Finding a good intranet portal is often a tedious process. There are many different options, how do you know which one to choose? The step-by-step process in this article will lead you to intranet success.
1. Clarify your needs
In general, a company tries to find an intranet because it realizes that something is missing from its business. It is often associated with one (or more) of these issues:
- Internal communications
- Employee engagement
- Corporate culture
Most companies discover this issue through employee feedback or a survey of employees. employees. However, they sometimes discover that there is an underlying problem for the following reasons:
- Low email open rates
- Poor document management
- Financial damages due to miscommunications
Now the company is taking steps to find an answer. Unfortunately, this is often the time when things can go in the wrong direction.
Many organizations fall into the trap of making a repository of the intranet functions they need rather than what they want to achieve with their intranet. This is going to be a real problem.
If you start with an inventory of features that you simply want to have, you will likely come across an extensive toolbox of features. but they won’t really help you achieve what you intended. Or you leave a potentially great intranet because it lacks a minor function.
How you determine your objectives depends on the size/culture/structure of your company. You should interview everyone in your company and summarize their responses in a shortlist of key requirements. Or start with a smaller group of people who represent a representative sample of your company and clarify your needs from there.
In either case, it’s important that your leadership team is on board from the start. You’re ready to provide key information, ask pertinent questions, and resolve budget constraints.
2. Choosing the Right Person to Conduct Your Research
Once you have identified your needs, it is time to search the Internet for possible intranets. It is important that you simply choose the right person for the job.
Many times, the person responsible for solving difficulties (eg, internal miscommunication) finds a younger colleague to complete the search for possible intranet solutions. For example, the communication manager asks a communication assistant.
A new or younger person has a limited understanding of the underlying problems to be solved, the overall internal communication goals, or the budget constraint.
Giving you an inventory of characteristics and requirements to complete your research is like research hours.
Here are a few of the concerns:
- You will reject intranet providers that are perfect for your business simply because they don’t have an item on your checklist.
- You don’t understand the complex collaboration requirements in the larger enterprise.
- After presenting all the collected information to a senior team member, that person periodically decides that it may be “nice to have an intranet” and that they can come back to the answer after a while.
3. Complete research
Now is the time to Google the sidewalks and see what suitable intranets exist. I would recommend finding some good intranet providers on Google or LinkedIn. Another great place to find out more about intranets is Quora.
Once you have chosen a few intranet providers, the next step is fairly intuitive: go to their websites and take a good look at them.
At this stage, things can get complicated as tons of intranets offer seemingly equivalent benefits (better communication, collaboration, employee engagement) through their tools that may seem very different.
There are also many important things to consider that you just never see on a website. For example, what does the after-sale method look like? How long does it make you want to be on board? six weeks or six months?
4. Ask intranet providers
So, you’ve queued up a large number of intranet provider calls and have your list of requirements handy. Now is the time to clarify your challenges and learn more about how you are helping clients overcome them.
When you are satisfied with the demo, there should be time for a question and an answer above. Also ask about your needs:
- Additional costs: Some companies charge additional costs for different tiers of products, data warehouses, or widgets that you can easily add. Ask about these. Also, watch out for hidden fees for things like activation, onboarding, branding, and customer support.
- Time: Intranets vary in complexity. If you choose to have a custom intranet with customizable pages and widgets, it will take longer to get started. Even if it’s not a ready-to-go corporate intranet portal, you will need in-house IT skills. Ask about the time and resources required to set up your intranet.
- Customer support: Determine how much of the intranet provider support you will get for both onboarding and maintenance. Have a fanatic account manager? Is there a limit to the amount of time they spend with your business? What are the limitations?
- Mobile: With the increasing use of mobile technologies, it is important that your intranet has a robust mobile application. Unfortunately, countless intranets are too large (with too many pages) to have an efficient mobile application. Instead, users must navigate their phone’s internet browser from within the app. This makes the experience clunky and has many ineffective features. Test the mobile app capabilities of each intranet provider.
Once you have completed this process, it is time to make a decision. Regroup as a project team, present what you have learned to your management team, and select your new intranet provider.
Overall, there is now a clear winner, although the leadership team may have new questions that need further investigation. If so, go back to your preferred intranet provider and schedule another meeting with your C team. They should be happy to help!
Once you’ve decided on your intranet provider and signed up over the phone, it’s time to move on to the next stage of the intranet journey – the beginning of long-term success. For more information, visit our corporate intranet page for more information.