Flight Centre takes Chatter company-wide

 
Page 1 of 2 | Single page

Also integrates Salesforce.com with Google Apps.

Flight Centre has taken full advantage of Salesforce.com’s decision to offer its Chatter collaboration software free of charge, rolling the software out across its entire global business operations.

The ASX-listed travel agent chain has been an aggressive adopter of software-as-a-service, ditching Microsoft’s Exchange for Google Apps late last year and using Salesforce.com for CRM.

The company first experimented with Salesforce.com’s Chatter collaboration software in the third quarter of 2010 among a few trial users.

Chatter’s interface looks and feels much like a Facebook or Twitter feed, but can be locked down to enterprise groups and used to “follow” objects as well as people – to allow for better collaboration around documents, for example.

Jean Chaney, global CRM leader at Flight Centre’s corporate division, said the company had already agreed to deploy Chatter to a group of 800 users (among the 8000 employees working for the company and its affiliates. But in December, Salesforce.com announced that it would offer a free version of Chatter – and the scope of Chaney’s project was widened considerably.

“When Chatter free was released, I got incredibly excited,” Chaney told iTnews. “One frustration we have had with partners is collaboration.”

The company decided to roll-out Chatter to its global operations – including 70 of its closest business partners.

Before Chatter, staff collaborated with fellow workers and partners across the globe using the company’s extranet, email, LinkedIn accounts, and any other means necessary. But there was no uniform way to collaborate that could be controlled or managed, nor did any of these means allow for an intuitive and personal experience for the users.

Chaney found Chatter the opposite. The company has found the application useful for a wide number of business processes.

Users interact by "following" groups from as granular as their own office team or a project a group of staff are working on, to groups involving the same type of work regardless of location, to company-wide groups for important announcements.

A BDM (business development) group within sales, for example, has enabled managers in one region to ask for best practice advice from their peers in other regions. Flight Centre’s training group, meanwhile, uses Chatter to share and collaborate on training documents.

Team meetings are held with Chatter on to record minutes. And it is also used to share notes and prepare an agenda before executives come together for conferences.

The platform also ensures that Flight Centre’s various divisions and partners don’t sell over each other.

Within the next few weeks, Chaney expects “every last partner” of Flight Centre to have implemented Chatter – a fairly remarkable achievement.

This strong adoption will allow the company to decommission some older collaboration efforts – including its extranet, pending its content being imported into Chatter.

The ‘free’ version of Chatter made it much easier for the company to convince its partners to use the tool, Chaney said.

“To try to sell-in something amongst partners, you’ve usually got to go to each country and tell them they need to use this,” she said. “And it’s not one license to manage but lots of licenses. It’s a lot harder sell when the software comes at a cost.”

But whilst the software might be free, Chaney isn’t letting it become a “free for all” in terms of deployment. Chaney has hired a part-time worker specifically to both champion and control use of the software.

The software allows for users to invite their peers onto the network, but Chaney’s team is instead rolling the software out progressively, locking down the IP ranges of partner sites to ensure corporate data remains protected.

The company has also provided very clear direction on use of Chatter.

“It might look like Facebook but we advertised internally that it’s not to be used like Facebook,” she said. “We don’t care what you had for breakfast.”

Staff are advised to follow “leadership” (to take direction from superiors) and “content” (those groups or objects relevant to their business).

They are also asked to use pictures of them in company uniform rather than avatars, to reinforce that the tool was made available for work rather than play.

Read on to learn how Flight Centre integrated Salesforce.com with Google Apps/Gmail.

Copyright © iTnews.com.au . All rights reserved.


Flight Centre takes Chatter company-wide
 
 
 
Top Stories
Frugality as a service: the Amazon story
Behind the scenes, Amazon Web Services is one lean machine.
 
Negotiating with the cloud email megavendors
[Blog post] Lessons from Woolworths’ mammoth migration.
 
Qld govt to move up to 149k staff onto Office 365
Australia's largest deployment, outside of the universities.
 
 
Sign up to receive iTnews email bulletins
   FOLLOW US...

