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IBM Social Software Improves Employee Collaboration at Bayer


ARMONK, N.Y. - IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced that Bayer MaterialScience (BMS) has chosen IBM social software to help foster greater collaboration and information sharing among BMS’ 14,300 employees worldwide.

BMS, a Bayer Group company headquartered in Germany, has 30 production sites around the world and is among the world’s largest polymer companies, based on 2009 sales. Business activities focus on the manufacture of high-tech polymer materials, high-performance plastics and the development of innovative solutions for products used in many areas of daily life for the automotive, electrical and electronics, construction and the sports and leisure industries.

BMS chose IBM Lotus Connections to significantly improve the way employees communicate, collaborate and process information globally, in line with a Bayer Group-wide initiative, called the Personalized WorkPlace (PWP) program, which aims to update Bayer’s current office and collaboration environment. With Lotus Connections, Bayer employees can now more readily find experts that specialize in specific areas of the business, and can easily collaborate on projects with coworkers that are located at different areas of the globe.

“The power of Connections is that the knowledge sharing process is totally embedded in the tool,” said Kurt De Ruwe, chief information officer at BMS. “When a person adds a piece of information it is automatically linked to other information available in communities, wikis or blogs. Lotus Connections 3.0 has even increased these capabilities. You can now also see what areas of interest you have in common with other people, what communities you share or what people and information topics you are following. Connections 3.0 comes with other enhancements that empower users even more to share and find relevant information.”

Lotus Connections provides many social collaborative tools including blogs, wikis, profiles, bookmarks, communities, forums, file sharing, and activities. These tools empower business professionals to develop, nurture, and remain in contact with a network of colleagues, respond quickly to business opportunities and discuss and refine ideas.

Employees at BMS are using Lotus Connections to create a “community” that pulls together groups of individuals based on a mutual collaborative focus or business need or interest. In one community, a BMS employee used a combination of blogs, wikis and activities to share media reports on the use of polyurethane in buildings with global counterparts, for example. In another community, a BMS employee used a chain of live discussions in order to reach a critical global decision faster, instead of having to comb through long email chains.

BMS also has plans to develop a global intranet, which would promote unity and a greater collaboration between business units across regions.

Lotus Connections is an integral part of the future office environment at BMS. It is the entry point for all collaboration and communication and is one of the corner stones of the new global intranet that will be rolled out early next year. The new intranet will would promote unity and a greater collaboration between business units across regions.

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