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Let’s dive into the differences between traditional and modern intranets. The most significant different between the two is that amount of functionality, with modern intranets offering far greater and more wide ranging applications.
The traditional model of intranets, typically had upper management creating content and messaging to go out to the organization’s employees, with little to no interaction back on the part of the employees. Previously, the intranet was thought of as a repository of static information and a place for top-down communication to take place. While, that may still be true today for some intranets, more modern intranets meet this requirement and then some. Intranet solutions today have shifted away from the one-way communication model, and more towards a social model by enabling users to create and share content. At Noodle, we have built our intranet platform to be flexible, and designed the interactions to be similar to what users would expect and be used to with social media and social networking applications.
Traditional Intranets were commonly confined to the organizations’ local network, which meant that any employee trying to access the intranet remotely would have to use a VPN (virtual private network). Today, organizations can choose between a cloud intranet option or a local install (on-premise) intranet and enable remote access to the site. While, intranets were thought of as a centralized location for the company’s knowledge base, there was little in the way of connecting messaging and other applications. With these sites the employees would still be using separate email and instant messaging applications. The modern intranet contains a multitude of applications itself, and while it can be complimented with and connected to third party applications, it can also act as a stand alone solution, creating a one stop shop for employees.
Aside from messaging and communication capabilities, modern intranets include a number of other useful productivity applications, such as the ability to automate processes, track employee engagement, and collect and store data. With Noodle, you can achieve these three functions with workflows, analytics, and database forms respectively. While this only scratches the surface, if you haven’t updated your intranet in some time, you may be missing out on some very useful productivity features. For a more comprehensive idea on what other features and benefits modern intranets have, you can find out more in our article What Is An Intranet And Why Do You Need It?
Traditionally an intranet was a network that connected organizations and primarily enabled internal communications. In it’s first inception was it typically used to push down communications from upper management. Modern intranets have evolved to incorporate more social aspects and allow communication and collaboration from multiple stakeholders across the organizational hierarchy. It also previously acted mostly as a knowledge base repository, often times one that was cumbersome to navigate and find pertinent information. This is why powerful search functionality and simplicity in the user experience design is a critical element to look for when evaluating intranet software.
Firstly, you can achieve all of the same objectives as a traditional intranet, and then some. With advent of the social web came the social intranet, and a shift in culture, which has been reflected in many of the changes, offering more open communication and collaboration. Additionally, once of the core benefits of an intranet is the idea of having a “one-stop-shop” for all your digital assets, and saving the time spent switching between applications. Even when instances of a dreaded “legacy software” is used across an organization, some intranets will offer a solution to integrate these, such as Noodle with it’s external link application.
At it’s most basic function, an intranet was used for communication, therefore this should be engrained within the entire solution. While, traditionally these were one way communications through static pages, today, intranets have multiple applications that can be used for communication. Noodle, for instance, has the instant messaging application, conference room application, video conferencing, discussion forums, question manager application, and more. Each one serving a different purpose, such as real time communication with instant messaging, or a bulletin style discussion forum.
Most intranets today have the ability to store and share documents for collaboration with other employees. The interface and the storage can vary, but the end result is the ability to create, and share documents. Some intranets, such as Noodle, have the ability to save and restore previous versions of documents, as well as the ability to tag, or check out items for editing. Learn more about Noodle’s document management capability here.
Intranets tackle the problem of disorganized, and disconnected applications, so it is only natural that any intranet solution worth it’s salt has a calendar application for organizing your employees day to day schedule. With this application there should be no restriction on creating multiple calendars for different departments, teams, and individuals. Extra points for those that can connect to third party calendars (hint: Noodle Intranet).
Some softwares have a project management component that will allow you to keep on top of multiple projects, by setting milestones and tracking progress. This application should have the ability to assign deadlines, and tasks to different users or teams. Often times these are in the form of Kanban Style columns, such as Noodle’s task manager application.
Along the lines of efficiency and enabling users to complete tasks, many sites have the ability to automate standard processes to save organizations’ time and therefore, money! Noodle’s workflow application allows users to create processes with predefined steps, such as approvals or actions like email notifications when a step is completed. Save valuable time spent doing day to day work, so your employee can focus on what matters most, building and growing your company.
Again, with the advent of the social web, there has been a drive for companies to generate content and enable communication at all levels. Social profiles give users the ability to share their contact information, and expertise, while tying a person to their content. In turn, this encourages participation, as well as accountability. Employees can share statuses to let their colleagues know when they are out of the office, or they can share a relevant new article, or link. Along with these social profiles, there is often a status feed with the most recent activity.
Another component of modern intranet sites is the ability to collect data with forms, and store them in a database that can be produce reports based on specific criteria. For example, employees may want to collect orders for an upcoming lunch and learn, and can have their colleagues fill out their order within their intranet’s database forms. When they want to review who ordered what they can rearrange the forms to sort the results by food, so the unique orders can be counted efficiently. This is just one example of what can be done.
