The Intranet Challenge

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If I had to point out the main benefit of the connected enterprise, it would be the ability to share information efficiently and effectively. Efficiently because content can target any employee, anywhere on any device, and effectively because the messaging can take advantage of video, visualized data, and graphics to successfully impact the user.

However, integrators who want to move their clients in this direction are often confronted with the argument that the enterprise already has an intranet that serves the communications needs of the company. Corporations have spent a great deal of time and money launching their intranets, and no one wants to see it replaced by something new, at least not right out of the gate. Recently, at the International Association of Business Communicators World Conference, a great deal of time was spent discussing the intranet and ways it could become more popular and be put to better use. One consultant went as far as saying the corporate intranet has become a repository of out-of-date content that nobody can find. In many corporate environments the company intranet has indeed become a dumping ground of content clutter that is increasingly difficult to navigate. Integrators should recognize this problem and suggest ways to help their clients solve what can become a critical communications problem that costs the company significant time and money.

One dramatic improvement is to not replace the intranet but rather provide a user-friendly front-end. Instead of having employees dig into the intranet to find materials, corporate communicators are able to push out the key “headlines” to devices and have them link back to the intranet for further exploration and detail. These headlines and other important information can show up as business intelligence channels that directly impact the employee’s role. The content can be selected and distributed strategically, matching relevancy and need. This front-end concept acts as a gateway to the intranet without staff getting lost and becoming overwhelmed, and in the process it saves time and increases efficiencies.

Vern Freedlander is vice president of production services for Montréal-based X2O Media [www.x2omedia.com], a Barco company. X2O Media is a leading software developer of real-time visual communications solutions that significantly improve communications throughout the enterprise. With more than 20 years of broadcast television experience as a producer, director, and executive, Freedlander oversees all of X2O Media’s content initiatives. He can be reached at vernon.freedlander@barco.com.

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