Of course, no one waited for your collaborative platform's implementation to do what it is supposed to do. Also, the implementation of a collaborative platform will necessarily run up against existing tools for which it will compete. The question of whether to use email, intranet, this or that document sharing and project management solution will be raised early in the process. However, nature abhors vacuum, so it is up to you to set out the best practices and use cases associated with each tool.
- What are the uses for the collaborative platform?
- What are the uses for the Intranet?
- What are the uses for emails?
- Where should documents be stored?
There is no single answer to these questions. The introduction of new technologies, particularly in the field of communication, shows that a new technology never totally replaces the previous one: it brings new capacities and possibilities that were not available with the previous one, and at the same time makes the previous one obsolete for a whole set of uses. In the same way that the email has not totally replaced the mail, the implementation of a collaborative platform is not going to completely replace the intranet or the email, at least not in the short term.
A platform is a tool available to all in order to support new working practices: communication, access to information and sharing, decision making, project management, discussions, idea sharing, mutual aid etc...
When it comes to a global deployment, on the scale of an organization, the collaborative platform will naturally compete with all the tools serving the same purposes (and there are many of them!).
Email is by far the tool most directly impacted by the implementation of a collaborative platform. Also, if the groups deployed aim to replace the use of email, be exemplary in your practice. And of course, don't duplicate/share by email the content already published on the collaborative platform...
Beyond the question of tools, it is a question of uses. We recommend to the steering committee working on the launch of the platform to:
- Establish a vision and the major use cases that will be deployed on your platform to position your corporate social network among other solutions in the short, medium and long term.
- Adopt a governance at each group level, specifying the way you will work within the group to replace or complement other existing tools and solutions, in line with the overall trajectory defined above.