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Case Study - Home Depot Information Systems

Autor:   •  February 14, 2018  •  2,055 Words (9 Pages)  •  922 Views

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3. Why were some collaborative technologies slow to catch on at P&G?

Some of the collaborative technologies were slow to catch on at P&G simply due to human nature. People resist change in most instances, and in this case, many of the Procter and Gamble employees were already used to using emails in the daily work environment. Joe Schueller, Innovation Manager for P&G’s Global business Services division, struggled with getting other P&G employees to use newer products in place of e-mail. Apparently a tool for communication, email is not a sufficiently collaborative way to share information; senders control the flow of information, but my fail to send mail to colleagues who most need to see it, and colleagues that don’t need to see certain emails will receive mailings long after they lost interest. Employees have resisted the changes, insisting that newer collaborative tools represent more work on top of e-mail, as oppose to a better alternative.

When Procter and Gamble implemented these new technologies like the Microsoft technologies and Connectbeam in their organization, their main concern was that if enough employees didn’t use these tools, then they would be useless to those that were using them. Colleagues cannot communicate or obtain information if they are using different information systems. Collaborative tools grow in usefulness as more and more workers contribute their information and insights. They also allow employees quicker access to the experts within the company that have needed information and knowledge.

Another collaborative technology P&G adopted was the large-scale implementation of Cisco TelePresence conference rooms at many locations across the globe. This technology makes it possible to hold high-definition meeting over long distances, which is an efficient and cheaper way to foster collaboration between employees across the world. The only issue with such a large overhaul is that P&G had to ensure that the studios were built to particular specifications in each of the geographically diverse locations where they were installed. Cisco was able to accomplish these specifications, and now P&G’s estimate that 35% of its employees use telepresence continuously, and in some locations usage is as high as 70%. As more and more employees use this technology the more useful and efficient it becomes.

4. Compare P&G’s old and new processes for writing up and distributing the results of a research experiment.

Procter and Gamble’s old processes for writing up and distributing the results of research experiments were obsolete and time consuming to say the least. When executives traveled to meet with regional managers, there was no way to integrate all the reports and discussions into a single document. One executive actually used paste to glue the results of experiments into word documents and passed them out at a conference. Another executive manually entered his data and speech into PowerPoint slides, and then emailed the file to his colleagues. Often times that same file would end up in countless individuals’ mailboxes. There are many tools and technologies for collaboration and social business today. Wikis, virtual worlds, virtual meeting systems, and cloud collaboration services are types of information systems that help a collaborative, team oriented culture produce benefits. (P61). P&G’s own IT department utilized a browser based collaboration, Microsoft SharePoint; to create pages where researches, executives, employees and other business partners can see virtually any type of information within the organization. SharePoint software makes it possible for employees to share their documents and collaborate on projects using Office documents as a foundation. (P62).

Now at Procter and Gamble, employees can utilize technologies for collaboration like InnovationNet. InnovationNet contains over 5 million research related documents in digital format accessible via a browser-based portal. Instead of executives having to “glue” results of a research experiment, colleagues can now access the information that scientists have posted themselves. Employees can now access information about research, or experiments, communicate through blogs or Microsoft Outlook, or search for information on Proctor and Gambles new tools and technologies for collaboration and social business.

5. Why is telepresence such a useful collaborative tool for a company like P&G?

Procter and Gamble house approximately 140,000 employees in more than eighty countries. Being the largest manufacturer of consumer products in the world, its only logical that a company of such size and volume utilize a very useful collaborative tool like telepresence technologies. Telepresence technologies shrink the size of the globe to the size of a computer; with the Internet and with virtual worlds colleagues can meet and collaborate without every leaving their office. ”In an effort to reduce travel expenses, many companies, both large and small, are adopting videoconferencing and web conferencing technologies.” (P61) Implementing a large-scale adoption of Cisco TelePresence conference rooms at many of P&G’s locations across the globe in not only cost efficient, but also produces positive collaborative results. Today, the technology makes it possible to hold high-definition meeting over long distances. Employees actually utilizing this technology ranges from 30% all the way up to 70%, and have found benefits including significant travel savings, more efficient flow of ideas and quicker decision-making. What once took days, decisions can now be made in minutes.

6. Can you think of other ways P&G could use collaboration to foster innovation?

Procter and Gamble surely has many information technologies that could be utilized to foster innovation. One of these technologies includes the use of intranets and extranets. “Intranets are internal corporate networks based on Internet technology, providing the connectivity to link to different systems and networks. Private intranets, extended to authorized users outside the organization are called extranets. Firms use such networks to coordinate their activities with other firms for making purchases, collaborating on design, and other inter-organizational work.” (P22). Communication between employees of different departments, as well as collaboration with product review can foster innovation.

Other ways P&G could use collaboration to foster innovation is the utilization of cloud collaboration services or wikis. “Google Drive is a file storage and synchronization service for cloud


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