Spurring Innovation through Social Collaboration

Today’s post features Gregory North, VP, Business Transformation, Xerox

Saving Time and Spurring Innovation for Competitive Advantage

xerox_headshot_gregory_northAs the company that first brought printers and copiers into offices and homes, Xerox has revolutionized the way people communicate and share information. That’s still true today, as Xerox delivers services that simplify business processes for clients around the globe. When faced with the challenge of better connecting employees with the people and information they need in order to excel, Xerox looked to Yammer for its innovative social collaboration offering.

The Yammer Solution

Since implementing Yammer in 2010, Xerox employees can get the information they need faster than ever before. As Kate Dobbertin of the communications team observes, “Xerox has never been so connected.”

Given its long history of technological innovation, it’s no surprise that Xerox prizes the ingenuity of its workforce. “Innovation is what Xerox is all about,” says Vice President of Corporate Lean Six Sigma and Business Transformation Gregory North. “Anything we can do to speed up our innovation process is going to be key to our success.” That’s where Yammer comes in: ideas and experiments from across the company can be shared and explored by employees—including ones who don’t usually work together.

“There’s no question Yammer has helped us reduce the time it takes to go from a new idea or call to action to execution,” North says. “It accelerates innovation.” Yammer isn’t just helping Xerox make the most of employee ingenuity, it’s also fast-tracking invaluable customer feedback to relevant teams. As Dobbertin observes, “Yammer brings the people who work with customers much closer to the people who are developing products and business processes. That customer insight strengthens our products and services.”

Acquiring Affiliated Computer Services (ACS) in 2010 more than doubled Xerox’s employee count. Merging two company cultures and getting relevant information to people in both organizations can be a daunting challenge. But with Yammer, Xerox people are able not only to find each other, but also to start asking questions and sharing ideas, improving coordination and alignment.

For Manager of Managed Print Services Insight Programs Patricia Hill, that capability is game-changing. “There was great power in being able to bring these companies together in a way that takes the best of both cultures and combines it to form the right DNA,” she says. By connecting employees around work projects as well as personal interests, Xerox built on its storied past by unifying its larger talent pool to achieve even greater success.

The Results

  • Accelerated innovation. New ideas and suggestions are shared throughout the company, speeding up implementation and adding value for Xerox customers and shareholders.
  • Streamlined information flow. Instead of spending hours combing through company servers and waiting for responses to emails, employees post queries on Yammer and get answers in minutes.
  • Seamless merging of two companies’ communications. After the acquisition, employees from Xerox and ACS were able to identify and reach one another on Yammer. In addition to understanding roles and expertise, they started connecting and collaborating on projects.

View Full Case Study