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Intranet Software Can Transform Your Business

December 18th, 2013

You may be struggling to derive organizational-wide benefits from your outdated intranet, or you may be unsure of the potential benefits of introducing a new intranet, either way, intranet software can transform your business. 

Offer Employees a Digital Workspace

The term ‘intranet’ has managed to continuously adapt and take on new meanings as we’ve moved through the intranet evolution. For many organizations today, their intranets incorporate mobile technology and social networking features. These collaborative modern intranets differ significantly to the static intranets available over a decade ago. The term ‘digital workspace’ derives from the concept of a modern intranet , but incorporates third-party, business critical software integration. 

Digital Workspace

Increase Organizational-Wide Productivity 

Intranet software ultimately supports employees in the fulfilment of their job-related tasks and activities. Intranet software contains myriad intranet applications and tools to enable employees, despite their department or location, to effectively and efficiently do their jobs. A modern, feature-rich intranet can act as an indispensable business tool for your business. Intranet teams commonly spend a lot of time in the creation and continuous development of their intranet’s design, navigation and evolution to help increase productivity. 

Collaborate in Real-Time

An important part of intranet software platforms is the ability to provide employees with secure collaboration areas. These intranet collaboration areas allow employees to share information, pose questions and gain responses in real-time. Comments, updates and questions along with their responses are viewable by employees (with the appropriate permission settings) and thus supply an archive of helpful information. 

Effectively Communicate Company Information, Values and Objectives

The effective communication of company information, values and objectives directly correlates with productivity increases at both an employee and company level.  This important communication ensures employees are working towards the same goals collectively whilst upholding company values. Intranet software offers organizations a fast and reliable method to communicate company information in a secure manner. 

Securely Manage Projects

Despite your organisation’s sector or size, managing either internal or external projects is more than likely a prevalent activity. Intranet software contains tools to allow organizations to centrally manage and progress their projects. Assigning tasks with priority levels, creating project events and having secure project collaboration areas are essential project management features. 

Ideaspaces

Share Knowledge

Intranet software supports organizations in their knowledge management efforts as it provides an environment that facilitates knowledge capture and sharing. The sharing of knowledge presents itself in many different ways on an organisation’s intranet – from the discovery of skills through the use of a staff directory to the addition of courses on the Learning Management System. 

Knowledge Base

Streamline Processes

Organizations streamline their processes to reduce time wastage and data loss though the introduction of automated workflows. Intranet software with business process management capabilities provides organizations with the features necessary to manage a range of processes through inbuilt notifications, SLAs, dynamic field functionality and reporting tools.   

 

 

Digital Workspace, intranet software

Top Tips for Intranet Success

November 5th, 2013

A successful intranet provides employees with an engaging workspace to efficiently complete their daily tasks and securely collaborate with colleagues. If you’re planning on deploying a successful intranet for your organisation, here are our top tips:

Create a Beautiful Intranet Design

A beautiful, user-centric intranet homepage design is a key component to gaining user-adoption and ultimately achieving intranet success. In essence, it’s the starting point for many employees in their quest to fulfil daily tasks and collaborate with colleagues. Putting in the time and effort to make it both aesthetically pleasing and user-friendly will pay off. The intranet’s design should correlate with your company’s branding guidelines but not replicate the company’s website, as both have differing objectives and goals. Your intranet should possess a unique design to match its employee-centered objectives. Navigation should also be employee-centered and continuously tweaked as the intranet starts gaining some traction post launch.  

 

Create an Intranet Governance Policy 

An Intranet Governance Policy acts as a guide to all intranet users by providing a high-level strategic view of the intranet’s purpose and a detailed overview concerning its management and maintenance. The policy can be presented to users as a document or accessible through a departmental intranet page. It ultimately helps companies achieve intranet success as it provides the following:

 

  • Support for the intranet team
  • Elimination of end-user confusion
  • Firm establishment of the intranet’s goals and objectives

Have a Purpose which is Aligned with Corporate Values

An organisational intranet must be there to serve a purpose: from improving employee retention rates to assisting with the development and communication of the organisation’s culture. Creating and defining the intranet’s purpose should be one of the first tasks which needs to be fulfilled before the intranet is launched. The intranet’s design, content strategy and overall goals will derive from this purpose. Each intranet is unique in the fact that it portrays and supports the organisation’s corporate values. These values will help to support the intranet team during both the post and pre-launch phases and will ultimately help to answer questions, such as ‘should there be corporate social networking tools from day one?’

Assign Content Champions from Each Department 

Intranet content should be up-to-date and relevant; it will therefore require the contribution of various departments and project teams. It’s also appropriate to define the content strategy in relation to each application, for example, what type of content should be shared in the Knowledge Base. If you have corporate collaboration tools, setting out basic usage guidelines will reduce any apprehensions related to sharing content. 

