There’s no point creating a new intranet if no one in the organisation is going to use it. And people are most likely to use their new intranet, and gain its benefits, if it’s easy to access and can capably address their day‑to‑day work needs.
This point was well illustrated with an intranet project we at Professional Advantage recently carried out for Harbour City Ferries. The project involved replacing a fundamentally broken intranet with a new social platform that allowed head office to communicate effectively with all staff. Front line operational staff needed to be able to access the new intranet from any place at any time. The obvious solution was to create an intranet that front line personnel could access from devices that they already use, such as a tablet or smartphone.
Consulting with those on the front line
To tackle the project we decided first to meet with staff from all the different areas of the organisation and ask them what they wanted to see on, and how they would most like to interact with, the new intranet. Although it was a bit of a challenge to get this information, the feedback we received was valuable and placed us on a solid footing for the task ahead.
From there we designed a social intranet with the needs of head office and front line personnel top of mind. We needed to develop an intranet that incorporates responsive design, being the ability of an intranet to adapt to any device that’s being used, such as a desktop (in this case, for head office) or a mobile phone or tablet (for front line staff).
New social functionality
We also introduced various social media capabilities including a news feed and social community sites. This approach enabled us to roll out an intranet that genuinely engaged staff members, in turn leading to a high rate of user adoption. A key factor in this was that their intranet was a real two-way communications platform allowing staff members to communicate with each other, rather than a one-way communication channel that is typical of many intranets today.
The benefits of the cloud option
From an IT perspective, one of the big challenges for Harbour City Ferries was the continuous need to overhaul and improve the technology infrastructure to support the information systems they wanted to use. This would have required a heavy investment in new computers, new operating systems and new tools on which to train their users. We got around all that by moving the intranet to the cloud. With Microsoft Office 365 the organisation was able to embrace their new intranet with a minimal financial outlay in technology and software licenses. With the capabilities of their cloud‑based platform with the client got an intranet that was instantly accessible to anybody, any time and from anywhere.
Final result: An intranet that works on all levels
The final outcome for Harbour City Ferries was a fresh new social and mobile intranet that enabled all staff to connect with each across multiple devices. Executives and staff now have at their fingertips all the important information they need, when they need it.
You can download this case study here.
Thinking your organisation could benefit from an intranet that effectively connects people to other people and to vital and timely information? Attend our Office 365 event to discover this and more benefits to Microsoft’s Cloud strategy.