Implementing Enterprise 2.0 at Vistaprint Part Four: The Future and Lessons Learned


Share on LinkedIn

This is the forth and final part in the Vistaprint Enterprise 2.0 series. Today, we’re going to wrap things up by discussing the future of Enterprise 2.0 at Vistaprint as well as some of the lessons that Vistaprint has learned thus far. Just to re-cap they implemented two key Enterprise 2.0 initiatives, the Brainstorm (ideation) platform by Intuit and Media Wiki; both used to power internal collaboration and knowledge sharing.

The future of Enterprise 2.0 over at Vistaprint looks to be quite interesting. Daniel and Jay (the folks responsible for much of what Vistaprint has been doing) both admitted that they are far from done with their E2.0 efforts. Continuous adaptation and adoption is going to be crucial for ongoing success. Some of the ideas that they have on the horizon are being able to develop “pipelines” and tools for functional groups that wish to share and discuss ideas (aimed at the ideation platform). It would be great for example, to be able to have some sort of idea queue management system in place or a way to hold private discussions around suggested ideas. Vistaprint is also going to begin “idea challenges” where instead of employees always submitting ideas, they will actually be challenged and asked “do you know how we can do X.” As far as incentives go they have yet to be rolled out. Vistaprint is also going to start hosting events around ideas, think of musical jam sessions, but centered around ideation. Certain days will be set aside where employees will be able to go over ideas and actually build prototypes.

As far as the wiki goes, Vistaprint is really going to be working on improving the user experience and making it very easy to use. They want to simplify basic functionalities such as being able to insert an image or make and embed a table. Integration with various tools such as MS Office is also on the near term list of things to implement.

Intuit has been a valuable consulting partner for Vistaprint which is interesting because I don’t think many people even realize that Intuit offers an ideation platform (I certainly had no idea). During Vistaprint’s Enterprise 2.0 journey the key thing they mentioned to me was they never had a desire to implement E2.0 just because it was E2.0. Vistaprint just need an effective way to share information and ideas and E2.0 technologies and strategies where the solution. I’ve said this before but I’m going to repeat it; the business drivers came first, the tools came second.

Also, remember that the wiki platform that Vistaprint used was absolutely free. The extensions/applications that were needed to support the wiki were either open source (free) or were built internally. I asked about some of the training around the wiki and was told that around 2,000 hours were spent to train the company. Vistaprint declined to comment on the actual financial impact (cost or benefit) however they did tell me that they have seen a large amount of anecdotal evidence such as people reporting that they are now able to find information much easier. Another interesting key point is that to train 25 employees (level 1 engineers) at Vistaprint (prior to the wiki) it usually took 10-12 weeks for them to become fully functioning engineers. After the wiki was deployed the training time dropped by around 50% which means that it now takes 4-6 weeks for a new employee to become a fully functioning engineer; that’s quite an impressive improvement.

So what where some of the key takeaways from all of their E2.0 efforts?

Let’s start with the ideation platform. The key lessons here were to allow ideas to follow the passion path. It is absolutely crucial to allow employees to stand behind their ideas and to follow their passions and to really get their ideas in front of the right people. Vistaprint also compared various ideation platforms and they found that many of the vendors placed a strong emphasis on the “wisdom of the crowds,” something that I was adamantly told does not work over at Vistaprint. Instead what is more effective is not collecting votes but watching the actions of those who vote and making sure that ideas get in front of the right people who will turn those ideas into reality. In other words success depends on actions and not just on ideas.

For the wiki the lessons learned can be broken down into 4 key things:

  1. The collaboration and knowledge sharing problem was not a technology problem, it was a people, process, and culture problem (and thus needed change)
  2. Whatever platform/tool you go with needs to be frictionless and people have to love it
  3. The technology solution that is going to solve your business needs must be fantastic
  4. People who say they are too busy to edit or contribute to the wiki really aren’t, they just think they are. Everyone always have time for micto edits and inputting bits and pieces of information at a time.

I hope you found this series on Vistaprint valuable, I certainly learned quite a bit and I’m going to continue this series with other companies. If you work at a company (or know someone who does) that is implementing Enterprise 2.0 and are interested in having me write and in-depth case study about what you are doing, then please let me know. It’s a great way to get help the industry as a whole move in the right direction while displaying thought leadership and initiative at your company. I want to thank everyone at Vistaprint for making this series possible, it was syndicated by quite a few sources.

Here are the other posts in the series:

Implementing Enterprise 2.0 at Vistaprint Part One: Business Drivers

Implementing Enterprise 2.0 at Vistaprint Part Two: Change Management

Implementing Enterpise 2.0 at Vistaprint Part Three: Operational Impact

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Jacob Morgan
I'm a best-selling author, keynote speaker, and futurist who explores what the future of work is going to look like and how to create great experiences so that employees actually want to show up to work. I've written three best-selling books which are: The Employee Experience Advantage (2017), The Future of Work (2014), and The Collaborative Organization (2012).


  1. Thanks Bob, I’m working on a continuous series for companies. If you have any intros to companies I’m doing this all for free, they simply need to volunteer their time for me to speak with them to get the info. I might have a few other large companies lined up, we’ll see 🙂 But I agree, nobody is doing this and it’s valuable info!


Please use comments to add value to the discussion. Maximum one link to an educational blog post or article. We will NOT PUBLISH brief comments like "good post," comments that mainly promote links, or comments with links to companies, products, or services.

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here