Networking increases use of internal directories tenfold

Published by Richard Hare on

The recent update of our Connect tool has increased usage by a factor of ten, though there is plenty of scope to improve further.

More than three times as many people used Connect in July as used it in the previous month. And they looked at ten times as many user profiles. But the current user base is still only just over 5,000 – around a quarter of the potential users.

People’s profile views
In the month preceding the new version of Connect we averaged just over 230 Connect profile views per week.

This increased tenfold over the three weeks of the soft launch, peaked at just over 13,000 with the Interact news story and is now settling back around the tenfold level.

User numbers
1564 people used Connect during June, compared with 5404 in July. The second figure represents around a quarter of registered Interact users, so there is still plenty of scope to improve.

We hope to see usage plateau, then slowly start to increase as more people discover it, though whether we will have to promote it further or we can simply rely on the network effect remains to be seen.

People are already asking for photo sharing and a Facebook style “wall” which we’re thinking about, but we don’t want to go down the route or merely offering worthless applications merely to increase the hitrate. Anything we do add must be a genuine enhancement which increases the quality of the connection between people.

Problems and opportunities
The project flushed out some data quality issues. We discovered accounts belonging to people who left the company, so we’re updating processes to ensure accounts are removed when people leave.

Some confusion was created by Connect’s organisation chart function which creates charts on the fly from the data people have entered and there was a concern that people might think this data came from the SAP HR system.

Happily for us, this has meant we’ve been able to link Connect to SAP HR, which has brought it closer to being the single source for people information in the British American Tobacco group – something I hadn’t expected to see for another 6-18 months.

1 Comment

drabir · August 22, 2008 at 3:26 am

Dear Richard,

Great to see Connect to come such a long way since inception. Give the people a chance to use walls and share photos you’ll see an even greater usage. But the question to answer is this, “Is it helping productivity or hampering it?”

I feel it will be an even better system if you introduce some collaboration service inside. That is when the global population of your organization can come together for new ideas. By collaboration I mean sharing documents for batch editing, shared workspace and editing tables and so on.

But if it becomes an internal “facebook”, I doubt it will add much value than just keeping the people in better mood than before.

Take care.

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