Intranet Portal is known by many names, employee intranet, staff intranet, company portal, or corporate portal. Post-COVID, Intranet portal has a completely new meaning and has become a very important platform used by companies across all industries and sectors.
Intranet portals are a very important extension to your organisation as it helps with a 360 deg communication between the leadership and its employees
This article will give you an idea of how to properly plan and implement an Intranet Portal in your organisation because I will explore the following key aspects of the Intranet portal
First let’s start with the most important question.
Is an Intranet Portal is needed in your organisation?
Any organisation comprises 6 key components that need to be communicated throughout the organisation. These components need to work in an organised way to ensure that the company works like a well-oiled machine.
Transform company vision into action by proper communication of the founders’ vision within the organisation.
Document processes and give clear direction to the processes by giving goals within the processes
Bringing People Together
Increase collaboration, improve communication and make information easy to find and share.
What is an Intranet Portal, & Why it matters in your organization?
According to Wikipedia An internet portal is a gateway that unifies access to enterprise information.
It’s a framework for integrating information, people and processes across an organisation
What is the purpose of Intranet Portal in your organisation? Intranet Portal as an internal communication platform, that should be used for corporate communication, employee collaboration and employee engagement.
A properly implemented Intranet Portal helps every level of organisation. Leadership can communicate its vision and strategy to employees. And employees can access the data that helps them execute the vision and strategy of the organisation.
Please read the articles below for more specific information.
The History of Intranet Portal
In a June 30, 1975 article in Bloomberg Businessweek, a vision of the future office was revealed. Firstly, Everyone then started to wonder if desktop terminals could be made friendly enough for the employees to use them? Second, they wondered if all the information would be stored digitally in the future
It was speculated that in the next 20 years an office desk would comprise of only a television monitor. Since then big corporations have been trying to find ways to make information easily accessible to its employees.
With innovations in remote connectivity, computer hardware and software, intranets started to come up in different ways.
The first intranet software was simply static HTML pages. Employees could summon upon the information using just a web browser.
In February 1996 Frontier Technologies Corp USA released the first ready to use Intranet Portal and called it Intranet Genie.
Intranet Genie was designed to act as a single source for finding information inside and outside of companies.
Intranet Genie had a problem. It was not serving information from a browser. It was a client-server application. Because of which there were dependencies on the need for Intranet Genie client to be present to access information.
The Beginning of Intranet Portal
By that time the www or the world wide web was also evolving and the popularity of www triggered a huge change in the way corporations wanted their intranet to work. They wanted intranet to work as a web portal.
This simplified the use of an Intranet. You just needed a web browser to access the company information.
Onset of the millennium saw numerous software helping corporations to share information with their employees using just a browser.
Terms to Know
Few terms we think you should know in the context of an Intranet Portal
It’s another name for Intranet Portal. But usually used in the context of very huge enterprises. In large organisations, a de-centralised content contribution and content management are needed. This ensures that the information is always up to date.
Enterprise portals also need to cater to stakeholders beyond the boundaries of the organisation like Customers, Vendors, Partners etc.
A web portal’s purpose is to bring information from different sources like emails, discussion forum etc together. Because information is shown to you in a categorized method with a dedicated area on a web page.
A web portal is a term used not just to describe a company’s Intranet Portal. Because information is organised, and therefore information is easily found.
How an Intranet Portal Benefits Organisations
Communicate Vision and Values
Communication tools in an Intranet Portal help communicate corporate vision and values to employees. Award and recognise the employees who stand by the values and understand the vision of the organisation.
Drives Employee Engagement
A positive work environment encourages better teamwork and productivity. Increase employee engagement by sharing company news, blogs, announcements, events calendar, newsletters and videos. Create a social hub for corporate social networking.
Achieve Better Results with Workflow Automation
Get your work done faster with task assignment and notification. You can build online custom forms which can be completed and submitted online. No need for endless request memos. Eliminate routine paperwork. Fast and efficient management of all types of internal requests.
