KDZ Wiesbaden speeds deployment of new services

IBM WebSphere and Lotus software connects stakeholders to enhance productivity and innovation

Published on 16-Nov-2012

"The solution powered by WebSphere Portal is a strategic milestone in expanding the collaboration infrastructure of our company." - Ralf-Michael Ortner, division manager, KDZ Wiesbaden

Customer:
KDZ Wiesbaden

Industry:
Government

Deployment country:
Germany

Solution:
Social Business for Knowledge Sharing and Innovation

Overview

The Kommunale Dienstleistungszentrum (KDZ) Wiesbaden, or Community Service Center of Wiesbaden, is a government organization that provides personnel services such as employee pensions for community and faith-based employers. KDZ Wiesbaden also functions as the competence center for an extensive network of town councils, their public servants and other partners. Its priority is enabling effective communication, cooperation and collaboration among a wide range of stakeholders, including member municipalities and churches, cooperative pension funds, business partners, policyholders and employees.

Business need:
To remain competitive, KDZ Wiesbaden needed to integrate its fragmented infrastructure, enabling all members of its network to more easily access services, launch applications and work together.

Solution:
KDZ Wiesbaden deployed a suite of IBM Lotus social software and an intranet portal powered by IBM WebSphere Portal Extend and IBM Lotus Quickr software.

Benefits:
An integrated application environment and powerful collaboration tools helped improve staff productivity, enhance decision making and increase sales with faster provisioning of new services.

Case Study

The Kommunale Dienstleistungszentrum (KDZ) Wiesbaden, or Community Service Center of Wiesbaden, is a government organization that provides personnel services such as employee pensions for community and faith-based employers. KDZ Wiesbaden also functions as the competence center for an extensive network of town councils, their public servants and other partners. Its priority is enabling effective communication, cooperation and collaboration among a wide range of stakeholders, including member municipalities and churches, cooperative pension funds, business partners, policyholders and employees.

A need for consolidation

To remain competitive, KDZ Wiesbaden required a consolidated technology platform that all members of its network could use to more easily access services, launch applications and work together. In addition, external partners increasingly demanded more transparency of information and integration of business processes.

The organization was hindered by a fragmented technology infrastructure. It conducted business using heterogeneous processes, applications and systems, some electronic and some paper-based. Separate applications provided communication, online meetings and other processes, and various internal- and external-facing browser-based applications offered different user interfaces. Communication disruptions were common, user management was inconsistent.

From a technical standpoint, this fragmented infrastructure included a Novell eDirectory, Oracle databases, a document management system, a Citrix server, IBM Lotus Notes® and Domino® software, and other IBM applications. All had been loosely implemented and in some cases did not connect to each other.

Working closely with IBM Business Partner agentbase AG, KDZ Wiesbaden set out to remedy the situation with a new web portal. The solution needed to organize and consolidate all applications, processes and services in a single, easy-to-use interface. It had to address networking, collaboration and knowledge management among member municipalities, external partners, policyholders and internal employees. It required portability to enable staff members to work from home and when traveling. It needed to provide transparency of information, expertise, processes and transactions to those who required it. Finally, the platform had to be open and scalable to allow new applications and services to be added over time.

IBM software powers KDZ portal

In early 2011, the KDZ portal met those requirements. The solution is powered by IBM WebSphere® Portal Extend foundational software available in packages that provide an array of capabilities. The KDZ portal features application integration, document management, role-based content, web content management and collaboration capabilities. WebSphere Portal is complemented by social software from IBM, including IBM Connections, IBM Lotus Quickr® and IBM Lotus® Sametime®.

Together the IBM products provide a robust, scalable and open portal platform that features integrated display of KDZ Wiesbaden applications, databases and directories in a unified interface, as well as enhanced capabilities for communication, cooperation and team collaboration. The IBM software also delivers important Web 2.0 features including searchable online communities, profiles, blogs, wikis, discussion forums, tags and activity lists. These capabilities enable users to link with others in social networks to share information, locate experts and collaborate on ideas for new service offerings.

In practice, the KDZ portal serves as several portals in one, with views of information, processes and applications customized to the needs of different constituents and roles. “The solution powered by IBM WebSphere Portal is a strategic milestone in expanding the collaboration infrastructure of our company," says Ralf-Michael Ortner, division manager at KDZ Wiesbaden. “For the first time, we have succeeded in bringing together all our process participants in a continuous electronic process and collaboration environment.”

