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Summer, the best time to review your Intranet strategy

Now that the summer is just around the corner, there is no better time to review your Intranet strategy.  Summer tends to be a slower time for business because of vacations and postponed projects.  For the next couple months people are out of the office more, decisions are postponed and the office tends to have a more relaxed vibe.

This is a perfect opportunity to look at your Intranet and the processes that accompany it.  Here are few suggestions on how to review your Intranet strategy.

Survey Says

The users are the most important part of your Intranet.  The people that use it every day to find important information and obtain corporate wisdom from it’s contents.  Create a simple 5-10 question survey to ask questions that will help point you in the direction of what areas are working and what areas are not.  The survey should me mandatory for all employees who access the Intranet.

Stats

Ensure you have a good look at the stats for the Intranet.  Key metrics to look for are:

What pages are being accessed the most
What pages are being access the least
What features are popular based on traffic
What department is getting the most use from the Intranet

Who are your champions?

By looking at your stats and the results of your survey you should be able to find out who your champions are.  Champions play an important role in improving your Intranet and getting more people involved.  They are a valuable resource that will help your Intranet be successful.  Think of them as your Intranet ambassadors.  Have them write a page or blog about why they use the Intranet and how others can benefit like they do.

New Technologies

Summer is the best time to look at the market and see what new technologies or features are available for your Intranet.  For example micro blogging has become very popular with Intranets or integrate a group chat tool for a few months to see what works and what doesn’t with your user base.  Using the results of your survey and stats will help you decide what new features you should try.

Putting it all together

As Fall approaches you will need to use the data you have collected to update and optimize your Intranet.  The survey will tell you what is working and what is not.  Anything that is not working needs to be removed or updated so that it does.  Your Intranet champions will have been interviewed and encouraged to evangelize the benefits of the Intranet and you will added few new features and technologies that will help your company experience the benefits of a finely tuned Intranet.

This process should be done every year to keep your Intranet a value creator for your company.

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Collaboration Intranets

Calling all Bloggers

We are looking for a few guest bloggers to create content for this blog.  Topics are open and the main categories being Enterprise 2.0, Intranets and collaboration.  This could translate into a full time blogger position for Vialect.  Please use our contact page to get in touch with your topic ideas.

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Collaboration Intranets

Enterprise 2.0: A Brave New World

As time and technology changes, so does the way that we do business. It was not too long ago that the computer age began and ushered in a new era of efficiency. Today, business owners are looking for new business methods and applications to take the work experience to the next level. Enter the world of social software and Enterprise 2.0. Enterprise 2.0 was defined by Andrew McAfee as “the use of emergent social software platforms by organizations in pursuit of their goals.”

Perhaps it is simpler to define Enterprise 2.0 as a practical focus on creating, managing and governing business communities within the framework of social media. Overall, Enterprise 2.0 must be value added to a business. Because of this, the key benefits offered by it and are of critical importance.

Productivity ““ productivity is increased by allowing easy access to information and streamlining the communication process
Knowledge ““ Through the use of “Wiki” like pages, information is readily available to users of the system
Communication ““ Enterprise 2.0 allows for increased communication through social media like outlets.
Modernization ““ the emergent technology represented by Enterprise 2.0 systems is the future of business
Transparency ““ because information, data and knowledge is readily available, Enterprise 2.0 increases the transparency of a business

Enterprise 2.0 manages to provide these benefits, and more, through the use of simple and intuitive tools:

  • Wiki ““ software that encourages the creation of content by users. Hyperlinks are supported, as are cross-links. Easily edited, Wiki portals are the perfect method for sharing knowledge across an organization.
  • Blog ““ Blogs, originally developed as a sort of public journal, are an excellent model for today’s businesses. Through interaction, such as commenting, audiences can participate in discussion relating to a variety of business topics.
  • Voting ““ Perhaps the most simple of all social media tools, voting mechanisms can be used to provide feedback on ideas and concepts.
  • Agents ““ a type of query or search functionality that runs, 24/7, in the background. Agents allow relevant information and date to be delivered quickly and can be filtered through the use of unique user preferences.
  • Relationship Building ““ Social networking sites are known for their ability to develop and foster relationships. Enterprise 2.0 brings this trend to the business place.
  • Social Network Analysis ““ SNA provides a framework that allows businesses to visualize the way that work is performed throughout their organization. This information can identify potential bottlenecks as well as uncover “extra’ effort by employees through the number, strength and even volume of interactions and connections.

At the end of the day, Enterprise 2.0 marries the needs of business owners with the ease of use and reliability of social media. By providing a platform that employees are familiar and comfortable with, employers set in motion an environment that will encourage change, growth and productivity.  The tools utilized by Enterprise 2.0 allow businesses to grow and change with the times and technology and can foster positive change for the future of business both large and small.