Collaboration Intranets Noodle Software Social Intranets Uncategorised

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.

What is an intranet communication collaboration network image

So what type of things might a modern intranet do?

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.

Enable Communication & Collaboration

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.

Document Management

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.

Calendar Scheduling

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).

Project Management

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.

Workflow Management

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.

Social Profiles

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.

Database Forms, Reports and Analytics

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.

Customer Relationship Management (CRM)

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.

Mobile Friendly

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.

So Why Do You Need An Intranet?

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:

    • Your teams are scattered and email is not conducive to keep up with the speed and agility of your industry with different messaging  and knowledge management options.
    • You are a franchise with distant geographical locations and no centralized communication platform.
    • You are looking for a solution to store documents and files and make them accessible to employees at different levels of organization.
    • Your employees are disengaged from one another, and you are looking to bring together your employees and enhance the company culture.
    • You have multiple projects on the go and want a centralized dashboard to track the progress, and coordinate team members.
    • You want to create an internal news blog to share all the great things going on in your organization and boost employee morale and productivity.
      • You are looking for a way to collect data and run reports, to do things like track customers or manage HR functions.
    • You want to automate those day to day processes that are standardized to save your company time and money.

Not Using Noodle Yet? Learn More or Book a Demo Today!

5 Steps To Launching An Intranet Portal

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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

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Collaboration Intranets Noodle Software Social Intranets Uncategorised

New Noodle Video Tutorial Series & More

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.

Tutorial Videos

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

Website Revamp

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.

Noodle Updates: Single Sign-On

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.

Collaboration Intranets Noodle Software Social Intranets Uncategorised

Intranet Best Practices: Setting Up Your Digital Workplace: Part 2

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.

How To Add iFrames To Your Digital Workplace

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 and insert your twitter URL, in this case I would add and the page will generate an iFrame code for you, like this one.

Noodle Intranet iFrame Widget Code for Adding to Digital Workplace

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.

Adding Twitter iFrame Embed to Digital Workplace

Save and close the editor to view your shiny new iFrame Widget from your digital workplace!

Not Using Noodle Yet? Learn More or Book a Demo Today!

Collaboration Intranets Noodle Software Social Intranets Uncategorised

Intranet Best Practices: Setting Up Your Digital Workplace Part 1

Our last blog post covered how to create and manage portlets for quick access to your most relevant information. Today, we’re going to look at setting up your digital workplace by creating application instances within your Employee Profile in Noodle. This could act as a place to create and edit documents before they see the light of day, or a place for your personal calendar or task list. To create an application in your profile, you will have to navigate to the “My Stuff” tab in your Noodle profile. From here, you can click on the add application button at the top right and add any one of the 15 applications to your “My Stuff” Digital Workplace.

Noodle User Profile Digital Workplace Applications

Once you have added your applications, you can follow our last post’s instruction to create portlets for a snapshot of your applications and quick access. Use these applications to work individually on projects, or to share and collaborate with other co-workers or team members. Let’s look at some ideas for how your Digital Workplace applications can be used in your profile.

Establish A Content Or File Sandbox

Create your Documents, Blog Posts or Pages in your “My Stuff” digital workplace and invite collaborators to contribute, proofread or make revisions before you share throughout the organization. Need to step away in the middle of your post? Save it in your profile and come back to it later.

Setup Your Calendar

Manage your schedule by setting up your Noodle Calendar. Looking to connect a third party calendar? Use subscriptions to ensure that your digital workplace displays all the important dates and appointments from your existing calendar. Bring your department’s or team members’ calendars together with a merged calendar, so you always know the best times to schedule meetings.

Digital Workspace Calendar

Collect Information With Forms

Database Forms can be designed to collect various information for your use. This can be used in your day-to-day operation. For example, to collect client information and track interactions for account managers. Or use these forms periodically for events, such as taking food orders for a departmental retreat.

Create A Task List

Use the Task Manager application to create and organize your “to do” items into categories, and mark your progress. Grant access to your task manager and allow others to assign tasks to you. View your colleagues digital workplace to see their tasks and stay on top of your team projects to see when vital stages are completed.

Digital Workplace Task Manager To Do List

Read More In Our Next Post: Setting Up Your Digital Workplace Part 2

Stay tuned for part two, where we will look at how to add iframe widgets and external links to your digital workplace.

Not Using Noodle Yet? Learn More or Book a Demo Today!

Collaboration Intranets Noodle Software Social Intranets Uncategorised

Intranet Best Practices: Managing Portlets

Last week we wrote about the most important feature of portal software; its relevance to the user. This week, we’ll take a look at Noodle intranet best practices for creating and managing portlets so you can make your intranet relevant to you at every turn. But first, what are portlets?

What are portlets?

