SharePoint Alternatives: What's  the right intranet for your organization?

Posted by Kath McNiff on Apr 2, 2019 10:27:16 AM

If you're in the market for a digital workplace, chances are you've considered SharePoint. 

As Microsoft's answer to document management and web-based collaboration, SharePoint can seem like a sound choice - particularly if you're already invested in the Office 365 productivity suite.

However, if you've done any research, you also know that SharePoint has received its share of bad press over the years. Variously described as the "Swiss Army Chainsaw" or "The most expensive free tool" - many organizations have fallen victim to the platform's sheer size, complexity, and cost of maintenance.

According to an AIIM report, a whopping 40% of organizations consider their SharePoint solution to be unsuccessful. At the same time, there is no disputing the solution's extensive functionality and flexibility.

How do you cut through the noise to determine if SharePoint is the right intranet or digital employee experience platform (DEX) for you?

This post peels back the layers so you can see the differences between SharePoint and an alternative option like out-of-the-box intranet, GreenOrbit - you'll have all the information you need to make an informed choice.

Does it have the features I need?

Since it comes "free" with enterprise level Office 365, many organizations default to using SharePoint as their intranet platform. In a sense, they don't choose SharePoint - it chooses them.

As part of Office 365, SharePoint is one element in an intricate and complex ecosystem - as seen in Matt Wade's famous periodic table:

periodic_table_O365

On paper, the features look impressive, but the 'functionality' metric is not just about the number of features a solution has to offer - it's about whether the features are 'fit for purpose' and whether they succeed in meeting business needs without complex customization.

For example, if you're looking for an intranet to drive communication and break down departmental silos - it can be difficult to see how to make this work in SharePoint. 

Which components address these organizational goals?

What will it take to pull these components together into a cohesive experience?

For most organizations, it takes a third party SharePoint consultant (and extensive customizations) to deliver effective answers to these questions. This might be fine for large enterprises - with IT departments that have SharePoint expertise and lots of spare capacity - but can prove prohibitively expensive for others.

Will it drive better business outcomes?

SharePoint didn't start life as an intranet, instead it's a mix of several platforms that have been acquired by Microsoft over the years - not exactly a great example of 'intentional design'.  

In contrast, GreenOrbit is a dedicated intranet solution - built from the ground up and honed over the years to address the core pillars of digital workplace experience; productivity, collaboration, content and culture. 

GreenOrbit is the best intranet solution in the digital workplace

It's common for organizations to 'make do' with SharePoint - trying to shoehorn it into the broader business strategy. This can lead to problems with adoption and stakeholder buy-in. It can be a time-wasting step in the wrong direction.

Make no mistake - SharePoint is feature-rich and highly flexible but, depending on the organization, it can be like giving a toddler the keys to a helicopter.

Is it easy to use?

Over the years, SharePoint has had a reputation for breaking or ignoring the rules around User Experience - lack of signposting, breadcrumbs and poor navigation are some of the themes that frequently bubble-up - particularly for those working in the classic SharePoint UI.

Modern SharePoint has made some headway on this, but it has also created a headache for organizations looking to upgrade their highly customized classic SharePoint to the new Modern version.

According to AIIM, close to 60% of organizations blame low adoption rates on the fact that the solution has a steep learning curve and is difficult to use. It also requires a level of expertise that makes it difficult for content creators in Internal Comms and HR to take an agile approach to information management.

You might also find yourself frustrated by Sharepoint's fragmented approach to social collaboration - MySites and Newsfeeds are separate entities that require users to navigate away from the intranet.

With a solution like GreenOrbit, you can empower content creators and equip users with everything they need in one central location - leading to a cohesive and engaging user experience:

GreenOrbit is an alternative intranet solution to SharePoint

What about governance?

Sharepoint allows you to set multi-level permissions to govern who can do what in the intranet - but if approached without a plan, the results can become complicated and confusing. This is especially true if you create new custom permission groups.

In GreenOrbit, there is a consistent and streamlined process for defining, viewing and editing the creation rights of every user and content item.

It can also be difficult to control the proliferation of sites in a SharePoint intranet - and many users report feeling overwhelmed and out-of-control. For example, when you create a new Office 365 Group, you automatically create a new SharePoint site collection - without realizing it. It can be hard to get your head around what all these sites and site collections are about.

What level of support do I need?

Microsoft is obviously a trusted vendor - but when it comes to customizing the look and feel, setting up workflows and deploying your intranet, they take a hands-off approach. You'll need to hire a SharePoint consultant or build a team in-house - both of which come at a considerable cost.

With a GreenOrbit subscription, you are not just buying the software - you're buying decades of intranet experience too.

Based on your branding guidelines and the results of an in-depth Information Architecture review, UX experts will deliver a cohesive intranet that meets user needs and is branded to suit your organization's culture and objectives. They will take care of deployment and provide training. You won't need to hire specialized intranet consultants or lean on internal IT resources. 

How much will it cost?

