What's coming to Unily in 2018?

2017 has been another big year for Unily, with over 500,000 new users added to the platform! As well as this, the product saw some significant updates that make it easier than ever to create reactive and engaging experiences for employees.

These improvements and enhancements are driven by a combination of pure innovation and design from the Unily team, enhancements from the Microsoft roadmap which are thoughtfully integrated into the product, and trends we see from our customer base.
With 2018 just around the corner, we’re taking a look back at some of Unily’s 2017 feature highlights and giving you a sneak peek into the roadmap for next year!

2017 Highlights

Unily Social

In February this year, Unily Social was born. Unily Social is our home-grown Enterprise Social Networking platform designed to offer an alternative to Yammer – it’s the perfect solution for organizations with a combination of both Office 365 integrated and non-integrated users. Integrated with notifications, users receive push notifications when their post is replied to or reacted to. Companies can also manage and govern their enterprise social network on both desktop and mobile using the Profanity Filter to filter content and posts based on keywords. Unily Social is seamlessly integrated across Unily, allowing users to comment, share and react on Stories and add Unily Social Channels to keep the conversation in context. Unily Social Channels enables you to create channels to focus conversations around topics, teams or projects, ultimately bringing employees together.

Unily Social highlights:

  • Social channels
  • Media Gallery
  • Embed your own media
  • Mobile responsive and available on the Unily App.
  • Custom reactions

Pages, grids and widgets

Unily’s Summer Update in August introduced some exciting new features to give you the ability to customize and configure page layouts and content, without the need for additional development. A key element of this is Unily’s transition to a flexible Pages, Grids and Widgets foundation, replacing static top-level pages and static widgets. This means the layout and configuration of pages such as the Homepage, People Directory, Conversations, Story Content, Unily Sites and more can be easily edited by content managers without the need for development. Ultimately, this transition gives you more power over your intranet solution, whilst reducing development bottlenecks and reliance on IT teams. Read more about the Summer Update release here.

Layout control

As part of the Summer Update, we also saw layout control extended to all devices and views. Previously, one page layout was adapted across tablet and mobile for all users. Now, you have full control to manage and adapt the widgets and the content shown, not only on desktop and mobile views, but also for all users. By tailoring experiences to your audience’s needs, you have more power to engage them with the right content in the right format. We also introduced the Preview function within the Content Management System (CMS) which allows you to review page layouts from different views before publishing.

Enhanced widget catalogue

To support the new page building foundation, this year also saw a brand new catalogue of widgets added to the platform. These widgets pull up content and information from across the intranet in a mobile-friendly format, supporting various campaigns and functions. Some of our favourite widgets from this year include:

  • Audience Rollup
  • Apps and Tools
  • Essential Links
  • News Tiles
  • RSS Feed
  • PowerBi Report
  • Social Aggregator
  • Stock Ticker
  • Map
  • Weather Forecast
  • My Tasks

Learn more about some of our latest widgets here.

Content views

New content templates released as part of the Summer Update allow you to create different Content Views for the same type of page, making use of the grid and widget foundation. For example, you can now have different pre-set layouts for three different types of News e.g. a CEO Blog, Press Release or Corporate Communications post, each with different content and information rolled up in Widgets in the sidebar.

Enhanced permissions model

As Unily’s functionality gets richer, it is even more important to have flexible permissions to ensure employees are only seeing the content they need to. This year, we have improved the way that you manage access to your intranet content, giving you granular control over who can be given what level of access to which content.

New user profile interface

Unily user profiles also had a makeover this year, with a brand new user interface and new widgets to support better networking. New widgets include:

  • Organisation Chart – a visual representation of your reporting line
  • My Insights Rollup – a list of the user’s insights
  • My Documents Rollup – a list of the user’s authored documents
  • My Connections Rollup – a list of the user’s connections

This new interface has also been adapted for mobile, featuring a neatly tabbed rollup of user’s Insights, Documents and Connections. For a deeper dive into the new user profiles, take a look at our blog here.

Page analytics

This year also saw in-page analytics added to the platform which allow you to quickly see high-level stats for particular pages within the CMS, including total visits and desktop / mobile consumption. This gives content editors a quick snapshot of how new content or pages are doing, such as a new piece of corporate communications, without having to head to PowerBi.

Looking to 2018

Unily would be nothing without its evergreen platform and innovative roadmap. That’s why we’ve got a lot to look forward to in 2018 as our developers work hard to bring you the best intranet features around.

Hendrix

Next year, we're building on the advancements of Pages, Grids and Widgets to make it easier and quicker to create custom intranet experiences within Unily. Introducing Hendrix. Hendrix is an engine within Unily’s Content Management System made up of a number of components that will allow digital experiences to be built on the platform without the need for heavy lifting, deep customizations and upgrading environments. It combines some elements you’ll already be familiar with, like the grids and widgets, but also incorporates some new functionality such as the ability to create your own search intelligence, add scripts and styles to Unily and more, all without an additional deployment.

