• All Posts
  • Application Development
  • Customer Success
  • Enterprise 2.0
  • News & Events
  • Product Updates
  • Tips & Tricks
  • Posts tagged ‘social intranets’

    Move Over Intranets: The Blue Man Group’s Collaborative Workspace is the Shiznet

    As a growing number of companies can attest, traditional intranets have become irrelevant. Some employees have started using external social channels, such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter to set up workspace groups to share information, have group chats in real-time and ultimately get their work done in one location. They also turn to channels, such as YouTube to get information and expert guidance that is simple to find and even easier to consume.

    Intranets may have had their day, but too many become information graveyards containing out-of-date, poorly organized documents and other resources. Traditional portals are also not segmented by user, forcing employees to sort through materials that aren’t relevant to their jobs. And typical intranets may not allow for conversation strings, which forces timely exchanges to take place on other external channels. The final nail in the coffin is intranets that are not mobile-ready.

    Today’s social workspace should mirror the functionality, collaborative nature and ease-of-use of popular social media sites—organized, configurable to users’ needs and accessible 24/7 through any digital device. More importantly, collaborative hubs encourage greater employee engagement and strengthen your organization’s business goals and strategies.

    Discover how collaborative workspaces are superior to traditional intranets.One great example of a truly powerful collaborative workspace is BlueMan Group’s Shiznet social intranet. The Blue Man Group theatrical show has skyrocketed into a vibrant global brand with productions in 11 worldwide locations and experienced by more than 17 million people.  However, they knew there was a problem of collaborating with over 500 employees and 50 blue men. They had an outdated intranet and knew it was time to replace it with a social collaborative platform for four compelling reasons:

    1. Accelerate real-time innovation and knowledge sharing: Social collaboration platforms provide knowledge sharing capabilities so employees can obtain needed job skills and immediately adapt them to their everyday work. Leveraging collective knowledge also fosters innovation and bolsters employee engagement by unleashing the intelligence and creativity of internal teams. Blue Man Group’s Shiznet is the Creative Cauldron, a workspace that was developed specifically for “Blue Men” to collaborate on new show ideas and brainstorm on bringing ideas to life. The Creative Cauldron has served as a launch pad for new show ideas, stunts and creative content.
    2. Encourage informal learning: An effective social intranet allows employees to easily access informal learning tools in their moment of need. The Shiznet also acts as a central repository for the hundreds of videos, audio and digital assets that are regularly used and created by the Blue Man Group. From the latest production stills to commercials, anyone within the organization can easily locate, tag, access and share content within The Shiznet. This allows the company to centralize its creative assets into a single repository, streamlining the ability to save and distribute informal media assets.
    3. Digital Connection In today’s world, no technology is complete if it is not mobile-friendly – the same is true for a social Intranet. Organizations need to ensure that their enterprise collaboration workspace is accessible on devices, such as smartphones, tablets and other digital devices. Through these technologies, employees can communicate and share resources 24/7, remaining connected and strengthening internal collaborative communities.
    4. Showcase and utilize your internal experts: While it is a good thing that employees are doing their own research, it can also be unfortunate when they learn tactics, skills and habits that run counter to organizational culture and strategy. Having a powerful enterprise social collaboration platform provides easy access to internal experts, who will put the right skills and knowledge at employees’ fingertips.

    If your company is looking to gain a competitive advantage, an updated social workspace is key. It leverages internal knowledge, ensures resources are in alignment with company culture and strategy, and keeps your employees engaged and loyal to your organization.

    Could Your Intranet Win an Ugly Sweater Contest?

    With the holidays in full swing I have been invited to a few of those ugly holiday sweater parties and I was on the quest to find one that will land me first prize. I even shelled out a few extra dollars for some holiday pants too, thinking if I have an over-the top, crazy, but complete ensemble I would surely smoke all of my competition. Wish me luck.

    I then started to think about how so many companies have an ugly intranet and if they did was it ugly enough to win an ugly intranet contest? Trust me I used to work at a company where it could turn into a week long quest to find any useful information. The intranet was so cumbersome and annoying that no one wanted to use it, EVER!

    I bet you are wondering what made it so ugly, here’s the nitty gritty:

    • The home page was a complete jumble of this and that, no structure – no rhyme or reason
    • It was a dumping ground of information overload, where you would have to dig to find exactly who or what you needed
    • There was no sense of content ownership either, there was content posted that was so outdated that it talked about releases that happened years prior
    • It wasn’t connected to other systems that I needed to use such as a CRM or learning tools
    • When I wanted to post something I had to submit it in an unsearchable document library that asked me to fill out all this metadata and key word mubo-jumbo that didn’t even make it easy to find it once it was posted
    • If it was that bad on a PC, I didn’t dare try to use it on my mobile device – why create angst for myself
    • Sadly I could not work or share information in groups with members of my teams – and all correspondence was done by email after email

    If the above bullets about how terrible my experience was sounds like your current intranet experience,  congratulations you just won the ugly intranet contest.  Let me tell you what you won. Don’t worry, it’s not a Chia Pet. Its  a gift from me to you that will help make your intranet sparkle this holiday season.

