Just look around you as you sit at the airport, at a coffee shop, in a subway; everybody is on their mobile devices; either a phone, tablet or laptop. This is one example of the drastic changes in the way people interact, communicate and work that we have seen in the recent years and it is very important for businesses to keep pace and provide tools that engage their employees and give them ways to simplify their work and collaborate with their teams, easily.
A modern, corporate intranet on Office 365 (now renamed Microsoft 365) is one such tool that is essential for every business.
Why do we need a corporate intranet on Microsoft Office 365?
The answer to this “why” will vary from company to company, but it is an important question because it will help you think about the problem you are trying to solve. You can list out your problems, pain points and features and functionality you would like to have, in your corporate intranet. Going through this exercise will also help you measure the success of your intranet once it’s in place.
Some of the reasons you may come up with are:
- To improve collaboration
- To simplify file storage and sharing
- To increase employee engagement
- To have better connection between the workforce
- To have better control over projects
- To boost productivity
What does a corporate intranet offer?
A corporate intranet on Microsoft Office 365 offers many applications and tools that can enhance your intranet and offer capabilities to make it more useable, robust and feature rich. An intranet on Microsoft Office 365 comes with the following advantages which are absolutely necessary if you want a state-of-the-art digital workplace solution which will meet the diverse needs of your employees and will stay relevant for a long time to come.
Your users don’t care about news on your intranet that is stale, not of their interest and not engaging. They want fresh news and information on varied topics, that pulls them in, and with which they can interact.
A corporate intranet gives you easy publishing tools which can be made available to your power users so they can share their team or departmental news, upload event photographs and share interesting videos. This takes away control of content from a few and allows staff to get creative by making content interesting, interactive and engaging, with polls, and like and comment features – which are so popular in social platforms.
Employees spend way too much time looking for information, whether it is an email, a document, or a news article. How many times have you spent time searching for a document, only to find one that was wrong or not the latest version?
Having a corporate intranet on Microsoft Office 365 can change that drastically. Microsoft Office 365 uses MS Graph’s machine learning and artificial intelligence capabilities to pull up relevant and useful content when a user conducts a search. The search results could include people profiles, news and videos along with documents and discussions.
The Microsoft Office 365 dashboard shows you pertinent information; documents, folders, intranet sites and pages; depending on your usage history. It even suggests content based on what you’ve worked on or read, thereby reducing the need to search. This mimics in some way apps like Netflix and Amazon, where you see a list of recommended movies and items respectively, depending on what you’ve watched or purchased in the past.
As mentioned earlier, mobile devices are soon going to take over every aspect of our lives. They have already become so central to everything we do – keeping in touch, taking pictures, ordering food, calling a cab, making reservations, watching news and shows, playing games, etc. – you get the point.
Your corporate intranet must offer mobile access, because if it doesn’t, your employees will find other methods to give them the mobility they require. Make sure your intranet gives them anywhere anytime access to their email, documents and contacts, and the capability to author documents, publish content, route their forms for approvals, track their tasks, update calendars, get reminders, etc., from their mobile devices.
With a corporate intranet on Microsoft Office 365, all the tools are in the cloud so your staff can access them from their devices and stay productive wherever they are.
All your intranet upgrades will go to waste if you don’t put in place tools that can measure and monitor employee engagement, user adoption, productivity increase, etc. Microsoft offers a usage analytics tool that can be configured for your company intranet on Microsoft Office 365. This will help you see what sites and tools are frequently used, how many employees are active users, what features of the intranet are accessed through mobile devices, etc., and this information can be used to plan future updates to the intranet.
Additionally, Power BI can be used to connect to various data sources; SQL, Access, Excel, Dynamics, to name a few; to create visuals like graphs and charts to present sales, financials, and project data in a more organized and easily digestible format.
Often corporate intranets will provide project dashboards where managers can quickly see the progress of their projects and quickly drill down to see upcoming, on-track, and delayed tasks. Also, reports can be generated and shared with stakeholders.
A corporate intranet shouldn’t offer a one-size-fits-all experience. Instead it should be able to provide relevant and personalized information to every individual in your company. Thanks to artificial intelligence, many intranet solutions are finding new ways to surface timely and useful content within the context of the worker.
Microsoft Graph is a powerful AI tool which uses machine learning to track content interaction and draw links between people, content and activity within an organization to serve up information that is relevant to each user. For example, displaying the employee’s projects, tasks, and reminders, forms they need to approve and notifications they’ve received, news about their department and changes to policies that affect them.
This is very powerful as it makes it quick and easy for users to find what they need instantly, depending on their browsing history – documents they authored or approved, people they collaborated with, sites they visited, etc.
The modern, corporate intranet is a central hub buzzing with activity. It is where users come to be productive and meet their goals. It is where work is accomplished.
If you are on Microsoft Office 365 and want to consolidate all your business processes under one roof, or you are looking for a turnkey solution that can enhance your current intranet offering, we can help. Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and our representative will get in touch with you.