Intranets, and more specifically database forms, can also be used to track customers and enable collaboration among sales and marketing teams. Reports can then be ran to find a certain customer segment, or follow leads along the customer lifecycle. Contact information can be collects, as can any engagements that employees have with leads to ensure that leads are being nurtured, and are moved through the sales funnel.
While this should be a standard across all websites today, it is also relevant to any modern intranet. Users will invariably want to access the site from any number of devices and expect a seamless experience from desktop to tablet to mobile.
While this is not an exhaustive list of what an intranet can do, it certainly encapsulates the major functions of intranet, which is collaboration and communication within organizations.
First and foremost, as mentioned, you will need an intranet to keep your digital assets organized, empower your employees, and improve your communication and collaboration ability. Aside from this you might need an intranet for any of the following reasons:
If you are reading this, you are likely just about to get started with the search for intranet software to replace your old deprecated site, or you are looking to deploy an intranet portal for the first time. We’ve gathered insights from our 15+ years in business to help you embark on your project. In
So, you’ve just logged into your new Noodle intranet portal, and want to know where to start? We suggest starting by building your site structure with sections and applications. In this post, we’ll go over how to do that.
Let’s get started. When you first log into your Noodle site, you will be greeted with the homepage and our setup wizard. If you’re reading this, you can skip the wizard, as we’ll cover the same information here. Once your on your home page, we’re going to focus on the left hand navigation.
This column contains all of the site wide sections and applications. With the current preload of the site you will see the Sections are labeled: Noodle Home, Create Your Own, and Human Resources. The last section, system tools is only visible to admin users to dig into the admin settings.
Sections can be organized however you see fit. Often we find our customers add sections by office location, department or functional area depending on their business. Under each section you can create any number of applications. Let’s go to the empty create your own section, and rename it by clicking on the down arrow (or by right clicking on the section name) then clicking rename. We can also add a new section by left clicking the down arrow of the home section and clicking add. This will bring us to the full list of applications and give us the option to add new sections.
From here you can go ahead and add any number of sections that you might need.
Now that we’ve created our section, we can add any of the applications pictured above to our sections by clicking on the down arrow next to the desired section, clicking add and navigating to any of the 15 different applications..
And that’s how you create sections and applications within your Noodle site!
Over the past few weeks, our Noodle Team has worked tirelessly to enhance our customers’ experience both within Noodle and with our support channels. In this post, I would like to shine some light on some of the recent changes to show you what’s new and give you a sense of what you can expect in the near future.
We have recently produced two new tutorial videos, as part of an ongoing video tutorial series, and published them on our YouTube channel, to walk you through the ins and outs of your Noodle Intranet. Subscribe to our channel to follow us and get the latest video updates.
This first video covers sections and applications, and how to create and organize your Noodle site.
Our second video goes over how to add portlets, and the different types of portlets that can be created. For more examples and information on Portlets, you can visit our previous post: Intranet Best Practices: Managing Portlets
If you have any questions, or would like to request a video tutorial topic for a future video, please leave a comment, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
We’ve also made some changes to the website, including an update pricing slider on our pricing page that allows you to create a custom quote based on your storage and user requirements, and preferred deployment. Aside from this, we’ve revamped the website to make it faster, more user-friendly and easier to navigate.
Lastly, we’ve added some new functionality to Noodle. Most notably, a single sign-on option for the on-premise installations with OneLogin, Centrify, or Okta. This means your users have one less password to remember, and they can log into Noodle with the same single sign-on credentials that they use for all their other applications.
Stayed tuned for more news, updates, and tutorials.
As promised following our last post on Setting Up Your Digital Workplace, this week we will continue with part two and focus on adding iFrame widgets and external links to your profile.
iFrame Widgets are commonly published by different applications to allow you to embed that application, or parts of it within a website. These can also be embedded on your Noodle Intranet site. While these can be placed in any of the different sections on your site, today we are going to show you how to place them on your digital workplace in your profile.
Here’s some examples of what can be added with an iFrame Widget:
Firstly, you will need to grab the iFrame code on your preferred application. For this example, I will use our twitter account @Noodle_News. To create a twitter widget navigate to https://publish.twitter.com/ and insert your twitter URL, in this case I would add https://twitter.com/Noodle_news and the page will generate an iFrame code for you, like this one.
Before copying the code you will want to set customization options for the iframe to limit the height and then click update. We recommend 600px by 400px. If your preferred application only has a iFrame URL, you can click on the globe icon within the editor, paste the URL and make adjustments to the size within Noodle.
Once you copy the code, you will need to go to your digital workplace to add the widget. For simplicity’s sake, let’s add the code to a static announcement portlet. Once you’ve created this portlet and are within the Noodle editor, click on the more button and then source to paste the script in the editor.
Save and close the editor to view your shiny new iFrame Widget from your digital workplace!