Confluence, A New Flu Strand? NO It’s Corporate Wiki’s That Work While You Work!

For many of the weekly tasks I have found that finding specifically relevant information regarding the proposed topic difficult. For some reason Google doesn’t give me the answers I want, and Wikipedia is close but no cigar. SO for this weeks stimulus of examining corporate wiki’s, who’s using them and to what end, I tried a slightly different approach. I went to the old faithful Google and went looking for a corporate wiki product that is being sold and looked into some of their success stories. Quickly browsing the 10,400,000 results yielded in 0.10 seconds the one that stuck out to me was Atlassian’s baby, Confluence. From here I did what any prospective customer would do and checked out their current clients in excess of 8,100 happy customers.

Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited or simply “Deloitte” is an umbrella name used by thousands of individuals and hundreds of independent companies around the world providing consultation services in a variety of areas including financial advisory and taxation services. This multinational and truly globally established organisation has professionals working 24 hours a day on nearly every continent on earth and it’s because of this a common space needs to exist. Deloitte has employed the use of a wiki for a slightly different reason that of the norm.

Because Deloitte performs a lot of consulting services in developing and often conflict ridden countries the ability to track and ensure the safety of its employees is paramount. Having a centralised database of not only each team members personal details and current assignment but also information regarding the geographical location to which they are deployed. Deloitte uses wikis for each area of the world under the hat of “Engagement Security”.   Each of these zones have designated advisors which are the people on the ground. These advisors each have a profile that details their personal information and is viewable by mode of need-to-know permissions. This enables them to know who’s where doing what and what considerations or actions may need to be taken in the event of an incident.

Now the more collaborative side of Deloittes deployment of Confluence is the module they have dubbed “Global Intelligence”. This is a service where prior to an employee shipping off to a new country, they are able to go onto the wiki and have a look at all the relevant info regarding local security concerns, travel warnings and other more generalised information. The world map is colour coded according to the level of risk associated with each zone and viewing all of the relevant information is as simple as a click. These zones also provide a means for the employee to communicate with other staff already in country and better associate themselves with the environment before they arrive. Nate Nash from Deloitte does an excellent four-minute explanation of the service found HERE.

All of this obviously has huge benefits for the organisation as its putting the safety and comfort of its employees first as well as involving them in the process. Where as before this sort of information was not easily accessible and was often only attainable via lengthy back and forth email conversations, or the member undertaking their own research, it’s now in the one place. By offering a corporate wiki environment it enables an easier UI and provides a more comprehensive tool. I felt this was an interesting take on the wiki and certainly an application that I had never considered.