A great intranet portal software lets your employees perform tasks faster and accurately by allowing them to focus on important tasks and cutting down redundancy. Make information easily available for all users by creating a central repository of information.
Employees can access HR-related and other workplace-related information. Employee related requests, activities, and forms like leave application, appraisal, salary certificate, loans, inter-departmental resource transfer can all be transacted via the portal.
Make Employee Onboarding Easy
Help new employees to easily access company policies, organisational charts and a good insight into the culture of the company.
Addressing Business Needs with Intranet Portal Software
- A common internal platform that enables effective communication and collaboration between the employees in the company across locations.
- Manage HR and employee-related requirements effectively, be it training requirements and schedules, new employee onboarding, loans, leaves, appraisal processes, salary certificate, or internal job applications.
- Provide sections for managing each kind of activity, e.g., HR activities, employee engagement events, corporate messages, etc., separately.
- Notify employees on any updates in the portal ensuring that all remain connected and information passed on is known to all.
- Provide a collaboration platform that can be utilized as a driver for enhancing company productivity and efficiency.
Some Must-have Features in an Intranet Portal
Employee Directory & Org Chart
Organisation Chart helps employees understand their roles and responsibilities and how to reach out into the organisation for help or suggestions. So if a business manager needs some information from any lineman working on the ground, they can track them through an organisation chart. Once your company manager has identified the person he can use the employee directory to find the right way to get in touch with him for more information.
Document Repository & Sharing
With a well-maintained document repository & sharing system, your organisation employees can easily access the key documents like company policies, code of conduct or any other document that can be needed by any employee any time. This makes information flow more easily.
Discussion forums are a good way to document knowledge in the organisation. Amount of content creation that happens in your organisation can be leveraged by a good curator into a knowledge base in the future. Discussion forums also help the company identify the mood of the organisation.
A good Intranet Portal should be able to interact with other software in the organisation like ERP, HRMS etc. Information from these systems can be used for displaying and sharing KPI’s and organisation performance.
Integration with the HRMS system can help with employee self help portals in the intranet which increases employee convenience.
Mobile users are increasingly using their phones for access data. Which means that to improve employee engagement the Intranet needs to be Mobile Friendly. This ensures that all knowledge workers have access to key information on their fingertips.
Manual methods for data entry are prone to errors. Using workflow automation in your Intranet Portal can automate processes like entering expenses, project approvals, document reviews by tracking the human tasks involved with these processes and guiding them through the steps.
This not only eliminates errors, but it also saves a lot of time for the employees.
Direct Messaging, Chat & Notification
Improve internal communications with employees with the help of an inbuilt messaging system and chat. People in your organisation can communicate with anyone by identifying them in the Organisation chart and sending requests immediately.
A company calendar acts like a common calendar for the entire organisation. Company calendars can be very useful to organise company events, store birthdays and anniversaries, key business objectives
Recognition & Rewards
Recognise and reward employees to drive company culture.
Information Discovery & Enterprise Search
Ideally, a good intranet portal should provide an area where the employees of your organisation can search for information like policies, processes etc. This search system should be intuitive and easy to use.
Clean & Simple UI / Design
It’s very important to have a very clean and intuitive design for the Intranet Portal. This will help your organisation’s employees to adopt the intranet easily. If you get confused with the UI then there are chances that you and your colleagues’ dependence on the Intranet will reduce.
The Pros and Cons of Setting up an Intranet Portal
Your organisation might already have an intranet portal. When effectively implemented an intranet portal has the potential to improve organisational productivity and clarity of vision.
When wrongly done it might not be that beneficial. So as you go through your journey of implementing an Intranet Portal here are some of the key facts that you should know to make the right decisions.
