Intel social media check list

Social media in the workplace: Intel, a case study in a nutshell

Intel is the world’s largest semiconductor chip manufacturing company. Founded in 1968 and headquartered in Silicon Valley, California, Intel is a global company with its employees spread all over the world.  All the employees work together to make Intel, the world’s largest and a highly valued silicon chip maker company. Intel, the name stands for Integrated Electronics.

True to its name, the company has a commendable and highly integrated social media computing infrastructure and tools for use for its employees. It does not stop just at that, the important thing is social media collaboration is quite successful here.

In fact, Intel is one of the early adopters of social media which is extensively used by its employees successfully in all the functional domains of the company. From recruiting, talent management to product engineering, social media collaboration at Intel has set benchmark standards in business performance and scores high in employee satisfaction rankings.

Intel is a trailblazer in this sphere and is all set to make effective use of social media in the future.

An example business challenge at Intel

Before I jump to write about a social media collaboration example at Intel or rather a specific challenge faced by Intel Engineers, I would like to thank the authors of the book “Social media at work” who have done extensive studies and interviewing executives at world-class organizations.

The author’s study, research, and findings have culminated in writing this book.

I have referenced content from this book to write about best practices in social media usage at Intel. The book is available at Amazon. It can be found here at this link.

At Intel, solving engineering problems has been a regular challenge. The engineers use the ‘follow the sun’ model. Through this model, work gets passed on from one geographical region to another and work happens 24 hours a day.

The real challenge is the absence of asynchronous communication. An instant two-way communication which can help the engineers was missing.

This communication bottleneck had to be sorted out and they introduced social computing tools like ‘Wiki’s’ and Forum for social media collaboration. This facilitated the engineers to capture their ideas, talk in real time, record backlog history, build trust with each other and above all collaborate without hindrance.

Productivity misconceptions

Intel did have its scary moments. For example, bosses do ask their employees “When would you finish your real job?” The mixed opinion is that social media usage does hurt productivity.

Intel learned it the hard way. To face such issues, Intel integrated business problems with social media collaboration and developed a proof of concept. Social media collaboration had to be built into its core processes.

Please do read our blog post on how  Corporate social network can be made successful.

Best practices for social media collaboration at Intel

Over the years, Intel, after many rigorous exercises and lessons learned, had compiled some of its best practices for implementing and using social media collaboration in workplaces. Please find them below.

The below best practices from Intel have been referenced from the book “Social media at work”.  My sincere thanks to Arthur Jue, Jackie Alcade Marr, Mary Ellen Kassotakis, the authors of the book.

  1. It is best to implement social media tools over integrated business processes. Standalone processes need to be integrated with the rest of the core processes. It would be futile and social media usage may be not be accepted well among users, prior to this integration.
  2. The consumer use of social media is here to stay for the foreseeable future. Employees are bound to bring in outside practices, inside the organization. Open source technology is freely available.There is every chance that employees will drive the IT function for implementing social media in workplaces. We have seen it already happening. There is a need for the democratizing the usage of social media.
  3. IT departments need to be quick to recognize changes in the social media usage otherwise they are bound to face more work in the future.
  4. Allow innovation to occur in a more natural way. Grass roots development need to take place. For mass adoption, “Executive buy-in” is necessary.
  5. It is good to allow employees to have their own blogs. Blogs give employees a voice and a means of contributing their knowledge, experience, and perspectives.
  6. To get work done from the grass roots level, it is good to integrate social media into the existing business processes of the company.
  7. It is good not to force anybody in the company to adopt social media usage. Social media usage needs to be encouraged only as a good option.

Finally, the important one – Social media should be easy to use

8. The important thing is to focus on the ‘Simplicity of the tool’. The simpler the tool, the easier it is to use it. It is good to involve all representative users for a user acceptance testing. It is good to take their feedback and make relevant changes.

Intel always sees social media usage as big contributor and a key enabler of business performance. As a company, Intel is committed to integrating social media into its key processes which make the greatest impact.

Cheers.

Ramkumar Yaragarla
Available at

Ramkumar Yaragarla

I am 42 years old. I have spent double digit years working as a business analyst and a program manager in Human resources and IT functions in several Fortune 100 companies in India and the UK.
Completed Masters in IT for manufacturing at the University of Warwick, UK and a PRINCE 2 certified practitioner.

My interests include collaborative innovation, group dynamics, Idea hubs and work life balance. I am open to your suggestions.
Ramkumar Yaragarla
Available at
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