Although organizations get a free SharePoint Online license with Office 365, the eventual outcome could easily cost more than $120k when you factor in customizations, third-party integrations, specialist consultants, internal resources and deployment.

GreenOrbit is competitively priced based on number of users and your subscription includes:

  • Professional implementation and deployment

  • Site structure setup and branding

  • Theme user training and mentorship

While it can take upwards of 12 months to deploy a SharePoint solution, your GreenOrbit intranet can be up and running in a matter of weeks - depending on your site's requirements.

What does the future hold?

In his article Why the future of SharePoint could be Dismal, Scott Robinson says 

"...the days of large-scale SharePoint build-outs for collaboration and content management are probably over. Newer products are often just as flexible, relatively inexpensive and don't require .NET expertise for complex customizations."

We could all use a crystal ball to see what's ahead - to make sure our digital workplaces are successful now and into the uncertain future.

It seems likely that productivity, innovation and employee experience will continue to reign supreme as the hallmarks of a successful organization. If your intranet supports these pillars without breaking the bank or causing undue chaos - you made the right choice. 

For more information, about using GreenOrbit as a launchpad for success check out our free ebook:

eBook: Steps to Building a Great Intranet

 

Topics: digital workplace, new intranet, SharePoint, digital workplace experience, intranet examples, sharepoint alternative

Top 5 Digital Workplace Challenges in 2019

Posted by Kath McNiff on Mar 1, 2019 1:00:00 PM

 

It's official. The conversation around Digital Workplace has gone mainstream.

No longer the secret realm of enterprise IT departments and power-house technology vendors - 'digital workplace' as a Utopian ideal and practical reality is resounding through the halls of government, retail, manufacturing, hospitality, education and healthcare.

  • In Singapore, the SkillsFuture program is training thousands of regular people to adapt to the changing digital workplace - introducing participants to the potential of technology.

  • The Estonian government has reinvented itself as a digital workplace platform - where 99% of the public services are available online 24/7 and where 30% of Estonians use i-Voting - saving 800 years of bureaucratic working time.

  • Hotels in the U.S. who are struggling to attract and retain their traditional teen workforce are pinning their hopes on interactive and engaging digital workplace tools. 

Digital transformation is not new - and organizations across all kinds of verticals have been struggling for a decade to get it right. What is new - is that 'every day people' have joined the conversation.

The general population is becoming increasingly tech-savvy and, quite frankly, the digital natives are getting restless.

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Companies know they need to adapt - and adapt quickly if they want to win the war on talent, reduce time to market, and innovate their way into a secure future.

So what's holding them back? Why does an effective and seamless digital workplace seem so slippery and elusive?

1. Dealing with Legacy Applications

The transition to a streamlined digital workplace is especially difficult for large enterprises invested in complex technology stacks and legacy applications.

Gartner predicts that from 2018 to 2020, organizations will have spent three times as much on modernizing their legacy applications as they have on digital transformation. Doesn't seem like money well spent.

Despite being out of step with their increasingly mobile and tech-literate workforce, many organizations continue to upgrade and renew antiquated platforms - pushing out key apps on desktop computers. 

Why? Because it's hard to connect siloed systems and untangle old technology - but it's even harder to change entrenched processes and stubborn mind-sets.

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Current debate suggests that CIOs can lead the charge by taking a broader view - focusing on the value IT can deliver to the business. Not as technology evangelists, but as champions of productivity, innovation and agile processes.

To do this, they need a clear data-driven picture of what's happening on the ground - what do employees expect and what tools do they need to get work done?

What about shadow IT - the apps that employees bring in through the back door to get work done?  It's up to organizations to figure out how to give users what they need in a more secure and compliant way.  

2. Moving to Cloud

The phenomenal rise of mobile is forcing many organizations to soften their anti-cloud stance. 

A Cloud Vision Survey, conducted by LogicMonitor, reports that 83% of enterprise workload will be on the cloud by 2020 - with 41% of the workload running on public cloud platforms.

Despite this trend, many organizations remain cloud-shy.

Reliability and data security are often cited as top concerns - and it's easy to understand why. Data breaches and cyber attacks feed the media machine and most CIOs want to avoid making those kinds of headlines.

The reality is that large-scale cloud providers like AWS can provide a more reliable and secure infrastructure than could ever be achieved in-house.

As far as cloud-based intranets are concerned - it's important that organizations understand the security measures that vendors have in place.

The questions to ask include:

  • Who is the cloud provider? Amazon (AWS), Microsoft Azure and Google are the main players.

  • Can I unify authentication processes across business applications?

  • Can users have a single sign-on across devices via a recognized standard (like SAML or OAuth)?

  • Does the platform offer multi-tiered, permission-based security?

Here, Gavin Lewis, the Lead Cloud Architect at GreenOrbit talks about these security measures in more detail.

Moving to the cloud makes organizations more nimble because they can side-step the cost and time required to maintain complex systems. What's more, backups and viruses become someone else's problem.

