Avaya GlobalConnect is India’s leading provider of intelligent communications solutions, systems and services focused on meeting the needs of organizations large or small. The company offers a comprehensive suite of Solutions for Contact centre, Business Process Outsourcing and end-to-end Converged communications. By designing, building and managing some of the world’s most advanced communications solutions, Avaya is helping its customers achieve sustained advantage through superior business results. Avaya GlobalConnect is dedicated to helping businesses enhance and extend the capabilities of their people and processes to reduce costs, increase productivity and grow revenues.
The idea of AGCL talkies was not to simply establish a functional intranet, but to create a vibrant online community space for the personnel; one which would become their preferred platform for not only business and communication needs but also a space where people can relax, mingle, and have fun.
The challenge was to establish a platform to reach out to 40 remote locations across India.
But a community space cannot be built by diktat—it develops organically with people’s willing participation and word-of-mouth endorsement. Identify the problems that your customer is facing and their goals and objectives. List the strategic business or competitive reasons that caused the customer to reevaluate its current situation. Be as specific as possible, citing examples when appropriate and including supporting customer quotes.
AGCL talkies is a combination of an intranet and a community site developed for Avaya, which includes various HR modules as well as channel to unwind. This site offers various services to its user like message boards, open house etc. for collaboration, post-it (classifieds), articles, games, e-cards, image gallery etc. for fun. Online induction process, HR policies, online appraisal, announcement board, member’s directory etc. for the HR department. Apart from the user interface AGCL talkies has a very robust content management system and employee tracking system.
Therefore, the strategy adopted by us was to first create a dynamic recreational space that would draw the users in and make them comfortable with the new medium, before introducing any obligatory features. Once the traffic was brought in and their loyalty earned, other more serious functions could be targeted.
The first step taken in this direction was to continue the name of the printed newsletter that preceded the intranet—AGCL talkies—to take advantage of the AGCLites familiarity with the name. It worked to enhance the initial draw.
AGCL talkies was thus born as an entertainment and leisure-oriented online community space with interesting and interactive features like e-cards, horoscope forecasts, a range of arcade games, tambola, jokes, cartoons, trivia, funny quotes, etc. Interspersed with these useful information like articles on everything from automobiles to pet care, advice on money matters, travel information, industry news, etc.
The first six months were aimed at fulfilling one of the primary objectives of AGCL talkies—bringing the AGCLites closer through various peer-to-peer tools, making it easier for them to communicate and collaborate. The amplified social interaction would enhance people’s understanding of what is happening around them in their workplaces, in turn increasing their ability to collectively improvise and innovate, which, at the end of the day, is the real key to increase productivity.
Three collaboration tools were used—an Open House, an Employee Directory and a User Ranking system. The Open House is a contributory forum where AGCLites can post messages, images and articles. The Employee Directory is an online centralized database, which apart from the names and photographs of all AGCLites lists a personalized profile with information like birthdays, anniversaries, home region, names of family members, etc. The User Ranking system tracks the number of log-ins and the type of activities engaged in by each AGCLite, ranking one of them as AGCLite of the Month.
After the success of the first six months, it was time to begin introducing more work-oriented features. An interesting innovation was the Quarterly Plan, which was a method to foster healthy intra-departmental competition, by setting quarterly targets for each department and then putting up the timely progress reports.
One of the areas where intranets can prove particularly useful is HR Administration. Two of the latest features added recently to AGCL talkies are online induction and appraisal.
- GUI: .NET C#, Win Forms, WPF & Ajax, YUI
- Middleware: COM+ & Windows Services
- Framework: Microsoft Software Factories & Application Blocks
- Communication: Web Services, WCF
- Integration: SAP
- Database: MS SQL Server (including Reporting, Integration & Analysis services and Service Broker)
The strategy was a roaring success—starting from an initial penetration of a mere 35 per cent, the participation rate rose to 60 per cent within the first six months and soared to a whopping 95 per cent in the next six.