Red Thread screenshot

Red Thread experiences collaboration, then designs ‘a beautiful virtual workplace’

I really enjoyed this quote from Amy Holt, Vice President of Marketing at Red Thread (emphasis mine):

Red Thread logoAfter interacting with our key partner, Steelcase, via its Jive-powered dealer community, we immediately saw the value of this collaborative approach and knew it was time to replace our stale, document-centric intranet with something that better reflected our company mission of creating inspiring workplaces.

Our Virtual Café has reinvigorated Red Thread’s culture and transformed internal communications and collaboration. Jive’s intuitive, customizable desktop and mobile interfaces help us serve clients even better and faster than before because they seamlessly facilitate connections and engagement throughout our distributed workforce.

In my experience, this is a evidence of a very common interaction that I see many times each year.

One organisation (Steelcase) implements an external-facing community for customers and/or partners (or an internal community that supports external access), another organisation (Red Thread) gets to experience real communication and collaboration taking place in-context within the personal and commercial relationships that sustain their business, and they then look to harness the same kinds of cultural and productivity benefits for themselves.

The Red Thread interactive intranet, known as the“Red Thread Virtual Café”, is based around a fairly standard set of use cases:

Red Thread screenshot

[The] new Jive-powered Interactive Intranet is fostering more personal connections between employees, enhanced project collaboration and a strategically aligned company culture. This vibrant digital space lets employees share ideas and content, and discuss their projects, clients and strategic initiatives.

Permissions-based collaboration groups bring together departments and cross-functional project teams on the fly, and executives share important messages. For example, the company’s CEO and other executives use Jive to publish regular blog updates on everything from the company strategy and new team members, to progress on goals and processes.

Parsing the quotes above, we have:

  • Project collaboration
  • Ideation and innovation
  • Client management
  • Strategic initiative sharing and management
  • CEO/executive engagement and communication

I have no doubt that there will be other deep and wide use cases supported on the Virtual Café, but this case study emphasises the strength of the default go-to use cases that are supported by best-of-breed social intranet platforms (such as Jive-n and IBM Connections), and the rapid benefits that can be gained by organisations that look to transform their approach to internal communications and employee collaboration.

If your organisation is still operating on a combination of email and a stale corporate intranet, perhaps it is time to take a fresh look at the possibilities afforded by the latest internal and external community platforms?  Why don’t you ask your commercial partners what solutions they are using to transform their businesses and see whether you can experience them first-hand?

 

Stuart McIntyre is a Senior Strategist at Fostering Community Limited. He curates a number of product-focused news sites, is a lapsed podcaster, founded the Social Connections user group and regularly speaks at conferences and events. This blog represents his own slightly-eccentric and usually-controversial opinions!