Intranet Portal Pros
Information sharing is a breeze with a good intranet portal setup. Your organisation can easily share announcements to communicate a strategic vision to its employees. Keep employees abreast with what’s happening in the organisation, share policies and inform employees if there is a change in any policy. Any information that your organisation wants to pass to the employees becomes a breeze.
Productivity enhancement of your employees. Starting from assigning simple tasks to employees, to setting up a workflow for example initiating a purchase order can all be automated. This not only makes it faster for you and your colleagues but also helps new employees to understand the procedure better.
Helps your organisation employees to collaborate efficiently. A well set up intranet portal provides separate areas for each department. This helps employees to collaborate within their department. You can easily breakdown barriers by providing good Intra department communication.
You can make organisational knowledge accessible to its employees but using collaboration tools like chat and FAQ. A properly maintained knowledge management system in an organisation ensures employees get information when they need it. Incorporate knowledge management systems into a Chat to make it more convenient.
Standardised document repositories ensure that everybody uses the right version of the document, be it marketing collateral or a project management template. This saves a lot of time for you and your colleagues to find the latest most relevant documents or templates for your tasks. Reduces individual clutter for the employees.
Social platform within the organisation and better bonding between colleagues. Employees can portray their personalities, likes, dislikes, which helps to build a better work environment.
With all the vital information available easily a good Intranet Portal helps you and your colleagues to make effective decisions fast. Also sharing ideas and information accelerates the decision-making process for both the management and employees.
Improve Business Process Automation by using workflows, using the intelligent search or using digital forms. This greatly reduces the use of paper-based information, reduces paperwork error and increases efficiency.
Intranet Portal Cons
An Intranet portal to be effective it needs constant attention and a team of enthusiastic people to govern the whole portal. Your management buy-in is very important for the success of the intranet portal. You will need motivated resources & necessary labour to make an intranet portal a success.
Content can and will become stale if proper maintenance of the intranet portal is not done by purging or updating old content with the new one, efficiencies will go down and with the time you will see organisational efficiencies reducing.
By increasing efficiency, you are actually saving a lot of time for all the employees in the organisation. On the flip side, to ensure that things remain efficient, resources should be trained on how to use the system, new features added to the intranet make your processes lean and more efficient.
Proper governance rules and policies are necessary for an intranet portal to thrive. You can consider an Intranet Portal to a Country, just imagine what a country would become without proper governance and rules?
Why do we recommend SharePoint and Microsoft 365 for an Intranet Portal?
SharePoint & M365 has all the tools that will be needed by your organisation to build an Intranet Portal. It is a very popular technology hence easy to find experts.
More than 200,000 organizations and 190 million people use SharePoint for intranets, team sites and content management
SharePoint is a browser-based collaboration and document management platform from Microsoft. This allows your organisation employees to access it from any computer and any location. Its content management feature allows organizations or users to securely store, share and collaborate within each other.
SharePoint is an enterprise information portal from Microsoft that can be configured to run Intranet, Extranet and Internet sites for your organization. SharePoint helps your organisation users to share documents, data, and information. Inbuilt document management, collaboration features in SharePoint increase the productivity of an organization.
SharePoint is scalable, extensible, and can be customised as per your organisation’s needs. And this helps you better store, share, and manage digital information within your organization. In no time you can create team sites to collaborate.
Key Features of SharePoint
Using SharePoint for Intranet Software
Microsoft SharePoint is a world-class enterprise portal platform that can be configured to run enterprise intranet portals. The main reason for building a corporate intranet portal on Microsoft SharePoint is due to the wide range of leading productivity tools available to employees in a cohesive digital workplace.
Neologix is a leading SharePoint Consulting and Intranet Portal Development company that develops next-generation & best intranet portal software for better employee connection and internal communications.
Featured Case Study
Our Portfolio of Intranet Portals
Neologix completed the upgrade of the existing intranet portal to SharePoint 2016 and developed a mobile app with a revamped user interface to access intranet features outside office premises.
