"We wanted to do this right and we knew the space was moving fast, but if we chose a partner that would fit in our requirements and allow us to grow over time, that would be the ideal scenario," Arnott says. Ultimately, they signed with IBM, and the project got underway in January 2011.
Laying the Social Enterprise Foundation
The first phase of the project was technical, Arnott says. This consisted of installing the software in the TD Bank environment, scaling and ensuring it wouldn't cause any unintended consequences.
"From a technology work effort, it was a fairly vanilla implementation that focused on ensuring all the physical environments were built and functioning correctly," CIO Crisp says. "We quickly stood up the development environment, made small enhancements to give it a TD look and feel, hooked it up to our internal directory structures, and then moved through our standard testing processes and into production."
The second phase was adoption planning and change management, which consisted of determining which business units and groups had collaboration needs and would get the most business value out of being in the pilot group.
To prepare the select groups for the pilot, TD Bank ran workshops with them to understand how they collaborated, then mapped back to them the opportunities they saw with features from the enterprise social network, such as blogs, wikis and file sharing, Arnott says. "It was more of a validation process so they came to agree that it made sense to them."
Crisp says they were able to go live with the pilot within eight months of signing the contract.
Watching the TD Bank Pilot Program Grow
Fifteen groups totaling 500 employees were initially enrolled in the pilot, and during this time, Arnott's and Crisp's groups tweaked and refined the tools. "It helped the technology because we had real people using it in real ways," Arnott says. By the end of the pilot, 2,000 users were enrolled. "The interesting thing about social networks is they tend to spread a little bit," Arnott says.
Crisp's group experienced some challenges with U.S. employees with single sign-on, but they were aware of the issue early and adjusted the project plan to resolve it, she says.
Once the pilot concluded in November 2011, TD Bank brought on 50,000 users. Among the features the platform includes are profiles, which denote who employees are and their experience, among other items; tagging, specifically in profiles, lets others search for subject or skill experts; communities, which is TD Bank's collaboration forum; blogging; forums; and wikis.
The Social Network Spreads, Email Usage Shrinks