What makes an award-winning intranet in 2016?

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Hear from our experts how to put the theory behind a 'good' intranet into practice.

We know a thing or two about award winning intranets, having won the Nielsen Norman Award for Best Intranet Design​ for four out of five years. 

We’re starting the year off with a webinar to share the knowledge, hints and tips that we've learnt over the past 10 years of collaboration projects. Our consultants will be discussing how to put the theory into practise to create an award-winning intranet and the factors that led to dorma+kaba's win. 

We'll be cov​ering:

  • dorma+kaba's award-winning intranet built on Unily
  • The importance of people to the success of an intranet
  • How to manage content to keep it relevant and current
  • Driving adoption during launch
  • Effective governance to drive consumption
  • Where to take your intranet next

Why should you attend?

Learn how to put the theory behind a 'good' intranet into practice and get a jump start on the improvements you can make to ensure your intranet success in 2016.​​​​​


Transcription of the Webinar Audio


Katy: Hi, everyone. It's around 16:00, so I guess we'll make a start. Thanks everybody for joining today as we discuss what makes an award winning intranet in 2016. Just in case, there's quite a few of us in the room today on the webinar. It's me, my colleague, Hannah, and Martyn, so if you do think at any point you can't hear one of us properly, do feel free to just ping in a question and we'll make sure we move around our speaker a little bit. So we're really excited to be discussing this today, as there's so much to be said on intranets at the moment given the recent Nielsen Norman announcement, which we'll talk about later in case anyone doesn't have a clue what Nielsen Norman is.

So if you haven't been on one of our webinars before, my name is Katy and I work on the marketing team. Hold on one second. So I'm on the marketing team at BrightStarr, also on the webinar as I said we have Hannah and Martyn who are both consultants at BrightStarr in the UK. So they work with our clients on intranets every single day. Day in, day out. So they really know what works, what doesn't work, and they have so much experience from a whole range of clients in different industries. So if you've come to this webinar with a particular question that you want answered, now is a really, really good time to ask.

Our Success With The Nielsen Norman Group & Dorma+Kaba

If you don't know us, we are BrightStarr. We're a global digital consultancy who creates solutions like intranets, extranets, and portals on Microsoft technology. A year and a half ago, we also launched our intranet as a service product, Unily, which a few of you might know us primarily for that now. So why are we talking about what we're talking about today? For those of you who don't know, the user experience firm, the Nielsen Norman Group, announced their top 10 intranets in the world earlier this January, and one of our clients, Dorma+Kaba, was included on that list. At some point through this webinar, you might hear us just refer to them as Dorma, or Dorma+Kaba. They recently had a merger, so for us, it's hard to think of them now as Dorma+Kaba when they're still Dorma to us.

So a panel of experts for the Nielsen Norman awards look at hundreds of intranets, so companies submit them, vendors submit them, and their panel of user experience experts choose the ones which they think are the most forward thinking. The ones that have solved the really big business problem, and are really effective in terms of user experience insight. So for BrightStarr, this is actually our fourth Nielsen Norman award in five years, and it's our first one that's on a Unily intranet. So we wanted to compile what we've learned over the years, and try and turn that into something really practical for you guys to take away. So despite this being an award about design, we wanted to take this a little bit deeper and cover some more broader themes which we know, from our work with our clients here and in the U.S., are so essential to intranet success.

So the agenda today is that I'll give you a little bit of an introduction into the Dorma+Kaba project and what made it stand out for the judges, including some of its key functionality and their key drivers. Hannah or Martyn will then talk about the project in more detail, but around these key themes, so things like intranet team structure, their content strategy, their governance, how they launch the intranet, and the future steps they're taking to try and ensure that it stays at this high level.

We'll also be sharing some best practice around these, and explaining how our other clients are managing their intranet projects. So hopefully from that, you'll be able to get some really good takeaways which will translate to your own projects. We're aiming to keep this quite short, so hopefully 30-40 minutes, and we are recording it. But do feel free to ask questions throughout the webinar using the question pane which you should see, and I'll pitch them to Hannah and Martyn. If you don't see the question pane, if you just select view on your go to webinar pane and then choose the question pane.

Dorma+Kaba - What Was The Purpose Of The Project?

Who Are Dorma+Kaba?

So without further ado, let's kickoff and talk award-winning intranets. So more specifically, Dorma+Kaba's award-winning intranet. So a little bit about Dorma. They're a global manufacturing company who specialize in doors and security solutions. They have about 60,000 employees. I think there are about 7,000 which are Dorma, and the other half are Kaba. Over 50 countries that they work in, and they had a massive issue with the lack of engagement with such a diverse mix of employees. Their head office is in Germany, so that was obviously a key language for them, and lots of the German manufacturers couldn't kind of connect to the broader message that the company was trying to give to their employees. So they came to us with a mission to create a new social intranet solution, and this year it's been recognized as one of the best in the world.