    What do you want this holiday season? I bet it’s a social intranet that:

    • Is accessible from anywhere – no matter what digital device you are using
    • Allows you to join and create groups that you can work and share information effortlessly
    • Personalizes your experience so that connections and communications are relevant
    • Your able to work in a space where you can connect to the tools you use every day to do your job
    • Has  resources available in one place that is easy to locate, share, update and download
    • Fosters innovation and share new ideas with employees
    • Can measure how employees use the social intranet and how their activity can lead to improved ROI

    Bottom line – no one wants a gift that they have to stand in line to return, better yet one they wouldn’t even want to re-gift. Why bother using an outdated, undesirable, non-performing intranet when you should be using a social intranet that nurtures connections to employees, directs workers to resources they need, creates a collaborative space into a super powerful communication hub, fosters learning across the entire organization, and strengthens both internal and external relationships.

    By implementing the right social intranet that they will enjoy using, you will give your employees a gift that keeps on giving!

    Happy Holidays!

    Where Is Everybody? Moving Intranets from Static to Social

    Making corporate intranets social is the main theme of Socialtext 4.6, which we announced today. The focus originated from my favorite source of insight: Our customers. I love it when they hit you over the head with use cases that emerge inside their companies.

    Starting several months ago, we noticed an exciting pattern amidst many of newer customers: Their usage and adoption rates were accelerating on a curve previously unseen by us, or, frankly, most Enterprise 2.0 use cases for that matter.

    Interestingly, several of these customers didn’t have grandiose plans of transforming their intranet. They merely sought to leverage social software to solve specific pain points their businesses faced. They were engaging in what our VP of customer success, Michael Idinopulos, would refer to as “In the flow of work” collaboration. They also wanted to eliminate knowledge and information silos that hampered business performance. In one case, the head of worldwide sales tasked about 200 people from his team, product marketing, and sales ops to improve training materials and product launches. In another case, we saw a broad, horizontal deployment to modernize knowledge sharing across disparate teams and functions.

    But after launching these focused deployments, word spread fast.

    Why?

    Other employees looked at their intranets and realized what it was missing: People.

    Pretty soon, employees outside the targeted usage groups at these companies started asking why they couldn’t have the same easy-to-use social applications in their intranet. Why did they have to tolerate the static, frustrating, and out-of-date intranet that was in place?

    We’ve seen two results from their requests. Some of our customers have actually replaced the front door to their intranet with Socialtext – particularly with Socialtext Dashboard as the starting point. Dashboard allows people to not only access tools within Socialtext to connect with colleagues and share content, but they can also access other systems, applications and sites across their company. Others, though it wasn’t their intention at the onset, scrapped their intranet entirely and moved to Socialtext. These customers have transformed the look and feel of their intranet by injecting social patterns into it. Employees can share via microblogging, self-publish through blogs, collaborate on wikis, and form groups across organizational boundaries.

    Meanwhile, my team also noticed a trend in the language used by our sales prospects. They began hearing phrases like “Our intranet stinks” or “No one can find anything in our intranet.” Just yesterday, I talked with the CIO of a large company who said, “We call our intranet ‘The Junk Drawer.’” Last month, we did a webinar called “Your Social Intranet – The Place Where Work Gets Done.” During the event, we ran a fun contest to see who could propose the funniest David Letterman-style “Top 10 ways you know your Intranet needs updating.” The visceral and sarcastic nature of the submissions we received speaks volumes about people’s frustration with current intranets. (More on that in future posts.)

    So the new features that we’ve rolled up into Socialtext 4.6 are really the result of focusing our development and innovation through this lens – helping make your intranet more social. We’re doing as much as we can to make PEOPLE be a first-class object in your intranet. As a result, we can make the intranet be a place where people go to get work done together — not just a place to try to find information, documents, and application links.

    About This Blog

    Weblog on gaining business results from social software.

    On this blog, Socialtext staffers and customers explore how companies can gain the most business value from their use of enterprise social software, including microblogging, social networking, filtered activity streams, widget-based dashboards, blogs and wikis.

    Search

    Find us on Facebook

    Archives

    Recent Posts

    Recent Tweets


    Protect Your Company from the Risks of Social Media

    Free White Paper

    This free white paper also includes the 5 most important issues for managing social media and recommendations for protecting your company from the risks. Download now and learn how to leverage the right tools and policies for your business.