As you may know, portlets provide quick snapshots of information. They can hold either static content, such as announcements, or dynamic content that is pulled from other applications. Many businesses use static portlets to share pertinent information to employees, following a traditional top-down communication structure. Dynamic portlets can be used to pull in the latest news via rss, social media feeds or from various html5, javascript and iframe applications. They can also pull in highly relevant information from Noodle applications, such as calendars, or shared documents.

Noodle Intranet Best Practices for Portlet Applications

Which portlets should I create on my home page?

Two strategies are commonly employed in setting up your intranet home page.

Top-Down Communication with restricted permissions and static portlets

Traditionally, intranets were used as a top-down communication tool, and this is still a common strategy today. Although intranets today can do much more, you can still accomplish this by pushing important information to employees with static portlets and by restricting permission controls. This strategy alone is useful for businesses that want the intranet to function as a static knowledge base. However, this can hinder intranet engagement, if that is the goal of your intranet.

Horizontal Communication with loose restrictions and dynamic portlets

With the advent of social media and Web 2.0, the intranet evolved to include a social aspect. This enabled employees at every level to participate in content creation. For companies with a more flat organizational structure or culture, looser permission controls and dynamic content can open up the lines of communication and increase engagement. Dynamic content requires less maintenance and content creation by pulling from readily available sources, such as rss feeds, or popular applications. By pulling from applications, you can ensure your portlets are directly relevant to individuals or groups.

So, what are the best practices for selecting portlets for your home page?

Noodle Intranet Best Practices For Managing Portlets

The best practice for managing portlets is to base them on your business objectives and what benefits you are looking to get out of your intranet. Keep in mind the pros and cons of each of the above strategies. Remember, relevance is key! Most businesses can benefit from a hybrid combination of static and dynamic content. Static portlets keeps employees informed if the information is relevant, however it’s unlikely that all your content is relevant for all your users or groups. Dynamic content will keep your content updated, however it may pull less relevant content, depending on the source. Relevant Noodle applications, such as a merged calendar or shared documents can provide functionality, and increase efficiency and engagement.  On the other hand, rss news feeds could distract from day to day operations if the feed is not relevant.

Keep in mind that there are headline pages for each section, which can hold portlets that are more relevant to those sections. The homepage should contain high-level content that is relevant across the organization. For example, the merged calendar can show a birds eye view of different departmental calendars, and include an organization-wide calendar.

For more information on Noodle Intranet best practices, or questions on managing portlets, contact our Noodle Advisors.

Not Using Noodle Yet? Book a Demo Today!

Collaboration Intranets Noodle Software Social Intranets Uncategorised

Portal Software: What are the most important features?

Evaluating Portal Software

We are all familiar with portal software. Particularly, the login screen. We see these gateways daily, and login, without a thought, to whatever application we are planning on using. Whether that’s a social application like Facebook, or a work email client. So what are the most important features of portal software?

Noodle Intranet Portal Software Login Features

When we log into the all too familiar login screen we have expectations. The primary thing that we expect is to be able to access all the things we are hoping to look at or work on. Roadblocks are introduced, when we have to move from software to software and we are faced with compatibility issues. True portal software enables us to stay within the software for each task. That’s the most important feature of portal software; being able to access all you need when you need it.

Customizing Your Portal For Your Work

So does that mean that portal software needs to be wrought with features to be a good software? Not necessarily. What’s more important is the accessibility of those features and capabilities you use in your day to day work. So, if those applications, features or capabilities are not by default available and accessible, it is important that your portal software is customizable to make that possible. These features that are important to you, are important to us. With Noodle, you can customize your intranet portal to show those applications that are important to you. While many Noodle users have taken advantage of organizing their sections, portlets, and permission controls, the “My Stuff” tab within their Noodle’s “My Profile” area often is overlooked as a means to customize your portal.

Using Your Profile To Your Advantage

Your profile area is designed around you. It can be a place to store documents that only you will need to work on. Or it can be a place to create and store drafts before they see the light of day. It can also be a place for your calendar, your projects, or any of the 15 different Noodle applications that you would like an individual instance of. Also, you can create your own portlets for quick snapshots of your most recent work.

For more information on taking advantage of the customizability of Noodle, or questions on what makes Noodle a powerful portal software, contact our Noodle Advisors.

Not Using Noodle Yet? Book a Demo  Today!

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Marketing with Noodle via CRM Databases

You’ve likely heard a lot of the business software lingo thrown around in the office. Acronyms like CRM, HRM, or ERP or buzzwords like portal, document management, or project management. Today these categories often overlap as they try to be an all-encompassing solution for business.
In our next series of posts, we’ll talk about some of these, and help you identify shortfalls and “overkill” software. We will also discuss ways you can accomplish these key departmental functions within your Intranet. Today, let’s look at enhancing your marketing with Noodle.

