Ultimate Intranet Portal for Organisations to Communicate & Collaborate

Intranet Portal

Intranet portal is a very important extension to your organisation as it helps with a 360 deg communication between the leadership and its employees

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.

The intranet portal is a very important extension of your organisation. 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 a Corporate Portal in your organisation. As I will explore the following key aspects

An explanation of why an Intranet Portal is needed in an organisation

Benefits and best practices of an Intranet Portal

Suggestion on setting up an intranet portal in your organisation.

Table of Contents

First let’s start with the most important question.

Does your organisation need it?

Any organisation comprises 6 key components that need to be communicated in the organisation. These components need to work in an organised way to ensure that the company works like a well-oiled machine.

Vision

Transform company vision into action by proper communication of the founders’ vision within the organisation

Data

Get appropriate data to the right people so that they can take appropriate actions

Process

Document processes and give clear direction to the processes by giving goals within the processes

Execution

An intranet portal should help people collaborate effortlessly and effectively

Issues

Collaborate on organisation-wide issues. Help managers and employees take preventive & corrective steps

People

Share accountability charts & organisational chart. Set expectations, process documents & policies to ensure productivity. Provide employee self-help portals for better employee satisfaction.

Bringing People Together

Increase collaboration, improve
communication and make information
easy to find and share.

What is an Intranet Portal, & Why does it matter in your organisation?

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 the Intranet Portal in your organisation? Intranet Portal can be used as
A properly implemented Intranet Portal helps every level of organisation.
  • Leadership can communicate its vision and strategy to employees. 
  • Employees can access the data that helps them execute the strategy of the organisation.
The articles below will provide you with 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 their 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 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

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 the 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.

The 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

Enterprise Portal

It’s another name for Intranet Portal. But usually used in the context of very huge enterprises. In large organisations, 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.

Web Portal

A web portal’s purpose is to bring information from different sources like emails, discussion forum etc together. Because information is shown to you is categorized with a dedicated area on a web page.

Because information is organised, and therefore information is easily found.

How does it Benefits Organisations

Communicate Vision and Values

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.

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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.

Improve Productivity

A great corporate 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.

Resource Management

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

  1. A common internal platform that enables effective communication and collaboration between the employees in the company across locations.
  2. 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.
  3. Provide sections for managing each kind of activity, e.g., HR activities, employee engagement events, corporate messages, etc., separately.
  4. Notify employees of any updates in the portal ensuring that all remain connected and information passed on is known to all.
  5. Provide a collaboration platform that can be utilised 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 to 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 key documents like company policies, code of conduct or any other document that is needed by any employee at any time. This makes information flow more easily.

Discussion Forums

Discussion forums are a good way to document knowledge in the organisation. The 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.

Integration Functionality

A good 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 which increases employee convenience.

Mobile Intranet

Mobile users are increasingly using their phones to access data. This means that to improve employee engagement the Intranet needs to be Mobile Friendly. This ensures that all knowledge workers have access to key information at their fingertips.

Workflow Automation

Manual methods for data entry are prone to errors. Using workflow automation you 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 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.

Company Calendar

A company calendar acts as 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 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 And Design

It’s very important to have a very clean and intuitive design. 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 a portal. When effectively implemented it 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 a Portal here are some of the key facts that you should know to make the right decisions.

Intranet Portal Pros

  1. Information sharing is a breeze with a good 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Helps your organisation employees to collaborate efficiently. When set up properly, it 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. With all the vital information available easily a good 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.
  8. 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

  1. 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 its success. You will need motivated resources & necessary labour to make an it a success.
  2. Content can and will become stale if proper maintenance 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Proper governance rules and policies are necessary it to thrive. It’s analogus 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.

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Key Features of SharePoint

Using SharePoint for Intranet Portal

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.

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.

Sharepoint Intranet Portal provides an inbuilt analytics engine which can help you tune your portal to the liking of the 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.

Intranet Portal KPI's Dashboard using BI

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.

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