If worries about data security are keeping you from realizing the potential of a cloud-based digital workplace - download this eBook for a deeper dive:

Security-Compliance Ebook

Senior Executive Buy-in

Workplace technology specialists can get all the elements right - finding out what users need, sourcing the best solutions, taking an agile approach - but if senior leaders can't see the value or are distracted by the cost, then the outlook for success is grim.

According to the 2018 Digital Transformation Index, 35% of companies see the CEO as their main obstacle to digital transformation.

This concept of senior executive buy-in was a common thread running through many of the presentations at the recent Digital Workplace Summit in Melbourne.

Speaking from hard-won experience, Jen Goeldner from Transurban explained the importance of "setting senior leader expectations" at the get go. Without management buy-in and support, the road to a successful digital workplace can be a bumpy one - it may even lead to a dead end.

In a similar vein, Rebecca Jackson from NextDC stressed the importance of getting stakeholders on board early in the process - and avoiding the 'big bang' approach. 

Bringing departmental silos together and communicating the value of a seamless digital workplace are keys to success - they can't be overlooked in the rush to implement the latest and greatest technology.

4. Driving Adoption

Closely aligned to challenge number 3, is the concept of digital workplace adoption. Because, let's face it - there's nothing worse than throwing a party where nobody comes.

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In an ideal world, your employees are chomping at the bit - waiting for the ultimate digital workplace to solve their productivity, collaboration and communication issues.

But the reality rarely measures up for a number of reasons: 

  • Resistance to change - if it's not clear how the new platform will make life easier or if the learning curve is too steep, employees will be reluctant joiners.

  • 'New Tool' fatigue - knowledge workers are in application and information overload. New solutions need to be easy-to-use and as frictionless as possible.

  • Poor communication - deployment of the new digital workplace must be underpinned by clear, engaging and consistent comms.

  • Lack of adoption strategy - planning cannot stop at roll-out. An adoption strategy, developed with input from stakeholders across the business, will keep everyone moving forward.

  • No clear business case - technologies fail to gain traction when users don't actually need them. Reduce the risk by taking a human-centered approach to digital workplace planning and design.

5. Measuring and adjusting

A digital workplace is not a set-and-forget proposition - it's a long-term commitment that needs to be monitored, measured and improved.

Metrics and key performance indicators should be part of the overall digital workplace strategy - ensuring that the business understands how users are responding; including which elements are working and which are not. Without this information, it's impossible to calculate or communicate digital workplace ROI.

Usage metrics are a good place to start. Monitoring page visits, devices used, average time spent, bounce rates and locations can give organizations a quantitative view of uptake. However, these measures don't tell the whole story.

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To track user satisfaction and get a feel for what people are thinking, organizations need to run regular surveys, conduct qualitative interviews or take an ethnographic approach by observing users as they work.

Gathering data is well and good but acting on it is the challenge. Whose job is it? How does it feed into the digital workplace roadmap? Taking an agile and iterative approach, with frequent stakeholder touchpoints, can help.

After all, the digital workplace is a journey, not a destination.  

Do any of these challenges resonate with you? We'd love to hear your digital workplace story in the comments below.

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Topics: digital workplace, digital transformation, company intranet

Digital Workplace Summit 2019: Key Takeaways

Posted by Taryn Korman on Feb 22, 2019 4:46:26 PM

Last Wednesday, a team from GreenOrbit attended the first day of the Digital Workplace Summit - a great event at Maia, Docklands in Melbourne.

Intro Conference

We were lucky enough to attend the conference but even more thrilled to be a sponsor!

What Did it Cover?

The Digital Workplace Summit was a two-day conference with two tailored streams running simultaneously. The digital workplace stream focused on:

  • Discussing the core challenges in achieving a flexible and collaborative digital workplace 

  • Implementing a technology strategy to support the future of a digital workplace

Who Was There?

The session drew 129 attendees who were a mix of IT professionals in roles such as:

  • Heads of Digital Workplace

  • Digital Experience Managers

  • Enterprise Technology Specialists

  • Chief Architects

All looking to undergo a broader digital transformation in their organisation.

Throughout the event we heard engaging talks from leaders of top organisations such as NAB, ANZ Bank, Coles, Monash University, Atlassian, SpaceOS, Tabcorp, NextDC, Transurban and REA Group on key insights, experience and their success stories on topics ranging from:

  • Business cases for investment

  • Improving UX through technology

  • Aligning technology, people and place

  • Collaboration tools and platforms

  • Driving operational efficiency through technology

  • Future of work

Stand Out Session

A highlight of the conference was hearing from key note speaker Miranda Kovacic, Domain Lead, Employee Experience ANZ Bank.

Miranda emphasised how important it is to embed employee experience into the heart of workplace technology strategy.

She explained how ANZ Bank put adaptability, curiosity, learning and customer centricity at the core of their initiatives and take a human centred design approach.

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Remote Work Round Table

Our own CTO, Josie Mangano, ran a round table discussion backed up by Lesley Maea, Director of Customer Success.

