Before Jive we had an internet portal which was a burning platform in the sense that it was old, out of date, a lot of security vulnerabilities, and it was really a one-way communication device. We described it as our megaphone. And so we really wanted to engage the employees better. Jive was the platform we chose for that.
Jive did everything we needed, virtually out of the box. We took it right out of the box and it’s easy to use. Training is really light. Because it’s cloud-based we were able to deploy this to all of our 250,000 users in one e-mail. It happened overnight and we did it on time when we expected it to happen, and we did it within budget. All IT projects have doubt about whether they’re really as far along as they say they are – are you really on budget? And we were able to prove that, yeah, we can do this on schedule, on budget.
One of the powerful things in Jive, for us at least, is that we can use it as a communication vehicle, which is from our corporate departments, our travel and entertainment policies, and things like that – things you typically don’t want people to collaborate on; it is what it is. That is right alongside a really open collaborative platform where people can find other people and they can exchange ideas. There are real communities that are being formed. There’s a sense of belonging. People are sharing experiences, and I think making connections out there. But the real power is the speed at which people are coming to conclusions or coming to best practices and the way in which those best practices are being shared across the globe.
In many parts of the world, our employees don’t have computers, all they have are phones, and the fact that Jive is mobile-enabled was a key consideration for us.
Jive solved one of the biggest pain points we had with our prior platform which was search. Before we couldn’t find things. You searched around, you sent e-mails, you made phone calls. Today, it takes five seconds to find what you’re looking for.
So Jive is to Starwood, at the base, it’s our intranet portal. But really, it’s a place where you can go to get information, to find people who have common interests or common jobs. And really, to collaborate and solve problems, find those best practices, drive productivity in our operation, and ultimately, I think, improve our guest experiences in our properties – which means loyalty, it means shareholder value. And I think for the employees it means it’s a funner, better place to work.