Video: Collaboration technology streamlines KPN

KPN is a major IT supplier in the Netherlands and employs 36,000 people worldwide. It is using Microsoft's SharePoint 2010 technology to free its staff up to work and collaborate, whether they are in the office or meeting clients.

The project has helped the company's IT services division, Getronics, cut the time it takes to respond to customers by days. It will be rolled out across the company in 2010.

Wolfje van Dijk, a strategist at KPN, is responsible for its new way of working.

"Our concept is that people need to be able to work any time, any place, anywhere they want to. Logically, as the Netherlands' largest IT supplier, we very strongly believe in practising what we preach," she said.

KPN used its Getronics subsidiary as a test-bed for the project. Because they are on the move, consultants often find it difficult to track down colleagues to help them respond to questions raised by customers.

Each formal request for information took a team of three to six employees an average of two weeks, and often required employees to work late into the night to meet deadlines, the company says.

Staff who have taken part in trials of the system have been able to locate the right experts in the group 50% more quickly, Getronics claims.

And the technology has cut the time taken to respond to customer's requests for information by days.

In the past Getronics says it has lost bids because of minor errors in requests for information, but the new system has dramatically reduced that risk.

"The capability SharePoint has, to work on documents simultaneously and to actually edit documents together and see what someone else is working on, has proved to be a great feature," she says.

KPN plans to start a full migration to Office 2010 in the summer. It is testing the software with 100 people, before rolling out to 50,000 workspaces.

At the same time, KPN plans a programme to rationalise its legacy systems.

"We have over 1,000 applications that we have to rationalise. Getronics will be doing that for us. Because many of these legacy systems that we have to integrate are crucial to keeping 26 million customers operational in the Netherlands, it is something we have to do with some caution and some care."

It expects to complete the roll-out by the end of 2011.

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