The topic was ‘Using technology to engage a distributed workforce - the challenges of remote and mobile workers’.

Josie encouraged attendees to open up about the obstacles they have trying to engage their remote workers. Surprisingly, some organisations are still struggling to put their HR documents and leave requests online. It seems so simple but this is still a real issue for many companies.

Josie shared tips and solutions that the attendees could implement in their own digital workplaces. We got so much out of this session - stories about what happens on the ground from a range of user perspectives. Insights that help us to understand how work is changing and the ways GreenOrbit can help.round table

Networking Opportunities

The morning session was broken up by getting all attendees and speakers to participate in an exercise called Speed Networking - similar to speed dating without the awkwardness!

It was an effective way to break the ice, network and to understand what people wanted to get out of the conference.

Speed Networking 2

Key Takeaways

The biggest takeaway from the conference was learning what hurdles people and organisations are still facing with their digital transformation. The common trends across the board are:

  • Engaging a mobile workforce

  • Getting senior buy in, changing mindsets and improving adoption of technology

  • Measuring the ROI and the success of a digital workplace

  • Moving to the cloud – implementation and security

This was such an engaging and informative conference.

It was inspiring to get a glimpse into how the boldest and brightest are designing and implementating amazing digital workplaces. 

I highly recommend you get yourself to the next Digital Workplace Summit by ForeFront events  - particularly if you want to keep pace with the ever-evolving future of work!

 

Topics: digital workplace, company intranet

The Top 15 Digital Workplace Conferences for 2019

Posted by Kath McNiff on Feb 5, 2019 10:34:40 AM

 

If the calendar of upcoming conferences is anything to go by - excitement around the #futureofwork is reaching fever pitch.

HR, Comms, and Digital Workplace professionals from all over the world are joining forces in an attempt to understand, leverage and shape the technologies and processes driving workplace transformation.

 

So - get out your calendar, book your flights and join them!

As well as witnessing thought leaders in action, you may get a chance to hob-nob with celebrity keynoters like Oprah, Martha Stewart and Garry Kasparov.

These 15 conferences from around the globe will challenge you, inspire you and drag you (kicking and screaming?) into the new world of work.

ATD TechKnowledge

WHEN: Feb 6-8

WHERE: West Palm Beach, Florida

HASHTAG: #ATDTK

atdtk

TechKnowledge is a learning technologies conference for talent development professionals that delivers practical how-to’s, advanced strategy and solutions, and everything in between. 

Keynote Speakers

  • Dean Kamen - inventor of the Segway Human Transporter

  • Shaili Chopra- Founder of SheThePeople TV and Award-Winning Journalist

  • Ben Nemtin - Number 1 New York Times Bestselling Author, Star of MTV's The Buried Life

Digital Workplace Summit

WHEN: Feb 13

WHERE: Melbourne, Australia

HASHTAG: #digitalworkplace19

ForeFront-DW-Summit

The Digital Workplace Summit gathers leaders of Digital Workplace and Employee Experience to explore the latest thinking around collaboration, UX, technology and the future of work. 

Keynote speakers include:

Digital Workplace 24 

WHEN: Feb 26-27

WHERE: Online

HASHTAG: #DW24

DW24

Digital Workplace 24 is a unique digital workplace insight event, broadcasting from around the world over 24 hours. Hosts from Europe, North America and Asia Pacific take you live into the digital workplaces of the world’s leading organizations, with live tours, demos and guest interviews (including one with US presidential Candidate fo 2020, Andrew Yang)

Studio Guests:

Ragan Internal Comms and Culture

WHEN: March 6-8

WHERE: Chicago

HASHTAG: #RaganInternalComms

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This conference focuses on how to keep employees engaged and build a culture that withstands any upheaval. It looks at ways to revamp outdated channels, break into new platforms, improve executive communications and demonstrate ROI.

Keynote Speakers

  • Theresa Ludvigson - Senior director, global onboarding Salesforce

  • Ally Bunin - Vice president, employee engagement Brighton Health Plan Solutions

Intra.NET Reloaded

WHEN: April 04 – 05

WHERE: Boston

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Intra.NET Reloaded Boston provides organizations with insights into new developments in the digital workplace landscape and covers strategic and technical aspects of employee communication, as well as change management strategies.

Keynote Speakers:

  • Yuri Aguiar - Director of Innovation and Transformation Ogilvy Group

  • Brooke Buchanan - Former SVP of Communications and Government Affairs, Whole Foods Market

ATD International Conference  

WHEN: May 19-22

WHERE: Washington, D.C.

HASHTAG: #ATD2019

ATD2019

The ATD International Conference & Exposition is the largest event for talent development professionals worldwide.

It focuses on the knowledge, strategies, and solutions organizations need to effectively attract, develop, and retain top talent. 

Keynote Speakers

Gartner Digital Workplace Summit

WHEN: 29-30 May

WHERE: Orlando, Florida

gartner

A conference focused on the technologies people use to get work done in today’s modern work environment.

