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Social media site expanding into B2B

RBS signs up as biggest client for Facebook at Work

FacebookFacebook has signed up Royal Bank of Scotland as its biggest client so far for the professional version of its platform.

Under the deal 30,000 RBS staff will be using Facebook at Work by next March, with all 100,000 joining by the end of 2016.

The social media company has been working for a year on a rival service to compete with enterprise communication platforms such as Chatter at Salesforce, Google at Work, Hipchat, the enterprise messaging start-up Slack, and even LinkedIn.

It is designed for businesses that want to build social networks for their employees and it takes Facebook firmly into the B2B market. It also demonstrates how companies, including the biggest, are taking social media seriously as a business tool.

RBS is one of a number of companies using a pilot service which at present only allows users to friend and message their colleagues, directly message each other, and make voice and video calls, as well as share screens with each other. There are plans to build up the service so that it can take in external links and more functions.

In an interview with technology website TechCrunch, Julien Codorniou, Facebook’s London-based director of global partform partnerships, said 300 businesses are trialling the product, including drinks giant Heineken.

Facebook is currently offering the service for free, but plans to charge for it.

“We are also building sales and marketing teams for Facebook at Work across the globe right now,” he said.

Sean Ryan, Facebook’s VP of platform partnerships, said: “We hope Facebook At Work will help RBS, which employs 100,000 people, bring staff closer together and allow them to collaborate on projects much more effectively.”

Simon McNamara, chief administrative officer at RBS said: “I’m excited about how bringing people together from all across the bank through Facebook At Work can help all our employees do their job better – whether it’s being able to find answers to customer queries much faster or helping us come up with bright new ideas,

“The pilot we’ve been running demonstrated we were ready for more. The adoption rate was a phenomenal 90%.”

 

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