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Intranet Software: The...

Intranet Software: The Key to Efficiency

Collaboration software with full intranet capabilities can close the gap between dreams and reality.

There’s an old saying: The gap between theory and practice is greater in practice than it is in theory. In other words: things are easier said than done. This is almost a given in the field of administration, where coordination and collaboration with others is key. No matter what industry you’re administering, if the left hand doesn’t know what the right hand is doing, confusion reigns. Intranet software is the answer to this age-old problem, but how you use it could be the difference between success and failure.

What should be at the top of the list when setting up intranet software? For someone new to intranet applications, the first task would be personal research and contact with application vendors to find out what can be done. Next, you survey the potential users.
    
Ultimately, you want to enable everyone to do their jobs more easily, more efficiently, more profitably, and more pleasantly. You may have your own ideas about what each person or department needs; nothing takes the place of getting the info directly from the guys doing the job.

While all companies and departments have different priorities and problems that can be solved with intranet software, a study conducted by author, speaker and web content management consultant Gerry McGovern provides some good basics. Nearly 250 intranet users from North America, Europe and Australia/New Zealand were given a list of 58 intranet software features and functions and asked to choose the five most important.

Surprisingly, “find people” got a whopping 18 percent of the vote, more than the 35 bottom tasks combined.

Find people—who does what, how do I find them—is accommodated in intranet software with HR files and group calendar functions. HR supplies job descriptions, schedules, email addresses, phone numbers, location of departments and desks, and so on. The group calendar section tells you who’s out of town and who’s in, who’s in meetings and who’s out, and when they’ll be available. You can also set up meetings with this function—gone are the days when it takes an entire day to find everyone involved and coordinate. Intranet software cuts the legwork down to a few minutes.

Respondents were also asked about their top three desired improvements. “Better content organization and classification,” “easier to find information,” and “better search” were the winners.

While all company information may be somewhere on your intranet, if it’s not easily accessible it’s about as useful as a badly-written technical user manual—no one will read it, and everyone will be wasting their own and everyone else’s time trying to find info they should be able to access with a few keystrokes.

Intranet software is a subset of collaboration software. Collaboration software has additional features and functionality, but the best applications include full intranet capabilities—just the bare bones of which are described above.

If you want to close the gap between theory and practice and turn your company’s dreams into reality, check out the benefits of intranet software.

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