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Case Study - Home Depot Information Systems

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Dane Stone



Case Study Chapter 2:Proctor and Gamble

Case Study: Collaboration and Innovation at Procter & Gamble

1. What is Procter & Gamble’s business strategy?

Procter and Gamble is the largest manufacturer of consumer products in the world, and one of the top ten largest companies in the world by market capitalization. The company is known for its successful brands, as well as its ability to develop new brands and maintain its brands’ popularity with unique business innovations. P&G’s business operations are divided into three main unites: Beauty Care, Household Care, and Health and Well-Being.

P&G’s business strategy is to maintain the popularity of its existing brands, by the means of marketing and advertising; it must extend its brands to related products by developing new products under those brands; and it must innovate and create new brands from scratch. P&G incorporates innovation in all types of its business in order to continually produce new lines of products and remain the number one firm in the consumer product manufacturing industry.

1B. What is the relationship of collaboration and innovation to that business strategy?

        The use of new collaborative and innovative technologies is essential to P&G’s commitment to its business strategy. Because so much of P&G’s business is built around brand creation and management, it’s critical that the company facilitate collaboration between researchers, marketers and managers in order to remain successful.

Due to P&G’s size and wide variety of products is produces from potato chips, to laundry detergent; achieving these goals is problematic and difficult. With the company housing 140,000 employees in more than eighty countries world wide, departments at each level of the company must use collaborative tools in order to realize their business strategy.

2. How is P&G using collaboration systems to execute its business strategy?        

        Procter and Gamble uses collaboration systems in order to maintain the popularity of its existing brands, to develop new products under those brands, and to also create totally new brands. In 2000, the newly appointed CEO A.G Lafley was at the forefront of the company’s total overhaul of its collaborative systems, which was led by a suite of Microsoft products. One of these overhauls included the elimination of emails, which is actually the case for many companies, “with messaging and social media becoming preferred channels of communication.” (p.61). The services provided, include unified communications, which integrates services for: voice transmission, data transmission, instant messaging, email, and electronic conferencing. “In an effort to reduce travel expenses, many companies, both large and small, are adopting videoconferencing and Web conferencing technologies.” (p.61). These new Microsoft products did exactly this for P&G, allowing the 140,000 employees across the globe to participate in live planning sessions from the comfort of their laptop or desktop computer.

Another way Procter and Gamble is using collaboration systems to execute its business strategy is through telepresence technology. Today, P&G uses this technology to hold high definition meetings over long distances. The usage of this telepresence technology reduces the cost of travel by employees by a large margin, it allows for their to be a more efficient flow of ideas, and it makes it possible for employees up through the levels of management to make decisions more efficiently and quicker. Decisions that once took days now take minutes.

2b. List and describe the collaboration systems and technologies it is using and the benefits of each.

  • Microsoft Live Communication Server, Web conferencing with Live Meeting and Content Management with SharePoint: The services provided include unified communication which integrates service for voice transmission, data transmission, instant messaging, email, and electronic conferencing.

The Microsoft Live Communication Server, Web conferencing with Live Meeting and Content Management with SharePoint products are to a great benefit to Procter and Gamble. Uses of these types of “virtual world” or “virtual meeting systems” is an effort to reduce travel expenses and is used for things like “product briefings, training courses, strategy sessions and even inspirational chats.” (p61). Microsoft SharePoint is used by P&G in a way so that the company’s IT department creates a Microsoft SharePoint page where an executive can post all of his presentations, which is stored in a single location and is accessible to employees and colleagues throughout other parts of the company. Before executives would go through the manual task of gluing experiments into Word documents, or entering data and speeches into Power Point slides, then having to email the file to his colleagues, which could end up in the wrong mailboxes.

  • Connectbeam: Custom search engine

Connectbeam is a custom search engine that is an alternative to Google Search. Procter and Gamble found that Google search was inadequate because it doesn’t always link information from within the company, and its reliance on keywords for its searches isn’t ideal for all of the topics for which employees might search. Connectbeam allows employees to share bookmarks and tag content with descriptive words that appear in future searches and facilitates social networks of coworkers to help them find and share information more effectively.

  • InnovationNet

InnovationNet is a collaboration tool used by Procter and Gamble to simplify or is the solution to the old ways of “gluing the results of experiments into Word documents.” InnovationNet contains over 5 million research related documents in digital format accessible via a browser-based portal.

  • Cisco Telepresence

Cisco TelePresence is a major innovation for Procter and Gamble, and was adopted in many of its locations across the glove. Telepresence technology is an integrated audio and visual environment, which allows a person to give the appearance of being present at a location other than his or her true physical appearance of being present at a location other than his or her true physical location. (P61).  For a company as large as P&G, telepresence is an excellent way to foster collaboration between employees across the world. The technology makes it possible to hold high-definition meetings over long distances. Benefits of telepresence include significant travel savings, more efficient flow of ideas, and quicker decision making. With this technology



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