Now They’re Listening: Telstra Uses to Connect with Staff and Drive Innovation

SYDNEY, Australia - 11 November 2010 – Telstra has identified almost 300 new company initiatives since it went live with Salesforce Ideas (known as T[ideas] at Telstra) exactly one year ago today. T[ideas] is Telstra’s company-wide, real-time online opinion forum that was launched to encourage staff interaction as part of its commitment to grow the business through technology leadership and improved customer service.

“When David Thodey came on board, they looked at new ways to engage with staff but struggled to find the right way to have effective two-way dialogue with such a huge number of people. There are a lot of social media tools that work well for consumers, but nothing that seemed appropriate for a business environment – particularly one of Telstra’s size and scale,” Asia Pacific & Japan Executive Vice President Lindsey Armstrong said.

“Telstra looked to Salesforce Ideas as a way to really open this dialogue, harness the collective wisdom of staff and empower them to help shape the organisation of the future. It bubbles the best ideas to the top making it easy to drive the innovation and customer service improvements their strategy promises,” Armstrong added.

Salesforce Ideas allows Telstra employees to submit, discuss and vote for ideas in an open forum. Employees can monitor the progress of their suggestions while Telstra assesses each idea against its popularity, viability and how well it aligns with existing plans and strategy.

Phase one of the project was rolled out to Telstra’s full time staff in just 12 days. In March 2010, the application was extended to include contractors, partners and retail staff who now are able to have their say about Telstra.

Telstra already has almost 300 new initiatives in the pipeline, with several implemented as a result of this engagement.

Salesforce Ideas has allowed Telstra to better engage with its staff, contractors and front line employees to unlock their rich understanding of the business and capture ideas that can drive the company’s innovation and growth.

“Part of driving through change, innovation and improved customer service, means listening to what frontline staff and partners think the business should be doing. They have a direct line to customers and can provide companies with an enormous amount of insight and understanding about their customers, business and the industry,” Armstrong added.

“Using the cloud meant that Telstra was able to sidestep many of the hardware and software challenges of rolling out a new system to such a large number of users,” said Armstrong. “The power of the platform allowed Telstra to fully customise the system from user interface to backend dashboards in just 12 days, something that could take years with on-premise alternatives.”

Additional Resources
• Learn more about Salesforce Ideas
• Check out IdeaExchange