Published on 06-Feb-2013
"We are highly satisfied with the IBM Lotus Domino solution implemented by FSS IT SOLUTIONS. This intranet platform has dramatically improved the quality of communication within the company, and enables us to work more efficiently." - Albrecht Buchheister, Head of IT, Spar- und Bauverein eG
Spar- und Bauverein eG
Business Integration, Enabling Business Flexibility, Information Integration
IBM Business Partner:
FSS IT SOLUTIONS GmbH
Spar- und Bauverein eG is a leading housing association with approximately 70 staff, providing homes and services to communities in Hannover, Germany. Founded in 1885, it has more than 23,000 members and manages approximately 8,000 rental properties. Spar- und Bauverein also provides attractive savings accounts for its members, and invests the money deposited in modernising and expanding its property portfolio, as well as offering generous interest rates and high-quality accommodation.
Spar- und Bauverein, a German housing association, replaced its real estate software with modern applications including new email software. At the same time, it wanted to modernise internal collaboration – enabling the effective management of over 8,000 properties.
Spar- und Bauverein and FSS IT SOLUTIONS implemented IBM® Lotus® Domino® software – creating a web application that acts as a corporate intranet and enables employees to exchange information easily.
Boosts efficiency of teamwork within the company. Reduces the need to manage projects by email. Increases project visibility by sharing important information online.
To read a German version of this case study, please click here.
Spar- und Bauverein eG is a leading housing association with approximately 70 staff, providing homes and services to communities in Hannover, Germany. Founded in 1885, it has more than 23,000 members and manages approximately 8,000 rental properties. Spar- und Bauverein also provides attractive savings accounts for its members, and invests the money deposited in modernising and expanding its property portfolio, as well as offering generous interest rates and high-quality accommodation. With total deposits of over €172 million across more than 70,000 savings accounts, Spar- und Bauverein currently has one of the largest savings portfolios of all the housing associations in Germany.
Importance of efficient collaboration
To manage over 8,000 properties effectively, Spar- und Bauverein needs its employees to be able to collaborate effectively on shared tasks. After implementing new email software, the company needed a web solution to enable employees to rapidly exchange information. Previously, employees could add information to an IBM Lotus Domino database for all to see. The company now wanted employees to do this in a modern web application. The solution was designed to provide employees with a better overview of projects and other information.
Spar- und Bauverein asked IBM Business Partner FSS IT SOLUTIONS to provide a platform that would support effective teamwork and collaboration for shared documents and events. FSS IT SOLUTIONS used IBM Lotus Domino software to create a web-based application, which now serves as the company intranet. FSS IT SOLUTIONS adapted the solution to the company’s needs using the XPages design feature of the Lotus Domino software. Spar- und Bauverein uses this application for all tasks which require collaboration between employees.
The implementation went very smoothly and was completed within just 20 days. Spar- und Bauverein believes that the new solution provides excellent value for money compared to similar solutions available on the market.
Keeping employees up to speed
When the implementation was complete, users quickly noticed the benefits of the new solution. Albrecht Buchheister, Head of IT at Spar- und Bauverein eG, explains, “When users log in to the intranet, they automatically see a list of new updates that they have not yet read. Any unread news and new or updated documents are displayed in a separate list. This means that staff no longer miss important updates, and it reduces the need for them to send out emails enquiring about project status. This setup is particularly useful when employees return from holiday, as they can see all the important updates for their projects in one central location.”
The solution also informs employees when meetings are scheduled. Albrecht Buchheister says, “Since everyone uses the intranet every day and can see all the planned agendas, employees are more likely to prepare for meetings adequately.” The IT team also decided that the solution should display employees’ birthdays in the company calendar. Albrecht Buchheister explains, “Since Spar- und Bauverein is an excellent team of around 70 employees, this creates a real sense of community spirit within the company. We also share pictures taken at corporate events using the company photo gallery on the new intranet.”
When the IBM Lotus Domino solution was implemented more than ten years ago, it transformed Spar- und Bauverein into a modern workplace. Now the new web application has brought it up to date. Employees can now access the web application remotely from home or using mobile devices.
Improving collaboration on shared documents
With the new solution, employees can collaborate on shared documents much more effectively. For each document published on the intranet, users can see the date published, the expiry date, the author, and any important updates or new versions, so everyone is always kept up to date. Albrecht Buchheister comments, “The employees also gain a sense of document ownership, since they can see who is responsible for each piece of information.”
Staff members can decide how long a document remains online. Each document has an expiry date and employees can easily select whether the document should be archived after it expires. This easily accessible archive supports long-term document storage and avoids cluttering the system with expired documents.
Albrecht Buchheister says, “Our company intranet is a central platform for diverse information. By successfully linking the information to the company handbook, absence management (such as annual leave) and processes, employees can start other IBM Lotus Domino web applications at the click of a mouse.”
Simpler contact management
In addition, Spar- und Bauverein has created a centralised employee database. If an employee has a new phone number or makes other changes to their personal information, they can simply update it once on the central system, and all other users will immediately see the new information. This is much more efficient than storing contact information in individual users’ email address books, because it provides a single, accurate source of data for the whole company.
Built-in technical support
In parallel, FSS IT SOLUTIONS implemented a ticketing system for technical support. Users register any technical faults by email, track the status of the problems and see who is working on them in the new IBM Lotus Domino web application. As a result, the IT team is able to resolve issues and get users back online as quickly as possible.
Rapid adoption throughout the business
Albrecht Buchheister says, “We had no problems encouraging our employees to adopt the new system, as it makes collaboration and document management much more modern than before.”
Albrecht Buchheister remarks, “We are highly satisfied with the IBM Lotus Domino solution implemented by FSS IT SOLUTIONS. This intranet platform has dramatically improved the quality of communication within the company, and enables us to work more efficiently. Utilising our existing IBM Lotus Domino platform meant that we didn’t need to purchase any additional software, and the new intranet solution provides a reliable platform for collaboration that we have customised to fit the demands of our business.”
Products and services used
IBM products and services that were used in this case study.
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