Delivering Business Value with SHARE 2013

Having made it through this morning’s keynotes Dux Raymond Sy and Lt. Col. David Sanchez this morning, I decided to hit the sessions and follow the “Delivering Business Value” track.  Presented corporate end users, both sessions focused on different ways in which SharePoint can be leveraged at the enterprise level to capture ROI as well as drive communication and collaboration in your organization.

The first session, titled “Living and Breathing the Social Workplace,” was presented Michael Brown of JPMorgan Chase and Daniel Kraft of NewsGator.  The presentation focused on the growing role of social within the enterprise as well as how we can use social (both internally AND externally) to engage our users as well as build value.  The presentation began with a dynamic discussion Michael on “Why Do We Use Social?”  Through common real-life situations, such as deciding where to dine in a foreign city or where to purchase a television, Michael discussed how the “wisdom of the crowd” as well as trust, speed, and expertise from the source drove us to rely on social to help us shape our opinions and decisions.

From there, the presentation turned to Daniel, who immediately launched into a look at the age-old question of “How can we make social a reality?”  By looking at different ways in which social has grown organically throughout history, Daniel was able to present the concept of the “Network of Hearts.”  This concept is based on the idea of people connecting on a personal level through common themes and interests.  The idea is that we not only want to know about a document, for example, but also the person behind the document.

Based on this idea, conversation moved back to Michael and delved into the idea of when we say social, what do we really mean at the enterprise level?  Well, for one, social collaboration is NOT simply Facebook for the corporation – we’re not talking about discussions on what people had for lunch (toasted multi-grain bagel and skim latte, BTW) or sharing cat pictures (not super applicable here – I’m a dog person); we’re talking about helping REAL people solve REAL problems in REAL time at the right time. 

When it comes to social collaboration at the enterprise level, the earned benefit can be of extreme value to an organization: new modes of communication; real-time collaboration; implicit and explicit knowledge; a breakdown of traditional silos throughout the corporation and more.  In addition to these numerous benefits, the introduction of social within an organization creates a wealth of new and previously unexplored opportunities, such as:

  • Collaboration and communication become more natural and fluid;
  • Access to knowledge is made easier through expert searches, robust user profiles, and more;
  • Traditional silos within organizations are broken down and there is more visibility amongst user groups; and
  • Employees become more engaged in helping others solve problems and innovate.

To wrap up the presentation, Michael identified some of the main points for consideration when implementing social at the enterprise level.  For example, what are your communication pain points, and how can social help alleviate these?  How large is your organization?  While an organization such as Michael’s, JPMorgan Chase, with 200,000+ employees easily implemented social, a small business with 20 employees might not experience the same level of success.  Additionally, one needs to look at the different levels of hierarchy within an organization and decide how social will be implemented and who will be its champions.  For social to be successful, there’s a need for BOTH bottom-up as well as top-down participation.

So after I got “social,” I decided to look at an alternative way in which an organization utilized SharePoint to build value.  In a presentation titled, “Meeting Business Critical Compliance Requirements with SharePoint,” Supreet Bhatla and Brian Bizzano, both of Exelon-Constellation, discussed the issue of industry compliance (which, as the largest retail supplier of energy in the U.S., you can imagine there is a LOT of), and how they were able to leverage SharePoint to track and manage meeting regulation compliance.

The presentation began with an overview of Exelon-Constellation Brian, as well as an overview of what exactly we mean compliance.  Specifically, he outlined the different methods Exelon-Constellation used to manage compliance risk on SharePoint including:

  • Managing documents;
  • Automating and tracking processes;
  • Collaborating across teams and business units;
  • Enabling “self-service” reporting; and
  • Fostering continuous improvement.

From here, the discussion was turned over to Supreet, who looked at how business operations are affected compliance requirements and how, at Exelon-Constellation, they adjusted their operations to meet these strict regulations.  To start, he talked about the challenges that come with managing regulation requirements; namely the importance of interfacing between a large range of individuals that come from a broad scope of business units (for example, in his organization, compliance could include HR, IT, Security, Facilities, and more).

Next, he transitioned to how his organization made the decision to deploy SharePoint in order to keep all these processes and user groups properly managed and in compliance.  A major part of his organization’s solution was the utilization of not only SharePoint out-of-the-box, but also the introduction of third-party Web Parts that extended SharePoint.  With the addition of third-party Web Parts similar to Bamboo Solutions’ Alert Plus Web Part, Chart Plus Web Part, Data-Viewer Web Part and Workflow Conductor, he demonstrated how a custom solution proved to be the key to making SharePoint more powerful, and the answer to keeping Exelon-Constellation compliant with a number of industry as well as federal regulations.

After sharing several case studies, including how process automation and creating custom workflows help manage the process of granting access to secure areas for employees, Supreet ending his presentation with a summary of the range of benefits that come with implementing a SharePoint solutions including: better visibility and auditing; the elimination of manual errors; and the ability to adapt to ever-changing regulations and policies.

That’s all for the morning sessions.  Time to wrap it up and hit the afternoon presentations.  Cheers!

Want even more SHARE Conference 2013?  Check out the complete series in the links

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