Business challenge

To help drive continual improvements to industrial relations in Germany’s metal and electrical engineering industries, Gesamtmetall aimed to enhance collaboration between its employees and members.


The employers’ association worked with IBM Platinum Business Partner TIMETOACT to deploy IBM Connections Engagement Center—helping it to bring all stakeholders together on a digital workplace hub.



all stakeholders to embrace a single collaboration platform


closer collaboration between association employees and members


Gesamtmetall to decommission legacy systems, reducing costs

Business challenge story

Building closer relationships

Gesamtmetall aims to promote effective communication and collaboration between its employees and member associations. The association has long recognized the value of digital collaboration solutions, and has used IBM Notes® and Domino® to support its stakeholders across Germany for many years. To build on its success with IBM Collaboration Solutions, Gesamtmetall decided to deploy a business social network based on IBM Connections. The aim was to bring all stakeholders together on a single, centralized platform—but encouraging users to adopt the new IBM Connections intranet posed a challenge. Werner Meyer zu Ermgassen, Head of ICT at Gesamtmetall, recalls: “Our employees and member associations were used to the structure of our previous IBM Notes solution, which made it difficult to encourage users to embrace the new way of working. As a result, we found ourselves updating information on both IBM Notes and IBM Connections—consuming valuable time and resources.”  

IBM Connections Engagement Center considerably lowers the barriers to entry to the social intranet for employees and association members.

Werner Meyer zu Ermgassen, Head of ICT, Gesamtmetall

Transformation story

Building a digital workplace hub

To centralize its approach to communication and collaboration, Gesamtmetall worked closely with IBM Premier Business Partner TIMETOACT Software & Consulting GmbH to integrate IBM Connections Engagement Center with its IBM Connections social business platform. IBM Connections Engagement Center enables users to create personalized IBM Connections homepages in just a few simple steps—seamlessly combining internal content from calendars, wikis and blogs with external sources such as social media streams at the touch of a button. Werner Meyer zu Ermgassen comments: “Nowadays, I almost can’t imagine using IBM Connections without IBM Connections Engagement Center. TIMETOACT provided us with support during the installation and offered software training, even though we quickly realized that the basic features of IBM Connections Engagement Center really are incredibly intuitive. After completing a short education session, I set up an introduction page for our association’s community quickly and easily.”  

Results story

Embracing a new way of working

By mirroring the structure and functionality of its IBM Notes intranet in IBM Connections, the company is encouraging more stakeholders to embrace the new platform. And when its legacy intranet sites are no longer needed, Gesamtmetall will reduce the workload for its editorial staff. “At the moment, we are updating information on two platforms in parallel: IBM Notes and IBM Connections,” comments Werner Meyer zu Ermgassen. “IBM Connections Engagement Center considerably lowers the barriers to entry to the social intranet for employees and association members. From this point on, we will gradually limit the amount of content we publish to these other platforms. For our business, this will mean reduced maintenance effort. For our stakeholders, it means a simpler way to connect with colleagues and find information.” Looking to the future, Gesamtmetall plans to enhance its digital workplace hub with flyouts—contextual popup menus that appear when users hover over visual elements of a page. Using flyouts, the company will enable users to access the homepage navigation menu from any page on IBM Connections. Gesamtmetall anticipates this feature will make IBM Connections even easier for its employees and members to use, and help drive adoption.

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About Gesamtmetall

Founded in 1890 and headquartered in Berlin, the Gesamtmetall is the federation of employers’ associations representing the metal and electrical industries in Germany. Comprising 22 member associations, Gesamtmetall aims to improve industrial relations and working conditions for more than 24,000 industrial companies and approximately 3.9 million employees across the country.

Solution components

  • Connections-On Prem
  • IBM Connections Engagement Center-On Prem

Take the next step

To learn more about IBM Collaboration Solutions, please contact your IBM representative or IBM Business Partner, or visit the following website: TIMETOACT Software & Consulting GmbH is one of the leading providers of professional services for IBM software in the German-speaking region. An IBM Platinum Business Partner, the company operates offices across Germany and Switzerland, and employs more than 280 people. To learn more about products, services and solutions from TIMETOACT, please visit:

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