Prince Sultan University
Correspondence management software developed with SharePoint 2016 implemented for facilitation, management, tracking and archival of correspondence between departments, staff and students of the university in a secure system of international standards.
Sharjah Documentation and Archives Authority
The SCDR website acts as a portal to share the latest news, activities in SCDR, services, publications, downloads and details about related government websites. Admin features to manage documents, content, publications, templates, departments and media efficiently and effortlessly
Best Practices to Implement a Good Intranet Portal
Create good information architecture. Which means the content should be easy to discover, should have a good navigation system & should be visually appealing to its users.
Before deciding for an Intranet Portal ensure you discuss with the stakeholders what’s the purpose of Intranet Portal you are going to create and what are the key goals that you would like to achieve with the portal
While considering the Intranet portal see which are the key areas of the organization that you want to consider in the initial release of the portal. An organisation as 6 main components out of these 6 components, decide which ones would have the most priority.
Ensure that you plan your navigation around the intranet very well so that its easily understandable by every employee of the organisation.
Plan which content needs to be on the Intranet and who needs to access it. And ensure a good plan is made to store content so that its easily accessible and discoverable by employees
Keep employees engaged by running surveys on matters of interest of the employees. Allow employees to collaborate on the Intranet.
Develop a good Intranet policy guidelines which should be followed in all the department sites. Prepare a good Information Storage guideline which will have to be followed by all the users in the system. This will help automating many of the guidelines when setting up the Intranet Portal
Make Training plans for existing employees and new employees on how to use the Intranet Portal
Make good metrics to measure the success of the Intranet. These metrics will help your organisation improve engagement of employees
Even an Intranet needs promotion. A good promotion plan should be created so that the Intranet Portal is marketed to your organisation employees.
Improve the reach of your intranet by making them available to mobile devices. Features like Instant messaging, news feed etc makes it easy for your organisation employees to connect with peers.
Build KPIs which can measure the success of broader organisational objectives.
Need help in deciding the set of intranet capabilities to improve collaboration and communication in your company? Contact us to know more about our intranet portal development services.
Prince Sultan University
We engaged Neologix to develop a Correspondence Tracking System in Microsoft SharePoint; It's the perfect solution for generating, tracking and auditing all our correspondences. I would also like to say thank you to all your staff, who were prompt in delivering the solution to us! I believe in coming years there will be lot of value that will be generated by digitising our correspondences!
Neologix software solution is a great company as they have helped many times to put my website http://www.careermatch.net on the web. I can't forget how they helped me from taking the site from a PDF scratch, to building it, to get it online after a bad hosting, and being patient with me about my payments. They are truly a customer-oriented company plus their web development work is a high quality work - Highly professional & recommended.
Al Nasr Contracting Company
Neologix has always been a positive and pleasant vendor and I will continue to refer them to others.-Al Nasr Contracting Company. We have been doing business with Neologix Software Solutions for more than two years. We are very pleased with their customer service. They go above and beyond their call of duty when it comes to customer service. I would recommend Neologix for any new project. Thanks for all the hard work.
Eclipse Group, Dubai
Your team were great on this project and please thank each one of them for me for an excellent job done.Many thanks for your superb assistance regarding the improvement of our UMBRACO system. Neologix was able to clearly understand my requirements and provided excellent technical staff and a good project management framework to make sure I was in the loop the entire duration of the project. Thank You for your hard work and excellent job done!
Neologix Software Solutions has been an exceptional mobile and web design partner to help design and develop some of the apps for SEWA. We are extremely happy with the quality of work and the passion shown by the team to create the best and meet impossible deadlines. The detailed and well-designed apps actually helped increase our productivity and efficiency at SEWA.
Best SharePoint consultants to work with! The Neologix team are very professional and have deep knowledge of the SharePoint technology which was critical to the success of our project. They take the time to listen to the client's issues before suggesting a solution. The Neologix team were a pleasure to work with and I recommend them highly.
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