Why Is Unily The Optimal Platform Choice?

So what actually is Dorma+Kaba's intranet? What's it built on? So interestingly this year it was all SharePoint intranets which were chosen by Nielsen Norman, I think. You can take that as you will, whether they're not looking past that or whether those ones are kind of the primary thought leadership intranets. So their solution is built on our intranet as a service product, Unily, which is built on Azure and Office 365. So it brings together all products like SharePoint Online, Skype for Business, OneDrive, and Yammer.

The reason we've created it, after so many years of doing custom intranets, is because we really wanted to try and break down some of the common issues that we saw time and time again that are associated with intranet projects. So this is things like long production times, big upfront costs, and the inevitability of our update solutions when technologies and business need to move on but your intranet doesn't. So Unily can be deployed in as little as six weeks, because it's out-of-the-box. It's an intranet as a service, and it's packed full of features that our customers have asked for time and time again in over 10 years of intranet production.

Why Did They Need Such A Solution?

So this was a massive, massive thing for Dorma that it was so quick to implement, because when they came to putting together an intranet plan, it meant that they could do it in just 60 days. So this was crucial for them as they came to us when they had two big company events which were looming. And those two events, one internal and one external, their trade show events, so two of their biggest channels as a company for innovation of the new product announcements both externally and to their employees. So they wanted a new social intranet that was going to allow them to really make the most of those upcoming events, and driving diverse employees to communicate on releases, and share ideas about announcements during that week, and hopefully resulting in new innovation or competitive advantage. That was kind of the crux of what they were trying to do.

So as well as to support these events, they wanted a new solution that would really help inform employees, spread a really simple company message through internal communications, make people and resources more findable, and drive collaboration despite borders and multiple language barriers. So here's what it looks like. This is the homepage of their intranet. So there's so much we could say about this solution, but I wanted to give you kind of high-level key points about what made this project stand out for the Nielsen Norman Group before Hannah and Martyn take a bit of a deeper dive to look at it in terms of some of the themes mentioned. So why did it catch their eye? Design and user experience. They're a user experience firm.

This was obviously a massive thing for them, and something that they look at every year. The Unily product focuses around creating a kind of website consumer-level experience for the enterprise, that are really familiar to users and intuitive. So although it's bringing together Office 365 products to SharePoint Online, Yammer, Skype for Business, OneDrive, they're brought together with a really singular look and feel so that Dorma's users don't even really know that they're using all these multiple products, and there's minimal training for them as well. All the various core functionalities on their intranet including their homepage, their internal coms, their people directory, Yammer feeds, they all have this single look and feel which really represent the Dorma brand at every point.

So another massive part for them, which we touched on earlier, was the social. So this is just an example of one of their social feeds on their intranet. This is like the core Yammer feed. So this really allowed employees in over 50 countries to start real conversations and connect. And if you're not familiar with Yammer, it's essentially like a Facebook for the enterprise, where you can start conversations, groups, follow people, and tons of other social stuff. So these rapidly upcoming events were really beneficial to the success of this social, because it launched it just in time to support employees during the busy event season, and it offered a perfect platform for distributing the content they generated.

This timing provided a huge momentum to get all the content that people were creating flowing around the organization, and the easy-to-use interface meant that they really didn't have to be trained on it. They could just start using it. So we've all heard about social for a couple of years now in intranets, but it was this deep integration that really made it stand out in this case, and made Nielsen Norman recognize it.

So the last thing is probably the localization, the personalization, aspect of their intranet. So with employees in so many countries, having an intranet with one set of content and one language just wasn't going to cut it for them. So Dorma's intranet ensures that every piece of content they create is intelligently tagged. So it allows intranet managers to target very specific content to specific users depending on anything really, but they focused on location, or their role, or their department. So users can also personalize what content they want to see in a couple of clicks, based on their interests. They can also choose to see the content they want in whatever language they want.

3 Main Stage Themes

So these are three main themes. We could say a lot more, but these are the three things that really helped Dorma stand out. But there's a lot more to an award-winning intranet than just functionality and technology, and there's a lot more to an award-winning intranet than just a user experience firm telling you that it's award-winning. So I'm going to hand over to Martyn and Hannah now. Sorry I haven't even given them a chance to say hello yet.

Martyn: Hello.

Hannah: Hello.

Katy: Hello.

Hannah: Thank you, Katy.

