Does your office cleaner need access to your intranet?

During a visit to NASA Space Centre in 1962 President John F. Kennedy spotted a janitor carrying a broom. He deviated off to the man and said “Hi, I’m Jack Kennedy. What are you doing?” “Well Mr. President,” the janitor responded, “I’m helping to put a man on the moon.”

Footprints on the moons surface looking for an intranet

Remove the digital divide

What we can learn from this is the importance that every employee plays in an organization. But does your office cleaner need access to your entire corporate intranet? Probably not. Chances are they don’t need to collaborate on a document with a colleague or keep track of a project online, but there are aspects of an intranet that can bridge the digital divide between your head office workers and your extended team.

The concept of a digital divide is one that is often overlooked. This isn’t just about the office maintenance team not having access to the company intranet, but more to do with departments and teams that can not or are not utilizing their digital workplace in the right ways to collaborate effectively with people outside of their immediate team.

Often enough we find front line staff within organizations such as retail stores are excluded from head-office announcements, even though these employees are arguably the most important audience given the impact internal communications has on employee engagement, morale & productivity (Sylvester 2014). Internal communication is not the process of management handing out orders down the chain of command but should be a two-way conversation aimed at creating a harmonious flow of information throughout the organization.

At first glance, giving front-line staff access to an intranet may seem like a secondary objective but extending your intranet to these teams has the potential to improve communication, decision making and productive use of information.

How do you connect with your extended team?

Until recently, internal communications have commonly been accessible through an internal system or email that employees access on a desktop or laptop. However, an Assistant Manager of a busy department store sitting in front of a computer all day to check the latest from Head Office isn’t the ultimate example of maximising productivity. Workers need to be engaged and informed from any device, with access to company social feeds, important documentation, internal communications and more. This is where an intranet mobile app such as Unily’s shines through. Documents, social feeds and company news can be accessed through the app on any mobile device, giving employees the freedom to access content on the go.

How is Unily making this more accessible?

Our products work hand in hand to connect your entire workforce. Built on Microsoft Azure, our complete digital workplace solutions seamlessly integrate with Office 365, allowing users with access to an Office 365 license to utilize tools such as SharePoint, Yammer, OneDrive and more. However, for those users without access to an Office 365 license, our internal communications platform allows them to login through Azure, giving them access to essential communications and resources that keep them in the know, on any device without Office 365 integration.

This year we’ve been making some changes to make it easier than ever to engage the previously disconnected workforce.

#1. Unily Documents

Introducing an all-new document center built right into Unily. The document center CMS allows you to store documents directly within Azure, rather than using SharePoint or OneDrive. For those non-Office 365 users, this is a game-changer, as they’ll now be able to view any documents stored directly within Unily. A good use case example for this is to share a new policy or the employee handbook. If they’re stored in Unily Documents, every single user will have access to it.

Unily document center

#2. Unily Social

Previously on Unily, enterprise social networking was only available for users who could access Yammer or another social platform. We’ve now built our very own social network directly within Unily giving organizations the option to utilize a social channel that’s available for every user through Azure. This new social channel empowers your extended employees to get involved with conversations around your internal communications and meet and collaborate with people in the company they’ve never had access to before.

Unily social channels

#3. Collaboration with B2B and B2C using Azure AD

Unily is easing the management process of allowing external users from different organizations to share data and collaborate with each other within applications that utilize Azure AD for Authentication. Using Azure B2B, this is handled quite simply, by allowing you to “invite” external users to the Azure AD that is used to authenticate against a particular application, be it Office 365 or another Azure AD based application, such as Unily. This makes it easier than ever for users logging in with a variety of email addresses.

Enhanced experiences

With Unily’s enhanced experiences, your front-line staff, maintenance team, factory workers (and even your office cleaner) can be better connected to the information, people and resources that matter. There’s no reason why each individual employee shouldn’t feel engaged, valued and informed in your workplace.

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