Policyholders are engaged through easy-to-use online applications and direct communication channels with KDZ Wiesbaden members. For insurants as the customers, the portal eases networking and collaboration across different municipal organizations, financial service providers and KDZ Wiesbaden itself. Partners, member communities and churches receive a more transparent view into the information, processes and staff involved in providing employee pensions. And KDZ Wiesbaden employees gain a consolidated, integrated interface to all the people, information and processes they need to perform their jobs, including access from home offices or on the road.

After the KDZ Portal was completed, KDZ Wiesbaden contracted with agentbase AG for continued project management and further development.

Transforming the business

The integrated KDZ portal environment for application access, workflow, and team collaboration has greatly improved user productivity. Employees save considerable time with electronic processes, portal application consolidation and a common user interface. Applications are easier to access and use, reducing the need for staff training, and employees no longer waste time jumping between different systems and performing manual data entry. They also benefit from powerful search capabilities to quickly connect with the information, experts and team members they need to perform tasks. Processing times have decreased by 10 to 20 percent, with projected savings of EUR150,000 to EUR250,000 annually.

Thanks to the highly reliable WebSphere networking and collaboration capabilities, KDZ Wiesbaden can extend information, applications and processes to external municipalities, partners, and policyholders as well. With a central place for knowledge management and communication, stakeholders can work together more effectively, even if they belong to different organizations and use different applications. Business information such as benefits statements, pension applications and other services to the communities is more visible and can be checked at anytime.

In addition, the entire community can use social software tools such as web conferencing, instant messaging, chat and public forums. For the first time, these capabilities extend to policyholders, who can share experiences, voice concerns and ask questions directly of KDZ Wiesbaden service employees. Much of the information is public, getting customers involved as never before.

Such give-and-take can lead to better service and provide KDZ Wiesbaden staff members a deeper understanding of customer needs. The portal also offers an effective venue for meeting those needs. It enables new offerings to be created quickly and rolled out in Software as a Service (SaaS) format, for a positive impact on both the top and bottom lines.

“Through the integration of external users and new online processes in the KDZ portal, we are able to provide new services products that were not previously possible,” says Ortner. “Now we are able to offer new services faster, and that leads to an increase in sales.”

A social business...
Embraces networks of people to create business value and exhibits three underlying tenets. It is engaged, transparent and nimble.
Engaged
Improves productivity by making it easier to access applications, locate expertise and collaborate with team members
Transparent
Enhances decision making with greater visibility into processes and better knowledge capture for all stakeholders
Nimble
Increases sales due to more responsive customer support and faster, easier provisioning of new services
Entry point: Deepening customer relationships

For more information

To learn more about the IBM portfolio for social business, contact your IBM sales representative or IBM Business Partner, or visit: ibm.com/software/smarterplanet/socialbusiness

To learn more about IBM WebSphere Portal Extend, please visit: ibm.com/software/websphere/portal/extend

To learn more about agentbase AG, please visit: www.agentbase.de

Products and services used

IBM products and services that were used in this case study.

Software:
WebSphere Portal Extend, Lotus Quickr, Lotus Sametime Standard, IBM Connections

Legal Information

© Copyright IBM Corporation 2012 IBM Corporation Software Group Route 100 Somers, NY 10589 Produced in the United States of America November 2012 IBM, the IBM logo, ibm.com, Lotus, Lotus Notes, Domino, Quickr, Sametime, and WebSphere are trademarks of International Business Machines Corp., registered in many jurisdictions worldwide. Other product and service names might be trademarks of IBM or other companies. A current list of IBM trademarks is available on the web at “Copyright and trademark information” at ibm.com/legal/copytrade.shtml This document is current as of the initial date of publication and may be changed by IBM at any time. Not all offerings are available in every country in which IBM operates. THE INFORMATION IN THIS DOCUMENT IS PROVIDED “AS IS“ WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING WITHOUT ANY WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY, FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE AND ANY WARRANTY OR CONDITION OF NON-INFRINGEMENT. IBM products are warranted according to the terms and conditions of the agreements under which they are provided.