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The Big Brand Theory: Motorola Solutions Builds Internal Community



ImageBack in 2011, Motorola was split into two separate companies: Motorola Mobility and Motorola Solutions. The first has been in the news lately as Google, who bought the company at the time of the split, has decided to sell-off the company to Lenovo. Motorola Solutions ferries on in its provision of services with its Government, Public Safety and Enterprise Mobility Solutions.

In the world of B2B, the most prominent use of social media tends to be in what is frequently called thought leadership in which the organization becomes a trusted source of relevant content within the industry. While this has been true for Motorola Solutions, the focus for the past year has been on building internal community, with a customized social platform for in-company use.

The new social platform, dubbed Converge was built on Jive, an enterprise social collaboration platform. By the end of 2013, a good portion of the company has been brought onto the system and is actively using it on a daily basis.

ImageJennifer Mesenbrink, Senior Manager, Digital & Social Media Content Strategy at Motorola Solutions, recently explained, “predominantly, it was created to allow people to collaborate without having to have a million meetings. We’re seeing great interaction on Converge already, especially in group document editing and information sharing.”

Mesenbrink continues, “we’ve got about 14,800 ‘Motorolans’ and contractors enrolled as of 2014. That’s about 55% of our employee base. Of those enrolled, we’re seeing about 67% actively using the site and 23% participating, so very good rates in line with industry standards for now. We are in the process of onboarding the remaining departments in 2014, and building our sustainment and growth strategies out as well.”

The success of the rollout is notable; over a decade ago, when many enterprises were implementing extranets, customer relationship management (CRM), and enterprise resource management (ERP) systems, some figures put the failure rate at over 70%.

For Motorola Solutions, a company that spends over a billion dollars a year on research and development, Converge has been deemed a success. The focus on the coming year is to be about deepening the involvement of employees with system – to go beyond status updates, with the objective for there to be more online collaboration.

One recent example of Converge serving as a conduit for real-time collaboration came at one of the Retail industry’s largest annual events this January. The event, put on by the National Retail Federation (NRF), is actually dubbed the “The Big Show.” At NRF 2014, Motorola Solutions team members posted on Converge, while many of those that couldn’t attend “tuned in” to the updates. There were more than 4,200 views on the second day of the show, alone.

Success stories such as this are exactly what executives at the company hope to see. Mesenbrink expands on the thought, “They want to see involvement – they want to see deep involvement; not just status updates; they want to see people working in there – that’s the whole reason it was created.”

It’s approprate that Motorola Solutions has taken on internal collaboration with social media so seriously. After all, the company creates communications solutions: for first-responders, health care practitioners, and even for retailers with their customers. On one Motorola Solutions presentation I saw, these words were on the screen, “We’re mobilizing and connecting people when they need it most.” There’s no doubt that through better internal collaboration, the brand will do it even better for its own customers.


The Big Brand Theory is an exclusive column for Social Media Today written by Ric Dragon that explores the social media strategies of big brands, both B2B and B2C. Look for the next installment next week. Logos by Jesse Wells.

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