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					DRESDNER KLEINWORT WASSERSTEIN USES WIKI FOR COLLABORATION



INTRODUCTION

       In business, many decision strategies and much of the creative process are the result of

groupwork. Groupwork allows an organization to maximize the talents and efforts of all team

members. The world has seen a steady rise in corporate globalization as team members are

located in multiple locations, in different time zones, and sometimes communicating in different

languages. A collaboration communication tool that improves communication and work

methodologies among its members is the competitive advantage solution of any global company

trying to sustain its business today.


       Organizations have found that group collaboration can also lower costs, increase

productivity among its employees, and form creative thoughts to be more innovative. Nowadays,

complex decisions are often created through groupwork. On this paper, our group analyzes

collaborative computer-supported technologies and group support systems, specifically Dresdner

Keinwort Wassertein's (DrKW's) old and new collaboration tools. In addition, we also analyze

Wiki collaboration tool in detail since it is DrKW's solution of its limitations of the old

collaboration tools.



REAL-TIME COLLABORATION TOOLS

       There are many real-time collaboration tools that help organizations deal with time and

space issues on projects, such as Electronic, Video and Web Teleconferencing, Interactive

Whiteboards, Screen Sharing, and Instant Video. Electronic teleconferencing facilitates live

synchronized communication between two or more people that are in different locations while
Video teleconferencing has many other applications in addition to the electronic

teleconferencing. For example, it transmits business meetings, teaching classes since it can be

saved as an electronic record of events, and it has been used to interview job applicants. A lower-

priced alternative to Video teleconferencing is a Web conferencing because it is transmitted over

the internet and can be viewed by thousands of people at one time.


       An interactive whiteboard is a groupware tool that allows multiple groups to access

identical information that is posted instantaneously. Screen sharing is a software application that

permits group members to work on a common project at the same time with the ability to change

the project. In addition, it allows other members of the group can see these changes on their

computer screens right away. Instant video is like a live chat room with picture and sound via IM

software similar to Skype telephony a popular peer-to-peer communications service. As

technology evolves, new collaborative tools have become available, such as VOIP, Collaborative

Work flow, Web 2.0, Wikis, Collaboration Hubs, Collaborative Networks, Corporate

(Enterprise) Portals.



WIKI COLLABORATION TOOL

       A Wiki is a piece of server software available at a Web site that allows users to freely

create and edit Web page content through a Web browser (Efraim, 2010). The first wiki was

created in 1995 by Ward Cunningham was called WikiWikiWeb and was installed on the

internet domain c2.com. He chose the term wiki after the Wiki-Wiki bus system in Honolulu,

Hawaii, as an alternative to the word "quick". The term "Wiki" means "quick" or "to hasten" in

Hawaiian.
       Wikis are a powerful tool to help facilitate groupwork and collaboration. Wikis allow

multiple users to contribute to groupwork by being able to work in real time to organize and edit

the content. It also allows documents to be written collectively using a very simple markup tool.

Wikis allow users to work on single page or to link multiple pages together. One of the best

attributes of wikis is the document management features that are available. Wikis allow group

leaders to organize people into groups and monitor document history, content, and contributions

from each of the group members. Wikis are used as a depository for various files and pages, and

save documents at multiple stages so that users can go back to previous versions to see what

changes have been made and by whom.




TESTING WIKIS

       For this project, our group created a wiki on www.wikispaces.com. This website provides

limited working wikis for free. We were able to create the main page online and we each had the

ability to login to the wiki and edit the pages of our report. The wiki management tools were

rather robust. The features included the ability to invite members to work on the wiki, the ability

to add files, a discussion board, and a messaging feature. It also has a history tab to show all the

changes made to the wiki. Additionally, it gave us the ability to view previous versions of the

documents as well as what changes were made between versions.

       Some of the major drawbacks of the wiki were the text editing tool. It is not as powerful

as Microsoft Word and many of the formatting features are limited. However, the good news is

that it is adequate to get all the information into one document and when we were done, all we

had to do was copy the information into Word to finish the final formatting and editing.
DrKW's BACKGROUND

       Dresdner Kleinwort Wasserstein (DrKW) is an international investment bank that is a

part of Dresdner Bank. With headquarters in Europe, Frankfurt, and London, DrKW provides

capital markets and advisory services. Some of the services include providing risk management

solutions, structured finance for funding of large-scale projects, and listing companies that wish

to go on market. With 6000 employees, its offices are located in many different locations, such

as New York, Paris, Tokyo, Singapore, and Hong Kong. Having such a large geographical

distribution and diverse culture of its members, DrKW required a means for the employees to

communicate with each other more efficiently.


