Enterprise Microblogging at Siemens, Building Technologies Division: A Descriptive Case Study

Johannes Müller Siemens Switzerland Ltd. Alexander Stocker Know-Center & Joanneum Research presented at: I-KNOW 2010, Graz, Austria September 1st, 2010
© Siemens Switzerland Ltd. 2010
Page 1 September 1st, 2010 References@BT, Johannes Müller Building Technologies Division

Mircroblogging: Examples for Open or Closed Internet Platforms
Twitter

Yammer

Socialcast Chatter
screenshot found on www.salesforce.com/chatter

Communote
screenshot found on www.communote.com

... and of course even more ...
© Siemens Switzerland Ltd. 2010
Page 2 September 1st, 2010 References@BT, Johannes Müller Building Technologies Division

Typical Mircroblogging Characteristics
             Short messages (in Twitter max. 140 characters) with limited layout support possibility to add hyperlinks possibility to upload attachments reply to any posting citation of any other posting ("RT") reference to other members ("@") using tags or keywords ("#") direct or private message to any member ("DM") 'following' other members 'following' certain tags subscription of any certain piece of content via e-mail RSS Feed(s) of any certain piece of content access from mobile devices with dedicated application

Please note: Not every microblog platform offers every feature.
© Siemens Switzerland Ltd. 2010
Page 3 September 1st, 2010 References@BT, Johannes Müller Building Technologies Division

Microblogging as Part of References@BT, a Siemens-Internal Community Platform
Content in References@BT Knowledge References fee with dba cks  Customer Projects  Solution/Service Concepts  Technology Information  Market Information  External Awards  Business Excellence Cases  Lessons Learned
co nt rib ut es

Forum Postings  Urgent Requests  Solution Talk and General Ideas  News, Trends and Innovations  Fairs and Conferences  BT Academy International  SES Solutions Community  etc.
s st po n tio es qu

Microblog Postings structured by free tagging
("Folksonomy")

s ad re

knowledge and information sharing

people networking
© Siemens Switzerland Ltd. 2010
Page 4 September 1st, 2010 References@BT, Johannes Müller Building Technologies Division

The Application: References@BT ...
 is a web platform for the global exchange of business-related knowledge, experiences and best-practices,  is a social networking tool, which networks colleagues and animates them to communicate to each other,  is intended for internal use (by Siemens members) only and thus available within the Siemens intranet,  contains knowledge references (customer projects, solution/service concepts, etc.) and suitable documents,  contains several discussion forums (Urgent Requests, etc.) and a microblog section,  considers its users as global community (~ 7,000 members located in 73 countries) supporting each other.

m

nt rece ngs st 3 mo g posti blo icro

© Siemens Switzerland Ltd. 2010
Page 5 September 1st, 2010 References@BT, Johannes Müller Building Technologies Division

Features of the References@BT Mircroblog: Content Structure and Display
        Postings are not limited to a specific amount of characters. File attachments are not possible. Any specific layout apart from hyperlinks is not supported. Hyperlinks (URL and text) can be easily coded, e.g.: [[http://www.siemens.com/ Siemens Homepage]]

Replying to any posting is possible. The initial posting and all replies are hierarchically displayed as 'topic'. The author's name and portrait are displayed along with each posting. Tags or keywords:  Tagging is mandatory for initial postings and optional for replies.  Tags are not pre-defined and can be freely chosen ("Folksonomy").  The most frequently used tags are summarized (see page 9).  Postings can be imported from other microblogging sites.
© Siemens Switzerland Ltd. 2010
Page 6 September 1st, 2010 References@BT, Johannes Müller Building Technologies Division

Features of the References@BT Mircroblog: Subscription and Networking

 'Following' other members is possible.  Postings of all 'followed' authors can be received via e-mail once a day or once a week.  It's possible to receive all new postings once a day.  In case of a new reply, the author is informed via e-mail immediately (independent of any alert settings).  Several RSS Feeds are provided:  postings from a certain author  postings from all authors, whom anybody is following  postings having a certain tag

© Siemens Switzerland Ltd. 2010
Page 7 September 1st, 2010 References@BT, Johannes Müller Building Technologies Division

Microblog Examples: Personal Blog and Blog Topic
All m ic sear roblog p ch o grow ed throu stings ca n g ing k nowl h and fo be edge rm a repo sitory .

new top ic
e-mail alert

wers follo

postin

gs wit

h sa m e tag

foll ow this

col le

ag ue

new re ply

new re ply

gs stin po e's gu llea o sc thi

© Siemens Switzerland Ltd. 2010
Page 8 September 1st, 2010 References@BT, Johannes Müller Building Technologies Division

Topics Discussed in the Microblog
This screenshot shows the most frequently used tags in the References@BT Microblog:

ng s all posti Nearly d. ss-relate in e a r e b us

taken on August 26th, 2010

© Siemens Switzerland Ltd. 2010
Page 9 September 1st, 2010 References@BT, Johannes Müller Building Technologies Division

Promotion Actions for the Microblog
 All registered community members in References@BT have been informed about the new microblog and were asked to write own postings. Additional measures:  textual feedbacks about the new microblog,  textual comments during a user survey,  individual Season’s Greetings shortly before Christmas.  Certain postings filtered according to defined tags are dynamically displayed on related (Web 1.0) intranet pages.  Import of postings owning a certain hashtag from several microblogging providers (Twitter, Yammer, Socialcast).  Members of the same locations are individually proposed for 'following' within a personalized e-mail sent to all community members. This resulted in about 3,000 new following relations within just a few days.

