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Innovation

To collaborate better, Electrolux taps social business tech

Electrolux sees innovation in collaboration. To bring employees in 60 countries closer together, it's rolling out a social business platform from IBM.
Written by Andrew Nusca, Contributor on

Appliance-maker Electrolux, whom we recently profiled for its move to create a "chief design officer" position, on Monday revealed that it's working with IBM to boost internal innovation through collaboration technology.

Electrolux is a big company, sprawled across 60 countries. Executives believe the company's workforce could do a better job collaborating, even though it's global in scope. One place to do that: through the mobile phones and tablets already distributed through the company.

If employees can more readily access content, they can more readily collaborate -- which in turn will allow them to innovate more easily. At least that's the idea. So the company has tasked IBM (with contributions from Infoware Solutions and Avantime) with rolling out and coordinating information portals on its intranet, so that employees can collaborate more openly in the digital realm.

For example, if an employee has a new idea that could be of use in another department, a quick post on a microblog could readily disperse it -- without it escaping company walls. Or if an employee wants to post a document explaining a process, he or she could do it through a wiki. Similarly, a social collaboration dashboard seeks to make it easier to quickly discuss a topic with a small group by allowing an employee to drag an e-mail into his or her "Connections Activity" space, where he or she can then discuss it further with specific people.

The point of all this is to, hopefully, let collaboration work more organically, instead of along the lines we've constructed through conventional instant message, e-mail and scheduled meeting systems. It's called "Social Business," and it's the latest way to leverage the all-encompassing cloud without letting proprietary data out of the barn.

There are better ways to create and consume without being in the same physical room; Electrolux hopes a social business platform can help it get there.

This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com

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