25 Replies Latest reply on Sep 4, 2011 8:38 AM by gialyons

    Intranet - why is it still in your business?

      I am somewhat surprised by the number of people that still refer to their Intranets as part of their environments. Why has community software not completely repalced your Intranet? Is it because:

      • It is there but not for long
      • It has a business role that community software cannot deliver on


      I am under the impression that community software can deliver on all aspects of our current Intranet and MUCH more...what am I missing?





        • Re: Intranet - why is it still in your business?


          Since the intranet is a “publish and tell” and has groups with a vested interest in keeping it around, getting rid of it is not easy.  We focus on the collaboration aspects of communities since that is missing from the other tools.  We have seen a number of people move from the intranet into a community since it is easier to publish and they fully own it.


            • Re: Intranet - why is it still in your business?

              I agree with you, Mike. Since implementing Jive, we have had this discussion. It is really about change management. I do believe that as community software increases and demonstrates business value within our company, there will be a move to "let go" of parts of the intranet.  Remember, some companies have fairly successful intranet environments and also have labor relations, legal, supplier and release of infomation policies that must be maneuvered around.


              After delivering my "adoption presentation" to potential users at our company, an employee wrote me a note and said, "Wow, this could replace my intranet page...fantastic! I don't have the skills to truly maintain that webpage anyway!"  I smiled and hope that this will be realized as we move forward in our adoption strategy.

                • Re: Intranet - why is it still in your business?

                  Thanks for posting this question! We were facing the same issue when we went live with Jive 18 months ago. While we had many staff who said the same thing as disaac said above, we had much more people who used the existing Intranet as a reference (bookmarks, deep linking) and no-one who was interested in vetting the Intranet content and migrating it across. After 4 months I had enough employed a student as a contractor and had him migrating the Intranet and existing wikis across. We shut the Intranet down section by section and stopped publishing corporate news on the Intranet but on our Jive homepage. In November last year (a year after launch) we had shut down the old Intranet and about 18 smaller wikis.


                  Doing that was part of the original business case - always great to be able reporting on that delivery . It also 'forced' adoption somehow. Only a very small percentage of our staff (about 1000 worldwide) - mostly manufacturing staff - have not yet logged on. We are working on that at present.




                    • Re: Intranet - why is it still in your business?

                      Oh boy, would I love to follow along in Frank's footsteps! When we launched our employee community about 7 months ago, one of the first questions I was asked was 'Is this replacing the intranet?' My response, 'I don't see why not!' Haa, of course that is the short answer. The long answer is that we would need resources in order to perform the data migration. Also, the data migration period is a great opportunity for the intranet content to be reviewed and cleaned up, so that only current and relevant content is brought over. This requires not only data migration resources, but also commitment from the content owners (legal, marketing, HR, sales, product development, etc.) to do the content review. I think it is a worthwhile exercise, but one that we have not yet tackled.

                      • Re: Intranet - why is it still in your business?

                        How did you handle corporate content in your new solution? Corporate content is in our view official content like guidelines. We have the requirement that this content needs to be approved before published (workflow) and it nees to be absolutely clear to all users that this is official company content and not bottom up collaboration content.


                  • Re: Intranet - why is it still in your business?
                    Andrew Kratz

                    For our internal community it is because we have hundreds of Intranet web pages.  We are just about to launch and can't expect the 30 or so departments with space on the intranet to jump into the deep end of the collaboration pool.   So we will have the need for some HTML pages.  This posting is a Jive idea for them to add a content type for a full page HTML.  To help with the transition it would be good if we had this feature....if you agree please follow the link and vote on the idea.

                      • Re: Intranet - why is it still in your business?

                        We are faced with hundreds of intranet pages as well.  I do believe that over time people will make the migration to our community site. It is going to take time to demonstrate the business value of it all. I am not sure about your idea of HTML. At first, I liked the idea - there is an HTML widget.  BUT socialaized business like Jive is social...people can create content, edit content, consume content. A web environment is more of a mono-directional channel for knowledge and information.  What does anyone else think....?  Good thought.

                        • Re: Intranet - why is it still in your business?

                          Hi Andrew,


                          We are in the process of replacing our intranet and implementing a full-scale area that is "published" content only by various groups within the company.  Your idea is already capable using Jive's platform, that is at least on version 4.5 and later for us.  What we did was create a theme for this space area that basically chose the single page layout and then dropped the HTML widget into that single page layout which creates exactly what you're looking to do.  The theme gets applied to all sub-spaces within that main space identified as "Our Business."  The header/footer is supplied by the theme which allows us to have the nav bars we need as well as correlating links back to the other areas along the footer.  The space administrators have access to customize those pages as well as our creative team.


                          Hope this provides a little food for thought on how to accomplish what you're looking to do. 

                            • Re: Intranet - why is it still in your business?
                              Andrew Kratz

                              Thanks Paul,


                              So jumping into another social-religious topic....we have a "no spaces" rule in our site.  We decided to try to push back on them to allow for as much transparency and collaboration as possible.  It has been painful for our large business units to accept, but we have worked through lots of strategies on how they can still control the message without limiting contributions from team members.  So far we have not had to implement any spaces on our site.  For us, we viewed it as a slippery slope to recreating the hierarchy and stove-pipes of the organization structure.