Deploy a Phased Approach to the Intranet’s Launch 

Deploying a phased approach to the intranet’s launch will help to gain employee buy-in and increase user-adoption, as new applications and functionality will be rolled out in a systematic and manageable manner. It’s always great, from an end-user’s perspective, to introduce new functionality after the initial launch as it continues the ‘just-launched’ momentum. Be upfront and transparent with intranet users regarding the upcoming phases as their input is critical to the intranet’s success. 

Monitor Intranet Usage and Feedback

Try to identify intranet pain points and areas in need of improvement by continuously monitoring intranet usage and employee feedback. This is extremely important during the initial launch phase but it should also be an on-going activity. It may even be useful to create a feedback form on the intranet system to effectively capture important data and ensure it’s received by the required employees. Monitoring search requests and implementing best bets and alternative suggestions will help employees quickly locate necessary information. 

Choose Intranet Applications for your Current & Future Business Needs

Intranet applications should correlate with the organisation’s business needs and requirements. It’s important to discover each department’s needs to enable the intranet team to produce a ‘check-list’ of required functionality. Being aware of both current and future business needs are important factors in the intranet’s success. 

Implement Single Sign On

Allow intranet users to effortlessly log in to their intranet without having to input their access credentials. Removing any unnecessary barriers which prevent employees from accessing important information on their intranet will contribute to its success. 

Effective Intranet Search Engine 

Effective intranet search functionality ensures that users can rapidly find information that’s relevant to them. If intranet users cannot locate information quickly, intranet usage will fall as they’ll lose faith in its abilities. Intranet search features such as Best Bets, Alternative Suggestions and Search Requests allow end-users to submit their feedback to an intranet administrator who can then implement beneficial changes. 

Social Intranet Functionality 

Having social intranet functionality on your corporate intranet will help to create an open culture where employees can collaborate across departments and even office locations. If your organisation is quite apprehensive when it comes to introducing corporate social networking tools, opt for a phased approach to ensure you gain management buy-in. 

intranet software

Corporate Social Networking – Social Media For Grown-ups!

October 17th, 2013

If you view all forms of social networking as being synonymous with teenagers, wasting time and keeping in touch with friends from college, think again. Corporate social networking within the enterprise is an extremely useful tool that can help organisations achieve their strategic business objectives.

Let’s get one thing straight; the difference between Public and Enterprise Social Networks
While most organisations use public social networking sites (Facebook and Twitter) to build brand awareness and improve their customers’ experiences, enterprise social networks are primarily for employees. In essence, an enterprise social network (ESN) involves the offering of a collaborative platform within your organisation that is both protected from public-view and exclusively available to employees.

The Benefits of Enterprise Social Networks

Social networking within the enterprise has the potential to enhance knowledge management, innovation and collaboration. Unfortunately, enterprise social networking hasn’t been fully embraced by all organisations and it’s left others opting for a slow transition to ensure they gain management buy-in. There also exists – in varying degrees – management scepticism; the view that enterprise social networks allow employees to waste time through posting inappropriate content during work hours.

However, companies that have deployed enterprise social networks report organizational-wide benefits, such as:

  • Improved collaboration across departments and teams

Enterprise social networking helps employees to connect and work better together, regardless of their departmental function or location. Employees can easily share documents, post updates and respond to queries without cluttering colleagues’ e-mail inboxes. Employees are no longer confined to collaborating primarily within their department and can communicate across departments and office locations, from their desk or mobile device. 

  • The ability to efficiently find experts and share knowledge

If you’re looking for knowledge on a topic or have a specific query, you can post your question on a departmental or organisational-wide social network. Being able to set up departmental networks, through permissions, ensures that your question will be answered by the most relevant people. An added bonus is that the query and answer won’t be forever lost in your e-mail inbox; the conversation thread is viewable and can be easily found by other employees. 

Enterprise Social Networking (image 1)

  • Faster decision making 

Both public and enterprise social networks have been designed to instantly enable individuals to communicate; this instant communication coupled with project/organisational updates, increases efficiency in the form of decision making. Employees receive information at a rapid pace, despite their office location. 

  • Increased employee retention rates

If your employer has taken the steps necessary to enable you and your colleagues to openly share your ideas and opinions, it will have a positive effect on morale and help employees to feel valued. Asking for ideas and feedback from employees, regardless of their position within the organisation, will also have a positive impact on employee morale, which will in turn increase employee retention rates. 

  • Decrease in the amount of internal meetings

If you’ve previously tried to schedule a meeting, which isn’t a one-to-one, I’m confident you’ll have experienced some difficulty – particularly when you’re attempting to work around people’s schedules. This becomes even more difficult when you have to consider differences in time zones and the availability of meeting rooms. Enterprise social networks remove these barriers and allow you to access business updates without having to consider people’s schedules and meeting agendas. 

  • Increased levels of innovation and a strong company culture

The workplace is becoming ever more disconnected as a result of increased mobile device usage, better ‘working-from-home’ policies and offices situated across multiple locations. A strong organizational culture is therefore needed to unite employees and to ensure corporate values are being communicated. Having an open culture additionally contributes to increased innovation as ideas are continuously being brought to the forefront.

ESN

 

Digital Workspace, Enterprise Social Networking, intranet software