Katy: I'm going to pass over to them to talk about some of the key themes. Thanks, guys.

Hannah: Yeah, thank you, Katy. I think just to reiterate what Katy was saying, we don't want to talk about the technology and the social elements and mobile. I think we've all come about in recent webinars and seminars, and we've heard that. So we just want to get under the hood a little bit, and understand, "What is an award-winning intranet?" What internally have they done, as well as buying this product and doing some specific technology work, what have they done to make sure this is award-winning? We're going to start by talking about content because Martyn's quote of the day, so I won't steal from you, is "Content is king."


Martyn: Well, that's correct, Hannah. I mean, my extended quote is, "For me, content is king, queen, and Dalai Lama." So it always raises a smile to my face, but basically I think that it's a really obvious, simple point to make. But having content that is invaluable is the essential ingredient to any intranet or official workplace project moving forward. Again, it's an obvious point to make, but if you imagine staff who are of course like everyone who works in a place, very time poor, consumed by their work, for us we've got to think about what content is going to be invaluable to them. The point I want to make here, in kind of conjunction with Dorma and other projects we've been working on more recently, is that I think we need to think of content not just about editorial, be it news, kind of updates, and kind of content which is sort of talking about what's going on more widely in the organization.

I think that's very important, but I also want to raise the point that content should also be thought about being part and parcel around people's tools, applications you need to use day-to-day, and documents, and processes, and guidelines, and so on as well. Ultimately, an essential ingredient is how to work. Especially how to work in a more productive way. Again, I want a kind of broader discussion around content out. Kind of consider things like apps, and documents, and tools, as well as editorial-type content. Because as I say ultimately once you've understood what that content is, what's invaluable, that is in effect your killer app for your kind of ongoing intranet project.

I think that my sort of final point is really is that once you've managed to engage staff by providing them tools and apps they need to use on a very day-to-day basis, which is again is a quite obvious to do, it allows you then to talk to them about other wider type of activities, and content, and news that often aren't always going to be on people's radar when they come to login in the morning. So I think that for me, it's kind of like the carrot stick idea. Once you kind of capture their need through providing with a clear list of tools and services that compliment how they work, I think that employees today would be more open to other suggestions around kind of more broader company activity. I mean, Hannah, I don't know how you understand that in relation to what you kind of did with Dorma.

Hannah: Yeah, okay. So Dorma developed their content strategy because they really wanted to encourage innovation across the business, and enable knowledge sharing, connect expertise, and they thought that the intranet was the tool to do this. That was kind of like their driver, and they built their strategy based on that. The strategy really focused on making the communication through quality. So using templates, and making sure everyone was on message, so it was a universal communication. But also allowing contribution from around the business. I think that's a key thing, as often it's just corporate coms that are publishing content, but as Martyn was saying, you need it to be a range of content around the business.

It needs to be transparent. It needs to be related to your specific persona and your business. What you're doing in the business might be different from someone else and what you want to consume. Finally, they're really focused on making it really relevant and current. So they worked hard on language targeting, as Katy touched on, to make sure that if I'm a German speaker, I'm receiving all the communications in German, and vice versa if you're working anywhere else. And as a global company, that's really important. I think it's hard to kind of build a content strategy. Where do you even start? Martyn, you've probably got experience in guiding people.

Martyn: I do, yes. Guiding, sometimes. Whether they follow is a different matter. One of the things I really do use, and I think it kind of goes down quite well, is using this idea of personas. Why they work for me is because they help everyone in the project identify a core set of needs that hopefully will be fairly shared across many staff. Of course those needs can then connect to, again, types of content, and tools, and apps, and services that are essential to everyone's day-to-day work. So I think that personas are a very good starting point, because it really allows you to literally put on the table all those ideas, and then help the team as well as the overall kind of business purpose sort of prioritize what things need to put in place first of all.

To again encourage that essential list of ingredients, or carrots shall we say, that is going to enable people to kind of get more out of your portal from day one. And hopefully, as I say, make them more productive. Then that allows you to engage, and I think again as I said, with a more wider appreciation of what other things are going on in and around the organization as we kind of talked on already.

Hannah: Yeah, and practically doing small things like a content inventory of what you've got on your existing intranet, or what you want on the new, or mapping the two, can really help with the starting point as this is the content that you want to reproduce, or what is new in the new intranet. Obviously that leads into the kind of the people and the team that need to support that.