       Collaborative tools such as blogs, chat, conferencing, and wiki were used. Before 1997,

Dresdner Kleinwort Wasserstein was using different software packages operating side by side for

content management and group communication (Documentum, Media Surface, and MS

FrontPage). Among the different group communication software, Microsoft Sharepoint was

DrKW's most popular collaboration tool. However, this system was cumbersome since it often

restricted data instead of making it transparent for the other employees and not very well

integrated into the company. As a result, the company searched for a better collaboration tool

that could improve communication among its different locations and business groups.

       In 1997 J.P. Rangaswami, Dresdner's global chief information officer (CIO) backed

open-source software for the OS and the servers for DrKW (43% of the UNIX user base is on

Linux) to save money. On that year, DrKW started using MS SharePoint along with their first

wiki as a group decision support system, but at that time, their IT department was only using it.

Some of the popular uses for the wiki were to manage meetings, brainstorming and publishing,

and create presentations. As management noticed that the wiki was highly successful in IT
department, they wanted their business people to be a part of wiki so that they can create a

platform on which both the IT and the business people could communicate and collaborate.


       By December 2003 after 3 years of IT budget and staff cutting, approximately by 43% for

each, technology had allowed them to do more with less. With a smaller operating budget, CIO

Rangaswami was demanding from the vendors plug-in-play products rather than the traditional

software of customize and implementation. Additionally, while the competition was outsourcing

the routine tasks, he found that it cost more money than keeping the work in house because of

the attrition rates that were running at 40 to 50 percent and the additional supervision costs.

Many companies were also looking for solutions to “the email blow-off factor” (deleted and

unread emails because of excessive span) on company computers, cell phones, and blackberries

that was happening to all of them. After DrKW announced their Socialtext wiki plan an “Internet

research firm Gartner Group predicts that wikis will become mainstream collaboration tools in at

least 50% of companies by 2009” (business week Nov.28, 2005).



CASE QUESTIONS

1. What capabilities of a wiki are not available in e-mail?

Wikis are a collaboration tool that allows users to collaborate with other members on the site

with many more features that email does not provide. Unlike email that focuses more on

communicating and transferring files among specific addressees, wiki improves communications

in more collaborative way and is a space for the publishing of key information among its users

since it allows users to swap among different modes of communications (e.g. blog, intranet,

instant messenger) on a single platform.

       A wiki provides an instant editable collaboration platform that allows users to view, edit,
publish, and store information. Therefore, it provides a medium for brainstorming ideas,

developing a document or meeting agenda, collaboratively forming presentation ideas or slides,

and storing important information. Wiki’s users are able to develop the ideas, put them into an

outline, assemble the content, edit, and publish information on a single page. Therefore, it

replaces the traditional way of sending countless numbers of emails with different versions of

data that ends up cluttering up email inboxes and confusing the users.

       In addition to the collaboration feature, wiki users can store commonly used information,

such as best practice guidelines, FAQs, and cheat-sheets, on wiki space. This storage feature

benefits wiki users in many ways. First, it provides up-to-date guidelines for new and existing

employees. Since all of the wiki users can view and update the content, the data stored in wiki

can be utilized as a training tool for all of the employees. Second, the storage function reduces

operational risks when employees leave the company. Succeeding employees can find and

continue the previous employees' works if they happen to save them on wiki space.

       Since wiki users are able to publish information, they are able to give instant feedback on

the content of what other users have uploaded, this motivates the group to collaborate more in

order to produce the best quality works. Furthermore, users often publish the status of their

projects asynchronously from different locations on wiki space. As a result, it reduces the length

of time in a traditional meeting because the time is not wasted at every meeting on relaying the

status of the project to its members. Therefore, management can utilize the time to discuss more

important issues during meeting such as, discussing problems, solving issues, and developing

innovated ideas.



2. Describe the applications of wikis in finance and operations.
Operations & IT

       A wiki is used to improve communication and collaboration among its users which lead

to higher efficiency, productivity, and creativity, in turn this will achieve more desirable

outcomes. Since users can publish and edit wiki content, a wiki improves intra-team

communication by providing a medium to collect resources within the team. Furthermore, wikis

are a web based collaboration tool and global wiki users are able to share the internal wiki

application across different locations. For example, wiki users in Europe can access the wiki via

eu.socialtext.net with the help of a Socialtexts new European proxy server, this improved the

wiki loading speeds in Europe, while wiki users in London can access the same wiki the way the

rest of the world does though Socialtexts website at www.socialtext.net.

       The wiki facilitates open communication among all of its users and provides a friendly

forum for exchanging ideas, stimulating debates, and generating great ideas. All of wiki users are

able to voice their ideas by publishing it on the wiki. Unlike in the regular meeting, shy wiki

users feel less intimidated to voice their opinion on wiki space since they do not need to stand up

and face all of the meeting attendees while sharing their idea. The wiki also creates friendlier

forum to share important information to the rest of the users. For example, linking an important

live website to other wiki users is a lot easier, friendlier, and less formal compared to attaching

suggested site onto a document and sending it to a specific users via email.

