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IT Briefcase Exclusive Interview: Digital Collaboration – Shaping the Enterprise’s Evolution

June 29, 2017 No Comments

Fostering business success is not a one-man job. Implementing a collaborative environment where individuals have the ability to quickly and easily share insights and information is critical to not only individual development, but also to overall enterprise growth. Global VP of Product Management for SAP Jam Collaboration, Daisy Hernandez, shares her thoughts on how the adoption and application of digital collaboration are shaping the evolution of the enterprise.

  • Q. How does “trickle-down” collaborative management style make enterprises more successful?

A. Succeeding in today’s digital economy means not only using the right technology, but fully embracing digital transformation with comprehensive collaboration practices. In fact, a recent study demonstrated that the world’s highest-performing companies have distinct collaboration habits and best practices in place. Implementing said systems begins at the top, as executive leadership sets the tone for the remainder of the organization. Becoming a digital leader means successfully communicating with, and influencing, a broad spectrum of individuals on a global level, amongst all areas of the organization.

Managers are often taught that they should “lead by example” in all areas – collaboration is no exception. By working collaboratively with teams on projects or sharing information about a specific subject matter of interest, leaders provide their employees with a model to follow and zero excuse to not collaborate themselves. Employee guidelines and requirements on collaboration expectations on paper are a good start, but leadership must see them through in action. Leaders should demonstrate the unique benefits of collaboration tools and strategies with a “learn from” approach. This approach will contribute to grassroots development, where employees will initiate collaboration practices with new hires, creating a routine cycle.

  • Q. How and why should collaboration platforms be used to evaluate employee wants and needs?

A. More than two-thirds of high performing companies, coined “digital winners” by Oxford Economics, use collaboration platforms to evaluate employee wants and needs. Enterprise communities, which house rich content that allow employees to connect with key information and processes in the cloud, create an environment where problems are solved and results are achieved. These shared environments can serve as settings for companies to solicit feedback on specific projects or general needs. Because these platforms are reaching employees where they are, they may prompt more specific feedback form employees, which will ultimately assist management in bolstering employee growth and development.

With this kind of specific feedback, companies can determine where employees will benefit most from new or improved policies and procedures, from initial onboarding through to specific roles and responsibilities. In fact, enterprise collaboration networks themselves can support peer-to-peer & informal learning and knowledge sharing amongst employees, who can then more quickly contribute to the business. This process, in turn, creates a chain for continued success.

  • Q. What role does company culture play in digital collaboration? How can the two be integrated?

A. Collaboration is not simply a “nice to have,” but a “need to have,” with today’s rapid speed of business. Creating an environment that has both the technological capabilities and the cultural structure in place for seamless collaboration is essential.

Adopting a collaborative culture that connects colleagues and streamlines internal processes is critical to eliminating organizational silos. A culture that nurtures and encourages communication across disciplines will break down organizational barriers and make it so that information will flow more freely across the organization. An important component of creating this environment is making transparency a cornerstone of company culture, so individuals are encouraged to create new conversations and share their unique perspectives.

In order to reap the full benefits of collaborative workplace tools, digital leaders must implement strategies for office-wide adoption. Enterprise collaboration platforms assist in the distribution of knowledge and create a central access point where employees can easily come together to discuss key items across all areas of a business, from small projects to company-wide initiatives. Committing to being collaborative and open across the board with every member of the organization, regardless of their level or role, fosters an environment that will lead to both internal and external organizational success.

 daisy hernandez 150x150 IT Briefcase Exclusive Interview: Digital Collaboration   Shaping the Enterprise’s Evolution

Daisy Hernandez

Global VP of Product Management for SAP Jam Collaboration

SAP’s collaboration cloud product brings together people, process, data and content to drive business results. Daisy is responsible for driving the product strategy and leading a team who creates solutions to solve business challenges through building meaningful interactions between employees, customers and partners.

Prior to SAP, Daisy held several leadership roles in business operations, engineering program management and software development at high tech and telecommunications companies such as Oracle, BEA, Plumtree, Syndeo, Excite@Home and Pacific Bell.


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