© Siemens Switzerland Ltd. 2010
Page 10 September 1st, 2010 References@BT, Johannes Müller Building Technologies Division

References@BT Microblog Statistics February – August 2010

Feb 2010 blog postings blog authors still existing following relations 101 31 60

Mar 2010 102 34 106

Apr 2010 88 39 47

May 2010 90 33 45

Jun 2010 158 37 67

Jul 2010 159 58 53

Aug 2010 163 40 2,988

Total figures on September 1st, 2010: 1,989 blog postings 458 blog authors 3,870 existing following relations

© Siemens Switzerland Ltd. 2010
Page 11 September 1st, 2010 References@BT, Johannes Müller Building Technologies Division

Benefits of the References@BT Mircroblog (1): Perceived Usefulness
       easy way of sharing information (5 statements) the additional channel of promoting events (2 statements) new means of networking with others (2 statements) suitable tool to improve writing skills (2 statements) possibility to follow experts (1 statement) way of identifying current trends (1 statement) new awareness of latest happenings (1 statement)

"The microblogging tool helps to understand or be aware of the latest happenings in terms of product releases, features, market enhancements, etc. in the BT Division. (...) This will help to benefit in terms of knowledge, understand some of the best-practices used in BT, and to network with others."

© Siemens Switzerland Ltd. 2010
Page 12 September 1st, 2010 References@BT, Johannes Müller Building Technologies Division

Benefits of the References@BT Mircroblog (2): Perceived Ease of Use

 grouping of blogs with certain tags  possibility of adding HTML links to blog posts  possibility of importing blog posts from externally hosted microblogging services  possibility of forwarding blog topics or profile pages

"We need to look at Web 2.0 aspects and try to improve this tool to be inclined towards Web 2.0 standards. Since the number of blog entries is increasing, it is good to group all the blogs to their respective blog group name."

© Siemens Switzerland Ltd. 2010
Page 13 September 1st, 2010 References@BT, Johannes Müller Building Technologies Division

Benefits of the References@BT Mircroblog (3): Perceived Individual Benefits

 getting the right contacts (5 statements)  assistance on getting the right information/knowledge (4 statements)  enlarging the personal network (1 statement)  learning from followers (1 statement)  gaining an edge on information (1 statement)

"(...) The microblogging tool helped me in getting the right contacts working on a specific protocol and to receive more information about this protocol that helped me with my documentation work."

© Siemens Switzerland Ltd. 2010
Page 14 September 1st, 2010 References@BT, Johannes Müller Building Technologies Division

Benefits of the References@BT Mircroblog (4): Perceived Organizational Benefits
 better flow of information caused by the microblogging service (4 statements)  enabling of worldwide networking (4 statements)  drive on knowledge management practices and learning (1 statement)  reduced overall workload (1 statement)  diffusion of rich experiences which lead to more innovative thinking and better products (1 statement)

"Finding other people in the organization that might have the skills or knowledge you require for a particular problem is often very hard. Microblogging provides the ability to find and exchange knowledge with other people in the organization and thus enables very quickly best-practice sharing and avoids 'reinventing the wheel'. It also reduces the workload compared to e-mail communication. (...)"

© Siemens Switzerland Ltd. 2010
Page 15 September 1st, 2010 References@BT, Johannes Müller Building Technologies Division

More Information about References@BT

Would you like to learn more about References@BT? Feel free to visit the presentation in the I-KNOW Praxisforum: References@BT – a Case Study for Knowledge Exchange and Social Networking using Web 2.0 within the Organization Thursday, September 2nd, 11:00-11:30 am (The presentation is spoken in German.)

© Siemens Switzerland Ltd. 2010
Page 16 September 1st, 2010 References@BT, Johannes Müller Building Technologies Division

Contact for Questions and Feedback Dr. Johannes Müller Siemens Switzerland Ltd. Building Technologies Division Zug, Switzerland e-Mail: j-mueller@siemens.com
https://www.xing.com/profile/Johannes_Mueller47

Dr. Alexander Stocker Know-Center & Joanneum Research Graz, Austria e-Mail: alexander.stocker@joanneum.at
https://www.xing.com/profile/Alexander_Stocker
© Siemens Switzerland Ltd. 2010
Page 17 September 1st, 2010 References@BT, Johannes Müller Building Technologies Division

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