Martyn: Yeah, and just one more point on content before we come onto the team. I think that it's really essential that everything we mentioned so far has to be kept very, very simple in the first sort of, shall we say, design of your intranet. Because unfortunately to my own sort of guilt, shall we say, in other projects before BrightStarr, I've sometimes made things too complicated. Which always sounds very good, but often the poor intranet manager in your team of authors need to kind of manage that content. I think it's a very important point, these days, is to keep things very, very simple and allow it to grow in a more organic fashion than perhaps over-designed, where the temptation is always to make things too big.


Hannah: Often building things like site maps can really make that clear. You put that on a wall. You draw all the menus and the user's journey. It shows you quite quickly if it's too complex, or if it's basic enough.

Martyn: So you're talking about Post-it notes, aren't you?

Hannah: Yeah. Post-it note central. Yeah, so I think in terms of the content, that needs to be your foundation. You need to make sure that you've got a strategy for that, and that's not just once you're live. That's prior to that. What you really need in place is you need a team in order to deliver on that content strategy. So once you have that in place, you need to make sure that you've got all the bodies and the people to generate the content, but also support it, and make it fresh and dynamic. I think Dorma were quite good at this, and this probably led to their success.

They had well-defined roles and responsibilities in their corporate communications team. But they also had people that they've named communication heroes, and they're from across the organization, so they all will cut up the business that can generate content. That was really important particularly after the merger, because it made sure that there was a balance between the two companies. So it wasn't just dominated by Dorma or dominated by Kaba. Everyone felt like the balance was correct, and if you're in HR, you're receiving just as much information as if you worked in corporate coms or IT, for example.

Martyn: Okay, I think to add to that I think it's very good how kind of Dorma worked it out. I think that more generally, as I understand the kind of change in how many organization's clients are made up these days, I think that the essential kind of paths of that team now must be to ensure that it's very diverse. That it's made up of very different kind of roles within your company. For a number of reasons. One is that I think that we're now in a kind of a side-era to a number of years before where typically IT, or technology-led functions, would have driven the need and design even for an intranet or a portal.

Where today I think because of things like the Cloud, cutting costs, and even because of having to deal with external factors like brand, reputation, perhaps mergers. You're finding now new roles or new functions like HR, corporate affairs, or perhaps even customer services are at the heart of driving change forward with intranets, and digital workplaces, and the like.

So I think that because of that, you tend to find, or it's becoming more essential, that you get a more diverse set of opinions and teams that make up the project and even the ownership of your portal. That in itself is kind of a good thing. It's difficult, but it's also good because it means you can have a more diverse opinion, perhaps more argument, about what to prioritize, what to do next. But ultimately I think they allow you as a company to better be placed to debate, as I say, what to prioritize and to make sure that what happens next really does meet the business need. I'm not saying that in the past, because it was IT led, that never happened. But I think now the future is about less of technology being at the forefront and more about trying to tackle deep or difficult issues around culture, for example, or engaging employees in their work. Which, again, are very vital kind of issues to deal with.

Finally, again to me personally, I think that we're also in a moment where issues around, for example, productivity are really critical issues to focus on. Very difficult to deal with, but having said that, because of prolonged periods of recession austerity, lots of clients now are under a lot of pressure to try and sweat your existing assets. Your investment that you might have made a number of years before. Again, to try and make it more productive. I think that the intranet, the digital workplace if you will, is one of the forums where those discussions are now going to take place more so than ever. So that's why I think having a very diverse team is very, very important today.

Hannah: Yeah, definitely. I think just to finish that point off is that you need to have these diverse teams, and you need to have the bottom-up approach, but it also helped Dorma to have the top-down in combination to that. So the CEO was a big advocate of the new intranet, and was actually a power user, so in himself promoted it and the use of it in engagement. So if you see your colleagues and your team generating content, but you also see your leaders doing it, it kind of encourages you and you're more likely to use it.


And next thing, you've got adoption and really good feedback, and also it really helps to get leadership sponsoring it and on board with it. Because it means you're going to get more face time and more budget, really. We talked about content. We talked about team. But the overarching thing that no one really likes to talk about is the G word. Governance. And you really can't ignore this. I think it's one of those things that always comes up, and people are often a bit scared of it. Would you say, Martyn?

Martyn: Yes. I think absolutely right. It's scary because perhaps people think of governance as it certainly was understood, which is about laying down the law, about procedures and policies about what you can and shall not do, which to a large extent is obviously still true. So people need to know, especially with new technology, how to behave. What's the etiquette of how to communicate socially or collaborate with one another, or indeed trying to encourage people to collaborate, which in itself is a very difficult thing to do often. But I think that things are changing somewhat because for example when we think of social intranets, Yammer, and the like, I think now people are starting to become more familiar with that as a concept because of obviously Facebook and all the other tools we use in our day-to-day lives outside of work.