Featured Speakers:

  • Matt Cain - Vice President Gartner

  • Jeffrey Mann - Research Vice President for collaboration and social software at Gartner Research.

  • Helen Poitevin - Research Director with a focus on HCM technologies

2019 IABC World Conference

WHEN: 9-12 June

WHERE: Vancouver

HASHTAG: #IABC19

IABC

The 2019 International Association of Business Communicators World Conference explores challenges and opportunities facing the communication profession. The event draws over 1300 attendees from around the world.

Keynote Speakers

Festival of Work

WHEN: 12-13 June

WHERE: Olympia London

HASHTAG: #festivalofwork

CIPD

The CIPD Festival of Work brings together business leaders, technologists, people professionals and learning and development experts to explore, debate and celebrate why the future of work is human after all.

It explores ways of leading, harnessing technology and equipping employees with the skills to succeed in the future of work.

Keynote Speakers

  • Garry Kasparov - Former World Chess Champion, Chair of the Human Rights Foundation, Best-Selling Author

  • Neil Harbisson - World’s first Cyborg Artist and Co-founder of the Cyborg Foundation

Enterprise Digital Workplace Summit

WHEN: 17 June

WHERE: The British Academy, London

Enterprise Digital Workplace Summit

Hosted at the British Academy in London, the Enterprise Digital Workplace Summit is a European event which brings together professionals to discuss the future of work with the digital workplace. The summit includes keynotes, lessons learned, case studies and workshops.

Keynote Speakers

Digital Workplace Experience – DWX 2019

WHEN: 17–19 June

WHERE: Chicago, USA

HASHTAG: #DW2019

Digital Workplace Experience Conference

Digital Workplace Experience (DWX) is an interactive event for the global community of intranet and digital workplace professionals that is a collaboration between Digital Workplace Group and SMG/CMSWire.

Discover how organizations like NASA, H&R Block, The Scottish Government, Walmart and Southwest Airlines run their digital workplaces.

Keynote Speakers:

SHRM19 Annual Conference and Exposition

WHEN: 23-26 June

WHERE: Las Vegas

HASHTAG: #SHRM2019

SHRM

This year's Society for Human Resource Managers Conference focuses on creating better workplaces. It delves into technology, innovation and the changing landscape of work. 

Keynote Speakers 

  • Blake Mycoskie - Founder and Chief Shoe Giver, TOMS

  • Vineet Nayar - Founder Chairman of Sampark Foundation

  • Brené Brown - Author and Researcher, University of Houston

  • Martha Stewart - Emmy Award-Winning Television Show Host, Entrepreneur, Bestselling Author

Digital Employee Experience (DEX) 2019

WHEN: 18-20 September

WHERE: Sydney, Australia

HASHTAG: #DEX2019

DEX

Digital employee experience (#DEX) considers every touchpoint between staff and their employer. This conference brings together intranet teams, digital teams, internal comms, IT and HR to explore what great DEX looks like.

 

HR Technology Conference and Exposition

WHEN: 1-4 October

WHERE: Las Vegas

HASHTAG: #HRTechConf

hrtech

A conference focused on the HR technology market - with this year's theme being Women in Technology.  It looks at the ways HR and IT executives can leverage technology and secure their pivotal roles in overall company success.

Keynote Speakers:

Boye 2019

WHEN: Nov 4- 7

WHERE: Aarhus, Denmark

HASHTAG: #boye2019

Boye19

This digital leadership conference is a blend of keynotes, workshops, sprints, customer stories and analyst talks. 

Speakers:

 

 

Topics: digital workplace, workplace, conference

Summer holidays, kids and work: The great juggling act of the modern parent

Posted by Terri McKinnon on Jan 14, 2019 12:29:00 PM

The New Year’s bell has now tolled and I’ve been back at work for well over a week now. The holiday break was welcomed, but it is now all hands on deck and the workload certainly didn't get the memo that it's summer, and to settle the pace. Not to mention, the kids!

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For the best part of six weeks, Australian school children are on summer break, and parents need to accommodate the minding of them during this time, usually a mix of leave taken by each parent to balance the care, play dates at friend’s houses, calling in the grandparents to help, or sending them off to camps and holiday programs.

Each of these options have been utilized by me to keep my children occupied and as a remote worker, the juggle of keeping them entertained whilst working becomes a blurred line in work/life balance.

I feel very fortunate, that GreenOrbit is a flexible workplace allowing employees to work remotely and flexibly as required. Recognizing that many of my friends, due to their occupations, do not always have the same options.

Summer holidays for me means early morning starts at 6am where I check in with projects that are happening in the US and keep in contact with the day-to-day there. As I work remotely, it's the company intranet which is my lifeline to the files and information that I need to get work done.

My children will rise and help themselves to breakfast popping their heads into my office to say good morning - then proceed to binge on every possible streaming service for the few hours, as I tell myself that their brains won't turn to mush, and I continue to work.

