The Intranet as a work equipment
Today's Enterprise Intranets often come as Intranet 1.0 implementations, supporting editorial style content, document management, and top-down communication. This is often the case, for example, with Sharepoint implementations. Pure Intranet 1.0 implementations are prone to lack acceptance among employees because they are not seen as an application to actually work with on a daily basis. However, only when your employees start to use the Corporate Intranet and perceive it as their daily means of work, it can support you in organizing resources, finding useful information, and much, much more.
Make them contribute
By making as many people as possible contribute content to the Corporate Intranet, you increase acceptance and establish it as the system no one can avoid to interact with at work. The likelihood that many people contribute is greatest when your Intranet is both professional and fun to work with. An individual theme helps people to feel "at home" in the system. Also, it must be easy to add and change content, and users must have a powerful search tool to find relevant information quickly. If all this is given, and your Intranet is actually fun to work with, you're closer than you may think.
We've mentioned Sharepoint which is a feature-rich portal software with a comprehensive document management system as its core. While it can do very many things well, it does not excel in terms of usability and fun. We believe that systems which may not be as feature-rich but rather intuitive to use and extensible through pluigns are a better alternative. Naturally, as an Attlassian Platinum Partner and Expert we like Confluence and would definitely recommend it as your Enterprise Wiki. Sometimes, however, a Wiki is just not enough. This is why we have come up with LINCHPIN, a Conflunce-based Intranet Suite that combines Intranet 1.0 features with Intranet 2.0 collaboration and social capabilities.
Since LINCHPIN is based on Confluence, it offers great flexibility and extensibility through Confluence's plugins. For example, the Team Calendars plugin is a great tool to help manage resources within teams or entire departments. You can integrate different calendar sources and make resource availability fully transparent to everyone by displaying all events you deem important. These could be meetings, business travel, and any kind of leave or even birthdays. Take it to the next level and integrate Jira. Jira is another Atlassian application for Enterprise Task Management. Linking Jira with Confluence enables the visualization of release dates, versions, issues, and sprints in your team calendar based on live Jira data.
Notifications are a deeply embedded feature in Confluence. They are fully customizable and help you stay on top of things. At the same time, notifications are a great way to reduce the number of emails you need to read and handle. You decide which updates you get by watching specific Wiki pages or spaces. Subscribe to customized feeds at your convenience and control which email notifications you get. The idea behind it is that you decide which notifications, updates, and messages you receive. It puts you back in control.
By default, Confluence and LINCHPIN both use one or more mail accounts to send notifications, updates, and whatever else requires emails to be sent. This may be any SMTP account you can make accessible, even public mail services are possible, such as GMail. So, outgoing mail is a no-brainer but what about incoming mails? As this feature has been removed from vanilla Confluence, have a look at the Atlassian Marketplace and you will find plugins that allow polling a POP or IMAP account to receive mail. This can be useful to automatically generate pages upon incoming mail or to trigger other activities.
Provided you implement an Intranet that provides the necessary features, and provided you get the majority of your employees on board for using your Intranet as a work appliance, it becomes a great tool for organizing resources. The key is to have all relevant and up-to-date data in the system to achieve this. This is a joint effort and by promoting collaboration in the Intranet, people will naturally start accepting it as their central means for work, and naturally also, why would they not use it for resource planning? Though, think about adding a specialized application, such as Jira and Jira Portfolio. These are designed for multi-project and portfolio planning and bring a wealth of functions for enterprise-grade resource planning across teams.
This page was inspired by the following question on Quora:
Bonus points if it integrates with gmail.
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