Encore Capital Group, an established debt-management and recovery solutions firm based in San Diego, California, needed to take information scattered among multiple IT products' chat and group-discussion platforms and aggregate it into a common, internal resource for employees. Most of the company's content resided in SharePoint, but nothing native to SharePoint offered the functionality they were looking for, particularly, ensuring the publishing of individual conversations, used appropriately and accessible to the people who needed the information. Encore wanted every department-Finance, Human Resources, Marketing, Customer Service, IT, and more-to have document repositories. The department sites would provide internal collaboration and promote employee engagement at an organizational level. At the same time, they wanted to provide employees access to certain information companywide. This information would need to be protected by well-defined user roles and governance. To meet these needs, the customer began looking for a solution that would accomplish more than a conventional intranet site and could be accessed anywhere, anytime. Historically, company information was shared through a large number of emails exchanged daily within the organization. With this in mind and to promote employee engagement and knowledge management, Encore implemented SharePoint 2010 on-premises to create their organization intranet. However, the intranet ended up being used as a document management solution. The user had to navigate through various libraries for accessing static information. This made the process very cumbersome and time-consuming, which ultimately led to a poor user experience and lower user engagement.
The Solution: SocialXtend
To overcome the challenges of poor user experience and low engagement, Encore implemented SocialXtend--an enterprise social-collaboration tool that would leverage their SharePoint 2010 infrastructure. Encore's existing sites and sub-sites were integrated with SocialXtend, thereby giving Encore's 4,000 employees a common platform to have conversations, blog, share ideas and engage with one another. SocialXtend offers a centralized activity stream for disseminating information across Encore's entire organization. It also allows creation of dynamic workspaces called communities, groups and projects, based on the user-defined aggregation rules and access scopes. There is a single-access user console for every user to customize a workspace. Employees can team up in workspaces based on their interests, projects, expertise, corporate initiatives and so on. Dynamic workspaces allow for dialogue, networking, knowledge-sharing or project work appropriate to the content and purpose. SocialXtend facilitates rule-based sharing of content between Encore departments and users with a strong governance in place.
In addition to standard features, Encore also got custom features developed on SocialXtend as per their requirements, like "Top Stories, Badges, Polls, Tags, Blogs, WiKi, and Notifications. The vendor, AgreeYa Solutions created requirement-specific XML driven, universal navigation. Over time, Encore's governance structure was adjusted to prepare for a well-adopted social collaboration.
The benefits: More corporate intelligence, more employee participation, more thought leadership
With SocialXtend, Encore is working with its largest, in-line feedback directly associated with content housed within SharePoint, adding more value and functionality to the platform while allowing Encore to leverage information it was previously unable to access and share. Encore reports a dramatic increase in employee engagement, the capability to capture important corporate intelligence knowledge in real-time, and the ability to easily identify employees whose participation and thought leadership should be leveraged in other domains as well. After implementation, Encore is enjoying increased employee engagement, clear identification of employees who contribute information, the ability to track employee participation. They are also capturing more knowledge, providing real-time communication enabling quick responses to questions from within the organization. Utilizing the SocialXtend's analytics features, Encore takes more fact based, timely decisions and measures to maintain the health of social network within the organization. Encore is also experiencing more efficient file sharing and document management with versioning, which reduced multiple emails. Thanks to SocialXtend, they've engaged and informed more employees, established more than 2,500 active users and more than 20 workspaces with high-level of employee engagement companywide. "SocialXtend is one of those things that you don't know you need until you have it. It's kind of like email-once you have it, you can't imagine not having it," says Carl Eberling, CIO and SVP-IT, Encore Capital Group. Encore is looking ahead to the latest version of SocialXtend, which includes advanced features, enhanced UI and functionalities, moving the enterprise forward.
Case Study Summary
Business Problem: Poor user engagement on existing SharePoint 2010 based Intranet due to cumbersome and time consuming navigation of resources.
Solution: Integration of AgreeYa's SocialXtend enterprise social-collaboration tool with inhouse SharePoint 2010 deployment.
Benefits: Information that was previously inaccessible or un-sharable is now being leveraged; Dramatic increase in employee engagement; Important corporate intelligence and knowledge is being captured in real-time; Easier identification of and better usage of talented employees.