Sungard harnesses Yammer to leverage employee creativity

The 4th and final Blogwell presentation which I attended on November 9 in Philadelphia was dedicated to Sungard’s experience. Sungard (the host of the November 10 private SMBC conference; this is a private member event so no reporting on that, sorry!) is one of the largest Software and IT companies in the US. The presentation was delivered by Leah Patterson, who is in charge of the Corporate Social Media strategy at Sungard.

I found Leah’s presentation particularly inspiring. Her involvement and dedication were very convincing and I liked the way she emphasised the fact that a lot of work is required to make things work. Sungard’s strategy to get employees on Yammer also shows a lot of openness and insight. Internal IT looked into the matter and everyone agreed that “in-house wasn’t going to work” Leah said and this is why they chose Yammer. The sheer number of employees on Yammer is impressive and shows how effective the facilitation of that internal community is. At the same time, Sungard’s involvement into external communities is done with tact and shows a lot of respect for customers, which is in my mind a recipe for success.

We’re on Twitter, now what?

Sungard thought about jumping right on and they figured 3 main things: 1. people were talking but Sungard wasn’t part of the conversations 2. competitors were (just) ahead of Sungard 3. users were in there too! So Sungard jumped in the water and created accounts on all platforms. But how could Social Media be used as a way to harness the power of conversations?

Social Media gives Sungard the ability to build on the existing community work already started at Sungard years before that. They saw that big brand advertising was far less meaningful than peer to peer communications and this is why Social Media is useful to them.

We don’t use this to sell our products

“We don’t want to be part of these conversations to sell our products”, Leah added, “we want to be part of them because we want to understand how to make our products better”. As a conclusion, Social Media work isn’t just a “marketing thing” Leah said.

All Sungard employees will soon use Yammer

With Yammer, Sungard managed to harness the power of social media in order to trigger passionate discussions and Leah is now working with the security and IT department in order to get the entire 20,000 employee community on Yammer. As of now, Sungard has 10,000 members on its Yammer community (see photo) and 500 groups, and they are even using Yammer to do crowdsourcing. Apart from Yammer, Leah stresses Sungard is also using LinkedIn.

What metrics? Yammer has in-buillt stats. Apart from that, Radian 6 i sbeing used for external community discussions and the team is still working on how they are measuring the results and effectiveness of its initiatives.

Lessons learnt

  • lesson 1 is that you need to know why you want to be on these communities above all
  • Internal benefits:
  • breaking silos: because Sungard is acquiring companies from all over the world, Social Media is useful
  • Social Media gives people a voice
  • External benefits:
  • What do you want to learn from other participants
  • What will participants gain from being involved
  • What ideas/strategies can we crowdsource within our community?
  • lesson 2 is that you should create formal guidelines to provide structure: moderator guidelines, community terms of use, user expectations and Social Media guidelines
  • lesson 3 is to get involved and understand that this kind of work requires a lot of work and that it requires resources

enterprise 2.0: are you ready for the Yammer take-off?

this is the latest post from our friend Rob Evans. Rob is an expert blogger and he joined the Orange Blog Live community recently. The reason why I’m relaying this post is that Rob is describing here how Yammer is becoming really big in the business community. Yammer being a new micro-blogging platform to which employees can register using their business e-mail address. The suffix of your e-mail address (, etc.) is the tag which will automatically identify you as part of a Corporate community. And it’s true that Yammer is catching like wildfire.

Now guess what! Rob and I got in contact precisely through Yammer and this is how he ended up enlisting in our blog initiative. Did you need a proof that Yammer is a great tool?

Over to Rob now:

Will Yammer follow hot on the heels of Twitter? by Rob Evans (Orange Business Services)

Use of Twitter, the micro-blogging web-site that allows people to post 140-character updates, has exploded in the UK over the last few months; traffic to the site increased by a staggering 974% over the past year according to Techcrunch UK. The site itself now ranks as the 291st most visited site in the UK, and was described by the Telegraph as the best known microblogging site:

Twitter is probably the best known of all the “microblogging” sites, and it has been incredibly popular with geeks and the technorati since it launched in 2006. People post messages to the site, either via the web or by text message, and these “tweets” are forwarded on to their network of friends and contacts

Twitter’s seminal moment in the UK was on the Jonathan Ross show on the 23rd of January . This show marked the return of Jonathan Ross following an “enforced holiday”. Both the presenter and his guest Stephen Fry– a self-confessed geek and blogger- are avid users of Twitter, and on the show they discussed how the site works and how they use it.

>> Read on at the Orange Business Live Blog