Entrants were asked to submit up to three screen shots together with an explanation of why their site met the entry criteria. We were looking to showcase sites which demonstrate the aesthetic as well as practical appeal of social intranets by combining effective adoption with a compelling user experience.
“Compass has proved an excellent way of engaging Waterstones employees, users share problems and solve them, offering anecdotes and pictures. It’s a quick and simple way for the users based out in our stores to no longer view their issues as local but enterprise. Our intranet is used by a variety of teams, consisting of over 4000 people (close to 300 shops, 3 offices, and field teams). The user stats bear out how well it’s used – 81% of staff have visited in the last 30 days, the homepage gets in excess of 200,000 hits a month, while individual articles on the homepage usually get in excess of 300 on the first day. Comments and feedback on these documents are a popular and highly visible way to process Q&A, and generate good feeling and greater transparency in the business. Design features – The key to our design and structure of our intranet, Compass, is that we are always aiming to move it on, so that it reflects how the business is now. We’ve recently made some significant changes to our brand look and feel and are really pleased with the look and feel around our latest designs, which we feel are clean and friendly, but still closely adhere to our brand values. Our homepage design has evolved through a combination of business priorities, user insight on these priorities through document comments, status updates and sharing tools, and general user feedback. We’ve made sure it’s a mix of dynamic news content, links to key tools and activity. Here’s one comment from a bookseller: “Having all the information you need at a glance arranged on the front page is a great time saver, and means that nobody needs to waste time trying to find the information they need””
Compass has, increasingly, become an open, multi-way communications vehicle: top down/ bottom up/ peer to peer that supports this need for quick exchange of information and opinion: as a social intranet, Compass provides an interface for tapping into the collective intelligence of our booksellers, supporting key aspects of their daily activity, including: Customer service & Sales: recommendations/ finding books on specific subjects, authors etc tapping in to that collective knowledge; Creating national Promotions & Campaigns: getting feedback and suggestions from our booksellers. Using the intranet allows a speedy turnaround, and gives a much more visible and engaging voice to our booksellers; Supporting bookselling teams from other teams in the business: when in-shop knowledge is not available. This is particularly the case in branches with high turnover /sickness etc. In the words another bookseller: “The discussion boards are a good resource for when things go wrong or you are presented with a situation you are unsure of. Talking these things over with other booksellers is a great confidence boost. It also allows booksellers to share their ideas and tips”..
“Here at Suncor, our intranet “The Core” is transforming the way we work, communicate, collaborate and interact, wherever we are in the world. A fresh and positive visual style compliments a number of social features that are becoming an ever more natural part of how our people get work done. Commenting on news stories, social and industry news feeds, feature-rich personal profile pages, and executive blogging are but a few of the engagement tools that are driving adoption among our 13,000 employees worldwide.”
“”Edge” takes the social tools that have seen such success in the public domain – wikis, blogs, discussion forums, activity streams, RSS feeds, microblogging, social bookmarking, profiles and networking – and combines them in a bespoke social intranet developed between Social Business consultants Dachis Group, RPC and The University of Westminster. Rather than being a box-ticking exercise, each social tool has been chosen to address an identified business problem or opportunity, with multiple applications and technologies coming together within a single system. The result is a social intranet that is firmly embedded in the way the business operates, whether that be sharing insight about our clients and markets between offices, sharing legal precedents, analysing evidence across a multi-claim piece of litigation, or planning the next big social event. With so many different technologies and tools combined together, you run the risk of creating a Frankenstein’s monster. However, with clever user experience design from Dachis Group and a clean, modern user interface designed in collaboration with RPC and and Dachis Group, you’d never know that you weren’t looking at a single system.”
“We’ve got a user customised side menu for shortcuts to people, pages, applications and websites. Users can edit their profile to write about what they do. You can update your status when heading on leave. All users can post news, events and informal notices to the site, and easily find other staff and communicate with them.”