Latest VideosSee all videos »

The great data centre opportunity on Australia's doorstep
The great data centre opportunity on Australia's doorstep
Scott Noteboom, CEO of LitBit speaking at The Australian Data Centre Strategy Summit 2014 in the Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia. http://bit.ly/1qpxVfV Scott Noteboom is a data centre engineer who led builds for Apple and Yahoo in the earliest days of the cloud, and who now eyes Asia as the next big opportunity. Read more: http://www.itnews.com.au/News/372482,how-do-we-serve-three-billion-new-internet-users.aspx#ixzz2yNLmMG5C
Interview: Karl Maftoum, CIO, ACMA
Interview: Karl Maftoum, CIO, ACMA
To COTS or not to COTS? iTnews asks Karl Maftoum, CIO of the ACMA, at the CIO Strategy Summit.
Susan Sly: What is the Role of the CIO?
Susan Sly: What is the Role of the CIO?
AEMO chief information officer Susan Sly calls for more collaboration among Australia's technology leaders at the CIO Strategy Summit.
Meet the 2014 Finance CIO of the Year
Meet the 2014 Finance CIO of the Year
Credit Union Australia's David Gee awarded Finance CIO of the Year at the iTnews Benchmark Awards.
Meet the 2014 Retail CIO of the Year
Meet the 2014 Retail CIO of the Year
Damon Rees named Retail CIO of the Year at the iTnews Benchmark Awards for his work at Woolworths.
Robyn Elliott named the 2014 Utilities CIO of the Year
Robyn Elliott named the 2014 Utilities CIO of the Year
Acting Foxtel CIO David Marks accepts an iTnews Benchmark Award on behalf of Robyn Elliott.
Meet the 2014 Industrial CIO of the Year
Meet the 2014 Industrial CIO of the Year
Sanjay Mehta named Industrial CIO of the Year at the iTnews Benchmark Awards for his work at ConocoPhillips.
Meet the 2014 Healthcare CIO of the Year
Meet the 2014 Healthcare CIO of the Year
Greg Wells named Healthcare CIO of the Year at the iTnews Benchmark Awards for his work at NSW Health.
Meet the 2014 Education CIO of the Year
Meet the 2014 Education CIO of the Year
William Confalonieri named Healthcare CIO of the Year at the iTnews Benchmark Awards for his work at Deakin University.
Meet the 2014 Government CIO of the Year
Meet the 2014 Government CIO of the Year
David Johnson named Government CIO of the Year at the iTnews Benchmark Awards for his work at the Queensland Police Service.
Q and A: Coalition Broadband Policy
Q and A: Coalition Broadband Policy
Malcolm Turnbull and Tony Abbott discuss the Coalition's broadband policy with the press.
AFP scalps hacker 'leader' inside Australia's IT ranks.
AFP scalps hacker 'leader' inside Australia's IT ranks.
The Australian Federal Police have arrested a Sydney-based IT security professional for hacking a government website.
NBN Petition Delivered To Turnbull's Office
NBN Petition Delivered To Turnbull's Office
UTS CIO: IT teams of the future
UTS CIO: IT teams of the future
UTS CIO Chrissy Burns talks data.
New UTS Building: the IT within
New UTS Building: the IT within
The IT behind tomorrow's universities.
iTnews' NBN Panel
iTnews' NBN Panel
Is your enterprise NBN-ready?
Introducing iTnews Labs
Introducing iTnews Labs
See a timelapse of the iTnews labs being unboxed, set up and switched on! iTnews will produce independent testing of the latest enterprise software to hit the market after installing a purpose-built test lab in Sydney. Watch the installation of two DL380p servers, two HP StoreVirtual 4330 storage arrays and two HP ProCurve 2920 switches.
The True Cost of BYOD
The True Cost of BYOD
iTnews' Brett Winterford gives attendees of the first 'Touch Tomorrow' event in Brisbane a brief look at his research into enterprise mobility. What are the use cases and how can they be quantified? What price should you expect to pay for securing mobile access to corporate applications? What's coming around the corner?
Ghost clouds
Ghost clouds
ACMA chair Chris Chapman says there is uncertainty over whether certain classes of cloud service providers are caught by regulations.
Was the Snowden leak inevitable?
Was the Snowden leak inevitable?
Privacy experts David Vaile (UNSW Cyberspace Law and Policy Centre) and Craig Scroggie (CEO, NextDC) claim they were not surprised by the Snowden leaks about the NSA's PRISM program.
Latest Comments
Polls
Which bank is most likely to suffer an RBS-style meltdown?





   |   View results
ANZ
  21%
 
Bankwest
  9%
 
CommBank
  11%
 
National Australia Bank
  17%
 
Suncorp
  24%
 
Westpac
  19%
TOTAL VOTES: 1455

Vote