How to implement an award-winning intranet in a fraction of the time

The average time to design, build and deploy an intranet that appeared on the list of 10 winners from the 2016 Nielsen Norman Design Annual was 1.3 years.

dorma+kaba managed to launch their Office 365 intranet in just 60 days. What does this mean for your intranet strategy? And how will it impact the wider industry and your competitiveness to your peers?

Utilizing a turnkey approach for rapid results

dorma+kaba offer premium access solutions & services globally and is headquartered in Germany with over 16,000 employees spread across 50 countries. Earlier in January their intranet was named as one of the 10 winners in the Nielsen Norman Group Design Annual 2016. That report revealed that the average intranet took over a year to design, build and launch whereas dorma+kaba had their own intranet .

What’s more, once launched it was a striking success resulting in a significant uptick in employee engagement and the reach of their internal communications that resulted in a 148% increase inintranet visits and 131% increase in news coverage alone (Case Study). dorma+kaba managed this by choosing Office 365 as their platform, the only winner on the list who did, and by using a turnkey best intranet software that leverages that platform. This meant that dorma+kaba did not have to build all of the common components that an intranet requires from the ground-up saving valuable time and expense. 

An out-of-the-box turnkey solution won’t work for us - how can we benefit? 

Despite this success story, it goes without saying that launching an intranet in just 60 days is not going to be possible for all organizations, in all scenarios. However, it is clearly this approach can besignificantly faster than developing a custom solution from scratch. At BrightStarr I work with many large enterprise organizations who comment that they have a unique or extremely complex situation that would prevent the use of an out-of-the-box solution without further customizationbut that’s okay too!

Even if you required 10-30% customizations to a turnkey solution, and this doubled the time to launch the intranet to four months you would still have an intranet live 11 months earlier than theindustry average! How valuable is the time saved to you? And what could you do with it?  

In addition many turnkey solutions, such as Unily, are evergreen, meaning they include free, and regular updates. Over 1.3 years an intranet built with Unily would have received numerousenhancements, this means new features, UI improvements, more supported (potentially as yet unreleased) devices and the integration of new technologies released as part of the Microsoft Office 365 road-map. And all of this is before you even start to consider the lost opportunity cost. 

What does this mean? 

Rarely does business have the opportunity to grasp the gift of time, adopting a turnkey approach to your intranet will allow you to spend less time on creating the foundation and building blocks of your intranet and more time to focus on solving business challenges. Over the timespan of a year a business case, and even technical platforms, can change dramatically and I believe that, as is visible with Microsoft’s approach to the Office 365 product road-map, the future does not lie with large big bang projects but in an iterative approach gets you started fast and delivers additional value with each subsequent release 

Whereas 2015 was a breakthrough year for turnkey intranet solutions, 2016 promises to bring further acceptance of the concept and a shift towards the approach becoming more common than alternative approaches such as in-house development and maintenance or a custom built solution. This isn’t just my own opinion, it is also being predicted by other respected industry veterans such as Sam Marshall at Clearbox Consulting, who just released a free SharePoint intranet-in-a-box report, and James Robertson, MD at Step Two Designs, who stated:  

“Within 1-2 years, the SharePoint intranet marketplace will shift from 90% custom-coded solutions, to 80-90% out-of-the-box intranet products running on SharePoint as a platform." 

If you are considering your intranet strategy in 2016 then be sure to check-out Unily, a managed and turnkey intranet as a service for Office 365 or SharePoint Server. 

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