When CWD began looking for intranet software, they wanted what most companies do.
First, a centralized portal for various types of information for staff. These included announcements, promotions, new hires, instruction manuals, and photos. They also wanted a shared calendar for out-of-office and other activities.
Another goal for CWD was to reduce emails about internal announcements and product updates. Finally, they wanted an online board, where they could display staff accomplishments for peer recognition.
CWD (Circus World Display Limited) is a Niagara Falls-based Canadian company that designs, manufactures, and markets consumer electronics in North America. With about 100 employees, its products are sold worldwide through merchants, retailers, and warehouse clubs, as well as through direct response TV, mail order catalogues, and online distributors.
CWD considered many software in their search for a cloud-based intranet. They passed over some because of the cost. Others that were affordable did not have all the features they were looking for. Finally, they discovered Noodle intranet software through the Intranet Roadmap website, and decided to go with it. “It’s affordable, surprisingly feature-rich, and simple to set up,” says Allen Hernandez, CWD’s Junior Network Administrator.
From Test Run To Intranet Launch
CWD took advantage of their 30-day trial to get a real feel of how Noodle intranet would work for them. Even during the trial, Vialect’s support team worked with CWD to customize the intranet, getting the layout, design, and content just right.
“By the time we decided to subscribe to a cloud-hosted Noodle, our intranet was already 90% ready,” Hernandez recalls. “It took us only another week to fully complete our intranet.”
CWD launched their intranet with a naming contest. This got employees excited, and many sent their unique suggestions. Out of all the entries, the winning intranet name was “The Juicebox.”
CWD’s Human Resources Department introduced the new intranet to staff, along with instructions on how to log in and change their passwords.
CWD has also made the intranet everybody’s default website every time employees launch their web browsers.
CWD found that Noodle’s features directly provided what they wanted. For example, the announcement portlet allows them to have an announcement tool they can easily add to, update, or remove.
They’re using the calendar application to record and show which staff are celebrating birthdays and anniversaries, and to share information on events.
They’ve also accomplished their goal of reducing internal email. Hernandez says, “Once all the information was posted on The JuiceBox, internal email traffic significantly decreased.”
Wisdom for Intranet Newbies
Eight months after creating their test Noodle, CWD now has a fully functional intranet that has become a part of their staff’s daily lives.
When asked for advice for those who want to launch or relaunch a company intranet, Hernandez says:
“Gather as much information as possible from all of the departments in your organization. Understand who will be involved in the Intranet so that you can plan ahead and search for the appropriate solution. Ask for the elements that are required (needs vs. wants) and list them.”