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Buyer's Guide to Intranet Projects

Technology and vendor neutral advisor for digital workplace projects

Buyer’s Guide to Intranet Projects
Our blog provides market information and customer case stories about intranets and digital workplaces in the Nordics.

The blog is maintained by North Patrol, a digital communications and business consulting company based in Helsinki, Finland.

Planning a website, an intranet, an extranet or e-commerce? If you are in doubt where to start from, just ask us!

Featured post

Data review: Digital work environment 2022 survey

6.6.2022

Finnish knowledge workers have done more remote work in the last two years than ever before. From the exceptional conditions caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, we are returning to the so-called new normal, i.e. hybrid work. The importance of digital tools has grown and new tools have been introduced diligently.

In our Digital Work Environment 2022 report, we looked into the digital work environments and work tools of Finnish organizations already for the fifth time. We researched what the role of a communication intranet is, what other tools are in use in organizations and for which tasks different tools are being used. We also asked what kind of challenges remote and hybrid work causes in organizations and what has been done to solve these challenges.

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Case Solita: Insider intranet was born on Unily platform

12.5.2022

A new era in workplace communication dawned for the people of Solita, when the new intranet, Insider, opened in March 2022. Insider is an intranet solution based on the Unily product, which was adjusted to meet Solita’s needs. In Finland, intranets made on existing products are rare, as Microsoft’s products are the preferred intranet tools. What is Insider like and why did Solita end up with the product, even though they have a lot of different tools and especially know-how in their organization?

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Intranet Search Engine Optimization

8.3.2022

Intranet and search engine optimization (SEO) may not be thought of as things that are related to each other, but in reality, they are very much related. Intranets also need search engine optimization, but instead of optimizing for Google, we just talk about optimizing for the intranet’s internal search engine.

However, all search engines work with the same main principles as Google. Sure, Google has a much larger datapool when it evaluates different sites, but the basic principles of organizing and sorting search results are similar.

Content creators play a key role when it comes to a good intranet search experience. Even the best search engine doesn’t know how to return the right results, unless the content creators have considered the search engine in the content. Although this is the same principle that content creators follow with search engine optimization for Google, SEO is often not considered enough when it comes to intranets.

This article lists the three most important search engine optimization principles for intranet content writers.

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Microsoft 365 intranet suppliers in Finland

27.9.2021

The position of Microsoft’s M365 as a platform for Finnish intranets has only strengthened in recent years. The Covid-19 pandemic has exploded the use of Teams. In some organizations so much so that Teams has become a synonym for the word ‘intranet’. SharePoint communication sites are created in the M365 environment with only a few clicks. Hence, one can easily set up a small set of internal instructions, messages and tools.

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Digital Work Environment Trends in 2021

26.8.2021

In what direction is the intranet and digital work environment going? The world has been wrestling in the grip of the Covid-19 pandemic for a year and a half and a large proportion of knowledge workers have been working more or less remotely during this time. Although the pandemic and remote work are not directly responsible for the development of the digital work environment, it has accelerated a change in both mindsets and practices. We picked five themes which can be seen in the current time.

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Case: Uponor’s new intranet brings the entire organization together

1.3.2021

All intranets are moving to the cloud, including multinational and multilingual organizations’ intranets. This shift to the cloud provides many benefits, but at the same time presents challenges. Often old solutions cannot be transferred to the cloud because of technical reasons. Uponor faced this challenge a year ago. As the technical reform loomed, Uponor decided to take the opportunity to rethink its entire intranet concept.

Continue reading “Case: Uponor’s new intranet brings the entire organization together”

Case: The service directory plays a key role for the staff intranet of the University of Oulu

11.8.2020

The University of Oulu was tired of the fact that the staff instructions and services could not be found in the content structure of their communications intranet. The solution was to design, user test, and implement a new staff intranet with an easy-to-use service directory.

Continue reading “Case: The service directory plays a key role for the staff intranet of the University of Oulu”

Case: Ramirent’s Intranet – triumph over adversity

6.8.2020

Ramirent, one of Europe’s largest machine rental companies, relaunched its intranet during the Covid-19 pandemic and major internal changes. Simultaneously, new communication and collaboration tools were introduced. Renewing the digital work environment is always a major task, and on top of that, Ramirent had some extra challenges. Nevertheless, the new intranet was successfully launched on schedule in early May.

Continue reading “Case: Ramirent’s Intranet – triumph over adversity”

37% of large organizations use WhatsApp – and that’s a problem

25.6.2020

We conducted a survey about digital work environments, which surprisingly showed how much WhatsApp is used for work communication. A staggering 37% of the 111 organizations who took part in the survey mentioned WhatsApp as one of the tools for information management and teamwork in their organizations. In previous years, WhatsApp has not even been mentioned as a major work communication tool. Although the question was not asked as directly in the past, almost 40% is still a noticeable result.

