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Enterprise collaboration platforms - ruining or reinventing the Intranet?

05.07.2013
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When you think about Corporate Communication in your company would the picture of concert hall be familiar to you? Symbolizing your Corporate Communication is well orchestrated and conducted and executed in good style. Your Intranet reflects this best practice, well structured with a clear position for each element, the more important ones in the middle the others on the side, like in the orchestra. Content is well structured and navigation in place so visitors find their way to what they are looking for (their seat to listen to the music).

When you review the reach you have with your communication on the Intranet, does your concert hall look like this?

Reasons might be that traditional top down Intranets don't allow to

  • better support virtual teamwork
  • boost information sharing across functions
  • accelerate agility and responsiveness
  • engrain virtual, transparent collaboration culture

which are required to address issues and needs like:

  • strategy changes
  • company transformations
  • cost cutting programs
  • complex products
  • global risks and solutions
Empty Concert Hall.jpg

If you offer your employees a bottom-up, self service collaboration platform you create an environment with collaboration groups, giving context and clear purpose to its members. You offer freedom to arrange and layout content to the needs of the group and not along corporate templates. It's a place with no legacy, intuitive and easy to use. Ideally you can establish some of the early adopters you attract into role models and provide management legitimation to you the new platform.

Musicians.jpg

Suddenly the place where the music plays feels more like this ...

Content quality is high as it is authentic, the audience is used to give immediate feedback to express what they like and not. With that more and more people join the concert what the whole company starts to realize. Be ready that official communities start the enter the stage here and leave the concert hall.

If you are lucky, from a social business point of view, then your leaders start to see the value of the new platform and leverage it for their communication. You get more and more leadership blogs, read by many employees and enriched with comments.

Does this ruin the Intranet?

If so you might miss important corporate content elements. Most prominent a place where your employees find official information and approved content. Therefore you should consider reinventing your Intranet. Giving it a different tonality, learning from the ease of use of the collaboration platform and linking to its communities and conversations will help to make it again an attractive place with relevant content.

What about the Social Intranet you planned to have? Is this the reinvented Intranet or your collaboration environment? Why not considering the combination of all as your Social Intranet:

Corporate news and content

Social Intranet.jpg

Community spaces

Collaboration groups

Published at DZone with permission of Jive Community, author and DZone MVB.

(Note: Opinions expressed in this article and its replies are the opinions of their respective authors and not those of DZone, Inc.)