Headquartered in Leuven, Belgium, imec is a strategic research center with a global reputation for excellence in the development of cutting-edge digital and nanotech solutions. But with 4,000 employees in locations around the world, imec communication leaders were looking for a digital workplace solution – and the right partner – to enable and enrich collaborations between their skilled experts and partners.
“As a research and innovation hub, we collaborate with companies as well as universities and start-ups,” explains Linn Angé, Corporate & Outreach Communications Manager at imec. “As such, the ability to facilitate rich, secure and effortless communication is key to our success.” Sonja Van Aelst, Digital Workplace manager at imec, adds “Our mission was to create the best Digital Workplace Hub for our employees.”
Before imec launched the digital workplace hub project, the team was involved in many different initiatives. “We were working on creating a new intranet, finding a solution for team collaboration and replacing Skype for Business,” Sonja goes on to say. “delaware came in and immediately proposed a different approach.”
The delaware team began first with a study to define the overall digital workplace vision within the organization. Sonja: “Based on the results, delaware helped us define a roadmap and overall architecture and landscape that prioritized security, so that we can protect our IP.”
Imec engaged with delaware to facilitate four projects that all needed to be created and embedded in the Microsoft Teams platform:
Imec chose delaware because of its end-to-end solutions and services portfolio. “delaware is able to run our program from A to Z,” Sonja asserts. “They also have in-depth knowledge of the platform and its technology. We felt that delaware was investing in the success of the program, and also that their team was committed to delivering the best-quality results in a short time frame.”
Cross-team communication and collaboration were also vital. “Working hand in hand with delaware and imec’s ICT, HR and corporate communication teams was key to the success of the project,” Linn adds.
“It’s really important not to underestimate the importance of a communication and user adoption plan, to define it from the beginning and treat it as a separate project,” emphasizes Sonja.
Imec established a community of digital workplace ambassadors, which were crucial in connecting with its 4,000 employees. “Because of the coronavirus crisis, we weren’t able to organize physical roadshows or training sessions, so we did it all online using the digital workplace hub that we built together with delaware.”
Imec’s next goal is to kickstart its digital workplace program 2.0. Linn says: “We’ll focus on employee journeys and knowledge management. Together with HR, we will also create a new work culture at imec, focusing on team and cross-team collaboration and knowledge transfer.”
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