"It wasn't a single platform, and everyone did their own thing locally using different tools to create different websites," said Say Lim, vice president of IT at Fluor, in an interview.
"From a corporate communications standpoint, it was very difficult to present a cohesive communications channel to our 40,000-plus employees," he said.
The company also realized that its over-reliance on email for collaboration was not only counterproductive but also a turnoff for younger employees who are social media-savvy.
It decided that offering enterprise social networking is important not only to improve staff interaction but also to attract and retain this type of employee, he said.
Fluor also realized that in the absence of an enterprise social networking system, employee groups were taking matters into their own hands and setting up systems in an ad-hoc manner from various vendors.
"We decided we had to offer a well-governed, controlled, corporatewide social business platform," Lim said.
Since its corporate email system is Notes, the company decided to stick with IBM and has adopted Connections and WebSphere Portal, he said. It is still in the process of migrating about 200 legacy collaboration sites.
Juan Carlos Perez covers enterprise communication/collaboration suites, operating systems, browsers and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Follow Juan on Twitter at @JuanCPerezIDG.