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Sony: Digital Solution for Collaboration

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Fingent Corporation
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Sony wanted their employees from across divisions worldwide, to easily come together, cooperate, communicate and act as an efficient team.

Sony Mobile: the Success Story Enabling a Smarter Digital Workplace Solution

Client’s Challenge:

To use a smart digital solution to increase collaboration and communication between employees and other contributors across Sony’s global offices. The desired results:

  • Highly connected environment
  • Easy, quick and accurate access to relevant data
  • Reduced email overheads, better collaboration, and increased efficiency

Fingent’s Solution:

The TOP THREE suitable software solutions that would fulfill Sony Mobile’s digital workplace objectives were shortlisted :

“I had a terrible dream last night: Me and my colleague dropped the plan of meeting up for the coffee at canteen and spent 15 minutes texting each other about the day’s work. Meanwhile, I ignored a cute co-worker asking me the time, because I was busy texting. A little later, instead of walking up to my boss to discuss about my leave next week, I applied for leave from my system and sent him a mail. He probably forgot about the meeting kept for next week, or missed my mail; I wasn’t quite sure why he didn’t ask me the details. In the lunch break, I was busy connecting with my 500+ Facebook friends through my mobile when I noticed that my colleague sitting beside trashed his food. When asked why, he said he finished his sauce and couldn’t eat without it; I felt bad, because I had too much sauce in my own lunch box! ” And if you still don’t understand, this is not a dream! This is not even a story. This is how people today have adopted good technology’ to behave odd in workplaces. I am sure many of us can connect to some of these instances, knowingly or unknowingly. Technology has dramatically reshaped the average workspace, for instance, it has increased efficiency, productivity, security and improved cost managements over the past few years. Together with the benefits, it has also brought some negatives. The scene explained above was a depiction of how technology has negatively affected the modern workspace. According to Forbes, by 2020, more than 50% of the workforce will prefer instant messaging/ social media interaction to face-to-face interaction, communication and collaboration. Very slowly, the internet, mobiles, tablets and other technologies are disconnecting us from the world around us, destroying the meaning of direct interactions and leading us to a sense of isolation from the live environment around us.

A TRUE BUT SAD PRESENT-DAY STORY

Sony Mobile Communications forecasted the risk of such a trend spreading in their work environment. Ask the CEOs, Managers or even employees of any enterprise organizations about the goals or elements that were instrumental to their success, each one of them would have a similar story to share. And ‘collaborating with their teams’ would certainly be an important part of this story. Sony wanted to, at any cost, put an end to such a work culture where everyone is too busy or too involved with their own work that they have no time to interact with their colleagues to get help from or offer help to. The company wanted their employees from across divisions worldwide, to easily come together, cooperate, communicate and act as an efficient team. Their mission was to “enable communication and collaboration for employees and other contributors through digital services”, crossing geographical boundaries. They needed advice in analyzing existing industry options and find powerful technology which could unite their employees from across the world, enable them to work jointly and efficiently as a team.

THE STORY OF SONY MOBILES

The challenges faced by Sony Mobile Wide variance in perceived needs: The different surveys, interviews and other user feedback gathered by Sony Mobile during the early pre-study phase reveal the vast set of perceived needs, and pains associated with their existing solution. The different requirements and the difference in opinion about the importance of these made the situation complex.

For instance, employee A believes that Communication between employees is critical, whereas employee B thinks it’s far less relevant. Digital Workspace landscape complexity: The technology landscape for digital solutions has grown remarkably over the last few years. There are a number of available solutions offering enterprise portals, enterprise content management, collaborative project management, intranet solution and document management. These options combined with requirements like social collaboration, multi-device support, and cross-application user experience gives an overwhelming number of possible options. Choosing the best was the challenge!

Inter-connectivity and usability: Surveys found that the disparate systems that were in use made even the simplest of tasks complex, distracting and difficult. This issue appeared to have stemmed from the diverse demands on the IT solution owing to the growing culture, processes and organizational structure… In such a scenario any solution that is applied must be accompanied by good IT governance and must have the following features :

• It must be customizable to meet the changing needs of the business environment and workspace requirements.