“As an agency that spearheads the overseas growth of Singapore-based companies and promotes international trade, IE Singapore is continuously seeking ways to increase the velocity in sharing information and extracting business insights from information. It is critical that our employees have timely access to relevant information / knowledge that enables them to effectively partner the companies in their overseas ventures. These information and knowledge span across a broad spectrum of markets, industries and capabilities, given the diverse coverage of IE Singapore’s work. IE Singapore, as a knowledge-based organisation, relies heavily on new knowledge and insights created by employees who specialise in various markets and industry verticals. The knowledge assets created by our frontline employees provide IE Singapore with the extra value that we provide to Singapore-based companies. Having said that, it is important to ensure these knowledge assets are continuously institutionalized centrally to allow effective knowledge sharing among the officers. The Integrated Employee eXchange, also known as the IEX, serves this purpose (institutionalize and share effectively) and is no longer the traditional intranet that provides only “Corporate and HR information”. With the inclusion of social media features, IEX brings knowledge sharing to a different dimension – not only do officers contribute knowledge assets (eg. knowledge documents) but they are also able to contribute and share information through Chattr! and the Management blog. In addition to that, readers will also be able to respond to the shared content and also show their liking towards it. The following describes some of the social media features of the IEX: 1. Chattr! and the Worldmap – To enable our staff to disseminate informal and unstructured information quickly, Chattr! was created to allow everyone in IE Singapore receive the latest user-generated news. Apart from posting informal news and disseminating it quickly, other users are also able to ‘like’, ‘share’, ‘comment’, and ‘bookmark’ the posts accordingly. This encourages further discussion about the topics and might lead to creation of new knowledge for others. Chattr! messages that are posted can be tagged so that it will also appear in the relevant market, sector and trade pages. This will help those searching for information in the market, sector or trade pages as these messages will be displayed there. Besides appearing in the market, sector and trade pages, Chattr! posts will also appear intermittently on the world map which can be found on the home page of IEX. The world map gives the user a graphical view of the location that is related to that Chattr! post. For example, when a user posts a message (via Chattr!) and tags it with the word “China”, the message will appear on the world map where China is. Messages posted will be shown (sequentially) in the World Map and this allows the user to get a quick view of what is happening all around the world.”
3. My Page – You can ask me about… – To get employees easily acquainted with subject-matter experts, the team created a personal profile page for each employee in IE Singapore. Apart from the usual information such as designation, department, contact details and actual location, people can also include their subject expertise, past market and/or industry experiences, past projects, language proficiencies, as well as a short write-up about themselves. This information will be picked up when other users search for relevant subjects and projects. For example, if someone is looking for information on Brazil via the IEX search function, the search results will also pull out Brazil experts within IE Singapore, and the person can also tap into this expert’s knowledge..
“We developed a social intranet to engage our employees, helping them to connect and collaborate across borders. Living in a world of clutter – in the form of information overload – it was a conscious decision to make gNet simple, clean and relevant. While relevance is important – and covered by the ability to ‘subscribe’ to Communites and content you find interesting – it is equally important to be ‘open’ to things outside of your own world. Our Expertise Activity Feed on the homepage allows for this by pulling activity from a variety of Expert Communities, allowing users to serendipituously find out about other areas of the business. Our new intranet not only serves as an information source, but is also a place to collaborate on projects and share knowledge and ideas. Although we’re not there yet, gNet will very much grow to be the entry point into all other internal business systems, where we will work to create a seamless journey through all user touch points.”
Submitted by Natalie Pratt.
“We have been working with De Beers for some time – originally with the DTC (Diamond Trading Company) the rough diamond distribution arm, before the creation of Forevermark – a De Beers diamond brand and eponymous company responsible for marketing the brand. Over the last 6 years our client organisation changed structurally and culturally and the intranet evolved accordingly. In 2010, we gradually introduced social features with a homepage activity feed that allowed users to post statuses and comment/like others’ posts. We collected birthdays in user profiles and these automatically appeared in the activity feed. This proved popular allowing users to post birthday greetings as the automatic posts appeared. We introduced an ‘achievement’ section where users could nominate each other for exceptional work. The Global Marketing Director would judge these achievements and post a ‘shout out’ on the achievements section – again allowing other users to post congratulatory messages. User feedback as well as the obvious online take-up suggested we could expand on our tentative social offerings on the intranet and in 2012 we refreshed the design of the intranet to put social front and centre on the site supported by a social mobile version.”