                              But I can see how your idea can work and for those that are looking to try to get from a web 1.0 intranet to a fully collaboration platform, your suggestion could be a great bridge to get there.


                              Thanks again....two parting thought...where have you been?...I posted this in March?  And I loved your post-Beatles work.

                                • Re: Intranet - why is it still in your business?



                                  We had a no spaces rule in the beginning as well, but we worked with our Knowledge Management group to define requirements for very specific types of groups that had "push content" only, mostly from HR, Finance, T&E, Legal--which generally focused on the question "Where can we publish official content for people to obtain it and know that it is the latest version?"


                                  Where have I been?  Its been a busy year for us at LivePerson, so I don't always see the conversations going on here in the Jive Community but this thread picked up some traction recently and I only just noticed some of the responses and your's was one that I felt like I could contribute to with some value.  But since your message in March, I've been to Paris, Tel Aviv, Reading, London, Barcelona, Rome, San Francisco, St. Bart's, and recently camped out on Eastern Long Island to weather a hurricane while recovering from an earthquake on my birthday! 


                                  And the first CD I ever purchased was Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band.  I still own that CD.  Post Beatles work has been great, I admit, but there's still time for a come back on old school British Invasion genre.




                            • Re: Intranet - why is it still in your business?

                              Interesting question, Armand, here's my two part answer:

                              • In larger corporations there will always be a need to delivered targeted content and/or messaging to individuals based on role, location, etc. that you want them and only them to see.  This has nothing to do with an "old way" of doing business, but more to do with providing content that has context and is relevant to people's function in an organization, rather than a river of noise that users are trained by the system to ignore. Jive and (to my knowledge) other SBS systems cannot set permissions at the content level, severly limiting their use as an intranet in large corporations.   
                              • Yes, the social web has made all content social, but something else happended in the last couple years; all content became available anytime, anywhere, instantly.  It became on demand (tell me the last time you waited to read a paper to get caught up on what was happening Out There).  So, while no content needs to be mono-directional, all content must be totally effortless to find, anytime, anywhere, instantly.  Unless there is strict tagging governance in place, SBS  systems natively fall short of providing instant access to whatever is required by a user. 
                                • Re: Intranet - why is it still in your business?

                                  I agree with bengland's summary.Your company culture, history, and future plans all play a role in how you percieve new technology. What existing organizations are bumping up against is the concept of the 'activity stream.' Jive 4.x and 5.0 all progressivly make the activity stream a more integral part of the interaction.


                                  Other participants in this thread have been pointing out the differences betweent the old world content management system and the new world activity stream. They are very different models with different strengths and weaknesses. I would percieve a larger, older, more regulated organization to have more difficulty adopting an "activity stream only" approach to information sharing. A smaller, newer, less regulated organization probably has less historical information challenges and might be more able to manage its "official content" in an SBS instance.

                                    • Re: Intranet - why is it still in your business?

                                      Good points....good points.  I am in that larger, older organization category....and I agree. I do belive that we can acheive transition to acitivity stream....

                                        • Re: Intranet - why is it still in your business?

                                          I am all for activity streams Facebook and Twitter have invented the future of communications and are training users for us on a daily basis…but what does a user do when they miss an important piece of content in the stream and find they need to reference it later?  For this reason, I still think there needs to be searchable site with findable information (how many …ables can I use in one sentence).  Thoughts?

                                            • Re: Intranet - why is it still in your business?

                                              You're exactly right. With any large amount of content that needs managed to be a searchable "site" with findable information.


                                              Activity streams are the future of communication which is a component of collaboration, but not so much about organizing reference material or controlled content. The stream can certainly support updates about your content (e.g. "New Vacation Policy Approved!). Well organized information is an important component of data and knowledge management.


                                              Since humans look for information in different ways, the right mix of search and taxonomy based information management is needed. The mix varies based on the organization's objectives, resources and capabilities around data management and communication.

                                      • Re: Intranet - why is it still in your business?

                                        Jive has replaced our intranet: nine months ago, someone copied and pasted everything from our intranet into our Jive environment, and then we shut the intranet down.


                                        When I refer to our intranet within our Jive space, in some ways it is, but it is also more. It is still a space that is for pushing out communication, and also for storing forms, documents, etc. (mostly related to HR and benefits, policies, etc.). However, there are many improvements from the old intranet. Instead of one communications person posting all the info, now anyone and everyone can post. HR posts their own updates, Facilities posts theirs, etc. We have left this totally open, and we haven't had issues of abuse/inappropriateness. Also, anyone can comment - previously, intranet posts were read-only. Now, any staff member can ask questions, comment, etc. This creates 2-way communication, which is a huge benefit. We also use Ideas for planning staff meeting agendas, photo albums are used extensively, discussions are posted about things happening in the office, etc., and these are things that we didn't have with the intranet before.


                                        Our community structure is mostly centred around an intranet purpose (with separate communities based on office location, so info specific to each location has its own place to go) and then groups are used for collaboration, project management, etc. etc.