By mid-morning we discuss the plans that they want to do, riding bikes to friends’ houses, or visiting grandparents who live close by. They enjoy having a little independence to go do their exploring without my watchful eye. No helicopter parenting here.

By lunchtime, my work moves poolside and with the laptop setup, any number of friends could be at our house to enjoy the water.

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In starting early, I have the ability to finish earlier and enjoy some quality time with them and they appreciate that I’m not always working.

This would not be possible without the technology to support my working environment and an intranet that provides the communication and collaboration facilities to keep in contact with colleagues and continue to work.

My apologies to those that don’t have the ability to access this flexibility. I’m just very grateful that this is an option in my workplace.

What tips do you have for working at home while your kids are on holidays? I'd love to hear...

Topics: digital workplace, organising, mobile intranet, wellbeing, workplace, communication tools, company intranet

GreenOrbit (formerly Intranet DASHBOARD) Accelerates Growth Expansion on Three Continents

Posted by Terri McKinnon on Jun 21, 2018 5:42:13 PM

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At GreenOrbit we are experiencing unprecedented growth.  Recently we've opened three new offices across the USA, Australia and India, marking a significant leap in our company’s growth strategy.

Stewart Bairstow, CEO said, “This is an incredibly exciting time for GreenOrbit. By laying roots down in these regions, we are able to build even stronger relationships with regional clients and increase our presence in local markets,” 

“Another benefit will be the opportunity to leverage the density of technology talent in these areas and expand our dynamic team of development, consulting, marketing and management professionals.”

Our business now operates from nine locations throughout North America, Europe, Asia and Australia and services clients across six continents.

 

Topics: digital workplace, intranet, intranet dashboard, INTRANET INSIGHT, sales, roi, workforce, workplace, business growth

5 Processes to Automate Right Now

Posted by Annabelle Willis on Apr 19, 2018 1:28:49 PM

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Considering we conduct almost all of our personal transactions via digital devices, it seems peculiar to come to work and deal with so much paper. However, every day we meet with businesses that are facing this exact challenge. Not only are paper processes expensive for our patience, but for our pockets and productivity too.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency reports that even these days, excessive paper consumption is an issue plaguing offices around the world:

  • 45% of the paper printed in offices ends up trashed by the end of the day.

  • In the US, companies spend more than $120 billion a year on printed forms, most of which outdate themselves within three months’ time.

  • More than 70% of today’s businesses would fail within three weeks if they suffered a catastrophic loss of paper-based records due to fire or flood.

For the wellbeing of your business (and the environment), it’s time to say goodbye to paper.

Fortunately, your intranet could offer an effective alternative to paper-based forms and processes. A strong intranet solution should make it easy to set up forms and workflow in minutes without the help of IT staff.

Here are five processes you could shift online with GreenOrbit (formerly Intranet DASHBOARD) today:

Vacation Request/ Annual Leave

This is one of the easiest and fastest processes to digitize, and a great first step to digital transformation. Traditionally, this process would require printing, signing and sending paper for both the employee and employer. Using Online Forms, staff can swiftly submit leave requests in seconds. Set up the form to go to the relevant manager/s for approval and once accepted or declined, the submitter will be automatically notified.

Incident Report

As much as we try to avoid them, sometimes incidents happen. Things break, things go missing and unfortunately sometimes people get injured. By lodging an incident report with an Online Form via your company intranet, you can quickly capture important information and instantly push it to the relevant contacts. Not only will this ensure quick, accurate reports- you’ll always have a record of submissions to ensure compliance and peace of mind.

Onboarding

A strong onboarding process is key to engaging new employees from the get go. In fact, O.C. Tanner research shows that 69% of employees are more likely to stay with the company for at least 3 years after a great onboarding experience.

We worked with iconic retailer Lowes to digitally transform a plethora of business processes, including onboarding. Prior to GreenOrbit, new staff were supplied with a physical, overflowing folder of paper work that they had to read and learn. This made it difficult to track compliance and to identify employees’ comprehension and understanding.

Their new intranet has enabled a complete digitization of the onboarding process, replacing the bulky ‘onboarding folder’ with an online training module and questionnaire using Online Forms, Workflow and Notifications. Now, head office can track who has or hasn’t completed training, plus monitor staff understanding of the material. In the long run, this will empower new staff to provide a higher level of operational and customer service.

Staff Training

Meaningful education within an organization is key to engaging and empowering people to do their best work. While face-to-face learning will always have its place, it isn’t always easy (or affordable) to coordinate.  Online training offers a great alternative, allowing staff to complete training when and where it’s most convenient. 

Supply Orders

Whether you work in an office, a hospital or a factory- you need supplies to do your job. Create an online form to allow staff to request materials quickly, so they have more time for the stuff that matters. Set up a monthly reminder to departments to submit supply orders so they’re never caught out without the tools they need.

By moving these five processes online, you’ll be well on your way to reducing your paper consumption, gaining productivity and some serious intranet ROI.