       The wiki collaboration feature also allows users to publish the status on what they are

working on to the rest of the users. As a result, it improves productivity and team coordination

since everyone from different locations can see the status of what everyone else is working on.

The storage feature on wiki allows company to keep and share best practice guidelines, internal

jargon, and a cheat sheet among the rest of the employees. Therefore, it can be used as training
tool as it provides resources for day to day employee operation.

       A wiki can also help users to manage meetings. First, the wiki increases the effectiveness

of developing a meeting agenda. Users can keep an archive of old agendas and use them to create

new ones by using duplicate page function. Therefore, they do not need to create the agenda

from scratch whenever there is a meeting. Then management can use the email page function to

draw attention about the proposed agenda to all of the wiki users and get their inputs. Second, a

meeting organizer can put the agenda in wiki for everyone else to view rather than distributing

them through hard copies or emails them to all meeting attendees. Third, management can use

wiki to collect materials for meetings. Since meeting attendees can upload their parts on wiki and

edit the layout of the content collaboratively, wiki speeds up the meeting coordinators' effort on

putting together meeting materials. Now the meeting organizer does not need to wait for

everyone to submit his or her parts through an email before putting it all together manually.



Finance

       Besides creating a forum to share ideas, the wiki collaboration tool also strengthens

existing business relationships among employees, especially among employees who have never

met face-to-face. By communicating through a wiki, wiki users have build a rapport with the rest

of the employees from different levels, departments, and locations. In addition, the history

function of wiki allows company to retain complete audit trail of any material posted on the site.

As many business professionals become more comfortable with utilizing a wiki, users predict the

future benefits of wikis as a medium to discuss contracts, negotiate contracts with clients, update

contact information and other related business permanent info.
3. How does DrKW’s wiki increase employee productivity?

       Since a wiki provides open forum where users can share, edit, publish email

conversations, presentations, reports, and documents, it improves communications and

collaboration of all of DrKW’s employees. By using WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get)

editor function, the wiki users have an editing interface that can change the data uploaded in the

wiki with similar editing features as found on MS Word and Excel spreadsheets. Therefore, it

encourages more users’ participation and collaboration since wiki users can get an instant

feedback from the rest of the wiki users, which leads to increase productivity.

       DrKW wiki users can also publish status update on what they are working on.

Consequently, a project coordinator will be able to coordinate the team more efficiently and plan

follow up actions that need to be done to finish up the projects. Before wiki, project status

updates usually become the basis of the traditional weekly teleconference. Rather than spending

a lot of time getting project status updates, management can focus more on solving problems,

looking into solutions, being innovative, and planning the next steps during the meeting.

Lastly, wiki’s capability to publish key information and store best practice guidelines, frequently

asked questions, and company’s jargon are also used by DrKW as an informal training tool. This

feature allows users to post questions, quickly get answer from their questions, and look up

information.



4. How does DrKW’s wiki help with foreign languages and training?

       Since the wiki provides an instant editable collaboration platform that allows wiki users

from different locations to publish general information or company’s internal jargon, ask

question, and exchange ideas, the wiki can be used as an effective and efficient training tool for
new and existing employees. Similarly, wiki also offers a medium for wiki users to learn foreign

language. Unlike traditional textbooks, it allows users to create and collaboratively edit web

pages using text, video, sound, and pictures while learning foreign language (Italki.com, 2008).

In addition, since diverse groups of wiki users are capable of editing the content, individual wiki

users are able to find information not only in the popular language but also in a less popular one.

Italki is one example of the free, user-generated language-learning textbooks that utilizes wiki

capability.



SUMMARY/CONCLUSION

       Groupwork is an integral function of an organization and it is becoming more vital with

the increase in globalization for firms. As shown in this paper, it is important for organizations to

continue to use collaborative tools, such as wikis, to help them increasing efficiency and

effectiveness and while reducing costs. The DrKW case is a great example of how this could be

done. Our group utilized a wiki at wikispaces.com to work together on this paper and our

PowerPoint presentation. We were able to work on one document for the paper. We were able to

go to one location to see the history of who worked on the document and what changes they

made. We were also able to keep a history of older versions. We were able to see all email

correspondence in one place and utilize a discussion board. We were also able to post files.

While there are some challenges and an initial learning curve to using a wiki, overall it is a great

tool for group work.



RESOURCES

1) Decision Support and Business Intelligence Systems 9th Edition, Turban, Efraim, Sharda,
Ramesh, Delen, Dursun 2010.

2) Dresdner Kleinwort Wasserstein Case Study


www.socialtext.com/files/...DrKW Case Study.pdf

3) Italki.com. 2008. Foreign Language Education Wiki Makes Language Learning Free for

Everyone. http://www.pr9.net/society/socedu/8051may.html


4) http://www.watersonline.com/public/showPage.html?page=129216

5) http://www.socialtext.com/products/resources.php

6) http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/content/05_48/b3961120.htm


7) www.wikispaces.com

				
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