first approached him. We talked several times about what was the best KET, how was he going to focus his blog and what was “his voice.” Tim had really great instincts about keeping it real and being genuine. I think in some cases technical experts can get too much help from marketing and agencies (e.g., the agency does all of the person’s tweets, writes all of their blogs). I am of the opinion that the assistance from an agency may help speed the expert’s ramp initially, but over time you may not end up with what the peers of the expert would consider authentic. In general, our approach with IT Social Heroes is to advise and help the SMEs find their own groove (a more organic approach), but we think in the long term this is the optimal way to activate and elevate experts.


I am really pleased with Tim’s results during the pilot. He has steadily built a base of followers over a short six months period. His Twitter amplification (i.e., his exposure) was zero in December, and then 115 in January, but now his exposure for the month of May is 19,358.

Tim C data soc hero.JPG


Tim is consistently tweeting and is also blogging. In March-April he collaborated on a national cyber security framework. Check out  his security framework blog in IT Peer Network. AndTim’s Klout score is 40, up from 27 in January. Way to go, Tim!


The Ah-ha’s

The challenge with any successful pilot is usually about how to scale and drive wide adoption after the pilot. This pilot only had a few SMEs, but we collected eight different types of data each month. I think that’s way too much data collection and reporting if we add more SMEs. We did learn what data was useful and got some really interesting insights and ah-ha’s.


We found that the combination of advice and metrics really helped ramp the SMEs who were just getting started being an external SME and starting fresh in social networking benefitted the most. Also in the pilot there were a few established SMEs, who were already on Twitter, had connections of their own (i.e., from speaking at events, customer engagements or industry groups), and just needed some initial advice on how to build their social influence. There were a few metrics (Google Index trend and/or Klout score) that they found most useful. Maybe these guys just need some group coaching and some guides so they can track their own progress.



What We Will Do Next

For most IT SMEs, we need to make the process more self-serve.  We have to figure out how to provide training and tools ramp them from zero to awesome efficiently. It’s no coincidence that I’m hanging out with Sandy Simons (@simonssandy) from our IT training group a lot these days. Incorporating the learnings and best practices from the pilot into training and creating guides for IT employees to track their own
progress and metrics is key to how we can scale.


I think that to most of our IT SMEs, selecting a KET and thinking about their own SEO is a bit foreign, so it’s best to keep it simple, I would recommend they use their name and a generic “IT Best Practices” as their KET when they publish documents or blogs.



Why I’m Lucky

I think employee activation (especially on external social networks) is tough thing to do. There’s a lot of time and cultural barriers holding people back. I have been extremely fortunate to have a few real experts to work with and learn from during this pilot.


Let me know what you think and what you are doing for IT employee social activation.

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Go beyond the browser and win in the new Developer Challenge

The new Intel AppUp(SM) developer challenge: Web Apps Edition opens today, September 28, 2011. It is a worldwide competition designed to generate Web applications in English, French, Italian, German or Spanish for the Intel AppUp(SM) center.
The firs… Read more >