NewsGator has released some interesting social case studies. I have received permission to include some snippets from these case studies. - Joel
NewsGator Case Study: Microsoft Student Partners
Outstanding Student Technologists Deliver Invaluable Innovation for Microsoft with NewsGator Social Sites
Challenge>> Giving promising tech-minded students a fertile online environment for connection and collaboration.
Strategy >> Using NewsGator Social Sites 2010 to enhance a portal that harnesses the power of social computing for serious learning – much as some of the world's most successful companies are doing.
Results>> Students around the world are discovering likeminded peers, making connections, forming online communities, sharing content, developing mobile computing applications, teaming up for elite student competitions, and mentoring one another to achieve the richest possible MSP experience.
Tech savvy students around the world flock to Microsoft to immerse themselves in the company's innovations, jumpstart their careers and get their hands on the latest gear. It's a great deal for these "Microsoft Student Partners" and a fantastic mechanism for Microsoft to garner insight from the brightest minds of the coming workforce. Microsoft Student Partners, or MSPs, are college and university students selected from a large pool of applicants for hot prospects for successful technology careers. Microsoft gives them the inside scoop on new product development, and those students in turn host campus activities to spread the word about emerging Microsoft technologies.
As these students came on board, they grappled with a way to connect across continents in order to accomplish the task at hand. Many of them simply wishing that they could operate in the same way they do on their own personal social networks.
Students Light Up the Portal
User count soared after launch of the portal, growing by 186% in just four months. MSPs had created nearly 40 active communities focused on geographic regions, various Microsoft technologies, the MSP program itself, the Imagine Cup Student Technology Competition, and projects to create apps for the Windows Phone.
Students log into the portal from www.microsoftstudentpartners.com. After clicking on the "@Social" menu, they can:
- See their personal newsfeed with colleagues' status updates, comments on those updates, and files their friends have posted.
- Search for communities, within communities or for individuals.
- Filter by any dimension, including community, colleague, self, status and the most popular updates.
- Post an update, ask a question or send a private message.
- Float an idea, and Idea Stream will keep track of all ideas, comments, votes, and approval statuses.
"Students from around the world were suddenly connecting, sharing and collaborating around the clock," says Fleming. "We didn't have to teach them. They grew up in this environment and intuitively know what to do with it and how to maximize its value."
Download the free full case Social study of Microsoft Student Portal Program
NewsGator Case Study: Weston Solutions, Inc.
What does it take to be #1 in the Worldwide Intranet Challenge?
Case Study Highlights
Organization: Weston Solutions, Inc.
Industry: Environmental Solutions/Sustainable and Clean Energy
Situational Analysis: Desire to become a leader in world-class collaboration
Solution: Social Sites 2010
Result: WESTON was voted #1 by the Worldwide Intranet Challenge
Weston Solutions, Inc. (WESTON®) is a global leader in environmental solutions, sustainable development, design/build construction, green buildings, and clean energy. Dedicated to making a difference in the world, the company's 1,800 people reach out from 60 offices around the globe to build strong stakeholder relationships and provide solutions that work. WESTON has been responding to its clients' toughest problems for more than 50 years.
Bob Hackett, VP of Information Services explained, "As a leading environment redevelopment company, we have been called upon to support emergency response efforts during and after 9-11, the Challenger disaster, and more recently Hurricane Katrina, the Joplin Tornadoes, and flooding of the Missouri River." The nature of WESTON's business requires the company to bring together a wide variety of stakeholders for each of their highly complex projects, all needing to communicate and stay up-to-date on project updates and milestones.
Every 3 to 5 years, WESTON goes through a "visioning" process in which they tap into employee-owner knowledge and expertise through town hall meetings. Together they explore where the industry is going and how they can maintain their leadership position and remain agile amidst any changes or developments. Based on a wealth of industry knowledge and experience, along with significant brainstorming, WESTON creates focus growth areas where they feel they will be successful. During this visioning process, WESTON builds teams, develops capstones, and work together to incorporate the vision into the culture of the organization.
To encourage participation, WESTON created its own community templates and brought communities to life with an interactive and intuitive format, as well as including interactive activities on the overview pages. The company also reviewed its governance policy on a regular basis to make sure stakeholders were being fair and adhering to corporate privacy policies.
As mentioned earlier, WESTON used an external benchmarking agency, Worldwide Intranet Challenge, to measure the overall improvement of the portal in three key areas: 1) ease of finding information; 2) ease of finding documents; and 3) ability to connect with people. WESTON's Portal received the highest scores possible from the benchmarking agency, earning them a #1 position, thanks in part to the collaboration with NewsGator and use of NewsGator Social Sites. WESTON attributes much of this success to the timing of its launch. Aligning the launch of the Portal in conjunction with the new Vision kick-off was a critical factor.
WESTON's intranet had impressive improvement in the following categories, all exceeding the goal of 25%:
- Ease of finding information - 331% increase
- Content on the intranet is up-to-date - 154% increase
- The intranet has a consistent page layout - 136% increase
- Look and feel - 78% increase
- I like the intranet Home Page - 71% increase
Download the free full case study of Weston Solutions
Also check out the upcoming NewsGator webinar:
Why Social at Stockland, Why Right Now?June 6th @ 10 am EST (GMT +10 Hours)
This post is sponsored content by NewsGator. I hope you find it useful -Joel