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When one thinks of a dairy cooperative, innovation does not necessarily come to mind. Isn't the goodness of milk and milk products reliably old-fashioned and not to be tampered with? Yes indeed, but Geno SA, a cooperative owned by 10,500 dairy farmers in Norway, decided they could run more efficiently while keeping the high standards that their products were known for.



 



Within the last decade, Geno SA has extended its global reach, establishing two wholly owned subsidiaries: a multinational exporting organization and a start-up company focused on R&D. In addition, the company has a 50 percent share in Cryogenetics AS, with operations in Chile, Canada, Norway and the United States. With this expansion of territories, the complexities of sharing information and collaborating have gotten a lot more interesting for this dairy cooperative.



 



The company set out to find a social business platform that would integrate with standard CRM software and could be deployed without extensive imagedevelopment work. After considering another option, the leadership team selected IBM Connections and SugarCRM due to their cost value, ease of implementation and longer-term vision for their products compared to the other solution. 



 



Geno engaged IBM Premier Business Partner, Item Consulting AS, to implement IBM Connections V4.0 software and developed only one adaptation to the Connections Software standard by creating the Geno Wall. On the Geno Wall, company information is published using community and blog functionalities. When employees request information, they are tapping into the Forums functionality, which links to wikis where responses are found to frequently asked questions.



 



Within months, fuelled by a group of "super users," Geno employees moved away from sharing information almost exclusively through email and started working within the IBM Connections platform.  “There was less resistance to the change because we took the time up front to show people how the tasks they performed daily could be completed more efficiently in Connections,” says Tore Sogard, IT manager at Geno SA.



 



The company has now moved towards centralized access to contracts and license agreements and has also used the tool to track and improve quality assurance and issue resolution. Moving forward it will also integrate fully with SugarCRM to manage sales and partner opportunities. But employees are not the only ones who have been energized by the collaboration solution; even the board of directors is now exchanging ideas from the their iPad mobile application. 



 



And so, a Norwegian dairy cooperative found ways to more efficiently work together among its dispersed employees and partners, creating a consistent approach that spurred enjoyment and ultimately made it easier to deliver quality dairy products. Goodness indeed!



 



Find the full details of this success story here!

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