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Intranets News & Analysis

Exercise Your Intranet Muscles

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Buying an intranet platform is like buying gym equipment. You get very detailed instructions. You may even get a few slick videos and diagrams of sample exercises.

But what you won't get is advice what program you should follow. And why not? Because if you want to run a marathon, the way you use that equipment is entirely different than the way someone that aspires to be an Olympic shot-putter should use it.

Similarly, to get the most from an intranet platform, you need to follow a program specific to your needs.

Lose the Fat, Embrace Lean Portals

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In its recently published Magic Quadrant for Horizontal Portals, Gartner identified a number of trends.

Among the most important: the convergence of web content management (WCM) customer demands with lean portal functionality and social technologies. The concept of lean (as opposed to bloated) portals has gained traction recently, with lean portal vendors starting to work their way further up the Magic Quadrant.

Large vendors claim they can offer all the functionality an enterprise could want and more — what smaller vendors describe as "bloat." Lean vendors claim they can respond rapidly to changing business conditions and have enough functionality for any office or mobile worker.

Where's Marketing's Kevin Cochrane? Jahia Knows

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Remember Kevin Cochrane — the former CMO of Mindjet, the former CMO of Open Text and former vice president of digital marketing at Adobe? Guess where he’s just popped up — apparently just a day after leaving Mindjet? At open source Web Content Management (WCM) vendor Jahia.

As of today, Cochrane will sit on the board of Jahia. He will initially serve in an advisory capacity, although Jahia CEO Elie Auvray says that the role of advisor could grow as the company grows.

Smaller Firms Nip at the Big Dogs in Gartner's Portal MQ

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Gartner cited six trends in its Magic Quadrant for Horizontal Portals, including a convergence of portal and Web Content Management (Web CMS) needs across enterprises. In addition, long-time traditional, portal vendors and their bloated, unwieldy architectures are losing ground to smaller, lighter portal vendors.

As evidence of both trends, just look at the companies who made it into this year's MQ: Ektron, Jahia, Sitecore, Squiz and WordPress.

6 Trends Dominate the Portal Space, Gartner Claims

In recent weeks we have spent a lot of time talking about data search and discovery. While there are many ways of finding content, access through portals is still one of the major pathways. This week, Gartner has published what it believes are the top horizontal portal vendors in a market that is changing rapidly.

While there are many trends in play, one of the most notable, Gartner noted, is convergence of Web Content Management (WCM) demands through lean portals that are also incorporating social technologies in the enterprise.

HR Intranets Go to the Next Level

2014-09-September-Donkey-Kong-Real-Life.jpgSince the early days of intranets, people-related processes and transactions have been one of the main use cases for the intranet. Employee self-service has helped to save real money with intranets improving processes, allowing employees to view payslips, book annual leave, select training and much more.

Too often, however, the HR section of the intranet feels more like a collection of links to other systems than a coherent and consistent digital experience. Leading organizations are now choosing a different path, by focusing on extensive integration with other systems to elevate the intranet user experience around HR processes and transactions.

This not only improves efficiencies and reduce costs, but also makes the employee aware of critical HR information around pay and benefits, recognition and more.

Is Your Intranet Stuck in the Stone Age?

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The reason no one uses your organization’s expensive collaboration software is because your employees absolutely hate your intranet.

You would think that by 2014, we’d be past stone-age issues like cluttered landing pages or non-existent search options. Sadly, dinosaur intranets are still the reality for many enterprise organizations.

Are you an intranet dinosaur? Let’s bring your intranet back into the 21st century.

Intranet Search: Where Documents Go to Die or KM Enabler?

2014-23-September-Lost-and-Found.jpgOrganizations look at search, its use, management and funding in different ways. My colleague who runs our organization's corporate intranet noted that although he isn't the business owner of “enterprise search” for the organization, employees go to the intranet, see a search box and assume that the intranet team is responsible for search.

Was Gartner's Social Software Smackdown a Lovefest?

Gartner hosted a “Social Software Smackdown” panel at its Catalyst Conference last month. After talking with its host, analyst Larry Cannell, it’s clear that the participants from Microsoft/Yammer, Salesforce/Chatter and Box don’t feel that they’re in a turf war, at least just yet.

That's true in spite of the fact that Gartner’s most recent Magic Quadrant for Social Software in the Workplace noted there’s little difference in the products these companies provide.

 “We are in the early stages of this market with a tremendous upside for enterprises and workers,” Cannell wrote in his takeaway notes.

Can Your Social Platform Be Your Intranet?

I made the point back in July that good old fashioned intranet content publishing was not dead, and that enterprise social collaboration platforms really weren't very good for one to many publishing. A separate web publishing platform would probably still be needed -- use the right tool for the right job. As a result of that article, Jive Software asked to have a chat about my theory, to refresh my knowledge of its platform and demo some of the latest features. I always jump at the chance to be proven wrong, and so have had some interesting conversations with Adam Mertz, senior director of product marketing at Jive.

Kato.im Launches Free Enterprise Chat Solution

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Kato.im, a business communication service provider, just announced the launch of its new product, Kato Teams —  a free professional chat solution offering live 1:1 and group messaging, file sharing and search capabilities.

It's designed to improve the efficiency of business communication, according to the Oakland, Calif.-based company.

Kato Teams aims to bring the best of IM and email functionality to the enterprise, at zero cost to businesses.

Organization Site Search Is Still Not Working

Until organizations introduce processes that prioritize findability, then site search will continue to fail miserably. 

Startup Offers Free Collaboration Option for Any Web Page

Just as Microsoft blends Yammer into Office365, a startup is offering a free service to add a Facebook-like collaboration tool to any web page.

Lifestreams Technologies, a 2-year-old company based in New Haven, Conn., said the widget can be used on any intranet or public-facing website by adding a snippet of code to the html.

"Most websites today are relatively static," said Peter Prosol, business development director for the 10-person SaaS firm. "You'll find pictures and images and text, but it's more or less as it is. It doesn't change much. But adding a timeline to your site ... it lets you be more dynamic, add new content, refresh and be a little more interactive and engaging to the user."

Dusting Off Intranet Metadata and Search

2014-22-July-Antiques.jpgSome people assume that if a concept is old, it's no longer relevant. Since we looked at the continued relevancy of the quaint old fashioned concept of information publishing on intranets in last month's post, I thought we'd take on a few more of those dusty relics of days gone by today: metadata and intranet search. The concepts are interrelated in that the success of communicating content on a one to many basis -- or an n to m basis, as you may have a small body of publishers or content creators putting out information to the company -- relies on findability.

From Intranet to Net-Work: The Rise of the Digital Bridge Builder

As an intranet professional, your career is about collaboration: Of systems and processes, not just people. The web is a network and those who thrive on the web network, connect and collaborate. It’s the same with the intra-net, where the lines are increasingly blurred between what is "internal" and what is "external." 

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