Dresdner Kleinwort Wasserstein (DrKW) is the international investment banking arm of Dresdner Bank. Based in Europe, DrKW provides a range of capital markets and advisory services employing approximately 6,000 people worldwide.
Because of the large number of employees, their geographic distribution, and the diversity of cultures, it became necessary to provide a range of collaborative tools, form blogs and wikis to instant messenger, chat and audio/video conferencing, in order to allow people to move between modes, depending on which was most appropriate at the time. DrKW installed a primitive open source wiki in 1997. The company reviewed Socialtext1 products in March 2004 and ran a small pilot on hosted service in July 2004. Based on the pilot, DrKW decided to upgrade to Socialtext Enterprise, which was installed in the third quarter of 2004.
DrKW chose Socialtext because the company was willing to work with DrKW on better authentication, permission, and sharing of information and communication among silos2, as well as the vendor, and understood the necessity for information to flow across multiple forms of communications. Because DrKW is highly regulated, everything must be recordable, achievable, searchable, and retrievable.
Usage and Benefits
The Information Strategy team was the first to use Socialtext on a hosted service. Because its work needed structure, skills were geographically dispersed, and publication and collaboration at individual levels gained many capabilities through the Socialtext workspace. The team uses it as a communications tool, a collective discussion tool, and as a storehouse for documents and information.
The User-Centered Design (UCD) team incorporates usability into external-facing applications used across all business lines. The wiki allows all team members to upload information more easily, which encourages collaboration and transparency through making the sharing of e-mail conversations and other ideas uncomplicated. UCD also uses the wiki to help explain what "user-centered design" is and why it is important to a wider DrKW community as well as to share presentations, documents, and reports.
One of the most important roles for wiki is to track project development so that the team and management know what progress is being made regardless of individual geographical locations and raising the awareness of the team about what each person is doing, the status of each project, and what actions should follow.
In 2004, the Equity Delta1 equity financing team was one of the largest users of the wiki. This unit deals with loans, equity swaps, and so on. They use the wiki workspace to eliminate the cumbersome number of emails, to view the development of business plans, and to store commonly used information. The team also creates an open forum where anyone can post views, comments, and questions on given subjects, publish and share whitepapers and bulletins, coordinate sales and marketing activities, and organize important team tasks.
The E-Capital London Team develops back-end applications for the Digital Markets business line and supports a number of legacy systems. They use Socialtext to share and develop new system specifications and product overviews, and help with documentation. The wiki provides an instantly editable collaboration platform that simplifies the publication process. The version history function is useful for product specs where it is important to retain a complete audit trail.
Socialtext also enables individuals to edit the intranet quickly and easily. For example, it will also help build an internal glossary that will define company "jargon" through employees doing similar jobs. The Wikipedia-style usage cuts down the training time and costs of new hires as it will help them to understand internal and external jargons and terms with less difficulty. It also...