Microsoft SharePoint

A New Way of Working at ASB Bank, including SharePoint 2013

A couple of weeks back Microsoft published a new case study about how ASB Bank in New Zealand is innovating its work environment with social collaboration:

Before it moved into a new headquarters and adopted a new way of working, ASB Bank needed to develop a comprehensive workflow and social collaboration environment. ASB deployed Microsoft SharePoint 2013 to contribute to an innovative work environment where employees can discover, share, and organize information and ideas, which will boost collaboration and productivity companywide.

There were a couple of things that stood out to me in the case study:

1. ASB are opening a new headquarters in Auckland. The space has been designed to support a new way of working – people aren’t tied to desks, it’s designed to encourage collaboration, and extrapolating from the case study I’m assuming that it has a range of physical areas to support different in-the-moment needs (personal work, small group work, phone call, large group work, serendipity). Supporting that change with improved technology is the right way to make it work together.

2. The case study says “ASB identified the need to improve its business culture by implementing new tools to help its employees collaborate even more.” That sounds weird to my ears – I don’t think you improve business culture by implementing new tools. If they meant “ASB identified the need to improve its business culture through new styles of collaboration” I’m good.

3. SharePoint 2013 is not actually available to staff yet. It’s being deployed later this month, with availability to staff beginning in January.

4. Reducing paper usage is mentioned a lot during the case study. The bank wants to reduce paper usage by 40% over 3 years. It also plans on scanning 20% of its existing paper archives (3.5 million pages) into various SharePoint 2013 Team Sites. The argument is that this will make it easier for employees to share information and focus on project-related activities.

5. My book Collaboration Roadmap (2011) talks about many of the (what I call) “collaboration scenarios” that the bank is hoping to improve through the use of SharePoint 2013 – such as identifying experts, and working on projects.

6. ASB is recognized as an innovative bank / company in New Zealand. This is a challenging roadmap for the bank, and I wish them every success.