VAUDE aimed to empower employees to collaborate with their peers across departments—but multiple shared drives and legacy intranet sites made it difficult to capture, share, and find information.
Working with IBM Platinum Business Partner TIMETOACT, VAUDE created a central collaboration hub based on IBM® Connections™ Engagement Center—offering personalized, relevant content for every employee.
Createsa centralized platform for collaboration across the entire business
Empowersemployees to share knowledge with their peers in other departments
Consolidatesvaluable information in an easy-to-find place
Business challenge story
Capturing subject-matter expertise
For VAUDE, a leading retailer of outdoor products based in Germany, transparency and quality are key goals—both for the company’s relationships with its customers, and for collaboration within the business.
Manfred Meindl, Head of Online Marketing at VAUDE, comments: “We employ more than 1,500 people worldwide, who work together across departmental and geographical boundaries. For that reason, we value straightforward tools for collaboration and knowledge-sharing.”
Over the years, VAUDE had accumulated multiple collaboration tools, including shared network drives, intranets and employee portals. The wide range of platforms made it difficult for employees to know where to look to find the information they needed, and the company’s IT team had to invest substantial time and resources to manage and maintain the systems. In addition, only a handful of editors could publish content to the intranet, which limited its usefulness as a collaboration tool.
“We knew that many of our employees possessed domain-specific expertise that was simply not being captured,” Meindl continues. “To give everyone in the business the opportunity to share their knowledge with their peers, we decided to replace our collaboration tools with a single, centralized platform.”
Building a social business hub
To solve the challenge, VAUDE selected a social business network based on IBM Connections and IBM Connections Engagement Center. The platform enables the company to create personalized employee homepages, delivering key information such as corporate news, content, and links to resources directly to their desktops.
“Instead of sharing information from the top down, we can now empower all our employees to create and publish content to IBM Connections,” says Meindl. “Even people who were initially skeptical about our social business transformation are convinced by the new platform.”
Working together with IBM Platinum Business Partner TIMETOACT, VAUDE deployed and configured the social hub. The new platform—named Camp—seamlessly combines collaboration and knowledge-sharing capabilities in a single location. Employees from each department now log into a customized homepage and see information relevant to their roles, including blogs from senior managers, upcoming birthdays within their teams, and even the menu for their office canteen.
Whenever an employee publishes a blog or creates a new IBM Connections community, the content is automatically displayed to the relevant employees via their homepages.
Babett Schäfer, Social Intranet Consultant at TIMETOACT, comments: “For the most part, IBM Connections Engagement Center widgets on VAUDE’s employee homepages take information directly from IBM Connections—for example, blogs or posts to digital communities. However, it’s just as straightforward to display feeds from external sites.”
Sharing knowledge across the organization
With IBM Collaboration Solutions at the heart of its business, VAUDE is achieving its goal of delivering effective, transparent collaboration across departments—enabling subject-matter experts to document and share their knowledge.
“IBM Connections Engagement Center enables us to create a digital hub for knowledge-sharing inside IBM Connections,” says Meindl. “Our departments especially appreciate how easy it is to generate and manage content for their landing pages.”
By enabling all employees—not just a small number of editors—to publish content to IBM Connections, VAUDE is encouraging more people to participate in its social business transformation. Because more employees are editing the platform, it is easier to keep information up to date. Similarly, as people across the business come to rely on IBM Connections to find and share information, the company is measuring a substantial reduction in internal email volumes.
Meindl concludes: "Our new intranet has been very well received by our employees. The search function has proved particularly popular, and our employees really appreciate the ability to find all the resources they need straight from their homepages. Looking to the future, we predict that IBM Connections Engagement Center will become an ever more integral part of our employees’ work.”
Founded in 1974 and headquartered in Tettnang, Germany, VAUDE is a leading supplier of outdoor products. Specializing in mountain sports, cycling, and packs and bags, VAUDE aspires to become Europe’s most environmentally friendly outdoor brand.
- ICS: Connections
- 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: ibm.com/collaboration
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: timetoact.de