Marketing with Noodle

For the Marketing department, different Customer Relationship Management software can help track and target your customers. Many allow you to record contact information or track a customer along the customer lifecycle.


However, the CRM category, is possibly the worst culprit of “overkill” software. If you want to record everything down to your customer’s zodiac sign and make complex charts, maybe this software is for you. Though, for most businesses, a simple user friendly database will suffice. So why not improve your marketing with Noodle by creating databases for your CRM like the one below.

Creating a Sales Database

With Noodle’s database application, you can keep track of customers, leads, and make reports to filter and sort the information you need to see. What’s more, is you can create workflows from your database to ensure you are maintaining your customer relationships. Using reports, you can organize your leads by different criteria to see when your leads are coming in, where they are coming from, and what the return is on your marketing investments. With workflows, you can automate a sales contact schedule to remind you to reach out to leads that have gone quiet or increase efficiency with auto notifications for when a contribution is required from team members.

CRM Sales Database

Learn More about Marketing with Noodle

Contact us today to set up a CRM Database on your Noodle site. Looking to gain even more powerful insights from your data? Ask our Noodle Advisors, how to create reports and workflows for your business.


Not Using Noodle Yet? Book a Demo Today!

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

Adding Media to Noodle

There are several ways to incorporate Media, such as Photos and Videos, into your Noodle intranet site. Whether you want to keep an album of company photos, display training videos, or to add images to your portliest or blogs, it’s easy to do with Noodle.
Adding images and video to your site can, not only help make your page stand out, but also keeps users visiting to see the newest photos from the company Halloween party or to watch the newest training videos.
Let’s look through a few ways you can add Media to your site.

Media Album

Noodle has a built-in Media Album to allow you to upload and link to images and videos and view them as thumbnails or in a slide show.
Images and web-friendly videos (.mp4, .webm, .ogg) can be uploaded and viewed directly in this album. If you have a lot of photos from a company event you want to share, you can compress them into a zip file and upload all of the images directly into the album.

If you want to share a video from an external source (like YouTube or Vimeo) you can copy and paste the video URL and add the video to be played on your intranet site with no coding required.
You can also add meta information to make it easy to find media content. Utilize tags and keywords so your media content can be found in a number of ways. All Noodle Media and other Content also allows you to share easily with others through e-mail or Instant Message.

Media in Text Editor

The Noodle Text Editor provides an easy way to add images to your Blogs, Announcement Portlets, Discussions, Pages and more. While still providing robust options to change the properties of the image, add links and other advanced options.
You can add images into the text editor by uploading them directly inside of the editor, or by browsing to an image stored in a Media or Documents folder. You can then adjust the size, alignment and spacing of the image in your post.
It’s also simple to add a hyperlink to the image with no HTML required. Advanced options allow you to add iFrames, styles and other details. This enables you to easily create quick link images on your main page to draw more attention to your content.

Other Media options

The Text Editor also allows you to embed 3rd party widgets and other HTML5 content and javascript. This allows you to create your own gallery or automatic slideshow on your main page. You can also use the Noodle Tables to create simple slideshows.
Being able to edit your own source code also allows you to use your own web player. This enables you to add more options than what is in the standard video tag.
Using Document Folders for images and videos for marketing or other work purposes can be useful. If you want to be able to utilize Workflows and other Document Folder options such as version control, you can do this just like any other Noodle document.

Not Using Noodle Yet? Book a Demo Today!

Intranets Social Intranets

You need more than Facebook workplace for your Intranet

In the world of Intranets, (which can be categorized many ways) one big player is always trying to get in the game and leap frog the other in the workplace. From Microsoft’s Net Meeting, to Lotus Connections Suite, major companies have always dabbled in the enterprise communications solutions.

Then came the rise of the independent businesses, like Vialect, that wanted to make the ability to create and maintain a sustainable intranet, available to all with more features and less expensive licensing costs.

While Confluence may have been the first start up to not only rise to be a viable alternative to Microsoft or IBM’s offerings, but also to focus on the collaboration and communication aspect and execute it well. Vialect was also one of the early adopters of this growing trend of a “Social Intranet” when the idea of “Social Media” was not yet a big thing.

workplace collaboration evolution

Then, in 2005, everything changed when Facebook launched in Boston area schools. Over the next year Facebook would see many changes and also expand their market base to include users from all over the US and eventually, most of the world. Many of us who had Facebook accounts in the early days, fondly (or not so fondly) remember the amount of additions and transformations Facebook went through. From the name itself, to design, to language, to features, Facebook was quickly evolving itself. Through the years, their user base grew to be the largest social network in the world. Advertising became a lucrative source of revenue. Businesses also saw Facebook as a strong platform to be able to communicate directly with their customers and provide information.

