Ernsting’s family wanted to empower its employees to excel in their jobs—but one-way communication via its intranet made it difficult to provide each person with the resources they needed to thrive.
The company engaged IBM Platinum Business Partner TIMETOACT to enhance its IBM Collaboration platform by designing an employee homepage that surfaces timely, relevant content.
Deliversrelevant content for every employee, helping people thrive in their roles
Enablestwo-way communication between employees and managers, fostering collaboration
Cultivatesa more social and productive working environment
Business challenge story
Pinpointing an opportunity
For German clothing retailer Ernsting’s family, enabling employees across departments and locations to communicate effectively is a key priority. The company wanted to create a versatile intranet platform with features to enable and foster internal communication, collaboration and transparency.
Ernsting’s family’s previous intranet was based on the web content management system (CMS) Typo3. Typo3, like many web CMS applications, was suitable for creating and publishing content. However, support for commenting and rating content was limited, which did not fulfill Ernsting’s family’s requirements for a modern collaboration platform. The intranet enabled only one-way communication from the internal communications team to employees.
As a first step towards delivering social capabilities, the company implemented IBM Connections, and migrated all existing content from Typo3 to the new platform. All content was collected in communities before the previous intranet was deactivated. However, Ernsting's family found it difficult to highlight relevant company-wide news, content and functions.
Designing a better collaboration experience
At a conference, Mr. Thorsten Rehmann, responsible for IT administration and licenses at Ernsting’s family, learned about IBM Connections Engagement Center. The solution offered the company exactly what it was looking for: a digital workplace hub for IBM Connections tailored to the company’s specific needs. The homepage provides employees with easy access to the information needed to excel in their jobs. It highlights corporate news, relevant content, links to important resources, files, and events that might pertain to the employee’s work.
In just three weeks, a small team from Ernsting’s family and IBM Platinum Business Partner TIMETOACT developed a viable concept for the new intranet based on IBM Connections and IBM Connections Engagement Center. The solution provides a lightweight web CMS that seamlessly integrates into the collaborative environment of IBM Connections. It complements the platform with content management functions and offers a multitude of customizable applications that integrate external and internal content.
Using IBM Connections Engagement Center, the team at Ernsting’s family and TIMETOACT remodeled the user interface of IBM Connections from scratch to create an individually customized digital workplace hub—enhancing the collaborative environment.
Maike Schrieverhoff, responsible for internal communication at Ernsting’s family, comments: “We wanted to offer better service to our employees by displaying relevant and up-to-date content and news on the IBM Connections start page—for example, information on the company’s revenues.”
The combination of the collaborative IBM Connections platform and the web content management capabilities of IBM Connections Engagement Center offered a solid foundation to improve the employee experience.
Bringing employees closer together
The new digital workplace hub nurtures enterprise-wide collaboration, and enables the company to integrate external and internal content via widgets in IBM Connections. This includes information from external sources (such as sales figures), as well as internal information (such as employees’ birthdays).
Today, posted content is more visible and attracts more attention. Relevant content, such as corporate sales figures and calendars, is now available. Intuitive navigation enables employees to search quickly and efficiently for relevant content, and actively share their knowledge—making the intranet a hub for information. As a result, user acceptance of the intranet has increased substantially.
In the future, various IBM Connections Engagement Center landing pages will be implemented for the onboarding of new employees, helping new hires get up and running on the intranet faster.
Maike Schrieverhoff is more than content with the result: “With IBM Connections Engagement Center, we were able to create a user-friendly, organized and visually appealing platform for exchanging information within the company.”
About Ernsting’s family
Founded in 1967 and headquartered in Coesfeld-Lette, Germany, Ernsting's family is a leading retailer specializing in children's and women's fashion. The company operates over 1,800 branches in Germany and Austria.
- 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: 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