Unily's roadmap to continuous improvement

With Unily’s impending 4.0 release launching this summer, we’ve been looking back at how far we’ve come. In just 3 years, the product has blossomed into a scalable enterprise solution that sits at the forefront of the intranet-as-a-service market. Organizations such as The Hershey Company, Monsoon Accessorize, Amec Foster Wheeler and many more continue to utilize the power of a Unily intranet to drive employee engagement and boost productivity.

We’re sharing an insight into the Unily roadmap from the very first edition, all the way to the solution we have today. See how the product has grown with exciting innovations developed by the BrightStarr team.

Unily 1.0 is released and debuted at the SharePoint Conference, Las Vegas

March 2014

Unily was the first intranet-as-a-service on the market, combining the Office 365 tools into a seamless digital workplace portal that can be deployed in just weeks. The product was originally built directly on top Office 365, including the content management system but had a focus on user experience to drive management and adoption of the tools. The product was mobile responsive from the very first release, designed to engage remote users.

  • Product and CMS built directly on top of Office 365
  • Integrating with Yammer and SharePoint
  • Communications focused functionality
  • Custom content management system designed to improve intranet publishing experience
  • Foundations of Apps and tools functionality


Unily 1.5 is released and the product is officially launched

September 2014

This version of Unily saw a host of functionality updates that formed the foundations of some of Unily’s most notable features. A new navigation bar was implemented to provide access to enhanced Apps and Tools to replace the Office 365 waffle menu, plus new translation and personalization functionality. The first Unily app was also launched, with a native application available for iOS from the app store.

  • First mobile applications available for iOS
  • Auto-translate functionality on individual pages
  • Foundations of personalization functionality
  • Office 365 show/hide bar removed in place of new Apps and Tools functionality

Unily 2.0 is released 

Spring 2015

The first major update to Unily featured a brand new user interface to keep pushing the product forward in terms of user experience and design. The new user interface included the foundations of widget functionality, implementing a homepage Smart Feed to intelligently pull together different types of content, alongside new widgets including latest video, upcoming events, trending documents, and top contributors.

  • Reimagined user experience
  • Performance enhancements to improve performance, including Single Page App architecture
  • Blogging portal becomes Stories, bringing together insights, news and videos
  • Deeper Yammer integration
  • Homepage Smart Feed
  • Homepage Widgets
  • Tribes
  • Preparation for Delve and OneDrive

Unily 3.0 is released

Spring 2016

The highlight of this version was the significant decision to detach Unily’s architecture from Office 365, moving to store all key intranet content within the Microsoft Azure platform. This offered significant performance enhancements across geographies while creating more integration and customization possibilities than ever before, including the Microsoft Graph. This update also featured the brand new content management system built on Azure which featured a host of new functionality and allowed for a quicker and more granular content publishing experience.

  • Amended architecture for improved performance
  • New deployment options included on-premises and hybrid options
  • Improved Content Management Experience including
    • Instant publishing
    • Micro-site builder (the foundations for Unily Sites)
    • Email newsletter tools
    • New permissions capabilities
  • Localization improvements including 1:1 translation within the CMS
  • Universal mobile app reflecting personalization and targeting settings

Unily 3.5 is released

Winter 2016

Around this time, the product saw some huge advances including:

  • The arrival of Unily social
  • New notifications and enhanced broadcast center
  • Updated document management center
  • New options for Hub and Engage users
  • Improved Unily Sites capabilities with multi-navigation options
  • Foundations of Unily Analytics and adoption program

Unily 4.0 is released

Summer 2017

Unily’s Summer update introduces some game changing new features that will empower clients with the ability to customize and configure their intranet solutions, without the need for additional development. The highlight of this release is the product’s transition to a Pages, Grids and Widgets structure that replaced static top-level pages with configurable widgets, that were previously the basis for Unily Sites only.

  • New abilities to configure and customize page layouts and widgets without development
  • Enhanced widget catalogue to support new configuration options
  • New content views to define experience for Hub, Engage and mobile users
  • Enhanced permissions model for granular control

The future of Unily

In just 3 years the product has seen some significant updates that continue to place Unily at the front of the pack for Intranet-as-a-Service products. The improvements and enhancements that the product sees are a combination of pure innovation and design from the Unily team, enhancements from the Microsoft roadmap which are thoughtfully integrated into the product and customer insights. We continue to not only enhance Unily functionality, but also the Customer Success wrapper to the product that is ultimately what drives success for our clients.

Request a demo to learn more about a Unily’s exciting new functionality.

Upcoming events

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Latest news

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    This week Unily launched a new report in partnership with Kjaer Global exploring the impact of technology, AI and cultural shifts on the future of the workplace in 2030 and beyond.

  • Rising digital workplace star Unily attracts $68m growth investment

    Unily, the leading digital workplace platform today announces it has attracted a $68 million growth investment from Silversmith Capital Partners and Farview Equity Partners. Post investment, Silversmith and Farview will hold a significant minority stake in the business and with board representation will support the existing management team on its ambitious international growth strategy.

  • Unily Intranet Masterclass Auckland: An Event Round-Up

    With a reported 87% of employees not engaged in their work, the need for businesses to develop employee engagement has never been greater. Unily’s exclusive masterclass; ‘How to maximize employee engagement with an intranet’ aims to address this by showcasing how organisations can use a digital workplace to create engaging employee experiences.

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Where next? Latest insights.

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According to the 2018 Talent Trends Report, 51% of ​employers planned to boost their spending on employee initiatives in 2019 and a significant percentage of this investment will go into technology. Why are so many companies investing in employee experience initiatives and what benefits does a strong employee experience bring to the modern enterprise?

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A universal message from the general email address blasted to all employees can have the same effect as stapling a memo to the bulletin board in the break room. Your people may take a half-hearted glance, but are they engaged? In this blog, we explore how intranets, and more specifically targeting and personalization, are helping to power authentic engagement with internal communications.

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