Facebook saw potential in this market, but instead of communicating with their customers opening, they thought that businesses may want to use the same tool to communicate with their employees in a private setting. Thus, in October of 2016, Facebook launched “Workplace”. Facebook assumed that those who use Facebook at home for personal use, will find it easy to adopt Workplace for work use. Allowing users to create profiles, see updates from co-workers on their news feed, share documents, stream live video and hold secure group chats.

And that’s about it.

The reason we are writing about Workplace today is to clarify that Workplace, although very affordable and easy to use, is NOT a complete intranet solution. It’s main rivals are major enterprise communication software like Slack, Yammer and Microsoft Teams. However, many may see this as a way to implement Workplace as a Intranet solution for their business. This could backfire if you don’t know what you are getting into, or if you don’t even know what your needs are.

Even with the familiarity of Facebook and the easy to use messaging and news feeds, it falls very short of being a complete Intranet solution. Porting a consumer product to an enterprise format is usually a recipe for disaster. It gives the perception that personal and work communications work the same way, which can create pushback from people who do not want to mix work with personal.

Facebook’s Workplace Pros

  • Familiar and easy to use interface
  • Customized news feeds
  • Strong messaging capability
  • Very affordable
  • Syncs with your Active Directory

Facebook’s Workplace Cons

  • Very little customization or branding options
  • Weak access permission controls (only open, closed or secret settings)
  • Lack of task management and calendars
  • Unable to create your own wiki pages
  • Very basic Document Management
  • No option to create e-forms
  • Analytics may be at a premium
  • Lack of integrations or ability to embed outside content
  • Facebook stigma of “slacking off” while at work
  • Unknown level of technical and product support

“Facebook is going to need to add enterprise-grade security, reliability and other attributes that gain trust of evaluators and buyers, and it must transition from sole reliance on a freemium business model to one that emphasizes volume licensing, said Hawes. None of this is easy to do, and it’s even more difficult in a market with established players.”

– Lawrence Hawes, an analyst at Dow Brook Advisory Services

Although, this quote was from the soft-launch where they provided Workplace for some organizations for free to use and evaluate, the rest still rings true since it’s recent public launch. However, Workplace is still reported to provide the first 3 months of service for free as well as as free site for non-profits and educational institutions.

While this may help gain some initial traction, the novelty of using Facebook at work could flop quickly if it doesn’t gain the trust of it’s users. This is where you can likely see new fees and features added at a premium price to off-set the low starting cost and to cover the amount of expenses a development giant like Facebook has. This will be unfortunate for early adopters who may have initially signed up due to it’s low cost and thought that it can do everything an intranet can do. The costs will really add up when organizations realize they need to purchase other 3rd party software to be able to accomplish all the things that Workplace cannot do.

Sure, we may be a little biased, but Noodle can already do everything Workplace can do and a lot more. If you are looking for a way for your employees to collaborate and communicate with each other, while providing a one stop location for all the company news, HR documents, media and more, you will find a much higher return on investment with a complete intranet solution, like Noodle.

Before you even think of trying out Workplace, give Noodle a shot by scheduling a demonstration of our software and allow us to build you a custom prototype. Facebook your friends at home, but use your Noodle at work!

Not Using Noodle Yet? Learn More or Book a Demo Today!

Collaboration Social Intranets

Using Polls in your Intranet

Adding a Quick Poll to your intranet’s main page is a great way to encourage user participation. It’s a small and easy way to make your intranet more interactive and to allow you to learn more about your employees. Polls answers are anonymous and users can only vote once. Poll results are then viewed in a chart. A poll expiry date can also be set up.


Polls can be used to provide a democratic forum for input on events, projects and more. Empowering the employees by being able to vote on certain topics helps boost employee morale. Questions can also be asked to help find ways to improve processes and procedures. These answers can help you identify problems and help come up with answers to the problems.

pollresultsTo help increase intranet engagement, “just for fun” polls are very effective too. California based, National Semiconductor, gets about 600 responses a week to their intranet poll questions. They achieve this by asking interesting questions out of their own curiosity such as “I believe in an afterlife (yes/no).”

They help provide communicator, Ray Hosler, a way to draw employees to their site and to participate as well. Instead of just asking questions about corporate decisions, the questions and answers are used to help to get to know co-workers instead. Simple, easy to answer questions were very effective in this goal.

Polls in Noodle can be setup via portlets and the form designer.  Polls are easy to set up and manage and can be a useful resource to help make decisions, learn more about your employees, encourage engagement and help boost employee morale. Don’t wait, contact us now to help you set up your intranet site and start using polls to engage your employees!

Not Using Noodle Yet? Book a Demo Today!