I have to admit I’m a bit of a sucker for a very nice-looking intranet that also doesn’t compromise on functionality. Two of the best intranet redesigns I’ve seen over the past few months do just that.
One of them is Coca-Cola Enterprises’ iConnect, with Jonathan Phillips of Intranetizen at the helm. This manages to provide news, micro-blogging, access to Team Sites and My Sites, and extensive Employee Self-Service on one home page (“Communication, Collaboration, Transaction”) all wrapped up in fantastic design that references the iconic Coca-Cola brand in several different ways.
The other is Spanish communication firm ONO’s intranet. Recently this was announced as one of the top ten intranets in 2013’s Nielsen Norman design annual. It also featured recently on IBF Live.
Like CCE’s intranet is has a fair amount of internal communications, but also features a prominent activity stream as well as personalised task-driven links. The “Mi Espacio” (My Space) area to the lower right of the homepage features not only links to relevant groups and communities, but also tasks and reminders driven by workflow.
Again the design is strong and delivers what is potentially a user experience more akin to a website than an intranet. And of course, integrating an attractive design as well as microblogging into a SharePoint 2010 platform is no mean feat.
I asked ONO’s Internal Communications Manager, Alicia Delgado, a few questions about the intranet.
How many are in the intranet team at ONO?
Just two. Alfredo and I work in Internal Communication. We are the administrators, the designers and the community managers. Moisés, the project leader helps us sometimes with doubts that may still arise. GMV, the external contractor, together with our IT function, are in charge of the technical maintenance and development of the site.
What was the driver for the new intranet?
The cultural change that the company’s management wanted to establish, which entailed more collaboration, less bureaucracy and better internal communication.
How closely were the users involved in the design?
Not much. We did have a focus group, which was asked what would they want to have in the new intranet, but overall involving great numbers of users was difficult. Moreover sometimes users might not be able to envisage all the possible solutions to certain issues that we knew concerned them. In any case, it was useful to find out what they wanted to keep from the old intranet.
Were there any issues integrating SharePoint and Beezy (the social networking tool)?
We wanted a full integration, not only so users could find Beezy at some point of the intranet, but to have it “melted” into the full structure. That was not at all easy to achieve but the result is worth it.
What parts of the new intranet have had the most impact?
Undoubtedly, the integration of the collaboration network into the site. The different walls mean users have a leading role in the intranet. Now, with this new tool, everybody can participate in the evolution of ONO. We can say what we think, we can share what we have, we can teach what we know and we can learn what is it that we don’t know.
Have there been any unexpected outcomes from the intranet roll-out?
Not many, given how many systems were interacting with each other but we did have a serious issue a few days after launching. An error in a certain process prevented the database of employees from being uploaded. Our Intranet “thought” that there were no employees and erased them all. We entered into panic mode for a few minutes… but we could fix it and we lived happily ever after… !
Have you been able to roll the social intranet into any business processes?
Indeed! The information management is far more efficient now and hence, less time and effort is put into it. The workgroups created with Agora (Beezy) facilitate the validation processes in starting projects. In addition, the social layer of the intranet is an integral part of the new innovation culture, since it makes it possible for any idea to be used towards improving the functioning of our internal processes.
Has winning the Nielsen Norman award affected internal perceptions of the intranet and the team behind it?
We think so! It is always very important that the work you do is recognized across corporate borders. That means that you are doing well. If the award also compares what you have done with what others have done in the whole world, it makes you feel special and proud.
Thanks very much to Alicia Delgado for agreeing to be interviewed. You can read more about ONO’s great intranet here or get hold of the Nielsen Norman report.
Also if you have any thoughts on ONO’s intranet then please add a comment.