IBM Case Studies Enhancing Employee Collaboration with IBM Connections at Christian Brothers Services
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Enhancing Employee Collaboration with IBM Connections at Christian Brothers Services

Equipment & Machinery
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Personnel Tracking & Monitoring
Tamper Detection
Christian Brothers Services, a nonprofit service provider to Catholic and faith-based institutions, faced a challenge with its increasingly dispersed workforce. The company needed to enhance employee access to collaboration and social networking tools. The company's field employees frequently traveled within and outside the country, and many of their customer service agents worked from home full time. The company had been relying on IBM collaboration solutions to keep its workforce connected. However, the existing system of electronic teamrooms was proving to be inefficient. If an employee was involved in multiple projects, a meeting affecting all those projects appeared on each project’s team room calendar instead of as a single entry on the person’s Notes calendar. This led to a lack of centralized information and increased difficulty in managing multiple projects.
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Christian Brothers Services is a nonprofit service provider to Catholic and faith-based institutions. The company administers nine independent trusts that manage cooperative programs in health, property/casualty, and retirement benefits for approximately 3,500 church-related organizations in the United States. The company is headquartered in Romeoville, Illinois, and employs nearly 200 people. The company's workforce is dispersed, with field employees frequently traveling within and outside the country, and many customer service agents working from home full time.
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Christian Brothers Services decided to deploy IBM Connections software to address these challenges. The company focused on moving knowledge workers from online teamrooms to more functionally rich Connections communities. This allowed for better engagement of all employees with blogs, profiles, and improved access to critical corporate information. The IT staff members who participated in the pilot project for Connections software quickly saw the advantages. The development and operations groups were the first to replace their teamrooms with one IT Connections community. They started running projects through it, tracking activities and helping to keep each other accountable. Today, most project teams use Connections, and the company is concentrating on engaging all employees with corporate communities. One of the first companywide initiatives was the creation of a Connections community for security awareness.
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The implementation of IBM Connections software has significantly improved collaboration across projects at Christian Brothers Services. The move from electronic teamrooms to online communities has enhanced the efficiency of information sharing and expertise. For instance, IT created a Connections community for security awareness. Now, when security information is posted, it is automatically pushed out, appearing in employees' emails. People who are enrolled in more than one community can opt to receive a news digest message with all of the activity that’s taking place across their communities. This has streamlined communication and improved the overall operational efficiency of the organization.
The solution helps knowledge workers save at least 15–20 minutes a day accessing the people and content they need to efficiently complete their work wherever they are.
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