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The B. Braun Knowledge Center (BKC) is a social intranet based on Atlassian's social collaboration platform Confluence, which //SEIBERT/MEDIA has realized in close collaboration with the customer - deeply integrated, completely customizable, multi lingual, extendable at any time, mobile friendly. With the successful BKC we are applying together with B. Braun AG for various intranet awards, such as the renowned Intranet Design Annual by Nielsen Norman Group.


Name of the organization using the intranet

B. Braun Melsungen AG

Name of service provider

//SEIBERT/MEDIA GmbH, Wiesbaden, Germany - http://www.seibert-media.com

 

Brief description of the organization and the service provider

B. Braun Melsungen AG is a medical and pharmaceutical device company with over 50,000 employees in 61 countries. With their motto "Sharing Expertise" they help improve therapies and work flows in clinics and practices and thus increase safety of patients, doctors and care personnel. In 2014, the company celebrated it's 175th anniversary as one of the leading health care providers in the world.

Since 1996, //SEIBERT/MEDIA has been a professional internet service provider with offices in Wiesbaden and San Diego. With over 100 employees in agile, interdisciplinary teams, //SEIBERT/MEDIA is Germany's biggest provide for Atlassian software tools, that support communication and collaboration in organizations. //SEIBERT/MEDIA is the fifth largest Atlassian partner worldwide.

Brief description of the Intranet

Goals of the intranet, important features, types of users and use, user statistics

The B. Braun Knowledge Center (BKC) is based on Atlassian Confluence which had started out as a pure enterprise wiki and has developed to a social collaboration platform over the last years. The goal of the project was to move away from an editing system and towards a collaboration system, matching the company claim of 'Sharing Expertise'. The requirements were availability in various languages, location based navigation and personalized news feeds. With the motto 'Make it Yours', a comfortable, adaptable and intuitive knowledge and collaboration center and an expert network have been created as BKC in the company, supporting international exchange and a completely personalized user experience in the intranet.

Design adaptation: BKC comes with an individual theme that matches the corporate design of the company, in order to convey a familiar image to the employees. In addition, various usability and functional improvements of the Confluence standard interface were made, in order to reduce complexity and improve usability of BKC as a work tool for the users.

Simple content creation: New content can be created with a click from any intranet page. The native Confluence editor might well be the best available in the market. It offers all features of basic text editing, supports multi media, attachments, tables and diagrams and offers a real 'What you see is what you get'. Content is grouped in spaces and can be structured hierarchically into any required depth.

Global navigation: The plugin Navigation Menu Editor that was developed for this project supports freely configurable global navigation menus for different user groups and locations, including a multi language support. The users are displayed exactly the navigation content that is relevant to them.

Expert network: The plugin Custom User Profile which was also developed and realized for this project enhances BKC by a corporate expert search that allows for a quick identification of the right contact person in a particular field of expertise.

Personal Cockpit/Dashboard: On the personalized BKC home page the user has access to individual information feeds. The double track news concept ensures on one hand that the company can communicate news targeted to all employees or to specific user groups (i.e. based on language, country, or location). It also allows each user to subscribe to their personal news stream and intranet content, depending on their interests.

Individual App Store: Every user can directly access all internal and external applications that are relevant to them by one click from the BKC home page. The user can choose which applications are displayed.

Mobile version: BKC has an individual mobile theme and it's basic functions are usable from mobile divices (smartphone, tablet).

Integration of company search: the search function in BKC does not only allow for a search in the intranet but also finds content in external systems ("Google within the company").

Open by default is an effective knowledge management and one of the main applications of BKC. The use of BKC is not limited to certain user groups. Each employee can read, create and edit content, comment and share and connect with other users.

The BKC was rolled out in 61 countries between 2013 and 2014 and is currently available in 11 languages.


What makes the intranet particularly interesting or usable?

What makes this intranet special? Which successes can the intranet report?

Low cost, high usability, world-class rich text editor

Short Summary of USP: The technology basis with Atlassian Confluence and the Linchpin intranet suite is extremely affordable, yet powerful. It has a very high usability out of the box. And the rich text editor of Confluence is probably best in class, even better than the editor in Google Docs. 

A lean system was created through individualization and reduction of complexity, which offers functions, content and apps that are relevant and helpful for the user. The intranet is thus a personal cockpit for the daily work without overhead.

BKC integrates requirements of a classical intranet as well as intranet 2.0 requirements. A targeted top down communication via news streams, a global navigation and an individual content display based on user profiles turn Confluence into the comprehensive intranet solution BKC.

Pages and spaces with sensitive information can be restricted to certain users or user groups via granular rights, but generally content in BKC is 'open by default'. The BKC thus builds the foundation for an organic knowledge management without bottlenecks and supports an employee based trust and collaboration culture, instead of deterring with restrictions. 

These concepts are supported by success:

By the end of 2014:

  • 10,270,000 page impressions
  • 33,000 intranet pages (+ 2,300 per month)
  • 29,000 likes, 4,500 comments

The employees adapted the intranet and made it theirs.

Screenshots and Descriptions

Homepage

The intranet homepage is the personal cockpit for the daily work. Lean and not overloaded it offers direct access to the most important intranet content, corporate news (highlights) and notifications from the individually subscribed intranet news channels as well as all personally relevant tools.

Top Level Navigation

The clean main navigation of the BKC quickly takes the user directly to the most important content and portals of the intranet. The navigation is flexible and can be adjusted easily to special requirements in the administration. Content of the main navigation in BKC is displayed differently for different user groups depending on the profile features of the user (location, country, language, etc.). Users based in the US work with a different navigation than users in Brasil and users in Germany.

Employee Profile Page

The extended user profiles in BKC not only make user information available to other employees. They are also the foundation for sharing personalized user content (top-down news, navigation) and for the company wide expert search of the intranet.


Form or Data Entry Area

The native Confluence editor used by BKC is also a mature and user friendly solution. It offers real WYSIWYG with support of images, multi media and videos, attachments, tables and more. Structuring and formatting requires no technical knowledge. Thanks to a variety of macros, experienced users can integrate various extended functionalities if needed (diagrams, reports, task lists and many more).

Page about a particular team or department

Since Confluence supports hierarchically structured content, portal pages for teams, departments, products and more with any number of sub pages can easily be created in BKC. Separate content spaces can be used and equipped with specific access rights if needed.

Examples of interesting, well-designed or innovative designs, content or features 

An example for innovative features of BKC is the AppStore. This feature allows each user to access exactly the internal and external applications that are important and useful to them from the BKC homepage. The AppStore can be configured individually: From a variety of tools the user can choose the ones he or she needs. They are then accessible via symbols on the home page, similar to apps on a smartphone. (A selection of the offered tools can be edited at any time via administration, i.e when new tools are being introduced).

Mobile Version

BKC comes with a mobile theme which allows for mobile use of the intranet on smartphones and tablets. Here, users have access to all page content, their in-app notifications, activity streams, their favorites, search and a personal network.

Social Features

It is a goal of the BKC development to take on current trends. Users can favorite pages and they will then be available via shortcuts. All intranet pages offer social features, which most users know from their daily web and social media use: comments in threads, @-mentions in order to directly address and include others, likes, a share function. They encourage not only quick feedback but also joy of use.

 

Old Site

The BKC has been developed since 2002. The international rollout of the former database based SAP system which was supposed to be extended by intranet features had to be brought to a halt in 2009. The Content Management System was not well scaled and was facing a technical breakdown. The new BKC project of a modern social intranet based on Confluence started in 2012.

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