17 November 2016

Squiz’s digital workplace: a full-featured solution with limitless potential

Tags:Integration, Intranet

In the rapidly changing digital environment, are your employees losing touch with each other?

Faced with an increasing number of cultural challenges but without the digital literacy capability to address them, organisations are finding themselves on the backfoot.

With social media now a core part of our lives, your staff members have different expectations of how information is shared. And if you’re not meeting them, you’re going to lose engagement and stifle productivity.

However, you’re not alone. Squiz works with many organisations that are dealing with these same challenges.

Squiz’s Director for Digital Government, Alex Buchanan, worked closely with the Department of Communications and the Arts to build their organisation a digital workplace to help combat some of these challenges.

“We developed a digital workplace that addressed these issues – an internal hub where staff could experiment with concepts such as online communities, social knowledge sharing, blogging, and wiki content.”

After seeing the success of the project, we asked the department to allow other organisations to use its digital workplace. The department said ‘yes’.

“The idea of offering up their hard work and investment so that others could share the benefits was an exciting prospect for them,” Alex explains.

So, what makes Squiz’s offering stand out from the rest?

1. Incorporating search that allows you to find the right people

According to Alex, a good digital workplace should make it easy to find and connect with like-minded individuals – people who care about the same things you do and are trying to achieve similar outcomes.

But, although many intranets have staff databases, there’s additional information that you should be capturing from your staff other than just their phone numbers and email addresses. For each staff member in your company, you should be able to see who they are, what they do, and their place in the organisation. Plus, you need to capture all that in a way that’s searchable.

“Our digital workplace allows you to see an overview of the people within each different team in your organisation,” says Alex. “Each staff member has their own profile that includes a biography and additional information that may be of interest.”

You can easily update and manage these staff profiles through the intranet. “A lot of this data is automatically coming in through backend systems already,” Alex says.

We’ve observed that more often than not, staff members know the areas of the organisation they need, but they don’t know the people they need to talk to with the specific skills they require.

Our digital workplace addresses this issue by providing easy ways of navigating and finding the right people. “Even if you don’t know a staff member’s name, we’ve made it easy for you to search for capabilities and skill sets so that you can find who you need,” he says. “Most people have a problem and just need to find somebody to help them solve it.”

These multiple avenues to search for and locate staff members, view their information, and communicate with them are all thanks to how your backend systems integrate with and provide data to the solution.

“Intranets need to seamlessly speak with these backend systems,” Alex says. “This HR and personal data is fundamental, and we’ve put that at the forefront of our product.”

2. Putting social at the heart of our platform

Social needs to be the core of an intranet platform. “You can’t have a digital workplace without having a platform that allows people to come together, talk, and be social,” Alex says.

Our digital workplace makes it easy for staff members to stay connected by providing a platform for you to make Twitter-like comments right on the homepage for those following your feed.

“Social becomes about who you want to follow and the areas of the business you want to stay up to date with,” explains Alex. “Staff can also navigate to other communication channels, like Skype and instant messaging, to follow up with more personal discussions.”

These tools provide an easy way for people in your organisation to share and view bite-sized bits of knowledge that they would otherwise not see.

3. Uniting your organisation with communities

“Communities provide different ways of bringing people who care about the same thing together,” Alex says of the communities feature of our digital workplace.

Like personal posts, community updates display in your feed and help keep you informed about what’s going on inside the organisation. “They’re great tools because, even if you have never met the people within a community, you’re suddenly opening a dialogue with them and starting those conversations,” he says.

The benefits of communities don’t stop there. “I’ve seen situations in which companies have been brought together in mergers, and their staff members are supposed to suddenly work together despite not knowing each other and being in different buildings and cities,” says Alex. “Communities can sit across these multiple organisational silos and provide a way to bridge that gap and start getting to know and work with one another.”

We’ve reduced the risk to your business

Building and implementing a digital workplace involve lots of risk, time, and money. But we’ve done the hard yards for you.

“We went live with our digital workplace over a year ago,” says Alex. “Since then, we’ve been continuing to work on it – putting quality assurance behind it and striving to improve the solution based on continued user research and feedback.”

As a result, we’re in a position to deploy our digital workplace and have it up and running in less than two months.

“It’s fully functional, mobile-accessible, and easy to integrate, and it’s available now,” says Alex. “There’s no risk involved. I’m not aware of any other intranet available in the world that can be deployed as quickly and that’s as fully functional as Squiz’s digital workplace.”

What’s more, we’ve built our solution with our own products, Squiz Matrix and Funnelback, so we can easily extend and tailor the digital workplace to meet an organisation’s specific needs. “By applying a ‘product maturity’ approach – taking a handcrafted solution for one client and turning it into an engineered, quality-assured digital workplace – we’ve been able to produce a product that’s at the same standard of quality as the world’s leading technology offerings,” says Alex.

Your solution will grow with you

For Alex, however, it’s not just about having a product that you can deploy straightaway; it’s also about the future of the product. “By bringing together a community of organisations that are deploying this digital workplace, we’re creating a road map of ideas, meaning that the platform will continually evolve with user feedback,” he says.

Squiz has also taken on the effort of scanning the marketplace and identifying the trends that are currently impacting the digital workplace.

“In particular, right now, there’s a new trend in the way digital workplaces need to work alongside evolving tool sets, like team productivity solutions such as Google Apps,” Alex says. “We’re providing a vision and road map for this future, one that will help customers adopt our product and understand how to evolve these tools sets and work with and integrate them inside a digital workplace.”

According to Alex, this leads to a road map not only for our product, but also for your organisation’s internal transformation. “In many ways, it takes a lot of the worry and headache out of understanding the landscape of tools – knowing which ones to select and why,” he says. “We’re helping to provide guidance in that area.”

A digital workplace that will transform your organisation

Many organisations have been sitting on their current intranet platforms for more than 10 years. A digital workplace can mean a massive leap forward for these businesses, and Alex believes that our offering is the most functionally complete in the intranet marketplace today.

“You’re looking at a solution that can be quickly deployed to the cloud, is low-risk, and is mobile-accessible – it has huge future potential,” he says.

Start thinking about a digital workplace so you can facilitate collaboration within your organisation, and allow your staff to begin talking to each other, sharing ideas, and making decisions.

We’ve only just scratched the surface of what our solution can do. There are many more elements to our digital workplace, from personalisation and newsfeeds to workflow and staff surveys.

Contact us today for a full tour of the platform and learn how you can transform your organisation into a digital workplace.

ROBIN MARCHANT

Global Marketing Director, Squiz

Learn more about our intranet offerings at Squiz.

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