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Charles Schwab Pilot Program
The initial release of Zaplet technology was a collaborative messaging product for the consumer market. Zaplet, like many start-ups, had hoped to achieve broad based adoption and a paradigm shift in the way people use email. While unsuccessful in its initial goal, Zaplet had many applications in the enterprise market space and initiated pilot programs in a number of Fortune 500 companies. One of those programs was with Charles Schwab, a leading stock trading company.

Schwab's interest in Zaplet technology was driven by their new technology group, "Thought Shop". The purpose of Thought Shop was to integrate promising new technologies into Schwab's mainline businesses. Thought Shop saw potential in Zaplet's unique messaging technology as a way to improve communication to Schwab employees.

Problem Definition
Schwab's traditional communication method was through use of email and company newsletters. This method did not allow for feedback. Information was delivered, but how it was received was unknown. Polling of employees was untimely, labor intensive, and largely unsuccessful in accurately measuring employee issues. Schwab contacted Zaplet to see if it could provide an integrated solution for their communication problems.

Zaplet Approach
After the initial contacts with the Zaplet Business Development Group, the project was passed to the User Experience Team with a strict mandate of completion by the end of the quarter. The UE Team developed an early prototype and worked with Schwab to refine the Zaplet Suite. Using contextual inquiry and field use of the Zaplet product with 500 Schwab employees, Zaplet was able to make a number of system refinements. At the end of the field-testing phase, the UE Team assimilated all of the previously collected data and did a thorough heuristic study to produce the final functional specification and product.





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