“The International HIV/AIDS Alliance is a global partnership of 39 national organisations working to support community action on AIDS in Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean. We work with people living with HIV and communities who are most affected by the spread of HIV and AIDS. Often these are people who are the most marginalised in society who need our support (women and children, sex workers, men who have sex with men and people who use drugs). We have created a social intranet to help connect our diverse community from around the world; to help them collaborate, share their news, stories and problems, and strengthen our organisational learning about ‘what works’ in the fight against AIDS. Our intranet, INSPIRE, was so named by a colleague in Alliance Caribbean because she wanted an intranet which will “make accessible valuable information, ideas, advice and support to its users. This inspiration is a source of motivation which fuels our passion and propels us to continue transforming lives of the people we work with across the world.” Some of the great social features of INSPIRE (built using Interact Intranet) are: • Staff from our partners across the world can add a blog post about anything they like, and others are able to comment on it. • Our homepage has a Translate widget which allows anyone to translate the contents of the intranet into a language of their choice at the click of a button. • Status updates; just like facebook, people can quickly and easily share what they are doing. • As Alliance members are based all around the world, many of us will never meet in person. Being able to see a photo of someone, and read what they do really helps improve our interactions on the phone or email. • We have collaborative sites, such as our communications community, to help people share and learn on a particular theme. • Our intranet reflects our organisational values: everyone can post, comment, add a document and contribute, no matter who or where you are. There is no hierarchy about who can contribute. • The site is intuitive and easy to use – you don’t need any training to get started. INSPIRE was only launched in September, and we are still working to make the best use of the functionality available, and engage with even more users . However the site is already a busy and enticing place to be; with new posts being made by different people on a daily basis – to date 22% of all 650 users, across 24 organisations. One comment was: “It’s wonderful to be part of this amazing tool. We can exchange many things about our work and our activities that can help us to reinforce our values and convictions in the fight against AIDS.” Paul Sagna, Chair of Alliance Nationale Contre le SIDA (ANCS), the Alliance partner organisation in Senegal.”
“Apollo Connect, the collaboration portal of Apollo Tyres Ltd, was the brain child of cross functional teams working towards better collaboration and integration of Apollo’s employees and offices across geographies and functions. Even to begin with, the teams believed in a solution which would not only be intuitive and easy to grasp, but also engage with and entertain the users. Apollo Tyres is a multibrand, global tyre manufacturer, with operations in Asia, Europe and Africa, and exports to about 118 countries. The main aim of Apollo Connect is to create a collaborative, communicative and integrated environment where employees from all geographies can interact with each other, work together on areas of mutual interest – maximising resource optimisation, even as they benefit from a common knowledge pool. Apollo Connect, binds together seamlessly, all of Apollo’s global operations and is accessible to over 12000 employees. Features like Blogs, Wikis, Forums and Communities of Practice empower the users to express themselves and learn new ways of thinking, and doing things, from their colleagues. Navigation on this collaboration portal has been given due consideration to allow for greater ease of use and facilitate quick connections between users. Knowledge sharing is another key feature of the platforms, with users being provided an option to upload and search documents and create Wikis. Users can also tag their posts and documents for fast and easy retrieval. The portal has a distinctive “Buzz” section, which captures the most recent activities on Apollo Connect – ranging from a new Blog post to new Connections between colleagues. To enhance employee engagement using fun tools, the portal provides features such as “Mood Metre” and “Polls”, allowing the users to express their thoughts in an anonymous fashion. Mood Metre is amongst the most used sections on the portal; it allows users to vote for their mood for the day – the mood with maximum votes becomes the mood of the organisation for that day! Apollo Connect is easy, friendly and the true measure of its success is that employees enjoy utilising its services and daily more than 500 employees login to socialize with their colleagues. My Profile and Communities of Practice are few of the social and collaborative features of the portal and the screenshots for the same have been attached here.”
“DNB is the Dutch Central Bank. It’s main responsibility is to create financial stability on Dutch (and with its international counterparts on international) financial markets. Knowledge sharing, connecting with experts, sense making conversations and quick information sharing within the whole company in a top secure environment are in the core DNB’s processes and identity. A great environment for an intranet to go social! Early this year DNB started with a social intranet on top of the existing formal information- and process systems. Main objectives are to connect employees over departments, to share knowledge and inspirational ideas, and support working together in projects. The social intranet, called “DNB Café” feels a bit like a “revolution” and perhaps even a “revelation”. The design balances the pretty formal identity of a central bank with social elements attracting an upcoming younger workforce. Within half a year 70% of the employees created (voluntary, based on peer invitations and curiosity) their profile. 61% are now really active with posting, sharing and reacting. Results and business value vary from more efficient meetings (since they are prepared online), feeling and being connected across departments, saving significant time on getting answers to business questions, saving time on reinventing wheels because of cross divisional knowledge sharing. The dynamics and business value are still increasing every day. The “social” aspect of the social intranet paid of as well: the menu of the restaurant has been adjusted to fit with more environmental friendly and biological needs that were discussed on the social platform. The combination of all these results make us feel DNB Cafe is a schoolbook example for “my beautiful intranet goes social”. The value of DNB Cafe doesn’t stop at the organisations boundaries: other financial authorities – like AFM (Authority Financial Markets) are invited to join secured online meeting rooms within the DNB Cafe for more fluent cross-organisational knowledge sharing and collaboration. (More info on DNB: http://dnb.nl)”
“We’re open, honest and transparent. We’re so confident in our staff, our product and our levels of service, we’re not afraid to let our staff talk! In fact, unlike most companies, we encourage it. We give prizes, vouchers and recognition for our games winners, people nominated by other staff members and for any great feedback received through an online Intranet Suggestion Box. Our company doesn’t see this as a waste of time, we see it as a way of getting people to network. Why are we so laid back? Because we’ve found that the more people talk, the more we get from it! Allowing our staff to interact actually helps our business: 14% of communications are regarding personal issues; 86% of communications are regarding business issues. 100% of our staff have logged in this year. Not because they have to, but because they like it! The Lounge is informative, interactive and a vital business tool. But on top of that, it’s fun. And that’s how we get buy in!”