Financial services organization Vic Super estimate they’ve cut paper use by 30% companywide and saved their HR team more than 10 hours a week- that’s 520 hours a year that can now be focused on more strategic objectives. 

Book a demo with one our intranet specialists today to see how you can automate processes and get your organization where it needs to go.

 

Topics: digital workplace, intranet, intranet dashboard, INTRANET INSIGHT, workflow, education, processes, challenges, digital transformation

How to Spring-Clean Your Intranet

Posted by Lesley Maea on Apr 10, 2018 2:32:00 PM

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For those of us in the northern hemisphere, spring has officially sprung. The leaves are returning to the trees and the sun is staying up longer. At work, the craziness of Q1 has been and gone, and now it’s time to make sure you’re on track for a successful year ahead. And where better place to start than your intranet?

It’s the perfect time to review and reflect on how your company intranet is performing, and how you can make small changes to improve it. An intranet spring-clean doesn’t need to be a huge undertaking- even just a few simple changes could be transformational for your business.

Investigate

First things first, you’ll need to establish what is and isn’t working within your site. Consulting both qualitative and quantitative data will provide you with a strong basis to implement people-centric changes. So, it’s time to put your detective hat on and find out what your staff really think about their intranet.

  • Survey - Create a survey to gauge what your employees love and the stuff that needs some work. Ask a range of open and closed questions regarding the site structure, the content, the effectiveness of tools and the outcomes they facilitate. Do they actually enjoy using the intranet? Is it making their life easier?

  • #Channel- GreenOrbit #Channels are activity feeds based on the topics of conversation that matter to your business. Create an #IntranetFeedback channel so that staff can post their experiences and ideas, when and where they arise. This is a super simple way to receive feedback from employees that can be incredibly effective. When it’s time to spring-clean, you can simply visit the #Channel and review the contributions that are already there.

  • Intranet Analytics - Validate your employee feedback with some cold hard facts. Which pages are being viewed the most and least? What does the overall site traffic tell you?

Review

Now that you’ve done your research, it’s time to put it to good use. Revise your intranet strategy and KPIs and adjust accordingly. Establish priority tasks and how they will be completed. Once you know ‘what’, move on to the ‘who.’ Who will be responsible for which tasks? Who will need to manage the new content moving forward?

This phase will include removing the redundant intranet content. If you have an existing policy regarding the deletion of digital assets then you’ll obviously need to follow this. If not, archive the old content initially to ensure no information is lost before there is an approved plan in place.

Get Inspired

A large body of the work will come from improving existing items and simple changes- which is great. But don’t forget to be bold. Come up with one exciting, innovative idea that’s going to give your intranet the X-factor and engage users. It might be the introduction of a monthly CEO Podcast, an employee recognition initiative or a mindfulness campaign. Get creative!

Plan Your Maintenance

With your spring-clean complete, you’ll need to figure out how you’re going to keep things tidy. If you don’t already have a maintenance plan in place, schedule how often you’ll need to conduct reviews, analyse stats and meet with your team. By having your #IntranetFeedback channel in place, staff can always contribute their ideas to help continue to improve your site.

By following these simple spring-cleaning tips, your employee intranet will be flourishing in no time. Don’t forget, GreenOrbit customers receive a free intranet health check each year and there’s no better time to use it than now! 

Not using GreenOrbit yet? No worries. You can make a time to speak with one our GreenOrbit Intranet Specialists to discover the benefits for yourself.

Topics: digital workplace, HOW TO, intranet, intranet dashboard, education, Planning

10 Ways to Engage a Remote Workforce

Posted by Annabelle Willis on Mar 8, 2018 6:15:29 PM

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In the recent Gallup State of the American Workplace Report it found that from 2012 to 2016, the number of employed Americans working remotely –at least some of the time- grew from 39% to 43%. This number is set to continue to rise, and employees already working remotely will spend more time doing so.

The appeal of flexible work is fairly obvious, particularly for those battling long commutes, raising a family, or managing a chronic illness. Your team might work on the ground or be travelling regularly. Heck, maybe you just feel that you could produce a higher standard of work today while you wear your pyjamas on the couch. The reasons for seeking remote work are varied, and research supports that the outcomes can be positive for both employees and employers. In fact, Boston College research reports that 64% of employees would choose a lower paying job if they could work away from the office just one day a week.

So, not only could offering remote work options increase the productivity and performance of your team, but it could help attract exceptional talent to come and work for you in the first place. Sounds like something worth considering, right?

Before you go ahead and cancel the lease on your office building, you’re obviously going to need the right digital tools in place to support your remote team. One of the most critical will be your company intranet, not only in its functionality but how you leverage it to engage employees. For all of remote working’s benefits, keeping staff engaged, connected and collaborative is difficult without physical interaction. Fortunately, your intranet is where you can bridge the gap.

Here’s how:

1) Detailed, meaningful User Profiles

User Profiles can do so much more than placing a face to a name. Staff need not share their life stories, but think about the important stuff- areas of expertise, qualifications, strengths and the like. Without meeting, a remote worker should be able to view a User Profile and understand what that person does, and what they could bring to a project.