So I think that governance tends to be, or should be thought of now, less about sort of imposing rules per se, but really trying to encourage people to use these tools and to kind of experiment and explore. Obviously within the bounds of some kind of policy and fair usage, if you like, inside many organizations. The second point about governance to me is that carrying on for the point I made earlier about, for example, focusing around issues around productivity, innovation, sharing knowledge and expertise, and such like. That for me, governance is also about constructing a team, and a forum, and a space where ultimately as an organization, many organizations being global, or regional, or comprising of many disparate kind of teams, is about how to try and bring all those different competing ideas together.

Where for example someone might have had a good innovation or an idea in one particular project team, and the idea must be to try and centralize and learn from that kind of knowledge, and then to distribute it elsewhere in the business. Obviously so often with technology, and where people are less inclined to collaborate, you end up solving the same problem twice or making the same failure on a number of occasions. So for me, governance is as much about bringing together, learning, feedback as well as trying to distribute best practice, and what you've learned from elsewhere around the organization.

So it's kind of like the, as I like to think of it, the eyes and ears of the business. I think that, again, for me because of that, the intranet becomes more of a sort of a learning platform than it does as a very discrete way to publish content and news. So I think that's the way I start encouraging people to think about governance in the year or two ahead of us. I don't know how you yourself see that, Hannah, especially the work you've done on Dorma.

Hannah: Yeah. I mean I guess going through the points you just mentioned, Dorma have kind of done it by the book, and they've done a really good job of setting the foundations in their governance. It's made for a successful intranet. So they had an intranet governance team established early on that was owned by group communications, but had people, representatives, from IT and different business units. So they were in a position to make decisions, get the buy-in from the stakeholders, so get the sponsorship. Often clients are coming to us saying, "How do we get the business case to the group management committee?" Well you do that by having lots of representatives all understanding the problem and being in one central place.

But also it's important to point out that Dorma are in a unique situation that they have software as a service. So it's a product that's always changing. So as well as management change, or business change, they also have to contend with a Cloud solution that's changing. New features.

And they have to make a decision. If something new comes out, how do they handle that? Do they hold it back? Do they roll with it? Do they request new functionality? And they really have to think about that, and be adaptable and agile, and really kind of treat this as a platform that's adaptable to all these different scenarios. If suddenly you cut your business in half or you double your business, which is what they did, it worked in both scenarios.

Martyn: I think that, again, the way that you talk about governance there is very useful because I think that we need to think about governance as well as being a very sort of central way of communicating change, and technology, and practice across the organization. I think we also need to recognize that ultimately because people work in different ways, perhaps in different businesses, you also need to equally build in some flexibility in terms of how you govern and how you encourage people to adopt tools, and processes, and content in their own way. Because I think it's very hard sometimes to expect an entire organization, many thousands of people, to always work the same way. That was once how you might even have thought of technology.

Where now as we know there are many, many different flavors of technology, and tools, and processes that you can choose which more ably suits your particular need than perhaps other people's needs. So I think that we need to think of governance, as well as being very central, as having an element where you can start to make also sort of decentralized local decisions as well. I hope you don't contradict what the entire business is trying to achieve, but because you have an element of ownership locally, perhaps in a team as well otherwise, it gives you more chance to if you like embody the ethos of what this intranet is trying to do. Or at least, how it's trying to resolve some probably quite critical business issues. I think governance is as much about being central as it is about being local too.

Hannah: Yeah. For example Dorma really have to use their communication heroes network. So really kind of use those people to share expertise, best practice, but really importantly feedback. So for example, a lot of our clients are unsure about whether to go with social, allow commenting on news articles, as a small example. What we're seeing more and more is allowing people to use it, but then getting feedback on it. So if it hasn't worked, then maybe try it a different way or change it. That's very much what Dorma have done for rebranding, upgrading the language functionality, because they needed it. They got the feedback from their heroes as they call them. So that's kind of a whistle stop tour of governance. I guess once you've got all of that in place, and once Dorma had done all of that, you then have got to think about your launch. How you do it, and when you do it.

Dorma+Kaba - Their Approach To Launch

And as Katy touched on already, Dorma decided to do this in conjunction with their internal and external major event of the year. Which kind of all eyes and years were on, and it was a really good opportunity for them to gain momentum for their intranet launch. This was kind of a key thing for them, and it made everyone engage straight away, with like a big bang approach. They supported their launch with quite a few small things that make a big difference. They did competitions, so the number of likes, and kind of really nice rewards that make people go there on day one.

