To succeed in a saturated talent management marketplace, Aleron wanted to differentiate on service quality without sending costs soaring. How could it help its people work together more effectively?
Aleron rolled out IBM Connections and IBM Sametime® across all its business units—empowering employees to work together with ease across organizational and geographical boundaries.
Enablesemployees around the world to collaborate effectively on a single platform
Enhancesexternal collaboration, helping Aleron deliver higher-quality services
Helpscontain operational costs, safeguarding Aleron’s margins
Business challenge story
Weathering a tough climate
As the North American talent management space approaches saturation, competition is intensifying. To stand out from the crowd, Aleron—a leading group of talent management companies—aims to offer outstanding customer services.
Frank Gullo, Director of Digital and Mobile Strategy at Aleron, explains: “In recent years, the talent management sector in North America has become much more competitive. To succeed, it’s vital for us to attract and retain clients while protecting our margins. We see that service quality is a powerful source of competitive differentiation—and helping our people to communicate and collaborate effectively is a key enabler of that goal.”
He continues: “In the past, many of our brands relied on different collaboration systems. As well as making it difficult for our people to collaborate with their peers working in different parts of the group, this approach meant that employees often needed to resort to third-party cloud storage tools to share documents that were too large to send via email. Working in this way made it difficult to deliver seamless services to our clients, and reduced our control over potentially sensitive data.”
Following the acquisition of a large business, Aleron decided to seize the opportunity to standardize and centralize its approach to collaboration across the group.
“We knew that if we could establish a digital workspace for all our brands, we could help our people work more productively—and we looked for a cost-effective solution to achieve our goal,” says Gullo.
Standing out from the crowd
To empower each of its brands to work together effectively across geographical and organizational boundaries, Aleron has embraced IBM Connections as its central collaboration platform. The solution enables employees to work together in digital communities to drive their day-to-day activities more effectively, and includes IBM Sametime for instant messaging and IBM Connections Docs for collaborative document editing.
“We have relied on IBM solutions to drive our business for more than 20 years, and we were extremely confident both in IBM’s ability to deliver best-in-class solutions and provide responsive support to back them up,” recalls Gullo.
“By standardizing on IBM Connections as our group-wide collaboration platform, we realized we could help our employees, vendors, and agencies manage their workloads and contribute to projects with ease. No matter where our employees and vendors are based, they can access the IBM Connections platform via a single sign-on authentication layer—broadening the horizons for collaboration with vendors, contractors and agencies around the world.”
Today, Aleron utilizes IBM Connections to provide 400 internal and external users located around the world with secure and flexible collaboration tools.
“We have a dedicated resource for training new internal and external users on the IBM Connections platform,” Gullo continues. “Our HR program managers are our largest community of users, as they frequently need to share information such as project documents, presentations and statements of work. Getting started with the Connections platform is a fast, straightforward process—and we have refined our training processes to help new users hit the ground running.”
Ready for the future
With IBM collaboration solutions at the heart of its global business, Aleron is helping its employees engage with their peers and clients more effectively than ever.
Gullo explains: “In the past, our people were often forced to use third-party cloud storage services to share files. As well as introducing security challenges, this approach was a significant drain on time and resources, as our people had to manage documents across multiple platforms, each with its own separate login credentials.
“Today, we’ve shaped a single, unified workspace for the entire business, which our people can use to upload and manage files, discuss projects and work on documents together. We are confident that our new way of working is already saving our people substantial amounts of time on account management tasks. Better still, the solution enables us to gain tighter control over the way that we share information, helping us to strengthen our data governance. Everything is stored on-premises in our private cloud—improving our operational security.”
Aleron’s IBM solution is helping it to contain its operational costs while driving even higher-quality customer services.
“In an industry that is as competitive as ours, service quality is a key differentiator,” comments Gullo. “By bringing our businesses together on a single platform, we’re making it easier for our people to deliver the kinds of outstanding services that help to attract and retain customers. Crucially, we can drive these improvements without sending our costs soaring, which helps us safeguard our margins.”
He continues: “One of the most positive impacts of our shared digital workspace is the number of employee-led projects that have sprung up organically. For example, one of our organizations used IBM Connections to design and deliver an initiative for career growth and development. Incubated in a digital community, this project helps employees to chart their desired career trajectories, and identify the skills and competencies they need to attain their goals. The organization in question is now measuring a substantial uptick in employee engagement as a result. Other parts of the business are reaping similar benefits, and we are extremely pleased with the uptake of IBM Connections across the group.”
Looking to the future, Aleron is already planning to augment its collaboration platform with even more advanced functionalities.
“One area we are very keen to expand is collaborative document editing with external agencies,” explains Gullo. “We work on large numbers of cross-functional projects every year, which pull in personnel from sales, IT and marketing—and we believe that helping project managers from external organizations team up with our people in IBM Connections would streamline the process greatly. We are also extremely interested in IBM Watson solutions, as we are confident that machine learning technologies will help us develop innovative value-added services for our clients in the future.”
He concludes: “We specialize in solving workforce acquisition challenges, and our core differentiator is our flexibility to solve issues as they arise. As the talent market evolves, staying nimble will be more important than ever for our growth—and thanks to IBM collaboration solutions, we’re achieving just that.”
For 60 years, Aleron has been connecting people and businesses in ways that change lives. What started in 1957 as Superior Design—a small drafting business in Buffalo, NY—is today a global workforce and productivity solutions company. Encompassing brands Broadleaf Results, Superior Group, Superior Design and Superior IT innovations, Aleron strengthens businesses by providing dynamic talent, process, and outsourcing solutions. Working to combine hardworking people with smart technology, Aleron provides clients with proactive and reliable solutions.
- Connections-On Prem
- ICS: IBM Docs on Premise (non Saas)
- ICS: Sametime
Take the next step
To learn more about IBM Connections, please contact your IBM representative or IBM Business Partner, or visit the following website: ibm.com/marketplace/ibm-connections