Are you looking for a new intranet solution to support your business? What are some good intranet features that provide a way to refresh and rewire your current intranet offering?
A modern intranet on Office 365 (now renamed Microsoft 365) is what you need.
Gone are the days when an intranet portal meant a static internal site where a few privileged employees published news, documents and events. A portal which only offered one way communication, and which was used mainly as an IT certified repository and news channel.
The objective of an intranet is to offer a platform where employees come to connect, collaborate, share ideas, and accomplish work. This is also a place where they can get in on the office chatter, catch the latest news, give feedback and look up colleagues with shared expertise or interests. It is a place where your users can find answers, meet deadlines and be productive.
What makes it modern?
Following are six important components of a modern intranet:
1. It is always with you
A modern intranet is on the cloud, which means it goes where you go.
It is easy to access from anywhere – at home, in the office, or on the go; and it is accessible from any device. This gives your employees the flexibility to use the device they are most comfortable with; as long as there is an internet connection, they are in business.
Since it is in the cloud, the intranet is available 24/7, which is a very useful feature for your field workers – the users who make client visits and travel for work. They have access to documents, plans, reports, and contacts no matter where or what time zone they are in.
2. It is where you work
A modern intranet is a destination where your employees go to at the start of their day and it is where they spend their day, working. It should not be just another site they have to log in to. It should mirror the workplace and be a place where work is accomplished.
Employees should be able to author and edit documents, initiate and manage projects, create and update tasks, send and receive email and notifications. They should also be able to request time-off, submit purchase requests and reimbursement forms, and complete a performance appraisal.
An intranet on Microsoft Office 365 provides most of this functionality and can be enhanced with a ready-to-go intranet offering which may have a lot more built in functionality to tackle all aspects of a business.
3. It promotes collaboration
Working in seclusion, within your cubicle walls is outdated. Modern businesses encourage open space culture, which in turn promotes collaboration and team work. So, why should your intranet be any different?
The components of a modern intranet should be fashioned based on your work culture. This is the social networking age, where everybody can give their opinions and chime in by way of commenting, liking, and sharing. Your intranet should have features that take advantage of the new collective mentality and open the doors to collaboration and knowledge sharing.
An intranet on Microsoft Office 365 can leverage its collaboration tools to provide these social features.
- Yammer is a social networking feature that can be used for group chats and discussions. It can also be integrated with the news feature so that employees can like and comment on it.
- Skype can be used for instant messaging, voice calls and video conferencing.
- Exchange online provides a central place for all your emails, calendars, contacts and tasks.
- SharePoint is a powerful tool and a great starting point for growing businesses because it helps store, organize, search, find, manage, and collaborate in one place.
4. It makes things easier
Since an intranet on Microsoft Office 365 is hosted on the cloud, it is quick to implement, is secure, comes with free updates, and is cost effective. All changes and upgrades are maintained and managed by the vendor so it takes pressure off your IT department (or you, if you’re wearing that hat).
A modern intranet offers a great user experience. It is intuitive to use, has easy navigation, and it provides ways to automate tasks and processes. It offers effective search allowing users to easily find information – documents, articles, project updates, email, etc.; and people – team members, experts, authors, etc.
An intranet on Microsoft Office 365 makes use of Microsoft’s Graph technology which presents users with information (instead of users looking for it) depending on their content interaction, using machine learning to draw links between people, content and activity within an organization.
5. It brings everything in one place
A modern intranet is your corporate hub. It brings all your business processes in one central location. So instead of using separate applications for your email, document authoring, project management, forms processing, and collaborating; everything is available on the intranet.
There still may be some external business applications you may want to use and that is OK because SharePoint can integrate with a lot of these applications. You can connect to your favorite apps from the intranet portal, while still maintaining the single sign on feature.
6. It is ready-to-go
A ready-to-go intranet has many benefits over customized intranets, such as easier adoption and maintenance, faster implementation of new features, and less technical skills required.
There are a number of vendors that are offering all the essential components of a modern digital workplace solution in ready-to-go intranet solutions built on Microsoft Office 365. These not only offer a great user interface and tie all the Microsoft Office 365 tools into one offering, but they also offer customization of the site with corporate branding and flexibility of placing widgets on a page. Some of them also offer added functionality like Employee Management, Forms Management and Performance Management, which may be very attractive to companies that need these tools but do not have the bandwidth to develop or purchase expensive licenses for them.
A modern intranet is people-centric and allows its employees to connect with information, processes and other users, to do their best work. It is based on collaboration and has a significant impact on productivity, employee engagement and innovation within your company.
Every company is unique in its looks, culture, goals, etc., and so should every intranet. Your modern intranet should look like you, not the vendor you bought it from. So make sure your chosen solution has room for branding. But first, you must evaluate your needs and your pain points. You should know your culture, goals and strategy.
A modern intranet is effective only if it is implemented keeping in mind your business and your users.
We at BizPortals Solutions can help you evaluate your needs and assist you with implementing a modern intranet solution on Microsoft Office 365. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for more details.