IBM announced Berlitz International Inc.’s ambitious project to use social software and social analytics to improve the career development and satisfaction of its employees, helping them grow into global business leaders.
The large scale social software intranet system SPACE (Smart Place to Accelerate Community of Excellence) derives business insights from deeper collaboration among more than 10,000 employees and instructors across 550 language centers in over 70 countries worldwide.
With its brand established through 130 years of experience across a global workforce, Berlitz has long led the language service market. To deliver greater value to more clients, Berlitz aims to support the development of global leaders for its clients beyond its core mission of specialized language services. In 2009, it launched a strategic initiative “Global Leadership Training” to provide various solutions to train and educate global leaders. A solid IT infrastructure was required to support the company’s initiative.
SPACE is an enterprise-scale intranet system that fosters fluid collaboration and communication in a secure environment for all of Berlitz' members. This helps Berlitz function as a globally integrated enterprise -- a single entity -- instead of a collection of regional businesses. The company wanted to share information, expertise and strategic directions worldwide; to drive collaboration between global employees; and to locate and connect employees with special skill sets.
"Aiming to support clients’ success in a global environment, Berlitz is transforming itself through several initiatives. Better communication among members over the world is essential for this transformation" said Yukako Uchinaga, CEO, Berlitz International Inc. "With SPACE, we can collaborate more quickly, more efficiently at a deeper level to foster innovation and see our work in a new light. Harnessing the collective wisdom of our workforce will be the key to success in business and employee satisfaction."
The SPACE project is designed to provide a number of benefits resulting from the deployment of IBM social software and social analytics.
・ Profiles enable searches of employee information, including instructors, to find the right expertise and relationships when needed.
・ The blogs that can be utilized to post and publish breaking news, executive messages and realtime feedback from the local centers around the world.
・ The wiki and files components allow employees to access information in documents and presentations such as training course materials.
・ The Communities feature allows users to form virtual groups based on interests, expertise and business needs.
To develop the global-scale intranet, Berlitz selected IBM’s software for their advantages in speed of installation usability, lower cost and greater return.
To realize its objectives for SPACE, Berlitz worked with IBM Software Labs to customize and deploy its social software solution. The customized package included IBM Lotus Connections and Sametime instant messaging, and other enterprise software such as WebSphere Portal for Multi-platforms and IBM Tivoli Identity Manager running on an IBM BladeCenter.
Under the Smarter Planet initiative, IBM helps clients find smarter ways of working through technologies such as social software, collaboration and the newly emerging area of social analytics.
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