Continue reading “37% of large organizations use WhatsApp – and that’s a problem”

Case: Åbo Akademi implemented a bilingual intranet with O365

24.4.2020

Intranets have been a hot topic for universities recently. When the technical platforms of intranets come to the end of their life cycle, it’s time to reassess the whole concept. This was done by The University of Helsinki with their Liferay Intranet which we wrote about earlier

Where the University of Helsinki decided to differentiate between the intranets of employees and students, the Swedish-language Åbo Akademi University, situated in Turku and Vaasa, took a different approach. Åbo Akademi University’s new intranet is for both staff and students, and it was implemented on Finland’s most popular intranet platform, O365.

Continue reading “Case: Åbo Akademi implemented a bilingual intranet with O365”

Case: The new intranet of the University of Helsinki is a result of close-knit collaboration

5.3.2020

2017 was a year of change for the University of Helsinki. The University was undergoing a big organizational change and at the same time a new student platform was taken into use. The intranet called Flamma was a joint intranet for both staff and students. Now, some of its content would be transferred to the new student platform called My Studies, giving an opportunity to reorganize the content of the intranet. In addition, the technical platform was coming to the end of its life cycle and adding the fact that the intranet was not responsive, a renewal was more than called for.
Continue reading “Case: The new intranet of the University of Helsinki is a result of close-knit collaboration”

Survey results: The roles and functions of digital workplaces in Finland

27.2.2019

What does intranets and digital workspaces look like in Finland in 2018? We conducted a survey, in order to find out roles, functionalities and technologies of the digital workplace as well as to see how organizations develop and lead their intranets and digital workplaces.

Continue reading “Survey results: The roles and functions of digital workplaces in Finland”

Case: Caverion’s new intranet is an efficient tool for everyday communication

12.11.2018

Caverion designs, produces and maintains technical solutions in real estate and manufacturing. Their renewed intranet was launched in March 2018. The renewal sought to create a tool that would support daily work and enable concurrent communication throughout the organisation, regardless of language version or job title. The renewal and changes in content production were introduced on time and within the budget, thanks to strong ownership and leadership in the project. Here is what Anne Kotila, Digital Communications Manager, who was in charge of the project, and Päivi Alakuijala, Chief of Communication and Marketing at Caverion, have to say about the successful renewal.
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Case: Peikko Group created several intranets from scratch

What does a proper intranet solution look like for an international company with 1,800 employees, sales in over 30 countries and production in 7 countries? That was the question at Peikko Group that wanted to improve internal communication across the company by renewing their intranet. Peikko did not have a modern intranet or digital workplace encompassing the entire organisation, allowing the company to start from scratch. Continue reading “Case: Peikko Group created several intranets from scratch”

Case: intranet for the employees of the City of Tampere

5.11.2018

A year has passed since the launch of the City of Tampere’s new employee intranet. Let’s find out how the new intranet called Tasku (Pocket) has been received by the users. Communication manager Aila Rajamäki states that the users have had a positive experience with the new system. “The feedback on the content and usability has been primarily positive”, Rajamäki states.

Intranet projects for large cities are massive considering the number of users alone, and Tasku, for example, has approximately 15,000 users. Large projects also often involve several organisations and people and the time scale is long, requiring the work to be carried out at stages.

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What are digital workplace, intranet and ESN anyway? This is how I define them

Organisations assign different tasks and roles to their Intranet. Over the past few years, the addition of features that enable knowledge-intensive work and interaction have caused many of the originally mass-communication focused intranets to transform into versatile digital workplaces.

Currently, there are basically two types of intranet: the communicational intranet and the digital workplace.

In addition, the popularity of using enterprise social networking (ESN) software as a tool for shared learning and coordination of work is growing.

Continue reading “What are digital workplace, intranet and ESN anyway? This is how I define them”

Content plan for an intranet – What does it include?

In addition to the technical requirements specification document, the content plan document is used to support the intranet implementation project. The plan can be also called content concept plan or content structure plan.

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Content planning best practices for intranets and digital workplaces

Intranet is a service which essentially exists due to the information it contains. However, not all information is relevant for every user group. On the other hand, some of this information is relevant for everyone – oftentimes it is even “pushed” in front of everybody’s eyes. Then again, some of the content is utilized actively every day – and some of it only once a year. Moreover, keeping the content up to date should be super-easy.

Challenging requirements for intranet concept planning? Three-function framework for intranet content strategy provides a helpful tool for content planning and managing the explicit organizational information inside an intranet – or a digital workplace.

Continue reading “Content planning best practices for intranets and digital workplaces”

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