Booz Allen Hamilton is one of those organizations that pops up every time Enterprise 2.0 is mentioned. I’ve attended at least three Enterprise 2.0 events where they were highlighted. It seems they must be the only large business doing stuff in the E20 space!
Anyway – BAH just flicked the switch on the next generation of their intranet, hello.bah.com. According to a release from one of the technology providers (this is a collaboration between Microsoft and MindTouch (see disclosure)), the next generation Hello includes a bunch of new functionality for BAH users, including rich user profiles, an integrated user experience (e.g. connection to PeopleSoft), more powerful search, and better contextual information so that content and people can more easily be found. It’s also made use of user-centric dashboards and a content rating system.
MindTouch provided the infographic below to explain about BAH and the Hello.bah.com application itself;
I’d kind of disagree that the intranet is a major factor in BAH’s #52 rank in fortune’s top places to work – there are a lot of factors that go up to making a good workplace – it’s seldom that I hear of the quality of the corporate intranet being a major factor, but whatever.
According to Walton Smith, who headed up the project for BAH, Hello has created operational client delivery efficiencies and increased sales. Further, because of Hello, Booz Allen is seen as a progressive leader by top government institutions, which is leading to increased business opportunities for the company. The first is a positive result, the second is a short term aberration caused by BAH being an early adopter of E20, other organizations are unlikely to see these benefits.
Smith sees the value in Hello as coming from the ability to link subject matter experts with knowledge consumers, as he says:
From my experience in the consulting industry, relating consulting engagements to people and to work product was always a major challenge. Who were the experts? Where were the client deliverables? How can we win new accounts by leveraging what has already been created in the firm? I rarely found the answer to all three questions. Moreover, scheduling time with the subject matter experts was a difficult task. They were either engaged with a new client half-way around the globe or had left the firm. Now, with Hello, content and people are linked contextually. Simply do a subject search and the results map out the relationships to content and people. That’s powerful stuff.
MindTouch are keen to use Smith as an example to other people within enterprise who might be toying with the idea of deploying E20 solutions. Apparently because of his efforts with hello.bah, Walton was recently promoted to Principal. MindTouch herald this saying that:
The firm recognized his contributions and rewarded him accordingly. He took a chance and changed everything.
A little over the top perhaps and I’m sure the enterprise 2.0 world is looking forward to seeing some case studies from someone OTHER than Booz Allen Hamilton, but nevertheless Smith, and BAH should be proud of being true innovators in this space.