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Sweet collaboration at Nektar

This article appears in the issue October 2003 [Volume 12, Issue 9]

With its work force increasing in two years from about 200 to almost 1,000, Nektar Theraputics faced some challenges. Because of its rapid growth, the drug delivery technologies company had no standard development platform or means to collaborate across three locations in two countries.Running at 87% uptime, the server often crashed, causing enormous losses in terms of data and productivity.

Having just acquired two divisions that had standardized on Microsoft technologies, Nektar Therapeutics decided it needed a portal-based solution to foster collaboration, instant messaging, Web conferencing and e-mail. The company chose a solution that involved a combination of IBM Lotus(Lotus Notes, Sametime and QuickPlace) and IBM WebSphere portal technology.

"My group's vision," explains Heidi Rebottaro, project manager for IT development at Nektar, "has been to improve our effectiveness. The foundation has been the collaborative toolset and application development environment found in the software solution. Using IBM WebSphere Portal, we are able to provide user access to existing Lotus technologies any time from all three geographic sites as well as remotely, creating an on-demand workplace for our employees. "For example, we have 50-plus QuickPlaces that users tap into for gathering and categorizing data, sharing documents and more effective collaboration--all of which lead to faster development time."

The technology created a single foundation for collaboration and document management within the company, with instant access to applications and information from anywhere at any time. It also streamlined data and increased server dependability to 99% uptime, according to a press release from IBM Lotus

Nektar plans to implement the portal one department at a time. Thus far, some of the benefits include:

Corporate directory--Administrators enter new employee information into a corporate directory, which creates a user ID and triggers a series of updates, for example, to the Dynamic Map of where each employee seats and to the Notes Address Book. At one point, Nektar was adding five new employees a day, and the automated process saved time and money.

HR performance management system--Nektar's HR department is charged with providing information on the status of company sales goals, and many of its executive salaries are based on meeting those goals. Through use of the portal, the HR department has achieved 100% on-time reporting of that information.


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