They also have an integrated chat and support feature which walks users through functionality. So even if they weren't on the training, or even if it's deemed intuitive enough to not need a user guide, sometimes some people feel like they want to be walked through things. So that was a really nice touch, and it's still there now. So as new features come out it's almost like they re-launch them internally, which is really nice. Also to point out that when they did their merger, Kaba was obviously new to that intranet. They did a completely fresh re-brand to reflect that. To make them feel engaged and fully immersed in the new intranet. I think Dorma did a really good job of it, but I guess the other side of the coin which is not doing the big bang approach, which is maybe a choice of some of our other clients.

Martyn: Yeah. I think that you're absolutely right. So it's a very critical decision that a team must make, to say whether you go for a big bang kind of launch or perhaps you go for a more sort of piloted, tested approach, where you might launch in a kind of discrete manner to a set group of users. Try something out. See if it works. So it could be a technology, or a way to collaborate, or to share documents, and so on. Then to include that feedback into perhaps a more final iteration of the intranet before you then go out and launch.

Because you have a more assured sense of how things might kind of be accommodated or be engaged by a wider group of staff. I think that these days sometimes launching everything in one go can be too much for an organization to cope with. Because as we know most people, a lot of people, perhaps myself included or Hannah as well, change can be sometimes somewhat painful, disrupting, and especially when you've got to contend with your day-to-day work.

So I think you need to kind of make a very careful decision about how far you go with your launch. I think the other thing I just want to add to what Hannah said just now is that launch is really important in that you're not only obviously promoting a new kind of platform, were it working, but also in part launch planning. You're identifying people on the ground as it were who are those advocates or those community managers. Those communication heroes, as Hannah just talked about.

Because it can't just be about launching virtually through technology itself, but it really does help to have people on the ground you can talk to, who can evangelize about what this intranet's trying to do, its goals, how it's making people more productive. Because that is an essential ingredient that people often forget. It's really vital, where you can, to have people who you can actually talk to, and hear, and speak to, and have kind of town halls or round table discussions about what it's about. Some feedback that they can encourage. Then how, again, more people can kind of take part in how they can make more improvements to the intranet through their daily working lives. That's the missing ingredient sometimes.

The Importance Of Leaders Showing Passion In Their Projects

Hannah: With Dorma, just to finish up on that point, Adrian, who was kind of like their project lead, was so passionate and positive about it.

Katy: He worked through Christmas Day on it.

Hannah: Yeah, and so his passion really kind of fed through, and seeing him around the company and the business talking about it must make people excited. As well as all the best practice and things, having someone there in front of you talking about it, it really does help. So kind of bodies on the ground, and super users, and advocates, very much like the CEO acted as, as well. The final point we wanted to make was that the launch is just the first step. It really is just dipping your toe into the world of your intranet. You really need to utilize your governance team to help plan for the future and the steps moving forward.

Taking Steps For The Future

The Importance Of Simplicity

Martyn: Yeah. I think that, stepping to that, I think that the kind of thing for me about the future is it seems sort of counterintuitive, or the wrong thing to raise at this point. But I think that you need to keep your goals really simple. You need to keep your goals very clear and defined. Again, not trying to do everything in one go because too often that can derail a project. It means your intranet becomes out of focus. Again, you're not quite sure what value it's adding to the business. I think that when you think about the future, you've always got to keep in mind that you can't, or should not, try and do everything at once. Of course you know where you want to go with it, but you're very selective about what you choose to kind of prioritize. Again, as Hannah said earlier, I think that's a key role for the governance team as well. To always be the eyes and ears. Listen out. To debate and argue, even, what to do next.

Analysing Data For Success

Hannah: Yeah, and use real data. Use your analytics to measure success, remain current, and adapt to it. So a very kind of silly example is often the lunch menu has the most hits on an intranet. People choose to make that front and center, so that people go in there. If you've only got it on the intranet, people have to go there for their lunch menu. Small things like that, like Martin mentioned, the carrot and the stick.

Martyn: Is that part of the lunch menu?

Hannah: That's part of the lunch menu. You really need to analyze. Use as much data as you can, and change your communication, and how you use the intranet to reflect that. Another final thing, which is kind of nice with the software as a service, is try to continue to create a buzz around it. So maybe hold back some features and release them. Do a re-launch. Use competitions. Try and maintain the interest rather than allowing it to go out of date and stagnant. I think that's what Dorma have done really well.

Katy: Yeah. Definitely.

Q&A Session

Hannah: So, yeah. That's all the points I wanted to cover if you want to have some questions, Katy.

Katy: Okay, cool. Yeah, we've got lots of questions that are kind of focusing more on the Unily product and how like specific features of the Unily product are really enabling Dorma. So maybe, Hannah, if there's a couple of main features that I didn't mention in here that you think that we haven't touched on? Or we could go into more detail in terms of the translation, or the design, the responsive nature, and the mobile aspects of it.

