Social Networking Trumps a Static Intranet
Part of the Wolters Kluwer group of information services companies, Kluwer is the
Netherlands’ largest online publisher for professionals and knowledge workers.
The company delivers expert information to those engaged in fields such as law,
taxation, human resources, and marketing. Kluwer works closely with authors
and customers to provide specialized products and services that give professionals
the up-to-date and relevant information they need to work efficiently and effectively.
To do the same for its own workforce of 700, the company embarked on a
review of its communications channels in early 2012. The study revealed that
the existing company intranet was not widely used by employees, and its static
nature wasn’t supporting senior managers’ goals for knowledge sharing and
collaboration. “We needed a central resource where the entire staff could
go to find information on the company and updates on what was happening
with particular initiatives,” explains Regulatory Business Unit Manager Frans
Klaassen. “Even more important, we required a platform that was dynamic and
offered staff a chance to start dialogues, share ideas, and work with others in
the company including people they may not know.”
Another significant issue that Kluwer faced pertained to ownership of the intranet.
“At times, people who wanted to add information or updates were unaware which
department or person was in charge of content,” says Program Manager Mirjam
Riedel. “We wanted a new system that would ensure that anyone in the company
would be able to post information they considered relevant to their colleagues.”
Success Story | PUBLISHING
Kluwer turned to Yammer to replace the company intranet with a social
platform to encourage employee collaboration and improve internal
>> More than three-quarters of Kluwer employees are engaged with the
network, which includes a large number of communities devoted to
shared projects and interests.
>> Yammer is now the central resource for colleagues to connect, share
information, and work together on projects.
>> The network acts as a hub for innovation, providing employees with a
platform to develop ideas on improving workflow, products, and ultimately,
Regulatory Business Unit Manager
Our aim was to create a company
culture that fostered openness,
bringing a real community feel to
the organization. With Yammer, we
have achieved exactly that.
Contact Sales: 1-888-926-7377 | email@example.com www.yammer.com/customers
Success Story | PUBLISHING
Equally as important as information sharing, Kluwer management wanted
employees to work more closely together to streamline operations and speed up
key business functions. The traditional intranet, which was a static resource used
to broadcast information, did not lend itself to dynamic knowledge sharing. Nor
did it help employees unearth subject matter experts in unexpected departments,
something that Kluwer was keen to address.
Early adopters proactively started using Yammer’s freemium version on a large
scale in December 2011, and the company began replacing its outmoded intranet
with Yammer about six months later. “Our Yammer adoption started from the
ground up,” recalls Innovation Consultant Pim Nauts. “As the number of people
using and benefitting from Yammer increased, managers within the company
“The real driver for our move to Yammer was the benefits that early adopters
were getting from using a social network instead of a static intranet,” Klaassen says.
“Seeing more and more people using Yammer as a platform to share information
and ideas, we began to embrace the idea of a dynamic social network that would
link management and staff across the entire company.”
Collaboration is the Mother of Innovation
Yammer is now the central resource for sharing Kluwer’s company news and updates. Employees are also getting to
know new people within the organization, collaborating on projects, and sharing ideas all of which would not have
been possible before the company replaced its intranet with Yammer.
“Yammer has driven relationships across the company from online to offline,” Nauts observes. “People are meeting on
Yammer by collaborating and sharing ideas across departments, and those relationships often move offline, increasing
the amount of face-to-face time employees have with colleagues including ones they otherwise never would have met.”
Riedel adds, “Though still at an early stage, Yammer has been a resounding success. More than 80 percent of all Kluwer
employees, including senior management, regularly log on to Yammer to find and share information.”
The ultimate test for an enterprise social network’s success is whether it can become self-sustaining, with communities
building around common interests and projects and requiring little administration from any business function. That’s
certainly the case at Kluwer, where staff are creating their own spaces and groups so they can pool their experience and
expertise to improve business agility. Today, there are 21 active groups, including ones focused on innovation, the legal
field, and customer experience. As part of the team focused on innovation, Nauts takes a special interest in groups where
cutting-edge business ideas are shared by staff. “The network has been particularly helpful as an incubator for business
ideas,” he says.
Yammer has been a resounding
success. More than 80 percent of
all employees, including senior
management, regularly log on
to Yammer to find and share
Success Story | PUBLISHING
“Yammer has become Kluwer’s grassroots driver for innovation. The entire company is able to contribute suggestions
on how we can evolve and be creative in order to drive the business forward. Furthermore, we experienced another
significant benefit from the integration with Yammer whereby we saw increased interaction with our already existing
Klaassen sums it up this way: “Our aim was to create a company culture that fostered openness, bringing a real community
feel to the organization. With Yammer, we have achieved exactly that. A large number of employees feel more involved in the
business as a whole and that’s something we never could have achieved with the old system.”
>> Increased employee engagement. More than three-quarters of employees are rated actively “engaged” with the network,
regularly logging on to find and share information.
>> A company of working communities. Employees have created more than 20 active groups centered on shared projects
>> Better and faster knowledge sharing. With greater communication between departments and an end to information
silos, employees are finding the information they need wherever it resides in the company.
>> An engine for great business ideas. Yammer acts as an innovation hub, with a wide range of employees contributing and
For more information about Kluwer: home.kluwer.nl For more information about Yammer: www.yammer.com
Yammer is a leading Enterprise Social Networking platform used by over 200,000 organizations worldwide
including 85% of the Fortune 500 to foster team collaboration, empower employees, and drive business
transformation. Yammer’s freemium business model lets customers see the value of Yammer before upgrading
to the premium offering. Founded in 2008, Yammer is now part of the Microsoft Office Division.