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Transforming Collaboration and Innovation: La Poste's Strategic Partnership with Braineet

Frédérique Retail
Facilitator-Project Manager at La Poste Group

La Poste - A legacy of innovation

Navigating a new era of digital and sustainable transformation

La Poste, in its journey with Groupe Caisse des Depots, stands at the forefront of digital and ecological transformation. As a company deeply rooted in French heritage, La Poste faces the unique challenge of modernizing its services while adhering to its commitment to sustainability and social responsibility.

Insightful perspectives on innovation and collaboration

"It's about working together, more common work," reflects a key executive at La Poste, emphasizing the company's pivot towards collaborative innovation. They also underscore the urgency of environmental stewardship: "We have an obligation to train all managers and executives in climate issues." The role of Braineet is highlighted as a critical enabler, with another executive noting, "It's a game-changer in the way we help each other."

Streamlining collaboration across diverse branches

La Poste's challenge was twofold: fostering seamless collaboration across its various branches and integrating a comprehensive approach towards sustainability. The company needed a platform that not only facilitated information sharing and startup engagement but also aligned with its RSE (Corporate Social Responsibility) objectives.

The Braineet solution: A customizable platform for La Poste

Tailoring technology to meet specific needs

Braineet emerged as the ideal solution, offering flexibility and customization to meet La Poste's specific requirements. The platform's adaptability and its alignment with RSE values played a pivotal role in its selection, addressing La Poste's need for an innovative yet responsible digital solution.

Rapid deployment, immediate results

The integration of Braineet was swift and efficient, garnering immediate positive feedback from La Poste's legal and innovation departments. The platform excelled in dismantling information silos, enhancing cross-branch communication, and fostering a culture of shared innovation and knowledge.

The interview

Tell me a little about your company. What do you love about working there? What are your company goals and main challenges? 

At the level of the La Poste Group, I am going to talk about 3 subjects, which are linked to Braineet : 

  • The 100% integration of La Poste Group into the Caisse des Depots Group. La Poste is becoming a 100% subsidiary. This integration means that we have the objective of working with the other subsidiaries of the CDC, of pooling knowledge with the other subsidiaries and of providing the CDC with indicators on the Groupe La Poste. We must therefore be able to aggregate all the data from our branches. This means more cross-functional work between us and the branches. This is the first challenge.  
  • Innovation and collaboration between branches. The "Place of Innovation" in the strategy is to be a real Group tool with all the subsidiaries and all the branches. This means more joint work. 
  • Climate change. This is one of the objectives of La Poste, which is a company with a mission and which has CSR objectives. For example, there is an obligation to train all managers and all executives, i.e. 50,000 people, in the climate mural before the end of the year. There are many CSR objectives and I can see that in innovation there are many things linked to CSR. 

Tell me about your department. How is it positioned in the company and how is the department structured? What other teams are you working closely with? What are the department goals and main challenges?

Tell me about your role. What are your goals and challenges?

My role is project manager and facilitator. As a project manager, I report to the Group's IT department, which is called "I-team". I have projects, notably on the animation of the Group's and CDC's lawyers. I encourage collaborative work, I set up tools and I initiate projects so that people can collaborate.

I also have the same role on the Group's Innovation side. I make sure that the Group's people can work together with the right tools and the right communication.  

What was going on at your company that led you to us? How serious was the problem?

It's simple, the contract of another service provider, Yoomap, which was the reference for startups, had come to an end. Carole Cuche, the Director of Innovation, did not want a tool to serve a few. She wanted a tool to serve all the Group's Innovation Makers. There are more than 130 of them. She therefore invited them all to participate in the workshops in order to identify and define their needs as Innovation Makers, Director of Intrapreneurship, Director of Innovation and lawyers in order to better collaborate. 

The main needs that were brought up: 

  • To be able to share information and events
  • To have a repository of startups that everyone can update and follow with up-to-date data, regardless of the degree of partnership with each startup
  • Be able to submit ideas, intrapreneurship and participative innovation
  • Follow the news and the watch
  • Ask for help from colleagues
  • Need to list experts, have contacts in relation to expertise. We have added a "I can help you" button on our Braineet platform, which completely changes the game of mutual aid. On the innovation side, same thing. 

Need a site for AI, Data and Metavers. Having its own site, its events, its use cases, its trainings to communicate and inform. 

People are also happy to have a management tool, it's proving to be a very important point now. We are starting to have projects and portfolios and to customize our management.  

What was the impact on the business not to solve it ? Any idea about the cost of not solving it?

The lawyers were very happy to have a tool very quickly that was not dependent on their information system, available to all the lawyers (800). The big problem we usually have is that the information systems are compartmentalized. They are very happy to have Braineet and to be able to modify it, improve it and see what more can be done to achieve new objectives. There are 15 of us in the Governance Committee, 1 representative per entity. 

As far as innovation is concerned, the feedback is that it is very rich. There are many things with an organization of the platform in "Domains". This allows everyone to build their own domain, to filter information very quickly, to see what others are doing, to have a single repository for startups. We are going to launch a repository of subsidiaries as well, because we need it so much. This has enabled us to incorporate people who are much more distant from the Group's tools, in particular all the subsidiaries, the small ones and those abroad. For example, the Geopost subsidiary, which has its own information system and is very international. This has enabled us to communicate across subsidiaries. It's a real federator, that's the word. There are AI and Intrapreneurship domains, one domain per branch, and it's still growing. 

What solutions did you try before you came to us? What results did you see?

The first super important point that differentiates Braineet from other platforms is the flexibility: we can configure everything. And the possibility to have several "spaces" and several portfolios. We couldn't do that before. From the start, we started with 2 spaces. The fact that we can configure, administer and choose how it looks is a strong point, we have 95% control over the site, the presentation, the headings, the colors, the icons, etc. This is a really important point. This is a really important point. 

