Thursday, July 23, 2015

Traveling Is about Making Connections

Summertime is upon us in the Northern Hemisphere, and for many that means getting on a plane for a well-deserved vacation. Or a couple planes, as the case may be. They say you should never have a layover shorter than an hour, just in case your first leg is delayed, but I like to leave extra time so that I can grab a meal or at least a snack before my connecting flight. I like to make travel as stress-free as possible, and as much as I like my co-workers, that includes disconnecting from work.

imageSSP knows about both kind of connections—the airport kind and the workplace kind. As the owner, operator and franchiser of food, beverage and other concessions at airports around the world, the company known as “The Food Travel Experts” helps travelers make the most of their time in between connecting flights. Internally, the company is expert at connecting its more than 30,000 employees via a new social networking platform based on IBM Connections.

With a company like SSP, which operates more than 400 travel locations around the globe, meeting customers’ needs means understanding and being able to serve many different markets and cultures. Yet this type of diversified customer base and dispersed workforce makes it more, not less, important to connect employees so that they may share experiences and insights, tap into expertise and work together to come up with new ideas. These are demands that cannot be addressed by email alone.

Recognizing this, SSP sought to build a social platform that would allow employees to form networks and communities to spark knowledge sharing, and give them a more intelligent way to manage agendas, meetings and documents. The result was SSP Connections, built in conjunction with IBM Business Partner Atriom. By promoting the platform through blogs, an email campaign, hands-on workshops and more, SSP had more than 1,500 employees adopt the system in the first five months, and plans to continue that success with more workshops, regional awareness programs and absorbing business processes into SSP Connections. The system is accessible through a range of mobile devices, a must-have with a workforce as dispersed and on-the-go as SSP’s.

Internal social platforms are drivers of productivity and innovation as well as employee engagement, with workers feeling more connected to their company and to each other, even across international boundaries and cultural divides. An intelligently designed and implemented platform like SSP Connections provides an invaluable discovery tool for workers to form new relationships with colleagues they would otherwise not have met. With mobile integration, these platforms let workers stay connected and productive even when they’re away from their laptop – just hopefully not when they’re on summer vacation.

Click here to learn more about SSP and its social platform.

from Social Business Insights Blog

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