March 27, 2012, 9:59 PM — Executives at AstraZeneca, a global pharmaceutical company, know that it's not enough to provide social collaboration tools for their employees. Those tools need to be highly mobile.
Employees are likely to be happy to get enterprise-level social collaboration tools, but they are just as likely to be frustrated if those tools aren't highly mobile, said Angela Yochem, chief technology officer at AstraZeneca, which has 57,200 employees in the U.S., Europe and Asia.
Angela Yochem, chief technology officer at AstraZeneca.
Enterprises are increasingly turning to social collaboration tools to get their employees working together and sharing resources and information. Companies are using enterprise-level versions of Facebook -like profiles and networks, instant messaging, videoconferencing and microblogging.
But it's not enough to be social. Workers want to be social while they're on the move, having these social tools working only a laptop isn't going to cut it.
"Our job is to provide access to information and resources as quickly and painlessly as we possibly can," Yochem said. "If that means providing communication access through mobile devices of any sort, or Google TV, or a desktop or laptop, we want to be able to provide that. That's very important."
AstraZeneca uses Microsoft SharePoint for collaboration and is in the midst of a pilot program with Microsoft Lync, a unified communications software. Yochem said 3,400 AstraZeneca employees across 33 countries are participating in the Lync pilot.
It's important to Yochem that Lync work on tablets and smartphones , as well as on desktops and laptops. "We don't want to have to restrict people for what works for them," she told Computerworld. "We want to provide a sophisticated level of collaboration capability no matter what they're using."