Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Realizing Business Value through Social Networking within Wachovia

What is one of the biggest challenges faced by organizations that elect to deploy new or emergent capabilities? Justifying, with clarity and confidence, the expected benefits. Wachovia has rolled out an enterprise platform for social networking, including blogs, wikis and employee profiles. In this session, Pete Fields, eBusiness Director, speaks to the critical business objectives that these capabilities are expected to help accomplish.

Speaker - Pete Fields, Senior Vice President, eCommerce Division, Wachovia

My Notes:

Wachovia just rolled out a big Sharepoint deployment with extensive use of My Sites.

They treated it as one comprehensive integrated framework so employees can have collaborative and networking capabilities. the idea is to put the employee at the center of the information.

Pete came up with a list of business objectives and rationale for the deployment he bounced these around employees and other management

1. work more effectively across time and distance. As they expanded from Charlotte, the different time zones became apparent. They were look for better asynchronous communication. the group management were willing to transfer part of their travel budget to fund the initiative.

2. Better connect and engage employees. Company software teams and bowling teams were great. As companies grow it is harder to physically pull people to together. Virtual relationship can be just as robust and effective. Relationship are made by sharing information. You can do that across the network as you can face to face. He found that some of the HR people got behind it. IT did not get it as much.

3. Mitigate the impact of a maturing workforce. They are concerned about the loss of knowledge assets that are soon coming form the retiring of boomers. (Of course you can look at the increased mobility of the workforce. The 50s notion of joining a company and staying there for you entire work-life is gone. People are jumping from company to company at a much more rapid pace. You want them to leave some of that learning and knowledge behind.)

4. Engage the Gen Y worker. They are workers who are looking to better engaged with their company. They notice that they come in ready to engage in work and learn. That engagement drops dramatically when they are confronted with a hierarchical structure with silos of information. We should focus on the ability to remove friction in the workplace for finding what they need to do their job.

(Wachovia or least Pete gets the problems and sees the opportunity of the 2.0 movement.)

Sharepoint was pushed out to 100 workers in December up to 60,000 employees now. When pushed to retail banking and got many comments from workers at retail branches. He saw a lot of enthusiasm in the workforce and a lot of energy from these front-line employees.

(It sounds like Wachovia really gets it. Time to buy some stock in Wachovia.)

Other benefits:
  • Position Wachovia as innovative and forward thinking
  • Improve general employee engagement
  • Reduce travel engagements
  • Provide world class tools to compete in business
  • Support key corporate initiatives
He sees the shift in focus from personal productivity to team productivity.

He was very open and honest with his presentation. So much better than the buzzword presentation from Oracle.


  1. "Time to buy some stock in Wachovia"

    Did you?

  2. Clearly, stock-picking is not my strong suit.


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