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IBM Social Business

Tapping global workforce intelligence

"With SPACE, we can collaborate more quickly, more efficiently, at a deeper level to foster innovation and see our work in a new light."

Yukako Uchinaga, CEO

The business need

With more than 550 centers in over 75 countries, Berlitz Corporation has a staff of approximately 12,000 instructors and employees providing language services to corporate and government clients, students and other individuals. The company's separate internal websites for each of its geographic regions meant employees in each region were not able to communicate and share knowledge easily.

To help accelerate its globalization and improve employee communication, Berlitz needed a system that would enable its employees to share common information, strategic directions and goals, and that would drive collaboration among them worldwide. The company also wanted the means to identify and connect individual employees based on their experience, skills and expertise.


The solution

Working with IBM Software Services, Berlitz created a global platform for collaboration and knowledge sharing based on IBM WebSphere Portal, IBM Connections social networking, and IBM Sametime instant messaging software. This enterprise-wide intranet, called SPACE (for Smart Place to Accelerate Community of Excellence), provides a secure environment for pooling and leveraging expertise and intellectual capital internationally.

The WebSphere Portal interface enables centralized sharing of executive messages and directives, information and departmental news. Pages are tailored to specific user attributes and access levels, and content can also be structured by region and category. IBM Sametime lets users communicate freely and IBM Connections helps employees find and interact with others based on needs.

The benefit

Whereas the development of educational offerings in the past had to rely largely on trial and error, the new capabilities of tagging, rating and commenting infuse greater input of human intelligence and judgment into the process, helping Berlitz shrink the product development cycle. At the same time, ready access to appropriate expertise supports high–quality content, and communities allow faster feedback from a wider audience.

Since deploying SPACE, Berlitz has been able to easily identify educational content and approaches that have worked in one geographic region, and then to apply these more broadly around the globe. This has transformed the company from a regionalized operation to an agile, global one. As a result, Berlitz is able to deploy higher–quality, proven educational offerings to both its external markets and its employee population more quickly.

Smart workforce tools can lead to a


in the productivity of knowledge workers

McKinsey Global Institute, 2012

About Berlitz

Founded by Maximilian Berlitz in 1878 in Providence, Rhode Island, Berlitz Corporation is today well known around the world as the industry-leading provider of language services. Currently owned by a Japanese publisher of educational materials, Berlitz is an education and leadership development company that provides communications skills and global leadership training based on its premier language training services.

Learn more about how this social business is thriving

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Priority code: Social