Workplace by Facebook has clinched what it describes as a “milestone” contract with Swiss multinational Nestlé, the world’s largest food company.
The deal will see the social media company’s discrete enterprise collaboration tool rolled out to Nestlé’s entire 323,000+ global employee base.
The deal, nearly two years in the making, was initiated in Mexico where Nestlé Mexico’s CEO was having to resort to a range of different tools for team collaborations, Workplace by Facebook’s VP Julien Codorniou told Computer Business Review.
“He made some noise about it internally after deploying it in Mexico. It took more than two years to close the deal; this has been a deal driven by both IT and HR working together, it’s a significant milestone for us and gives a voice to everyone in the company.”
Nestlé Workplace by Facebook Adoption: In Line with Plans to Target Fortune 500
The first wave of Nestlé adoption in Mexico, Brazil, the Middle East and South Africa saw 25 times higher engagement per post and very high rate of use on mobile devices, Facebook said in a release, with managers using live video to connect directly with employees at different locations and sales teams using it for daily check-ins.
Adoption comes amid a shakeup of working practices at Nestlé, a CHF244 billion (£196 billion) by market capitalisation company listed on Switzerland’s SIX exchange. It is working to modernise working practices, including shifting to more flexible working and open office configurations across a historically conservative enterprise.
Filippo Catalano, Chief Information Officer at Nestlé described adoption of Workplace in a press release as giving “employees across the globe a platform to build connections, enabling faster and more engaging sharing of information.”
It’s precisely the kind of company that Workplace – a London-based “startup” of Facebook – is targeting, Codorniou told Computer Business Review: a major employer, but also one undergoing a shift to democratise internal communications.
Workplace is specifically targeting Fortune 500 customers, he said, rather than starting small: “Many have new executives who understand our value proposition”.
Responding to questions about the team collaboration tool’s market offering vis-à-vis competitors like Slack, he said: “Workplace only works if you put everyone on it”.
“We’re looking at a market of 3.5 billion people [the world’s total labour force]. Ninety percent of workers don’t have an email, a desk and Workplace reaches them too [e.g. by smartphone]. At Nestlé you have factory workers, for example, who can now be closer to the company. We don’t grow one team at a time, but one company at a time. The deal took a long time to close as you need to deploy to everyone and of course that is a big ask.”
“It’s the nature of the product. It would not make sense to give a voice to only 20 percent of your company. We know we are on to something with the everyone or no one approach. There is a new generation of executives and leaders coming through who recognise that when you reduce the distance between CEO and front line, central HQ and regions, good things happen”.
The deal comes a month after Workplace by Facebook also announced that Zurich insurance had also adopted the tool. Facebook does not break out individual results for Workplace, which is based and developed in London.