With the IBM Innovation Boost, we were able to virtually unite employees of Merck HealthCare from all over the world to create and discuss new ideas.

—Ulrich Betz, head of Innovation and Entrepreneurship Incubator, Merck KGaA

Business Challenge story

To foster innovation to remain competitive, Merck KGaA, a global pharmaceutical and chemical company based in Germany, needed to capitalize on the collective intelligence of its workforce by uniting the widely distributed and functionally distinct competencies of its employees. The company sought a practical way to energize its personnel to use social business technologies to share observations, knowledge and expertise.


Merck employed a social business solution that enabled it to present a four-day virtual brainstorming event that engaged more than 400 employees enterprise-wide. Invitees joined discussions in four moderated groups that encouraged some of the company’s most forward-thinking employees to engage in dynamic teamwork to become drivers for creating a dynamic source of domain-specific knowledge.


The solution supported lively collaboration among 400 participants during more than 80 hours of online discussion and ideation, with a 59 percent participation rate. Intensive interactions among employees identified hidden experts previously unrecognized within the organization, leading to the implementation of innovative new projects. And the open dialogue supported by the solution helped reveal previously undetected internal process deficiencies, enabling the company to implement business-critical transformations in practices and procedures.

Solution Category

  • Social Business
  • IBM Cloud
  • Solution Components

    • Connections Cloud (SaaS)
    • GBS BCS-BA&S-BD&A-Application Development & Innovation Consulting Services
    • IBM SmartCloud Connections
    • LS: Marketing Automation
    • LS: Sales Force Automation