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Case Study: B to D Group
"PBworks is helping us go about things in a far more efficient and collaborative way."
What business needs were you trying to solve by bringing PBworks to the B to D Group?
The BtoD group is a collection of eight individual branding and design agencies with offices located throughout the world providing services to a large number of multi-national clients. We were looking for a social media platform to improve knowledge sharing and team collaboration as well as foster cross office collaboration both internally and externally with our clients. The solution needed to act as both an intranet and extranet.
How was your agency meeting those needs prior to bringing in PBworks?
We had a mishmash collection of solutions — some old, some new, but nothing standard. This made it difficult for us to find content and to share effectively. There was FTP, custom applications, commercial products, and in some cases nothing more than just email.
What other solutions did you consider?
The variety of solutions in today's emerging market is huge. Most of them specialize in one area of social intranet or another, making it difficult to narrow things down. Our selection process took about 8 months and in the end we had three top candidates--ThoughtFarmer, Mindtouch and PBworks. Other solutions we looked at where Yammer, Basecamp, and SharePoint to name a few. All were actually very strong and each offered compelling features. It is nice to see collaboration and knowledge sharing tools mature as much as they have over the last 5 or 10 years.
What were your reasons for choosing PBworks over the other solutions considered?
PBworks in the end combined most the business needs into one product at the best price. Their wiki editor is outstanding and easy to use for non-technical users. PBworks offers the opportunities to share a workspace with clients. One item that really got our attention was built in chat and conference call capabilities. The idea of being able to chat in context with your colleagues or clients within the application helped tip the scales in terms of the direction we wanted to go. We also got the sense early on that PBworks was willing and able to evolve their product with us. That is a level of partnership we needed to ensure the best possible experience for our employees and clients alike.
How did the PBworks team help you configure PBworks to meet your agency's specific needs?
They listen and do. Their agile software development approach is the real deal — two releases a week is impressive. B to D has also sponsored a number of key features to accelerate evolution of PBworks and the results have been impressive. The technical support team is very professional and prompt to follow up with us whenever needed.
How has PBworks changed the way your agency works?
We are still at an early stage of the worldwide roll out but we can already see some improvements:
- PBworks is helping us go about things in a far more efficient and collaborative way.
- Putting content at the center is changing how people deal with content. Once employees get it, they can't remember how they used to work. PBworks becomes the new norm - not the FTP folders, not desktop publishing tools, not emails.
- PBworks also creates new opportunities for cross-office collaboration. A team in San Francisco can connect and work more easily with teams in Hong Kong and Paris.
- The wiki format creates a space where employees from all over the world can bounce ideas around to learn and be more creative.
What has the experience of working with the PBworks team been like?
PBworks is very attentive. They listen and they get things done. You get the sense they are part of your organization not some third party provider who gets the software installed and then you on your own. That has been important to us and I think sets PBworks apart.