Gira and sustainability
Report 2020

Collaboration in the digital age Digitalisation and networking do not stop at the workplace. To make use of the advantages of these new technologies for communication, collaboration and knowledge management, since 2017 Gira has been gradually introducing the "Gira Connect" collaboration platform. Both project managers Maria Witsch (Organisation and Processes) and Michael Hachenberg (IT) explain what it involves and how it will change the digital workplace.





Requirement analysis and survey of employees from 22 divisions

Design of the "Gira Connect" collaboration platform

Easier communication with the new chat and desktop sharing systems

Analysis and selection of suitable IT platforms

What are the aims of "Gira Connect"?
Maria Witsch: The name reflects the programme: "Gira Connect" was designed to link people at Gira more effectively. It is aimed at improving communication and collaboration between them, and we also want to make it easier to find information and transfer knowledge. If this succeeds, in the future we will be able to find solutions and make decisions more easily. The Gira employees will find it easier to accept the project if "Gira Connect" actually makes work easier and safer – for example when handling documents or processing search requests by means of automated information and work processes. For this reason "Gira Connect" concentrates on the individual information and communication needs to offer each employee tailored solutions as far as possible.

How did you approach the project?
Michael Hachenberg: We interviewed employees from 22 divisions in detail to determine the needs of future users. We had three central insights in that "Gira Connect" has to offer a new intranet platform with additional functionality, digital workspaces for teams and a powerful internal search machine. A central topic for our project team was also to develop an end-to-end concept with "Gira Connect" for finding solutions to the various challenges and at the same time ensure effective integration of the individual solutions.


Sebastian Marz [Head of Organisation and IT]

Michael Hachenberg [Project Manager, IT]

Maria Witsch [Project Manager, Organisation and Processes]

"Gira Connect" was designed to link people at Gira more effectively, promote communication and collaboration and make transfer of knowledge easier. As a result, in the future we will be able to find solutions and make decisions more easily.

Maria Witsch Project Manager, Organisation and Processes

What are the results?
Maria Witsch: In principle you can imagine "Gira Connect" as a large house with different rooms. Each room is home to an application system, such as document management, workflow control or the intranet. The individual systems are interconnected by the hallway, i.e. cross-divisional functions. In addition, all systems can be accessed through the front door, to stay with the analogy. This means that you only need one key for all applications. "Gira Connect" is therefore the central digital entry point for everyone at Gira. Everyone has their own personal area in this house where they can organise their own space as they would on their own desk. Functions such as chats and desktop sharing or the possibility of integrating other users makes communication easier.

So what's next?
Michael Hachenberg: As "Gira Connect" unites a number of application systems under one roof, setting up and moving into our "digital house" is quite a major project. For this reason we will move forwards step by step and take the needs of the different user groups into consideration in its implementation. The start will be made in the summer of 2017 with the introduction of a cross-company e-mail and chat system. By then the decision will also be made as to on when and which workflows will be available and which team and department pages will be online. It is important that our colleagues have enough time – closely accompanied by the project team – to get used to the new technologies and discover their advantages for themselves.




Gira and sustainability
Report 2020