The 2013 edition starts out with an overview of the ten intranets highlighting some of the commonalities between them.  It then presents profiles of organisations, with each profile running to 30 – 40 pages, each with a good selection of screen shots and a lot of tabular content about the technologies used and the development timeline for the intranet.

The organisations in the report are

  • Acorda Therapeutics, Inc. (biotechnology USA) 
  • AT&T, (telecommunications USA) 
  • Hager Group, (manufacturing, Germany
  • Luzerner Kantonalbank AG, (banking, Switzerland)
  • ONO, (telecommunications, Spain) 
  • Saudi Commission for Tourism and Antiquities (government
  • agency  Saudi Arabia)
  • Swiss Mobiliar Insurance & Pensions,( insurance,  Switzerland)
  • WorkSafeBC, (employer’s organisation, Canada) 
  • XL Group plc, (insurance, Ireland)

The level of detail is fairly consistent though reading between the lines there are probably some interesting stories which ended up on the cutting room floor. There are also a lot of quotable quotes, such as this one from AT&T

“The biggest challenge in implementing a new search engine is integrating the technology with the content. We spent 90 days testing common searches and fine tuning the search algorithm with our metadata to ensure the user experience was extraordinary.”

It is easy to say that AT&T had the resources to spend 90 days, but how many organisations even spend 9 days? The report ends with a set of recommendations for the design process and a summary of why other intranets failed to make the final report.

This is a report that profiles ten intranets in detail. Are they the best in the world? Maybe not. But the only other way you are going to get this level of detail is to join the Intranet Benchmarking Forum and that costs more than $248. This is not a handbook but (just like the Intranet Innovations Award report) something to dip into for inspiration and/or reassurance. It is also valuable in being able to show senior managers about what is possible with a combination of leadership from the organisation and passion from the intranet team.  For my view on the methodology see Part 1 of this blog.

Martin White