Drug firm Pfizer, which has been under pressure recently over employee data breaches, has revealed how it is using social networking tools internally to improve communication.
Speaking at the Office 2.0 conference in San Francisco, Simon Revell, who manages the firm’s Enterprise 2.0 initiative, said he got the green light a year ago after being frustrated by his team's existing communications methods.
In July 2006, he and a some colleagues interested in Web 2.0 technologies started a blog that was open to all employees.
Then the small band of Web 2.0 champions, who met over lunch to develop plans for the Enterprise 2.0 efforts, held a week-long conference for company employees last November to discuss how blogs, wikis and social networking could be used at Pfizer. There were 300,000 hits on the conference web site, which broadcast the event live, and offered blogs and podcasts to employees worldwide.
Since then, the company has started an online community for employees to learn how they can use Web 2.0 tools in their parts of the company. The company also has also launched a laboratory for testing new Enterprise 2.0 technologies.
Revell said the success of his grassroots effort around Enterprise 2.0 came to the fore a few weeks ago when he was asked to present information about several of the projects to the company's IT executives. "We're getting so many doors opened to us now and so many opportunities to try out this stuff," he said. "So many people are keen to look at it and examine it."