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Intranet Development for Improved Internal Communications

The Intranet was a disaster! Content was tremendously outdated, and everyone knew it. The navigation didn’t lead to all of the pages. Only teammates who had access to the network, about 20%, could reach the Intranet. Oh, and there were no funds available to pay for a solution. Here's how I turned it around.

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block graphic intranet

Intranet Development

The Problem

The Intranet was a disaster! Content was tremendously outdated, and everyone knew it. The navigation didn’t lead to all pages. Only teammates who had access to the network, about 20%, could reach the Intranet. Oh, and there were no funds available to pay for a solution that worked. The Intranet was a tool that only caused more problems.

The Solution

We could rebuild it. We have the technology. And, it wasn’t going to cost six million dollars.

The Six Million Dollar Man is a tremendously old cultural reference – but still really cool one.

The new Intranet initiative was born. We chose to use a content management system (CMS) that would allow those who have the content knowledge to manage it. The CMS had to be easy to use though, because content maintenance would fall on to less technical teammates.

Hosting the CMS outside of the network was a no-brainer. It opened up the system to all 10,000 teammates. We needed a CMS that was free and that offered lots of free or inexpensive add-ons. We found what we were looking for in, Concrete 5, an open-source CMS that the Canadian government and some western USA universities were using.

Concrete5 CMS

Concrete 5 was easy to use, offered an ever expanding library of plugins and met the primary need. It was free. I and another teammate built the site. Then,the web admins, those responsible for managing the content, were trained. The new intranet launched in January 2010 to rave reviews. It was light years beyond the previous version.

The Results

Since the launch three years ago, the Intranet has grown significantly. Some web admins were better than others at keeping content up to date, but most did a great job. Intranet usage grew steadily among those with and without network access.

Intranet Usage Stats

  • 1.5 million visits in 3 years
  • 1000 unique visitors per month (on average)
  • Over 1500 pages
  • Over 5000 documents
  • 52 web admins

Visitors to Intranet

graph showing the number of visitors to intranet
Google Analytics Data 01/2010 – 04/2013