Customer feedback from Asja Hermanns about the intranet components used in the B. Braun Knowledge Center BKC

B. Braun Melsungen AG with //SEIBERT/MEDIA developed and successfully launched an intranet based on Confluence for more than 50,000 employees: the B. Braun Knowledge Center BKC. This project was concluded with the implementation of our social intranet solution Linchpin.

Feedback from B. Braun about the //SEIBERT/MEDIA add-ons

One of our main contacts throughout the project was and still is Asja Hermanns, Intranet & Knowledge Management Manager at B. Braun. When we interviewed her, we asked her for her assessment of various aspects of the intranet that were implemented using Linchpin components. Her feedback on the add-ons Space Privacy, Enterprise News Bundle, Microblogging for Confluence and Custom User Profile, as the voice of our customer is most welcome! Thank you!

Microblogging for Confluence – THE tool for simple and direct communication at B. Braun

B. Braun is active with many subsidiaries and branches in 64 countries. A variety of complex, long communication paths cause confusion and frustration among the employees. Everyone knows – the shorter the communication paths, the better.

With this, colleagues truly have more opportunities to communicate more quickly. Previously, we only had news channels, where it was more difficult to edit and write entries, of course. The microblog works intuitively and easily so that more colleagues are also able to communicate and share information. *

Our microblogging solution is an add-on that adds modern social-media and communication features to Confluence, with a Timeline, topic subscriptions, likes, mentions and more functions, which all employees know from their private use of Facebook, Twitter and similar tools.

And how have the B. Braun employees reacted?

The reaction has been very, very good. Many colleagues jumped at the opportunity after the launch, and definitely want to use the microblog.*

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Enterprise News Bundle – Presenting news attractively

Despite having access to an intranet, employees often do not feel sufficiently informed about important issues in the company or in individual departments. On the other hand, employees are typically flooded with information and can’t find what is actually relevant to them. This leads to frustration and the feeling of not being adequately informed about important content. The Enterprise News Bundle has helped to change this:

Cover Stories [a macro included in the Enterprise News Bundle, remark by author] on the homepage of the intranet displays news attractively and our colleagues clearly want to learn more about the contents. Video posts, normal text-based news, quotations – we can vary our news extensively which makes our employees more interested in the content.*

On the BKC homepage, employees are provided with an information feed which can be personalized based on their profile, their location, their department and their position. Using the Enterprise News Bundle, the company can communicate relevant news items to the right target groups, also internationally. In this way, all employees can see the information they really need.

( By the way, we’ve renamed Enterprise News Bundle to be Linchpin Enterprise News. Did you know it is one of the core apps in Linchpin, our Confluence-based social intranet suite?)

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Custom User Profile – An intuitive expert search for Confluence

Confluence offers only limited user profiles because its focus is primarily on content collaboration. In an intranet, however, clear, well-maintained profiles can be very helpful and important for an employee’s daily work. B. Braun attaches great importance to employees’ competencies and expertise:

We really want to set up user profiles in such a way that we present our employees’ expertise there and then integrate an expert search later on. A Confluence profile does not provide the basis for this. Custom User Profile makes it possible to indicate expertise and implement an expert search.*

The Custom User Profile Confluence add-on (now: “Linchpin User Profiles”) developed by //SEIBERT/MEDIA extends user profiles in the B. Braun Knowledge Center with customizable profile fields and a structured, clear layout. Employees can interact with the data on their colleagues’ profiles via linked fields such as email addresses, links to job portals like XING and LinkedIn, language and software know-how and much more. Asja Herrmanns is enthusiastic about how the add-on is being used within the company:

We couldn’t imagine working without Custom User profile. This is a functionality that simply must be included in all intranets. It is well used, our colleagues keep their information up-to-date and are searching for other colleagues. It works wonderfully.*

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Space Privacy – Secure data exchange is also possible in an extranet

B. Braun doesn’t just use Confluence as an intranet, but also to collaborate with customers in external wikis. This can significantly reduce extensive email traffic and the exchange of large amounts of data: Knowledge is concisely presented and documented within one platform. Confluence has a major weakness when protecting user data:

Before the introduction of the Space Privacy add-on, we had a data security problem. Our data privacy section refused to allow the introduction of an extranet because all users can see the information created by all other users. That is obviously a no-go.*

This is where the Space Privacy Confluence add-on can help. With Space Privacy, individual users or companies are allowed to see only specific extranet spaces. That means that users can only see other users who are members of that same space. Customer, project and internal spaces can be separated granting the highest protection possible to user data.

When asked whether Space Privacy can solve all problems completely, Asja Herrmanns was clear:

Now we have security for the users, data protection is ensured at all levels. We can now use everything as we wanted to.*

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* Quotes (edited) by Asja Hermanns, Intranet & Knowledge Management Manager at B.Braun during an interview (in German) with our company (2017)

Further information

Linchpin Confluence-based intranets
Atlassian app and use-case library
Social extranets with Linchpin

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