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Case Studies
Royal Ahold

Ahold Takes G+ Internal to Promote Social Collaboration

Industry                     Service

      Retail                                              Mobile Application

Region                        Company size

      EU                                                   >50.000

Challenge: Ahold's strategy to reshape retail is designed to enable them to take advantage of rapidly changing customer behavior and retail trends, while staying competitive and successful. However communicating that strategy to over 200,000 people was proving challenging. While executive leaders within the organization had a clear understanding of the strategy, the organisation’s existing communications channels were ineffective in sharing that strategy. The firm needed to find a simple, effective mechanism for sharing corporate messages, policies and other operational information with over 50,000 of their knowledge workers and leaders throughout the world. The initiative was to increase the number of people creating, sharing and consuming corporate information. Their existing intranet and content management platforms were inflexible, poorly used, centrally controlled and expensive to maintain.

Approach: Ahold wanted a social style capability built into the Intranet. G+ was considered as an option but eliminated on the basis of functional constraints. 3rd party social applications such as Yammer were considered, but instead, to maintain alignment with the google-centric IT strategy, the client decided on a Google App Engine based custom social intranet application. This application, designed to offer G+ style functionality, offered a social stream, commenting, people directory and to sync of ‘circles’ with Active Directory.

Results: From inception to full deployment, Phase 1 of the project was completed in less than 12 weeks and cost less than the annual maintenance fee of the system it replaced. Phase 2, the Social Intranet Application tool less than 8 weeks to design, build and deliver, and was less than 10% of the cost of an alternative third party solution being considered. Benefits Since Go Live, the number of authors actively creating content rose ten fold and overall engagement with the site rose by more than 50%.

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