If you're a Unily customer, you have exclusive access to learn more about Hendrix before its general release. Join our webinar in January as we show you exactly what Hendrix can do, hosted by Unily Co-founder - Will Saville and Head of Product Development – Matt Harding.

Must-read content

There are situations within a company where intranet managers publish business critical content that needs to be acknowledged by everyone in the company. An example of this is when a policy is updated, or a piece of critical communications need to reach a particular group of users. The new mandatory read content feature will enable content managers to set up ‘must-read content’ for a select audience and report on who has read the content, aiding compliance.

Active Directory integration for audiences and security

This new functionality will make intranet compliance and security easier for all organisations, who want to utilise security groups in Unily which are already setup in Active Directory for other Line of Business applications. Next year, you’ll be able to link Unily’s Security function directly to Active Directory groups, syncing across pre-defined groups when defining content and access permissions.

Targeted homepages

Over the past year, it’s become apparent that having a single intranet homepage with personalised content is not always personalised enough. Some organisations have the need to present completely different homepage layouts to different groups of users, based on a location, brand, function or role. Next year, we’re making this a reality! Within the CMS, intranet managers will be able to set custom homepages for audiences that have been setup within the Targeting section of Unily. This could be based on an Active Directory group or a custom audience. In cases where a user belongs to more than one audience, CMS users will be able to sort custom homepage rules to define these priorities.

Improved gamification with badges

Unily's badge functionality is a great tool for publicly awarding your staff for their effort and expertise. It’s also a great way to introduce gamification to your intranet, awarding employees for completing their intranet profile, authoring a new piece of content first on their team or providing the best customer service that month. A new feature coming soon will allow employees, with the appropriate permissions, to assign badges to multiple people via the people directory, or to a single person via the user profile page. This improves the current experience which only allows badges to be assigned with the CMS. For further insight into how you can use intranet badges to influence positive employee behaviour, check out our blog here.

Updates to iOS and Android apps

Unily’s mobile app is an essential part of the engagement package, providing a great-looking, easy to use intranet app for employees no matter where they work or what their role is. In 2018, the mobile app will see some exciting improvements, designed to improve the overall user experience and support customizations such as adding an app icon, app name and streamlining the sign-in process.

Forms enhancements

Unily enables you to create and manage organisational forms directly from the intranet so you can gather feedback and information, and help users to stay compliant. Next year, forms are getting a makeover to improve the publishing experience and management of results. These include new datatypes, a new forms folder and new workflows.

Unily Hybrid Mode

Unily Hybrid Mode will introduce an improved connection between Unily and SharePoint Servers such as SharePoint 2013 and SharePoint 2016. Currently, content from SharePoint Server can be surfaced within Unily in a single set of results alongside information stored in Office 365. This improves the search experience for users, as they are able to use a single intranet (Unily) to search across all possible locations. Next year, this connection will get even better. As well as surfacing information across multiple SharePoint Sites within Unily using federated search, an employee will be able to sign in to Unily and then navigate seamlessly into SharePoint Server sites or pages, or query from SharePoint without having to log-in again.

Summary

We hope that's given you an insight into the exciting plans we've got for the Unily product next year. We can't wait to hear your feedback! If you'd like to learn more about a particular item, don't hesitate to get in touch with your Customer Success Manager. If you're not currently a Unily customer, get in touch today to arrange a demo of the platform. 

Upcoming events

View all

Latest news

View all

Where next? Latest insights.

Why enterprises that prioritize digital employee experience outperform the competition

Modern life is digital. We rely on technology to do everything from navigating our commute to ordering our evening meal. If our digital tools are not sufficient to support us, it holds us back. And that’s as true at home as it is at work. It is this sentiment that underpins the concept of digital employee experience. In this blog, we uncover the role of technology can play in shaping office productivity and employee engagement.

Is your digital workplace UX holding back your internal comms?

User experience is like breathing or grammar or film editing. You don’t notice it unless it’s bad. By the time not-so-great UX blips the radar, the effects of bad design are in full swing and discouraging your employees from engaging with your platform and, henceforth, your internal comms. So what is good digital workplace UX and how can we achieve it? In this blog we explore the impact of UX on internal communications. Plus 3 tips from our expert consultants on how to create a flawless user experience that drives adoption.

Samuel, Son & Co. Ltd. partners with Unily to launch digital workplace platform

Samuel, Son & Co. Limited looks to bolster internal communications as they continue to operate an integrated network of metal manufacturing, processing and distribution divisions. Unily, who create the next generation of intranet, will help transform the way the business communicates and works.

SUBSCRIBE. To our insights.

The latest digital workplace news, events, guides and case studies.