“XLWorld design is ground-breaking. It’s intuitive, simple, clear and elegant. Collaboration is truly at the heart of the system with the addition of groups and updates. The features are designed to increase and accelerate the ways colleagues are connected to each other. XL has 4000 employees in 70 offices in approximately 24 countries. They work together every day, and the new portal will make overcoming natural barriers. Elements that can be personalized like favoriting documents to appear on your homepage and in a sortable favorites listing, and the ability to upload a personal photo to serve as the homepage background, makes XL World a place employees go every day not because they have to but because they want to. The new intranet was created after an in-depth research, focus groups and involving people across business and support lines. The key functionality of search is facilitated from perspective of a document owner who can tag and also searches from the text. XL’s leadership took an inclusive approach to reestablish the Company vision and strategic direction and in doing so widely recognized the value of collaboration and innovation, delivered by XLWorld.”
“My intranet was built from the ground up to be appealing, easy to use and portable. I am sure it is the only one with workscapes (sounds and image matching a mood). It also gives workers the feeling of playing a game while working. It also has the tools to actually get work done (project,doc, helpdesk and social collaboration). Oh, don’t forget about the webstore where workers can order services, and even pay for insurance.”
“The IPC Virtual Office Intranet is a highly collaborative social enterprise tool”
“No information is more valuable to a company than that formed by the opinion and experience of its employees. Our new Intranet went social to respond to the cultural change that was taking place in our organization. This new culture promotes collaboration, knowledge exchange, sharing ideas and solution and of course, multidirectional internal communication. Screenshot 1: HOME PAGE – It’s mostly dedicated to communication. Main wall (managed and promoted by Internal Communication) plays the most important role of the site. Besides, in the colorful banner menu, there are also several communication spaces. In all of them the employees give their opinion and rank the contents.”
“Holmes, our intranet, is very beautiful. We tried to keep the design clean, colourful and uncomplicated. We tried to make our intranet usable and used. We used Holmes to open conversation with all 1700 staff – blogs, news, walls, comments, likes and shares are far more popular than we could ever have imagined. We’re now using Holmes to galvanise, engage, encourage and consult with staff. As well as provide the tools and information that our staff need to deliver excellent customer service to our 70,000 customers. Feedback from staff is hugely positive. Picture 1: Is our Think Yes page – where we ask staff for their stories of how they are thinking yes and delighting our customers. We also ask staff for the reasons they can’t help customers through our blockage bursting portal, we then try to remove the problem and help our staff deliver the best service they can.”
“With our social intranet World Travel Holdings has introduced an authentic two-way communication forum. From Facebook-like employee walls, discussion boards, blogs to RSS feeds and interactive quick polls, we have a unique opportunity to engage our team directly on the intranet! Imagine a place where the executive suite interacts personally and directly with all levels within the organization. Our CEOs post birthday greetings directly on an employee’s wall. The CFO offers podcasts to update the company on how we’re doing against our goals. Employees can subscribe to content, rate it, comment on it and share it with the click of a button. They can also post and comment on family/vacation photos. The social aspects of our intranet are as powerful as the content itself!”
“EA World and EA Knowledge form the core of EA’s corporate intranet. These highly collaborative sites blend the latest in enterprise social networking functionality to help our employees connect with each other, find relevant information and get exposure to company news and stories – many of which they create and publish themselves. It’s our Digital Town Square and a virtual meeting place for our global employee population.”
“Quintiles completely re-designed its intranet, iQ, in 2011 with the goal of keeping the company’s 25,000 employees connected and engaged with a strong emphasis on collaboration. Now, the iQ site has been named ‘Best Social Intranet’ by the Ragan Communication Awards, one of the leading awards programs in the communications industry, and was the featured live intranet tour on IBF Live in September 2012.” Submitted by Laura Grover.