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Collaboration Employee Engagement Intranet Software Research Intranets Noodle Software Social Intranets Uncategorised

How to make your Intranet Suck Less in 2011

Engaging with users and changing with ROI in mind

Every year Intranets become more important to corporations and with the rise of familiar social networking tools in 2010 this year was no different.  I don’t know of any published statistics but I bet Corporate Intranets were likely accessed more in 2010 then they were in 2009.  However just because a site was accessed frequently doesn’t mean those visits were enjoyable or valuable to the members of that Intranet.

Engagement with UsersIntranet Sucks Less

Analyzing your intranet is a very important process for improvement.  There are many ways to analyze an Intranet but most of the popular ones are not very helpful.  For example, counting hits to the home page or measuring the growth of the site as a whole are techniques that will not help measure the success of your Intranet.  Historically companies will also send out basic polls that have questions about the Intranet.  For Example, “Do you find the Intranet Useful?” isn’t a very helpful piece of information to measure the success of the Intranet.

Intranet Managers must engage with the users of the Intranet.  When polling employees or meeting face to face about the Intranet the questions asked shouldn’t be multiple choice.  All questions should be open ended and focused on that users actual work process or task.

For example, “What can we change on the Intranet that would help you get more work done?” is a simple question but the answers you get will help you immensely during future planning sessions.

As you ask these open ended questions you will get different answers from every person but you must take all of the feedback into account when you start planning changes to the Intranet.  Engaging with the users of your intranet will provide more discussions and less answers but the discussion will reveal problem areas that you may not see as an Intranet Manager.  During the engagement step I guarantee you will hear complaints about your Intranet.  Don’t take these complaints lightly or shrug them off.  Think of your Intranet users as customers you need to satisfy.

Change for ROI

The economy is improving but the Intranet needs to be a source of value not a cost as it has been in the past.  All changes you are planning to make to your Intranet need to be Return on Investment focused.

Every proposed change needs to have a value associated with it.  Time is Money is the popular phrase and its very true within an Intranet.  If you can save even 5 minutes of wasted time for each employee the results are tangible and will go a long way with getting management support for enhancing your Intranet.

Here are a few Intranet Return on Investment Resources.

Finding Intranet ROI (Whitepaper)

Buy-in from Executives: Intranet ROI

Intranet ROI: It’s in the Functionality, Not the Design

Please comment on this as I would love to hear your thoughts and know how you measure the success of your Intranet.

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Collaboration Employee Engagement Intranet Software Research Intranets Noodle Software Social Intranets Uncategorised

Sharepoint Resources

SharePoint Portal Alternatives – A Credible List

What is SharePoint 2010? Vision and Reality

The Trouble with Going Google: Four Reasons Why I Got Out

SharePoint Alternative for Enterprises?

SharePoint 2007: Gateway Drug to Enterprise Social Tools

Response to “SharePoint 2007: Gateway Drug to Enterprise Social Tools”

Circling Around To Enterprise 2.0 Again

Sharepoint and Enterprise 2.0: The good, the bad, and the ugly

Microsoft Sharepoint vs. Enterprise 2.0 Start-ups: Day of Reckoning Arrives

Study Finds SharePoint Primarily Used for File Sharing

Microsoft Dogged By Sharepoint Support Issues – Study

SharePoint Web Content Management Licensing was Botched

Gartner: SaaS is Hot, Revenue Will Keep Rising

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Collaboration Employee Engagement Intranet Software Research Intranets Noodle Software Social Intranets Uncategorised

How Thanksgiving is like a great Intranet

As most of North America relaxes and consumes large quantities of food and football, I started thinking about how thanksgiving and great Intranets are alike.  Stay with me on this.

The Social Gathering

A great Intranet is a place where all the employees of a company can gather and virtually meet. Sometimes its difficult to get everyone in one place, thats why Football was invented.  A great Intranet needs to have some fun interactive elements that will keep employees interested.

Everyone Brings a Dish

To have a great Intranet every person in your company must contribute.  HR forms are like dinner rolls and Yams are like blogs posts.  If everyone contributes, everyone benefits.  I’m starting to get hungry.

The Golden Bird

Who can resist a beautifully cooked turkey?  Think of the turkey as the interface of your Intranet.  Form always follows function but it never hurts have a gorgeous looking Intranet to entice your employees.

