240 employees in 15 countries – all of whom choose e-mail as their main communication tool. Add to that a static, inflexible intranet that offers no format for interaction and in which finding documents requires a lot of hard work. This was the situation that Trivadis encountered at Karger Verlag, a well-known specialist publisher in areas of medicine and science, at the start of the Karger Digital Workplace project. However, Karger wanted to do more than just create a digital workplace, as the name of the project implies. They wanted to work with Trivadis to make a transformation: from a hierarchical family-run company with outdated technology into an agile enterprise.
So, Trivadis was not just supposed to help to introduce a digital workplace but also transform the company’s organisation and culture. To achieve this, the plan was to change information streams and workflows in a way that made it easier for colleagues to cooperate and communicate. One of the biggest technical challenges was implementing the requested multi-lingual aspect of the digital workplace – which was to be available in both English and German. When it came to collaboration, Karger had to be viewed on a global scale, not just within the context of Switzerland. As such, the new digital workplace had to blend with existing international transformation processes.
Working with the Karger project team, the specialists at Trivadis set about turning this idea into a reality. Following several months of intensive cooperation, the Karger Digital Workplace was live, taking the form of a personalised, multi-lingual online platform available to all of the publisher’s locations. At the heart of the Karger Digital Workplace is the Karger Hub, a form of newsroom that incorporates internal and external channels and offers employees options for customising their experience (for example in terms of views and layout). As well as implementing the digital workplace, Trivadis supported the publisher in evolving from a hierarchical family-run business into an agile, circular organisation by applying its own method involving “Rooms”. “Rooms” support the decision-making process and the business is steered based on “circles”. These are formed by the members themselves, who appoint an owner that makes sure the circle is functioning properly.
A circle’s network is defined and managed by the Board of Directors Circle. A central ticketing system helps to initiate tasks, establish cross-location and crossdepartment teams and secure information flows without requests and invitations having to be sent on an individual basis. The Karger Digital Workplace is built on Office 365, which was expanded using LiveTiles and an intranet framework to include suitable components depending on the business context. Microsoft Power Automate, Power Apps, Power BI were also used to implement individual business applications, while Microsoft Forms enabled questionnaires to be created and processes to be mapped. The Karger Digital Workplace was developed on the Azure Cloud with Azure AB, Azure Premium Services and DL. Thanks to the Karger Digital Workplace, employees are able to work together no matter where they are.
Based on Microsoft Sharepoint and Wizdom Framework, the Karger Digital Workplace has become a cornerstone for new approaches to communication and cooperation. It will help us to become even more agile, innovative and efficient.
Daniel Ebneter, CEO at Karger
What’s more, users can access information from anywhere in real time and offer comments. The static, inflexible intranet, which used to provide everyone with exactly the same information on exactly the same interface, has now been replaced by a new system that promotes interactivity and exchange across all levels. The digital workplace also incorporates public social feeds. In addition to news, the new approach to cooperation is also based on shared content, in which employees can work on common documents. As such, the Digital Workplace reduces the error rate – which ultimately speeds up workflows. With the help of “Rooms”, Karger has succeeded in implementing collaborative work groups across its locations and easily sharing tasks, all with the aim of achieving the goal of transformation.
According to Andre Janssen, COO of Karger Verlag, it would have been impossible to pursue all of the projects at the same time using the old technology. Thanks to the new solution, the company was able to perfectly align all of its plans and advance them concurrently. Apart from that, the solution’s look and feel reflects the new culture and branding. The Karger Digital Workplace has therefore not only paved the way to creating an agile organisation based on new opportunities for information and cooperation, it has also generated added social value for employees, along with simplifying their work and increasing competitiveness. And while the Karger Digital Workplace offers a customised solution specifically for the publisher itself, it can also be reproduced for other customers and industries.
Karger Publishers is a worldwide publisher of scientific and medical content based in Basel, Switzerland. It is independent and family-led in the fourth generation.