• Must offer interconnectivity with some available solutions that can’t be replaced.

• Should enable efficient completion of critical tasks with smooth user experience and better speed.

Sony Mobile’s workspace collaboration: How Fingent analyzed their problem?

Sony Mobiles wanted “ An inspiring and collaborative digital workplace enabling innovation and engagement everywhere ”. To lighten up their vision, Fingent’s team started by setting itself on an investigation mission, spread across different divisions of Sony, at Atlanta, Beijing, Taipei, Lund, Tokyo across twelve departments (like Development, Sourcing, Global Sales, Corporate IT, Supply Chain, Product Marketing, Strategy, HR, Sales, Q&CS, Sourcing etc.) covering over 600 individual user feedback points. The User Needs Analysis process identified 9 categories and 48 subcategories and was combined with the output from technology analysis process to arrive at possible recommendations. A pre-study survey was conducted at Sony to gather the key pains points, and improvement ideas that define action plans, determine the IT demands, and further develop a roadmap to achieve the Sony’s vision of collaborative digital workspace. The survey showed that people had problems in the following areas: Sharing information, finding information, coordinating, becoming aware, finding people and expertise, networking, communicating, meeting, Co-creating and others. Further analyses were performed to organize and define the results of the survey and further identify the industry’s leading software solutions that would contribute to resolving the analyzed digital workspace pains.

Technology Analysis

Finding the potential software solutions for Sony Based on the surveys and industry researches on potential software solutions, our technical analysis process identified 23 suitable software solutions (across the categories: Enterprise Portals, enterprise content management, collaborative project management, intranet solutions and document management solutions) from over 300 available options.

These solutions were analyzed in detail through:

  • Installation and usage trials
  • Vendor Discussions
  • Analysis of reviews and feedback from users
  • Customizability checks
  • Interconnectivity checks
  • Extensibility checks
  • Review of documentation and training material

For every User Need Category identified in the User Analysis process, each of the 23 options was ranked based on its overall feasibility to satisfy user requirements. The demo version of the shortlisted products were then downloaded and installed for a detailed feature wise review. Each product was then rated on a scale of 1(equal importance) to 9(very strong importance) for each key objective identified. Pairwise comparison using an Eigen value-based analytics The analytic method is a structured technique for organizing and analyzing complex decisions, based in mathematics, and psychology. It was used to convert the evaluations into numerical values that can be processed and compared to determine the most suitable solutions.

Fingent shortlisted 3 software solutions for SONY Mobiles: the final phase An industry research for the leading Intranet and ECM solutions was performed and the shortlisted software solution that encompasses most or all of the key objectives and capability features were identified. The potential software solutions that facilitate these features were then subjected to a pairwise comparison for each of the 9 capability features to identify the most suitable solution. The priority scores from the comparisons were then formulated into an ‘n*n matrix’ (where n is the number of software solutions). The data projected in the matrix was then computed to generate the Eigen Matrix of the comparisons. The Eigen matrix was then processed to calculate the Eigenvector for each software

Solution:

A consolidated result of the above was then displayed in the Priority matrix which displays the software’s priority percentage and ranking. The readings generated were then normalized to find the TOP THREE most suitable software solutions that would fulfill Sony Mobile’s digital workplace objectives and these were: Fingent finally recommended choosing any one of the above 3 solutions taking into account the long-term IT roadmap, cost/budget constraints, employee competence and the timeline for deployment. The impact Over the course of 1.5 months, we successfully found the best digital software that SONY can use across its divisions worldwide to enable a collaborative digital workspace. The solution could increase the overall employee communication by more than 30%, build on productivity and increase overall efficiency. With such an increase Sony Mobile could effectively meet deadlines twice as much and add almost thrice the value to their projects. Fingent aimed at helping Sony create an atmosphere of collaboration that can be the stepping stone towards industry innovations.