2) A Staff Directory that encourages connections

Now that your User Profiles actually mean something, you’ll need a killer staff directory to make them findable. With GreenOrbit, by applying metadata to your profile, this information then becomes searchable across the intranet. For example, you could simply search the word ‘French’ to find a French speaker to interpret something for you. This makes it easy for remote workers to find topic experts and initiate collaboration, no matter where they might be located.

3) Storytelling

The mobile team at RSPCA do a fantastic job at this; regularly posting articles to their intranet sharing stories and photos of their animal rescues. In turn, they are keeping remote staff in the loop, while reinforcing and celebrating their team culture. Great job guys!

4) Digital collaboration

Distance shouldn’t hinder employee collaboration. Iwan Westfa, IT Manager at global consulting firm Ecorys, sums up the benefits (and ease) of collaborating via the intranet perfectly:

Someone in the UK posted to a #Channel that their client needed to conduct an interview with a particular type of expert. Up until then, they could not find anyone and the project was in jeopardy. Once it was posted to #Channels, an expert in the Netherlands popped up by commenting on the post. So the reporters came to the Netherlands to carry out the interview. Normally we would have just lost the opportunity, but we made a profit.”

Thanks, Iwan.

5) Private Groups

Business-wide collaboration is great, but remote workers also need to collaborate within their team. Functionality such as Private Groups provides a place for teams to communicate, file-share and come together- even when they’re apart.

6) Digitize your forms

If your forms and processes are paper-based, remote workers are going to have a rough time completing them. They’ll either have to navigate a scanner or send it to you in the post, both of which are slow and completely infuriating. Instead, comprehensive online forms will allow them to submit forms quickly, easily and accurately.

7) Recognising good work

You might be unable to give your remote co-workers a physical high-five, but social intranet tools can provide the digital equivalent. Using a tool such as GreenOrbit #Channels, you can acknowledge the contributions of remote workers for your entire organization to see. At GreenOrbit, we share #StaffShoutouts internally to celebrate exceptional work. Through likes and comments, the ‘applause’ can be heard wherever we are.

8) Comprehensive online learning

A remote or mobile worker should experience the same training and education as their office-based colleagues. Providing comprehensive training modules with workflow through your intranet means staff can become experts in a new program, sales strategy, or safety process wherever they may be located.

9) Videos

Video conferencing is as close as dispersed teams can get to chatting face-to-face. When conferencing isn’t possible, record important presentations or events and store them on your intranet to allow remote employees to be a fly-on-the-wall.

10) Find opportunities

Within our own team at GreenOrbit, we have a number of remote workers whose lifeline is the intranet. Essentially, it’s where they ‘go to work’ and can interact with colleagues on a professional and personal level.

One of our remote employees is a regular contributor to our #Photography channel, sharing his work as a moonlight events photographer. From this, we instantly knew he would be the perfect person to work with our marketing team and photograph the SuperFoiler Grand Prix. He had the opportunity to travel around the country pursuing his passion, while the marketing team had access to exceptional event photos - a fantastic outcome for both parties.

As the number of remote workers grows, so too do the expectations of the remote work experience. By implementing these tips and leveraging your intranet as a digital workplace, you’ll be able to attract and retain the best remote employees for your business.

Want to know more about how your intranet can get work going? Check out our eBook:

3 Ways your Intranet can be a Launchpad for success

Topics: clients, digital workplace, employee engagement, HOW TO, mobile workforce, Social Intranet, Case Studies, Collaboration, mobile intranet

Transforming Document Management at Benson Radiology

Posted by Annabelle Willis on Aug 29, 2017 3:15:18 PM

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Document Management is a key focus for every business, no matter the size, industry or location. We all have files (perhaps too many) and we want to be able to access, edit, and share them efficiently.

Storing documents across several environments, or without a clear governance, makes it tricky to track down what you’re looking for. As reported by PricewaterhouseCoopers, the time and effort required to find a single lost document can cost a business a staggering $122.

It’s time to sort out your document management, because, can you afford not to?

Benson Radiology faced this same problem. As a leading healthcare provider, they have a wealth of technical and patient documentation that they rely on to provide exceptional services. Their documents within MS SharePoint had become challenging to find, which was particularly troublesome for clerical and modality employees. These staff are often frontline to patients and under time pressure to find the correct documentation, immediately.

With GreenOrbit, Benson Radiology have established a central repository for policies and procedures. By applying custom metadata to files, the team can add detailed information to a document to categorize it for super-fast retrieval.

Thanks to GreenOrbit, we have been able to refine search with great detail by adding important information within file tabs. It’s really helped- it means frontline staff can find files quickly for the patient in front of them.” – People & Culture Adviser, Benson Radiology

You can read the full case study here.

 Benson Radiology Case Study

Benson Radiology 

Topics: clients, digital workplace, intranet, Knowledge Management, mobile workforce, Case Studies, CUSTOMERS, Document Management

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