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In a nutshell, we merged IBF and DWF into one service and changed our name to "Digital Workplace Group." The new name represents the broader set of services we've grown to offer, beyond an original focus on just intranets. We also changed the name of our monthly webinar from "IBF Live" to "Digital Workplace Live."

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On 13 June IBF celebrated its 10th anniversary in a live joint meeting of its 100 plus members between London and New York.

The Digital Workplace Group’s CEO and Founder Paul Miller chooses the 10 intranets that, in his belief, have defined the intranet industry in the past 10 years.

  1. Kellogg’s – Branding that delivers

    In 2008, Kellogg’s led the way in making their world-famous brands part of their intranet reality. The result was about as far away as you can get from a regular intranet with brand icons such as Tony the Tiger used to drive fun, brand-driven culture messages.

    Kellogg’s intranet, 2008.

  2. IBM – Connecting people

    Even in 2003, the IBM ‘people pages’ took your breath away. Facebook had not yet launched but the IBM intranet showed how a powerful people search could enable expert connections and that exhilarating sense of having knowledge at your fingertips.

    IBM's Intranet

    IBM’s intranet, 2008.

  3. Unilever – Global versus local balance

    In 2006, the Unilever seamlessly combined their intranet with their Dove brand while also providing local information – magically you could also see the rest of Unilever all on the home page. The eternal global versus local balance dilemma beautifully navigated.

    Unilever's Intranet

    Unilever’s intranet, 2006.

  4. BBC – Task-based navigation

    Back in 2004, the BBC’s intranet blended superb communication with real tasks that mattered, all on the home page. Using features such as expenses, staff finder and travel booking, the BBC’s pioneering intranet team created an experience that made productivity on the site into a compelling reality.

    BBC homepage, 2006.

  5. Aviva – Social intranets

    In 2008 when the financial sector was still healthy and no one had mentioned “social intranets” (it was all web 2.0 then!), this major global financial insurer re-invented their intranet. With open discussions, leadership dialogue and courageous challenges, the Aviva intranet defied regulation-driven taboos and made “social” their habit.

    Aviva's Intranet

    Aviva’s intranet, 2010.

  6. BT – Beyond news

    Pick any year and BT is always up there. At the IBF, what we found refreshing was a home page that rejected news content outright. Instead we found a set of central links to information that people needed. BT said, “We have news, but we’re not news addicts.” BT trusted that the activities that saved time and enabled mobile working would ensure high performance in many annual benchmarks.

    BT intranet 2010

    BT intranet, 2010.

  7. Microsoft – Learning from users

    Microsoft has always been central to intranets through its SharePoint products. However this did not prevent them from being independently benchmarked by the Digital Workplace Group (DWG) in 2011 and held in comparison against many of their own customers. Their intranet – much like everyone’s – had its ups and downs, but Microsoft showed that no matter how dominant you are in an industry, user experience is the real judge of success.

    Microsoft's intranet

    Microsoft’s intranet, 2011.

  8. IKEA – Making multi-language work

    Language has always challenged global intranet teams. In 2010, IKEA’s dynamic unit powered up our league tables thanks in part to their ability to make sites work in local languages. They respected their local staff and gave them what they needed.

    Ikea's Intranet

    IKEA’s intranet, 2011.

  9. Transport for London (TFL) – Intranets that save lives

    During the London bombings of July 2005, TFL had an intranet team ready to deploy essential information to its employees and other emergency personnel through its intranet. This experience was followed by a project to create the concept of an intranet site that can be deployed built for any such emergency in the future.  This new intranet for emergencies set a standard for crisis-planning.

    Transport for London's intranet

    Transport for London’s intranet, 2006.

  10. Electrolux – Innovation for tablets

    Electrolux has consistently innovated in the intranet field. Their latest intranet incorporated a new social media element explicitly able to be used through tablets (particularly iPads).  This was one of the first to put tablets forward as a key intranet environment and with huge success.

    Electrolux intranet

    Electrolux’s intranet, 2012.

Did we miss one?

Has Paul overlooked one of your intranet’s great achievements?  Send details together with a relevant screenshot from your intranet to admin@digitalworkplacegroup.com and we’ll publish the best.

See Also

Paul has also posted 10 Lessons for Intranets from 10 years of IBF.

About the author

Paul Miller - CEO of the Digital Workplace Group
Paul Miller is CEO and Founder of the Digital Workplace Group. His latest book, ‘The Digital Renaissance of Work: Delivering digital workplaces fit for the future’ (co-authored with Elizabeth Marsh), was shortlisted for the CMI Management Book of the Year 2016 Award. Paul’s previous book, ‘The Digital Workplace: How technology is liberating work’, helped to popularize and explain the term “digital workplace”. Paul has given many inspirational talks on the digital future of work, for audiences at Microsoft, IKEA, Google, Accenture, Harvard Business Review, Cisco, European Commission, Adobe and Oxford University.

He was ranked one of the world’s Top 50 Social Employee Advocacy Leaders in 2015 and was a Judge and Mentor for the Duke of York’s Inspiring Digital Enterprise Awards. Paul hosted the pioneering internet radio show Digital Workplace Live for five years and is Executive Producer of the 24-hour global digital experience Digital Workplace 24.

Prior to founding DWG, Paul was Founder and CEO of communications company The Empowerment Group; Publisher and Editor of social and digital innovation magazine “Wave”; and, in pre-internet days, co-founder of the Ideas Café salon. He now lives in the Cotswolds in the UK.

Connect with Paul on Twitter: @paulmillersaysor on Google +.

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