Gesamtmetall uses „IBM Digital Workplace Hub“

with IBM Connections und XCC

The employers' association Gesamtmetall unites over 24.000 companies from the metal and electrical industry. The association's core competency is the promotion of communication and collaboration - amongst coworkers, members and member associations. The selection and implementation of a highly performant and adaptive plat­form for association work is as essential to Gesamtmetall, as it is to any other association. In 2015, Gesamtmetall began replacing some of their legacy systems with a Universal Intranet based on IBM Connections and XCC. This Universal Intranet comprises collaboration, communication and the possibility to integrate various applications. Any features can be used for the association's internal tasks as well as for company-wide matters. 

With their dense cross-linking between relevant groups, associations often are years ahead of companies. For any company striving to be a "Connected Company" associations can set an ideal example. 

Initial situation

IBM Connections in its function as an Enterprise Social Business platform is exceptionally well-suited to be used for collaboration. However, the project team led by Werner Meyer zu Ermgassen, Head of information and communica­tion technology at Gesamtmetall, quickly identified two critical factors that would complicate the platform's successful implementation in the association: "In IBM Connections, our employees and member asso­ciations missed the familiar, clearly organized structure of their previous solutions Quickr and IBM Notes. Therefore, in order to reach everyone in our network, we had to update infor­mation not only in the new intra­net, but also in our Notes databa­ses," recalls Werner Meyer zu Ermgassen.

XCC significantly lowers the Social Intranets entry barriers for our association 's members and emplo­yees. In addition, the XCC-based newshub makes research for our employees much easier.

Werner Meyer zu ErmgassenHead of information and communication technologyArbeitgeberverband Gesamtmetall e.V.

Structuring Content in IBM Connections

To reintroduce the structure missed by employees and members into the new Social Intranet, Gesamtmetall decided by the end of 2015 to start using XCC - Web Content & Custom Apps Extension for IBM Connections. This exten­sion empowers users to create comprehensible dashboards in IBM Connections in just a few simple steps. With the expenditure of only a few mause clicks, internal content such as data, wikis, blogs as well as external sources such as Facebookstreams can be integrated in these dashboards. Especially the highly intuitive, graphic interface appeals to Werner Meyer zu Ermgassen: "Nowadays, 1 almost can't imagine using IBM Connections without XCC anymore."

Gesamtmetall uses XCC to implement the new landing pages completely autonomously. "TIMETOACT provided us with support during the installation and offered one hour of software training. The basic features of XCC really are incre­dibly intuitional: Subsequent to the training, 1 directly set up an introductory page for our association's community," Werner Meyer zu Ermgassen recollects. One by one, the association creates numerous overview pages, allowing the respective, relevant information to be seen at a glance." At the moment, we are maintaining a lot of information on two platforms: In our Notes databases and in IBM Connec­tions. XCC considerably lowers the entry barriers to the social Intranet for our employees and association members. From this point on, we will gradually begin to limit the ministration of our content to this platform. For us this means a reduced maintenance effort. For everyone else researching information will be simplified." In order to establish IBM Connections as a comprehensive source of information a number of web-enabled Domino databases have already been included into the Social Intra­net. Currently integrated functions include a group calendar as well as a manual for the association's members. 

Especially the newshub the IT manager himself integrated, impresses him greatly. On this XCC-based dashboard, all of the association members' social media streams are display­ed. 

his reduces the workload for employees extremely , as they no langer have to track several social media channels individually. Thanks to XCC, IBM Connections turns from an uncut diamond into a platform with the potential to become a single, superior solution for a variety of requirements.

Werner Meyer zu ErmgassenHead of information and communication technologyArbeitgeberverband Gesamtmetall e.V.

The next project on Werner Meyer zu Ermgassen's agenda are flyout pages. Using this feature prominent pages like the homepage can be attached to the navigation and thereby made accessible from any desired page - without making the user leave the current site. This further simplifies the use of IBM Connections for employees and members.

Used technologies:

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About the Arbeitgeberverband Gesamtmetall e. V.

Numerous employers' associations from the metal and electrical industry are united in the Gesamtmetall e. V. employers' association. Gesamtmetall and its 22 member associations forward the interests of appro­ximately 6.500 companies and more than 2.1 million employees.

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Philipp van den Boom
TIMETOACT Software & Consulting GmbHContact