Published on 19-Oct-2011
"The greatest effects have been the increase in productivity, clarification of goals and tasks and improved visibility of deadlines. Our regular meetings are shorter, and matters move forward more quickly." - Shinsuke Nogami, event manager, George P. Johnson (Japan) Ltd.
George P. Johnson Ltd.
Cloud Computing, SmartCloud - Solutions, Social Business for Marketing
George P. Johnson (Japan) Ltd. (GPJ) is the Japanese branch of a leading experience marketing agency. The company produces and manages high-visibility events for global clients, ranging from large-scale exhibitions to small-scale seminars.
Information overload Charged with handling numerous complex projects simultaneously, George P. Johnson event managers realized email was an inadequate, inefficient way to communicate with key players.
Clear communications Adding IBM SmartCloud Engage social cloud collaboration services to an existing IBM Lotus Notes environment centralized information, helped clarify tasks and enhanced meeting results.
Improved visibility and productivity Replacing email and spreadsheets with cloud-based services drove productivity higher, helped participants share critical data more quickly and improved collaboration.
In a business that requires extraordinary multitasking, GPJ event managers are among the best, often juggling up to 30 events simultaneously. The results are highly polished, top-quality meetings that frequently spotlight their customers’ sophisticated technology.
But behind the scenes, GPJ event managers were struggling with an antiquated project management method: email and spreadsheets. The problem? These communications were inadequate and inefficient, and the complex network of players involved in event planning often ignored them. With customers, venue contacts, media and producers on the outside, and a host of internal participants, emails multiplied exponentially. Large files containing images or videos bounced from email boxes because of size limitations. Mountains of emails meant team members had to dig for details and deadlines that were easily missed. Spreadsheet versions overlapped and communication was slow, primarily because it moved in one direction at a time.
A web-based project management tool was available from GPJ headquarters, but its English-only interface and slow uploading time frustrated the Japan team. As an existing IBM Lotus Notes® user, the company opted to add IBM SmartCloud™ Engage (formerly LotusLive™ Engage) services to the environment for their high level of security, complete functionality and trusted architecture. The solution includes IBM SmartCloud Connections, a collaborative service that incorporates file sharing, activity management and instant messaging, and the IBM SmartCloud Meetings service, which enables meetings over the web while sharing presentations. Both services offered an opportunity to create a new process for the exchange of critical, time-sensitive information to key audiences worldwide, both inside and outside of the company.
GPJ uses SmartCloud Engage services to replace most of the email exchanges that previously challenged information sharing. Operations data—including weekly meeting minutes, schedule changes and routine communications—is in the shared space for browsing and updating. Large files are easily posted, and best of all, activity areas clearly delineate tasks, owners and deadlines.
SmartCloud Engage cloud services also helped the geographically dispersed teams conduct more efficient meetings, go on fewer in-person business trips and support multiple presenters. Outsiders can attend web meetings as guests, so more is accomplished in less time.
Further, for several days at the time of the Great East Japan Earthquake, team members were able to meet from their homes, ensuring that shows—and GPJ business—went on as planned.
· Boosts productivity and improves project management overall with more effective information sharing
· Clarifies tasks and deadlines, eliminating wasted time spent tracking the latest versions, responsibilities and status updates
· Enhances collaboration to foster stronger teams and increase customer satisfaction
For more information
To learn more about IBM SmartCloud for Social Business service offerings, contact your IBM sales representative or IBM Business Partner, or visit: ibmcloud.com/social
Products and services used
IBM products and services that were used in this case study.
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