Pumpkin Pie for Desert

Its important to encourage employees to use the intranet and reward them for doing so.  One idea is having a monthly raffle that picks one person that is logged into the intranet to win a small prize.  As more employees begin to use the intranet adjust the raffle to encourage more engagement.

As a Canadian I’m a bit jealous of the scale of the US holiday and wish Canada would inherit some of the traditions.  I admit this post was a bit of a stretch but it was really just a way to say HAPPY THANKSGIVING.

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Collaboration Employee Engagement Intranet Software Research Intranets Noodle Software Social Intranets Uncategorised

Enterprise 2.0 / Intranet Resources

Blogs

Research Reports

  • 2009/2010 Communication ROI Study Report: Capitalizing on Effective Communication [TowersWatson]
  • Social Media Survey 2010 [Melcrum]
  • Behind the Firewall: Internal Communications 2009 [Society for New Communications Research Awards]
    Case study submissions on how an organization is using new communication and/or social media tools internally to enhance employee communications, or corporate culture, employee training and education. etc.
  • Don’t Be Afraid of Social Media: Smart and Simple Ways to Use These Tools for Benefits Communication [Benz Communications]

Case Studies

  • Case Study: Booz Allen [The FASTforward Blog, Bill Ives]
    Booz Allen developed and implemented Hello, a suite of web-based enterprise tools designed to strengthen collaboration, connectivity, and communication across geographical and cultural barriers.

    • Implementing Enterprise 2.0 at Booz Allen: Part One Overview of Business Drivers and Components
    • Implementing Enterprise 2.0 at Booz Allen: Part Two ““ Change Management Efforts and Results
    • Implementing Enterprise 2.0 at Booz Allen: Part Three ““ Operational Impact
    • Implementing Enterprise 2.0 at Booz Allen: Part Four ““ Financial Impact
    • Implementing Enterprise 2.0 at Booz Allen: Part Five ““ Lessons Learned
    • Implementing Enterprise 2.0 at Booz Allen: Part Six ““ Plans for Enhancements

Also from Jacob Morgan Marketing:

Slideshare Presentations

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Collaboration Employee Engagement Intranet Software Research Intranets Noodle Software Social Intranets Uncategorised

Vialect Introduces “œGroup Chat” with the Release of Noodle 6.9

Enterprise software developer Vialect continues to raise the bar for business networking/collaboration platforms with the release of version 6.9 for Noodle that includes an impressive “Group Chat” application.

Vialect President Tim Dorey explains that this upgrade to their Enterprise 2.0 social networking platform will allow co-workers to create virtual meeting rooms where they can discuss dynamic topics in real time and share resources including documents and images. This functionality will increase group productivity by allowing teams to form quickly and easily, to stay connected and to work together faster.

A completely searchable wiki-based meeting summary is easily accessed for taking notes, and all meetings are archived so they can be revisited at a later date. With Group Chat, teams can collaborate and share ideas ““ and all those great ideas will remain in one organized and searchable place.

Noodle version 6.9, including Group Chat, is easy to use and will integrate seamlessly with Noodle’s existing platform settings such as access rights. It’s available now for hosted clients; local software clients can upgrade to version 6.9 with a valid support contract.

“With Noodle, we have been able to develop a robust, informative site for our employees”¦We are very excited about the upcoming group chat feature.  Now, we can collaborate in a more cohesive fashion, and communicate with one another faster, helping our business continue to expand.”

Mark Larsen, Halmar International

Since 2004, Vialect has been helping companies improve productivity and achieve their business objectives by offering a corporate social networking suite with a traditional collaborative application called Noodle.

For more information check out their website at vialect.com.

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Collaboration Employee Engagement Intranet Software Research Intranets Noodle Software Social Intranets Uncategorised

Create Shortcuts to Applications used Regularly in Noodle

Bookmarks or “favorites” are a basic but very useful browser feature. Noodle has a simple yet powerful bookmark system featuring tabs to organize your most frequently used applications.

Users set up their own custom tabs in the Quickbar which can include a link to any application or page the user has the rights to access.

Step One

From the My Profile Page, click the edit button in the top right.  In the General Settings Tab choose Yes to Display Quickbar.  Save your changes and log back into Noodle to apply.