Another thing, Braineet already had a CSR approach, accessibility and inclusion. You were the only ones. We at La Poste Group are really sensitive to this. We are always looking for partners who are in this approach. Some of your competitors were not familiar with CSR at all. 

We have greatly expanded the platform's use cases. Maybe it's the tool that does it, we have lots of ideas for new uses and evolutions. Typically, the gamification in Braineet allows us to make a point contest for Christmas! The automatic email feature that we configure ourselves according to certain rules allows us for example to follow startups, to alert people for an event, we use a lot this customizable button that allows to "subscribe" to follow webinars, participate to an event, follow the update of a startup. 

What alternatives did you consider before choosing Braineet?

The alternative for lawyers, we tested Discord because we wanted chat rooms. But it didn't meet all our needs and the UX was difficult, more for gamers. For innovation, there was a specific site for intrapreneurship and we wanted a central platform. For Data it was the same. The alternatives were the old products that we knew, but which were not as open, scalable and customizable. 

Why did you choose to work with us?

In all transparency, at first I was not for you! But after seeing the features, the technical questionnaire, the security questionnaire and the CSR questionnaire, you really stood out! I thought "this is too good" compared to what I am used to seeing! You are really more innovative than the others. And safety and CSR are becoming more and more important to us and are linked to our strategy and our mission. 

How did you implement Braineet? How are you organized today? (team, process, governance)

For the lawyers, there was a very strong deadline. We signed the contract with Braineet at the end of July and we had to launch the platform at the end of September. We submitted our needs in June, and at the end of July we were able to have the platform in just one week. Which is very, very fast. We started customizing with Sarah, Head of Customer Success, and it was available at the beginning of August. And we were able to launch a pilot version with the 36 lawyers in the working group, we used it and improved it. We presented it at the end of September and we already had usage indicators, we had configured everything. These 2 months of pilot were very useful. It worked very well. There are even job offers now on Braineet. 

For innovation, there was no deadline. Only on Intrapreneurship with "20 projects for 2030", they took the lead and then the other domains gradually joined the platform. Every week, we have a committee meeting where we discuss what we are improving and new topics such as Metavers, which we are going to put forward on our "Innovation Square". It's really made for working together, it's great to work between Branches. 

How did you communicate to your teams about Braineet to adopt it? Did you have to face some change management challenges to implement Braineet ? How did you overcome them?

On the legal side, we launched an event that brought together all legal professionals. To continue to animate - it's been a year and a half now - we add new contents to dynamize and interest, for example with the job offers now. 

As for innovation, people were used to having different sites. The fact that there is everything on the same platform, at the beginning it was a little disturbing. In terms of communication, we started with Intrapreneurship. During the innovation day in June, there is a round table, a conference and a showroom to present "Place de l'Innovation". 

The big events allow us to do a lot of communication. Every time there is an article in "Forum", the internal newspaper of La Poste Group, there is a wave of registrations on the platform. 

Similarly, when Docaposte launched "InnoGame", its participatory innovation challenge, we had a lot of new employees sign up. We're at over 4,000 in terms of innovation, which is not bad in less than a year, +2,000 in the last 6 months. 

How did Braineet change your business?

For the lawyers, it really made the connection. Every month, we hold Governance Committees in different locations in Paris. The platform allows us to create a lot of links digitally and then to meet in physical events. 

In terms of innovation, there are really exchanges and concrete actions between people. 

It allows for participative innovation for entities that didn't do it before. 

It has enabled us to have a single reference system at Group level with all the branches, including La Banque Postale, the Platform58 , etc. 

It has allowed us to open up: for example, on Innovation Day, we had many more people from outside. For example, a lawyer came to talk about patents for the first time during this innovation day. 

There are many things that are starting to come up. For example, for Metavers, people were working separately. Now it's a way of federating, centralizing and breaking down the silos. 

In the future, what other problems could Braineet solve for you or the company?

We are now working on 2 additional use cases: the Braineet Workflow part can be used to bring up the indicators at the level of all the branches, in particular the Caisse des Depots. 

Another use case: use Braineet Workflow to manage all the follow-up of certain confidential files, create project spaces for each operation to centralize the documentation and decisions. 

We have imagined many others: innovation project portfolios, experimentation project portfolios with startups. Intrapreneurship already has its portfolio. Colissimo has also launched a portfolio. We want to be able to offer Workflow to GeoPost and its subsidiaries in different languages for international use. We have interest from banking and insurance subsidiaries. We also have exchanges with the CSR to share all the associations we work with. It's not just innovation, that's what I mean. There is a need to work externally throughout the Group, with different communities and information systems: CSR, lawyers, compliance, AI, the House of Innovation and why not one day the IT people together, etc. 

What advice would you have for others considering Braineet?

I would tell them that Braineet is a super interesting tool, very very good. It really allowed people to work together. I think that it needs facilitation, workshops to get everyone's needs and address them in the platform. Not everyone has the same needs. It also requires workshops to make choices on the platform. It is so flexible, it is so easy to change, that we can go back. It's really a great tool to make people work together. 

Besides, it costs almost nothing to each Branch, it's really a small participation to the license. It completely mutualizes the cost. 

  • From a time point of view, it is very fast to set up. 
  • From a money point of view, it's cheap because it's shared by many entities. 
  • From a customization point of view, you can do absolutely what you want. 

You need an administrator. I trained one administrator per domain, so that they are autonomous. Once they are trained, it's not really hard, it's intuitive.

I think that La Poste Group is a very good example that Braineet serves the group well beyond innovation. The lawyers typically are so happy that they talk about it within the Group and show the potential for business topics and communities.