Intranet Now 2014 – the afternoon session

by | Sep 4, 2014 | Conferences, Intranets, Reviews

Several of the morning presentations at Intranet Now had been about small intranets, so it was a good contrast to have Kim England (Pearson) describing the implementation of a global Jive social intranet called Neo to complement a large number of individual intranets. Pearson has 40,000 staff speaking a very large number of different languages. People prefer to be social in their own language and the Pearson social intranet uses the auto-translate in Google Chrome. Even though the results are not always spot on they are good enough for people to decide whether to follow-up with a call or email. A major benefit of the implementation was a significant reduction in email traffic. The launch was ‘managed viral’. 200 were invited to use the network, and then they had to invite a further 200 and so on. Overall a superb implementation and presentation. Kevin Cody (Smallworlders) talked about the novel benchmarking methodology the company has developed. I have struggled to understand the approach from the documentation on the website but after just 5 minutes all became clear.

The next presentation was from Dan Hawtrey (Contentformula) talking about the work his firm had done on an intranet to support the Smile charitable initiative of Johnson & Johnson. Dan was virtually the only speaker to mention mobile access to intranets. Jessie Punia (IBM) packed a great deal into  5 minutes about the importance of social networking in the enterprise to provide realness (authenticity), trust and to respond to the need for employees to feel that they are being listened to. She quoted Simon Sinek’s view that customers never love a company until the employees love it first. How true. Jessie also mentioned the Edelman Trust Barometer, which I have to admit was new to me. The afternoon session was drawn to a close by Jonathan Phillips (CocaCola Enterprises) doing a virtuoso pitch on digital workplaces with a set of slides on autotimer. I was so interested to see if he survived the experience that I failed to take notes. He did!

The rest of the afternoon was given over to well over a dozen discussion groups, many of which were contributed on the fly by members of the audience. Participants were able to choose four but even then most had 15-20 participants. The only downside of the venue was that there were two groups per room, which mean quite a lot of cross-talk and people finding they were in the ‘wrong’ group. No one minded. Each session lasted 20 minutes, and in my two search sessions I had around 30 people in all, so I was well pleased with the interest in search, a topic that otherwise was (like mobile) noticeable by its absence from the presentations. But then I’m biased!

To round out the day Sam Marshall and I did a double act talking through the papers and themes, bringing into the discussion some of the speakers and other delegates. All too soon the session came to an end. The conference came to a close with an ovation for Wedge and Brian Lambe. A truly 5 star event.

Martin White