Using social collaboration technology to improve agility and speed of execution

Vax is officially a great place to work, included in ‘The Sunday Times Top 100 Best Companies To Work For’ list for 2015, and going through a period of rapid growth.

A great deal of Vax’s recent success has come from the company’s speed of execution. In order for this success to be sustainable the company needs to maintain its agility and connect its strong employee community, despite its growth.

As with many companies growing fast however, the systems and tools for communication and collaboration that worked when smaller are not fit for purpose in the larger organisation Vax has become, for example email is increasingly inefficient with too many people chained to inboxes, and too much information and knowledge lost and unsearchable within them.

Various initiatives have sprung up to solve this including a small ESN pilot that never got off the ground, and a more successful Field Sales Facebook group. Essentially though these tools did not solve the core problem, merely replicating silos, and operating with little or no community management.


 Previous ESN experience
  • Valuable early experiment
  • Lack of strategy / community management
  • No use case driven approach to adoption
  • Purely ‘underground’ viral adoption – unclear positioning to users
Previous field sales experience on Facebook
  • Great best practice sharing, communicating and recognition
  • Not visible to the rest of the business
  • Only available to Facebook users
  • Limited features and functionality for collaboration

The Betterworking team worked with Vax HR Director Kate Daines to apply our best practice approach to Jive implementation and launch. We carried out some rapid initial research to crystallise the strategic narrative, identify key high value use cases, and then configured and branded the platform accordingly (working with Vax’s in-house design and brand teams). We then ran engagement sessions with key stakeholders, from the leadership team to the superuser community.

Based upon four core use cases we created a simple Jive architecture to support the platform’s strategic purpose, centred around:

  1. Customer centric working
  2. Internal communications
  3. Idea generation / knowledge capture
  4. ‘Working out loud’ across functions

The Vax Hive was positioned clearly around the following principles:

  • A single place to connect, share and collaborate
  • A balance of strategic purpose and structure with user generated flexibility and freedom
  • Accessible via any device, from anywhere
Vax 'Hive' at launch

Vax ‘Hive’ at launch

The whole project was carried out from start to finish in 3 months. The launch was really successful. Three months on the most active user on the Vax Hive was Vax’s MD David Winterbottom, who uses the platform to communicate via video blogging from his global business travels.

The whole leadership team have really backed the initiative, getting on board to demonstrate desired behaviours, from the Finance Director sharing and driving discussion around key KPIs, to the HR Director using The Vax Hive as the company’s main internal communications channel.

This strong leadership, combined with the well configured, and appealingly designed Jive platform, have led to strong uptake, collaboration and sharing, with Marketing and New Product Development teams connecting directly with front line colleagues to increase the company’s speed of execution, productivity and innovation.

A powerful platform to support many more years of exciting growth for Vax.