Hannah: Yeah. So they're obviously globally dispersed, so things like the native mobile apps have really helped, and it's also built in a responsive framework, so you can view on any device. The innate functionality that's really helped Dorma is things like the people directory, with a click-to-Skype, so you can quickly message someone that you don't work in the same office as. It really does provide them the ability to share expertise and that kind of thing really easily.

Katy: Yeah, and something else probably is also, when they first started, they wanted to make things a lot easier to find, so Unily's got like really, really advanced search capabilities. It's all refined as such so it feels just like you're using a website or something.

Hannah: Yeah. Based on your internal taxonomies, so they've built their tagging of documents and all different types of content in a way that it's very intuitive. So as you search for something, it presents it based on the metadata.

Martyn: I think that the point you raised earlier about mobile is a very interesting and important one as well. Because I think sometimes you forget that staff, being around the world, on the move, a client right now, pretty much most of their staff will be looking at the mobile more than the desktop. I think we really have to bear that in mind now. People obviously want more choice in terms of how you work, how you engage your staff, collaborate, and so on. So I think that mobile should be far more front and center of your planning approach than we certainly thought last year. Because staff really do need that flexibility in terms of how they collaborate and access content on the day-to-day basis.

Katy: Yeah. We've also had a question in from Zaph [SP] as well, saying, "How are the things like team sites and document management? Was that a big thing for Dorma? Was that a big selling point of the Unily solution that it had all of this built-in document management?"

Hannah: Yeah. So obviously you've still got all the innate SharePoint Online functionality, so your team sites, and if you've got internal staff that have that capability and those skills, they can still go to town and build those out. But it's also got an innate document search which crawls all of that information that you've got access to. It's all mission trimmed. That's kind of really powerful and really good for refining.

One thing that's actually quite a good example is that something they relaunched, whereas I was saying about keeping the buzz in the new features, they've decided to go with a new functionality called Tribes which certainly replaces the idea of a SharePoint site and the need to manage that. So you can dynamically create pages based on metadata and other information. So that's been really useful to them. So people in the communications team that might not be SharePoint savvy can now spin up dynamic pages to represent their department, for example.

Martyn: I think that the point about the Unily interface, which is again a very sort of emerging theme this year and for the future, is that it's a very powerful content-managed interface. It means that you no longer have to kind of rely on the back end of SharePoint administration to get them done. Again, you can construct things like Tribes, content pages, and so on and so forth very easily. The real change here is that it obviously gives the kind of core intranet management team some real power, where obviously before the point was you'd have to go to IT. No bad thing, but of course it took time. That time, obviously now as well as the past, is invaluable. I think that things are changing, and these products are a very good example of how it's placing power in the right hands now.

Hannah: Sorry. Just to add one thing is things like what we call the smart feed. The dynamic news on the home if there is something like an event like Dorma had, they can almost have like a takeover, and they can feature all the articles on that to be based on that event. In the meantime, it might be business specific or function specific. So it's kind of a lot of flex in the functionality that's there.

Katy: Yeah. I've also just on the slides...sorry for our broken slide problems during the set. We've just gone back to the screen shot for homepage, so that you can see a bit more clearly some of the features that we're talking about here. It might be worth explaining just how the content management system works on Unily as opposed to others. I know we talked about the content, but we haven't really talked about how it actually works on the product. That's probably worth covering, Hannah.

Hannah: Yeah. So it's all a nice front end user interface. So you don't have to go to SharePoint anymore. And you can specify specific missions, so if you've got content edited missions, you can edit that. It's all created based on templates. For example, when you create a news article, it's all dynamic. It generates the author, and the article date, and the content, and you can select your images. It's all very quick. One really nice thing is, for example, the workspaces menu. Which is like a mega menu, which is security trimmed and searchable, and that's editable by the content editors as well. So normally in an environment where you have to change the menu, you have to do that by your IT support. Raise a ticket. But this is something that content editors can do really easily.

Katy: Cool. Okay. We've got some other questions coming in. So Catherine's asked, "What's the best strategy to handle legacy content when you have thousands of pages in documents with a similar number of owners? Do you suggest giving people a deadline to move content, or what works well?"

Martyn: I think this is a very tricky one because it depends how precious people are about their content. Now there's a number of scenarios. My sort of golden rule, and it can seem quite brutal but it's a starting point at least, is to imagine if you were starting again, rethinking intranet for an old one that might be sort of a legacy intranet of the past. It's sort of like the 80-20 rule, or 70-30 rule, where perhaps 70% of that content is probably redundant. It hasn't been read. It certainly needs to be looked at, and even archived.

