Intranet appealing for everybody – from call center agents through Purchase and Sales, Marketing as well as the management: this vision became reality for Berge & Meer in May 2015. Germany's largest direct travel provider is now utilizing the Social Collaboration software IBM Connections in combination with XCC, the Web Content & Custom Apps Extension.
After purchasing licenses for IBM Connections in 2013, Berge & Meer launched pilot projects to test the social collaboration platform. Even though some project teams actively used IBM Connections to work together, not all employees noticed the appeal of the collaboration features. Missing was the clear and familiar information structure of classic internal corporate communications. Therefore, the social collaboration platform was reserved for a selected circle of people.
Berge & Meer wanted an "Intranet for everybody", which combines the various demands of their employees. XCC, the Web Content & Custom Apps Extension for IBM Connec-tions, bridged the gap between social collaboration and classic internal communications. With XCC, content from IBM Connections can be purposefully combined to clearly arranged, personalized landing pages.
With IBM Connections and XCC, the new intranet of Berge & Meer is equally appealing to all employees. Where the project teams benefit from social collaboration functions, other employees use the classic intranet as information source. With XCC all current topics are neatly outlined – from company news to lunch menus. The various depart-ments benefit from their own landing pages, which they can fill with individual content.
An intranet that is used by every employee often and with joy, an intranet that appeals to a project team as well as call center agents, purchasers and even the management: "We already opted for IBM Connections a few years ago," says Alexander Ramseger, Manager Application Integration and Collaboration at Berge & Meer Touristik GmbH. "However, we were never fully convinced by any pilot projects we have launched so far."
Even though the internal project team was enthusiastic about integrating IBM Connections' social collaboration features into their daily work, using the platform as a general intranet replacement seemed unrealistic at this time. "Our employees need a quick and uncomplicated way to use the intranet as an information platform. Therefore, a structured navigation and clear landing pages are essential features. Especially when it comes to overcoming inhibitions regarding the use of a Social Intranet. With a classic IBM Connec-tions we weren't able to build a structure that reflects our needs in a satisfactory way," Ramseger points out.
"We wanted an intranet for all employees. An intranet that simplifies collaboration and also delivers information in a very classic and structured way. With the combination of IBM Connections and XCC, this has been achieved excellently."Alexander RamsegerManager Application Integration and CollaborationBerge & Meer Touristik GmbH
An "intranet for all" is created with IBM Connections and XCC
During the project it turned out that a solution suiting the needs of Berge & Meer and their idea of an "intranet for everybody" already existed. Along with licenses for IBM Connections Berge & Meer had purchased licenses for XCC, the Web Content & Custom Apps Extension. With this tool it's easy to select specific content and display it in IBM Connections – just as it can be done in a classic Intranet. The resulting transparency and information structure ultimately convinced the management. "XCC was crucial for our decisi-on to implement IBM Connections as our corporate social intranet platform," says Alexander Ramseger.
In May 2015, Berge & Meer implemented IBM Connections in combination with XCC as a corporate platform. The versatile informative homepage is based on XCC. Now employees can find important content directly on this landing page - current business news as well as lunch menus. "Our intra-net now appeals to everybody. On a single platform we are now able to combine both, information and functionality," Alexander Ramseger states. Felix Binsack, Intranet Strategy Consultant at TIMETOACT, adds: "IBM Connections and XCC combine both Collaboration and Communication. The Intranet becomes the single point of truth. There are no additional platforms needed, which avoids care-intensive redundancies."
Active use of the Social Intranet through employees
But even after the launch the project group is still active in gathering feedback from employees and continuously improving the intranet platform. It shows that the decision to choose XCC paid out: Adjustments require just a few clicks and can be implemented by the project team itself. All "widgets" can be randomly replaced or rearranged, so Berge & Meer can react flexibly to new or changed requirements.
In addition to the corporate landing page Berge & Meer establishes more and more team landing pages for the depart-ments. "The divisions initiatively asked if they could have own landing pages. We trained the department managers, and after just 90 minutes all of them were capable of independently working with XCC and therewith maintaining their department landing pages. Even employees who are less IT-oriented!" Alexander Ramseger says.
Another big advantage of the new intranet: Berge & Meer was able to significantly reduce the internal e-mail traffic by using IBM Connections in combination with XCC.
About Berge & Meer
For more than 35 years Berge & Meer has been standing for attractive vacation packages many services included. The leading direct provider offers more than 1,000 preplanned trips to over 80 countries. Top sellers are especially round and adventure trips, but also cruises. Employees of Berge & Meer are always looking for new and exiting travel ideas, and with their expertise and competence they provide for and easy and relaxing travel experience.