Today’s post features Matt Pancino, Head of Business Technology Applications, Suncorp
Empowering a Workforce with Enterprise Social
Suncorp Group is a Brisbane-based financial institution with 16,000 employees and nine million customers across Australia and New Zealand. “A range of banks and insurance providers have come together in the Suncorp Group,” explains Head of Business Technology Applications Matt Pancino. “The company is building on the concept of ‘one company and many brands’—and Yammer helps us collaborate while breaking down organizational boundaries.”
Because the Suncorp Group is made up of companies that had been autonomous entities with different IT systems and distinct corporate cultures, uniting them into a cohesive enterprise was a major undertaking. After experimenting with Yammer’s free version, Suncorp determined that the network fit the bill. “Yammer is a powerful tool that you can make your own,” says Communication Specialist Lewis Jacoby. “You can personalize it to suit your business, and it evolves according to how individuals and teams use it. You might praise somebody who did a great job, brainstorm ideas for making fundamental shifts in how teams operate, or collaborate on work projects.”
The Yammer Solution
Suncorp makes the most of a wide range of Yammer features. For instance, Groups is used to harness the brainpower of employees collaborating on projects, no matter what division they work in or where they’re located. Yammer Mobile means they can tap into the network from their Windows Phone, iPhone, iPad, Blackberry, or Android device. External Networks allow partners and vendors to be included in project planning when appropriate, while the wiki-like Pages feature enables teams to crowd source documents and solutions.
By letting employees work and tap into the network wherever they happen to be, Suncorp’s Desktop Anywhere program aims to improve employees’ work-life balance while boosting productivity. Yammer is key to that initiative, since it’s not only available on a range of mobile devices, it integrates with key applications, including email and SharePoint. “It’s really empowering to work for a company that provides you with tools like Yammer, which is the gateway to an easy-to-use but comprehensive ‘desktop in the cloud,’” observes Systems Analyst Teale Shapcott.
Yammer doesn’t just help individual employees work where, when, and how they want; it extends their reach and knowledge through the power of community. “Getting people to collaborate is one of the most difficult things for senior executives, but Yammer has served us very well in that respect,” Pancino says. “It gives us the ability to have traceable communication where ideas are never lost in the inbox.”
“A lot of companies ask us how we’ve merged many companies into one,” he adds. “The answer, I think, is that you have to trust your people. Trust that they’ll be able to solve problems, then give them the tools they need to take the jump.”
“Social media isn’t just using Facebook or Twitter, it’s an underlying culture—a shift in how humans engage,” Jacoby observes. “Why not incorporate that within an organization? Imagine harnessing the knowledge of 16,000 people. That’s exactly what you can do on Yammer. It’s a huge knowledge base that’s easy to use and tap into.”
- A united corporate culture. Yammer has helped transform a company of many parts into a cohesive unit.
- Smoother workflow. Email has been reduced by more than 50 percent, and teamwork is enabled through Groups and Pages.
- Comprehensive collaboration. Yammer lets employees tap into the network wherever they are, while External Networks allows Suncorp to bring partners and vendors into the mix.
- Improved productivity. Improved teamwork helped the Private Insurance Group meet its target of shaving 3 percent off the bottom line.
- Deeper executive insight. Yammer lets senior managers share strategies and better understand what’s happening across the company.