Select the Edit link in the top left under the Toolbar logo to open the Quickbar Settings

Step Two

Create a tab by entering a name into the textbox below the list of currently available tabs (the top box). Ex.Company Forms, or Personal Pages…Select ‘Create New’ to save.

When a tab is selected, a list of its linked applications or pages will now be shown in the lower list. Simply select ‘Add New’ and select an application in the new window to create a link.

Shortcut names may also be altered from this menu by selecting them in the lower list and entering a new name for them in the textbox. Quickbar tab names may also be changed this way using the upper list and textbox.

Step Three

Create multiple tabs to organize your links for quick access frequently accessed applications within Noodle.

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Intranets Noodle Software

Lower the Cost of Training Employees

Training a new employee can be an expensive and time consuming task.  The quicker you can get a new employee up to speed the better off your company will be…

Noodle Knowledge

The benefits of Intranet training are near limitless with the ability to reach employees whether they are across the street or across the world.  Noodle provides effective employee training tools allowing your business to customize the experience and cater to work groups or individual needs.

Gear Content to User Work Groups

Management can quickly create programs by organizing multimedia content and linking them from a single page portal.  A seamless launch of applications aid in training users.  Incorporate a Calendar so employees can follow the same schedule, sign up forms  and detailed instructions to complete and check off assigned tasks.  Noodle’s  Document  Manager has sub-folders to group training videos, handbooks, policy outlines and much more.  Reports can provide progress evaluation.

Make Experts out of Users

Content is current, updatable and relevant.  Create a forum for interaction allowing users to share experiences and tips.  Lead discussions and compare thoughts.  Offer quizzes to test knowledge and insure the information was retained and can be applied to the workplace.  Then, showcase the skills of employees in your Company Headlines. Provide certification and reward for completion.  To highlight a job well done assign a new Expertise.

Schedule Flexibility and Access to Materials

Self-paced multimedia instruction engages users and allows them to learn at their own speed, skimming areas where they are strong and investing more time in their areas of weakness.  No time is wasted retraining.  Users can track their status and move forward quickly becoming more efficient and effective learners.

The material is there to refer back to at any time

Effective Intranet training can increase memory retention, refresh course material and keep employees up to speed.  Material can be printed at their discretion.  Save time by including a question manager to highlight frequently asked questions categorized by departments or subject.  Offer highlights in an easy training company newsletter.  Make it fun, rewarding and interactive.

Use your Noodle to lower the cost of training an employee, When you measure output simply and visibly, the numbers will speak for themselves.  Allow employees take initiative to strengthen their talents and build corporate wisdom.

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Intranets Noodle Software Uncategorised

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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Noodle Software

Noodle Version 6.8.05 Released

6.8.05 Includes

-Enhancements:
* 10 languages added
* Option to crop or pad thumbnails
* Whitelist IP’s for controlled access
* SMTP port and password options
* Photo Portlet now shows thumbnails
* Import/Export Backup entire site
* Faster loading user list with dedicated search

-Bug fixes:
* redirect if remember my password cookie and password changes
* calendar weekly repeating was hitting the safety
* loads export/import bugs
* routing reloading the wrong frame from one of the views
* deleted items not showing up
* DataManager>reports> editing a radio button will not save state
* import/export whole site fixes
* Forum Portlet was still showing if folder was deleted
* UploadedFile memory leak (failed to close io stream)
* better image support (no more pink png thumbs)
* links app/folder now deletes if there is a portlet pointing to it
* delete not showing on DataManager with routing
* LDAP now can use different domains
* upgrade deadlock on mssql

To upgrade your version of Noodle please contact support.
If your Noodle is hosted with Vialect your site will be upgraded automatically.

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Noodle Software Uncategorised

New Website Up

We recently updated our website with a more modern clean interface and made it easier for our customers and potential customers to find the information they are looking for.

The site now has a simple yet elegant look. All the information is easy to find and showcases our product and success stories.

Our Blog is now a main navigation item as we feel it is an important piece of our customer communications and will evolve in the future with more people from the company contributing to it.

We hope you enjoy the new website and look forward to hearing your feedback regarding the update. Would love to hear your comments or suggestions.