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Employing some one-quarter million people who avidly embrace advanced technologies, Accenture has long recognized the value of collaboration. Today, the Accenture People online tool is a leading-edge environment that makes it easy for employees to interact and share skills, interests and activities across Accenture’s global corporate network, meshing the best of business networking and social networking capabilities.
By enhancing collaboration across Accenture’s widely dispersed work force, Accenture People positions the company to maintain its status as a high-performance business.
Developed in response to employee suggestions, Accenture People was launched in 2008 as a collaborative business network, replacing earlier communication solutions that enabled employees to share expertise but were not interactive or user-friendly. The platform supporting Accenture People quickly became a new and innovative way for colleagues to connect, transforming the way they identified expertise across the company.
As time passed and as Accenture’s workforce grew steadily larger and more diverse, it became clear that an evolution of Accenture People was required to maintain its usefulness and to enhance the critical, cutting-edge capabilities that had helped it become so integral to employee performance.
The revision of Accenture People began in 2011, driven largely by the activity streams and improved user experience that employees had come to expect from social media sites such as Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. Given Accenture’s tech-savvy workforce, the upgraded product would have to compare favorably with the best of the consumer tools, which are built with much larger budgets. To maintain both its market relevance and its “cool” profile, the Accenture People tool would also need to embrace social features, mobile capabilities and other new technologies, such as scannable quick-response codes that easily move contact information to mobile devices.
To enhance the utility of Accenture People’s update, Accenture’s IT organization followed a two-pronged path: making proven components easier to use and faster, while steadily introducing new capabilities. For example, while the content of employee profiles has remained largely the same, the display and features are now automatically populated and consistently more user-friendly.
To amplify and accelerate the opportunities for sharing employee knowledge and experience, Accenture People has also integrated a wide variety of the latest available tools and technologies:
Employees can now search for colleagues based on phonetics.
New “autocomplete” search features help locate people 15 times faster.
To help employees expand their networks, the “People You May Know” function provides matches based on multiple factors.
An “Activity Feed,” prominent on every page, helps employees to easily keep track of what colleagues are saying and doing in their areas of interest.
Blogging capabilities have been significantly enhanced.
Microblogging, much like Twitter, also makes it easy for employees to reach out across the entire global workforce for their information needs.
As with all of the CIO Organization’s applications and projects, the development of the new Accenture People tool involved a global network of resources, including a 12-person Manila-based team. The project began with the construction of a prototype, followed by in-depth comparative analysis against LinkedIn and Facebook functionality, and extensive user testing and feedback before its release. This process helped ensure that the refreshed online environment delivered significantly better overall performance, epitomized by pages that load in less than two seconds.
The refresh of the Accenture People online tool has resulted in significantly improved performance for Accenture’s one-quarter million employees. Since the new platform went live in 2012, Accenture People is much faster, and functionality in several important areas has been enhanced. The most frequently used data can be found at the top of pages, with the need for clicks having largely been eliminated. This ease of access to Accenture’s vast global resources is helping to improve issue resolution, drive professional growth, and boost productivity for all employees.
The fact that Accenture People now provides the best of business and social networking capabilities, and once again provides a state-of-the-art, integrated approach to information and communication across the enterprise, has greatly increased its use across the global workforce. Recent metrics demonstrate how Accenture People is now helping to connect Accenture professionals efficiently and effectively.
Nearly 1,500 microblogs are sent on any given day, streamlining the exchange of information and decision-making across Accenture.
Adoption of the industry standard for blogging has resulted in 100 blog posts per day, helping to share and promote innovative ideas, insights and points of view.
In an average month, approximately 30,000 employees update content on their Accenture People pages, making it easier for colleagues to understand and take advantage of their knowledge.
Improved access and performance has led to about 500,000 people searches every month, and resulted in richer search results.
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