Stale and stagnant Intranets are out; active Intranets are the next big thing. So what is an Active Intranet? It’s a vibrant, dynamic and flexible portal that serves as the hub for your organization’s communication and collaboration.
Driven by operational activities and events, the Active Intranet is a next generation departure from traditional Intranet portals. Gone are the days where content is manually updated by content administrators who divert precious resources chasing news around the organization, ultimately ending up with stale, stagnant content that is of little interest to users.
So what is an Active Intranet exactly?
At the core of an Active Intranet is its ability and willingness to engage audience members by routinely presenting new and relevant information from inside and outside the organization.
External news, reports and industry intelligence is often delivered through news feeds, Twitter and social networking sites like LinkedIn. That part is already available and easily added to an Intranet page using apps or web parts. What becomes the challenge is receiving up-to-date, timely internal organization news.
Posting announcements and events is standard practice for every organization’s Intranet home page. But keeping those announcements and events current is the challenge.
Internal news is often derived from operational activities and events:
The big question though is how do content managers get this information and, more importantly, get it on a regular basis so as to keep the Intranet original and interesting?
When Sales closes a deal, what is the first thing they’re going to do? It’s not going to be a call to the Intranet Content Administrator. If Sales lands a major deal, the first thing on their minds is to celebrate.
HR is slightly more responsive because it might see value in informing the organization about the new hire as part of the on-boarding process. Nevertheless, it takes time to get the relevant information to the Intranet Content Administrator.
It’s easy to see how getting company news to the right person in the right place at the right time can fall through the cracks. This is especially apparent at small- to medium-size businesses where content administration is one part of an employee’s role.
An Active Intranet is also a relevant Intranet
The Active Intranet also needs to provide relevant content to each user as though designed solely for them. This is where “content personalization” comes into play. Like a Yahoo or Google portal where the general population can customize displayed content, an Active Intranet needs to provide a section for personalized content.
However, the page should not be solely personalized content, but rather balanced with operational content employees need to see as deemed by management. A sales rep may want an RSS feed with the latest RFPs in his or her territories. They might start their day on the MySales page and add a link from the Intranet. And, they might want to link to the Sales Group community page from the Intranet.
How to create an Active Intranet Portal on Office 365
You could build it yourself on SharePoint Online from a basic Team or Communication site. It’s easy enough to create a simple site to post announcements, a calendar for events and maybe a document library for policies and procedures. But soon it will be stale and users might stop using it.
Be sure to know the limitations of going with a modern user interface before you embark on this path.
Read more by clicking here.
While third party services might offer sleek, polished Intranet portals that look impressive, in the end if you don’t update the content regularly they will grow stale as well. All that money you spent on design and graphics will go to waste when no one uses it.
Is there another option?
Enter SP Intranet 365, the Active Intranet built on native Office 365
SP Marketplace has introduced a next generation Intranet portal constructed from inception to provide active and relevant content out-of-the-box on Office 365. It can uniquely provide this content because it’s not just an Intranet.
SP Marketplace offers a complete Operational Portal Structure which is a complete Intranet structure that includes operational department portals while automatically monitoring and reviewing content to detect, capture and push important operational events and announcements to the Intranet Home page. It also can be customized so that back office systems are monitored for new content.
Now when Sales closes the latest deal and the new account is created, an alert is generated in the sales CRM that pushes a news item for the Company News list complete with background information.
The Content Administrator is alerted via email where he or she can review the information, create the news item and add the new customer’s logo. It’s approved and published on the Intranet page, with no chasing but lots of celebrating.
This next generation Intranet portal design allows an organization to assemble its own Intranet portal by choosing from several layouts, basic branding and populating the page from the Content Components Catalog during the configuration stage of the offering.
SP Intranet Portal is an out-of-the-box next generation package that includes:
Using this component-based approach, customers can easily assemble their own Intranet in days and maintain it using business power user skills. Additionally, unlike other Intranet offerings built with their own user interface layer, SP Intranet Portal delivers a rich, intuitive user experience with native Office 365 branding as recommended by Microsoft guidelines.
The result is an integrated interface that is a natural part of Office 365. In fact, SP Intranet Portal is designed to leverage new Microsoft core services like Delve and the NextGen service portals for Video, knowledge sharing and group and people management.