It might seem quite brutal, but I think it's a starting point because what you need to do is to look at kind of a content audit, in a sense. How many times has something been accessed? Could that content, as part of your redesign process, be rethought, rewritten, repurposed? Because so often the way people use content changes on a very quick basis, a sort of yearly basis. It's a chance to evaluate what hasn't been read. It's also a chance to again, think about the future in terms of how you might want to rewrite stuff to combine it into a more smarter presentation of an idea or a procedure, but ultimately have more use. So that's a kind of starting point of how I start to look at content.

Hannah: Yeah, and I think it's really important not to design your new intranet around content you've already got, because that can make it a bit restrictive. For example, I've got this ability to have a news article this way. It needs to be replicated in the old, because that's how we have it now. I think you need to challenge what you've already got, and really think about how that fits the needs of your business. Do you really need 20 clocks displayed? Is it better if you target that clock font widget to be the user's own clock or their more recently accessed in Office? Just try and challenge it and make an audit of what you've got and what you need to have, and try and map the two and find the gaps.

Martyn: I think just adding to that, and again I mentioned it earlier, which is this idea of personas. Very useful tool, because if you kind of map the key six or seven kinds of personas that encapsulate core motivations of how people would work with one another through the intranet. It's a good starting point to sort of evaluate what content meets those persona's needs. It's quite an interesting exercise. So you look at your content, your inventory, and you try and map it against those personas. What those personas are, if you like, needing to do their work. Again, it's a very useful exercise to try and exclude stuff that doesn't really fit. Again, it can be quite a brutal exercise, but it's a very good starting point to know what you want to do next.

Katy: Cool. Thanks, Martyn. Just a question just to clarify, so somebody said, "What was the name of the product, Tribes?" So Tribes, that's actually a piece of functionality that's part of the Unily product. That's a part of the collaboration functionality where users can really quickly pull together groups of people, or products, or brands, and it pulls together sites that have all their documents, their resources, the people who are...Hannah, you've already explained it better than me.

Hannah: Yeah. So I think one common thing is that people are trying to set up a department site that's kind of outward facing to their business. So what did HR do? And I want to find out about HR, and I work in marketing. This allows you to dynamically present the people that relate, so the key contacts, any documents that might be HR policies or something, any stories or news that's related to that, and any Yammer conversations. It's all dynamic based on tags, and it's really easy to create, but it's just an alternative to having to do it the SharePoint way. We're trying to challenge the kind of old-fashioned, if you like, SharePoint mechanisms. It's pretty instantaneous. You can spin one up in a minute.

Katy: Great. Thanks, Hannah. Also a question about analytics. If you can just explain that's a built-in part.

Hannah: Yeah, the analytics comes as part of the product, and if you've got content editor rights, you can see them. It's based on things like what devices are accessing the intranet, what countries, what time of day, what news articles have had the most hits. But also we can do kind of custom reporting, so if you've got a specific success factor or analytic you want to measure, then we can do that for you. Part of what we would recommend prior to go live is to set those kind of analytic goals. How many people do you want to have accessing on day one? Monthly? What do you want to do with those most popular news articles? Do you want to share them on Yammer? You need to have a mechanism to use that data.

Martyn: I think that it's really great functionality, because it enables you also to keep the quality of your content high, because using analytics, you can very quickly feedback to authors about how many readers they did or did not have. That again, as I say, would encourage your content standards to remain high because you're feeding back very quickly about what works, what didn't. Because often in the past, you kind of wrote something, you left it, and you're never really sure if it actually added any value to the business. So I think through the analytics tool, we can sort of expect a far better quality of kind of intranet content to emerge.

Hannah: Great.


Katy: Okay, well I think it's almost time to wrap it up. I know we've got a few more questions, but we can come back to you after the webinar. We'll get in touch, and we'll answer them personally, because we've got some quite long questions. But I hope you found that really interesting, and we are more than happy to arrange any sort of conversation you want to have after this. If there's an element of your current intranet project or a new intranet project that you think we could help with. Also, what might be useful for some of you is that we offer a free design mock up service for the Unily product. So we can brand up Unily to look how it would for you, so you can kind of get...this is what we did for Dorma. So you can really get an idea of what the product would look like for your brand and what your potentially award-winning intranet could look like.

So we will send a recording after this to everybody, and we'll send out the slides as well. Thank you all for joining, and hopefully we'll see you on an event afterwards. Thank you very much.

Martyn: Bye.

Hannah: Thank you. Bye-bye.

Katy: Thanks, everyone.

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