Microsoft’s video-sharing site connects employees, boosts collaboration

How the company’s internal YouTube-like site became a force for change among its 90,000 employees.

Thinking about connecting your employees globally through video?

Then take a look at Microsoft, whose employees tout new ideas and gain the knowledge they need to close deals with the help of internal video sharing.

“It is essentially a YouTube within Microsoft,” said Paolo Tosolini, a consultant and former Microsoft employee who spoke at a recent Ragan conference on Social Media for Corporate PR and Communications in Las Vegas.

Tosolini, who launched and managed the software giant’s Academy Mobile program, described how Microsoft arms employees with cameras and gives them a platform that spans the global company.

It isn’t easy for employees to get the word out within a company of 90,000, Tosolini said. Many are spread out geographically: About 60 percent of its staff run the computers or create the software; the rest are out in the field.

On top of that, the company has more than 100 products, making it difficult for the sales force to keep up with what’s new, Tosolini said. Often companies announce a new product by sending out an e-mail with links to an internal site with far more information than a busy sales rep can read and absorb.

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