With its new Social Intranet “OSPA-Connect”, the OstseeSparkasse Rostock (OSPA) brings its employees closer together. “OSPA- Connect” is based on the market-leading social collaboration platform IBM Connections. Contained Elements such as communities, wikis or blogs significantly simplify cross-site collaboration. XCC – Web Content & Custom Application Extension for IBM Connections provides the necessary structure for employees primarily looking for information in the intranet.

The best possible consultancy and support for around 300,000 customers is firmly anchored in the history of the regional OSPA. In order to connect the approximately 700 employees at the OSPA Center and the more than 40 branches even better, Sparkasse decided in 2013 to introduce the Social Collaboration Platform IBM Connections in combination with XCC – Web Content & Custom Apps Extension. The project’s objective is to simplify the information research for everyone and at the same time to reduce the volume of e-mail correspondence.

Introducing the employees to a social intranet

During the two-year introductory phase, the OSPA operated its old and its new intranet in parallel. Together with the departments, the social intranet workgroup, Sven Bradtke, head of the IT organization, transferred the content from the old intranet to IBM Connections. From the beginning, the IBM Connections extension XCC was part of the social intranet “OSPA-Connect”. XCC allows OSPA editors to aggregate selected content from IBM Connections in comprehensive landing pages. A structured homepage fully supporting all functions of the IBM Connections social collaboration platform was created in “OSPA-Connect”.

Sven Bradtke, OstseeSparkasse Rostock “IBM Connections already provides benefits if only a handful of working groups are actively working with it at the beginning. For employees unfamiliar with the platform, the information is made visible using XCC. Thus, all employees are provided with information and can acclimate slowly with IBM Connections. Therefore, XCC extremely accelerated the implementation process.”

– Sven Bradtke, Head of IT, OstseeSparkasse Rostock (OSPA)

“XCC makes the transition to a social intranet more comfortable for employees”

Contrary to the former unidirectional intranet, where the information is maintained by the internal communication, the employees of the OSPA now have extensive collaboration functions at their disposal. While the “knowledge workers” of the OSPA quickly discovered these new possibilities for internal communication, a large part of the employees continued to stick to the old intranet with the usual structures. “The Social Collaboration platform already provides benefits when only some workgroups are actively using it. Via XCC, we can reach all other employees who want to only research information in the intranet as they used to. XCC creates just the right interface to make switching to the social intranet more comfortable for them, “Sven Bradtke describes the transition to the social intranet. „It makes the introduction process much easier.”

“XCC is quick and simple to use. It is interesting for all companies that think of IBM Portal as too extensive, but aren’t willing to forgo a structured interface in IBM Connections. ”

Sven Bradtke, Head of IT, OstseeSparkasse Rostock (OSPA)

Social Intranet simplifies cross-site collaboration

“OSPA-Connect” is available to all 700 OSPA employees. The many possibilities to actively participate should particularly encourage the employees in the branches to visit the Intranet more frequently. Wikis, blogs, communities or simply the ability to comment, also reduces the spatial distance between the locations. XCC – Web Content & Custom Apps also provide the necessary structure. “With XCC, our employees get what they are looking for in the social intranet, visually appealing,” explains Sven Bradtke.

Easy access to a social intranet through XCC

Anyone who is still having a hard time to get used to a social intranet will find an easy entry into the collaboration platform with XCC. “With XCC, IBM Connections is also much easier to use for colleagues who are not that technically skilled,” evaluates Henning Müller, a member of an IBM Connections working group at OSPA. “XCC also encourages employees to ‘like’ or ‘comment’, who are little to not active in the social intranet.”
“XCC has considerably facilitated the transition process from the traditional intranet to a social intranet platform,” Sven Bradtke summarized.

OstseeSparkasse Rostock

About OstseeSparkasse Rostock (OSPA)

As a regional savings bank, OSPA provides comprehensive services in the financial services sector for all its employees in its business area and for every requirement. It also focuses on the development of the domestic economy and provides loans to corporate and business clients. Last but not least, OSPA’s relationship with the region is also reflected in its social commitment.

OSPA Zentrum Ⓒ OstseeSparkasse Rostock

Initial situation

The OstseeSparkasse Rostock (OSPA) provided information for employees of the OSPA Center and its affiliates using a traditional intranet. The intranet only supported one-way communication, which corresponded less and less to OSPA requirements. In order to simplify the research for relevant information and at the same time reduce the volume of e-mail correspondence, OSPA decided to replace their previous with a social intranet.

Our solution

By choosing IBM Connections, the OSPA opted for a social collaboration platform with extensive functions. The market-leading platform in the field of ​​social software facilitates cross-site collaboration, for example, with wikis, blogs, communities or even through the simple ability to comment or like. With the support of XCC – Web Content & Custom Apps, individual landing pages can be created, where selected information can be displayed in an organized layout.

Value for the customer

As a social collaboration platform, IBM Connections simplifies the collaboration for all employees – whether for branches or the OSPA Center. While the “knowledge workers” benefit directly from the collaboration functions, XCC facilitates the transformation process for the remaining employees. The organized information structure of XCC resembles that of a traditional intranet, yet includes all collaborative functions from IBM Connections. Using only a single, integrated intranet platform for collaboration and communication creates additional acceptance among employees.

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