I have to admit I dozed off for a bit and missed a few presentations… Shame! I did record them and will listen to them soon.
The Organisation of the whole event was great, the ease of participating, and the feedback by Q&A all very informative. There were several intranet sites of different levels, a few of them I already had the “pleasure” of working with:
British American Tobacco. I worked for BAT as a 2nd Line support analyst and also ran a few projects for their support services. That was around the time, new designs where implemented and the intranet started to get the professional look it has now.
Also as a Domino applications developer an intranet site running on Lotus Domino v7 is a real challenge as building web enabled and dynamic applications on that platform is close to Chinese torture. Therefore, I really liked how far they managed to stretch the capabilities.
British Telecom. As one of our customers I had seen some parts of the intranet site, but the complete overview was quite good. I liked their focus on micro-blogging and the use of RSS to push news out. Also their BTpedia knowledge wiki was an impressive demonstration of corporation without too much control in a corporate environment that gives a clear advantage to the business.
Aside from those, I liked the overview of Aviva, the first presented, which had an impressive presence of their forum, which, aside from a set of guidelines was a clearly open interaction between all employees.
The Yammer overview was good and gave us all a lot of arguments to convince company management for the implementation of any social elements to the intranet we work on.
News feeds where also very well demonstrated by Reynolds Porter Chamberlain who had a very nice embedded newsreader that was customised for each employee when joining the organisation. Aside from that the focus was more on the social aspect than on the news.
The social element was the core of the presentation by the National Field team. They demonstrated a site that resembled facebook/Yammer a lot! I believe that this would cause a huge drop in productivity in a business environment, but doe fit the culture and situation very well. The positive side of this is that the adoption by staff is easy as the environment is recognisable.
In the talk about Open Leadership from Charlene Li, one of the phrases that caught my attention was “CEO’s are terrified of losing control… But they don’t have control anyway!” She also gave a lot of arguments for a more social environment where control is loosened and cooperation is made easier.
Google showed lots of slides, and a bit of MOMA, their intranet based mainly (could not be different) based on search. Understandable when you hear about the amount of Data that they manage, but disappointing as most of us where hoping for a look in the kitchen.
Lovemachine and oDesk, both where very aligned to what they believe the intranet should be in the future, I liked that. Social and Open and this way removing any remains of Silos that could be limiting employees’ productivity and creativity.
That’s what I made notes of, I followed quite a few more, but I could not write anymore and eventually dosed off… hopefully the recordings will be online soon and we can have a look at the ones we missed and review the ones that really caught our attention.
- Everyone was talking about the business need while maintaining:
- Accent on Social media implementations
- Accent on Openness and removing strict control
- In general Intranets are starting to look better and are more adapted to the company image while maintaining functionality and easy adoption.
- 24 hours is a Long run!
- Enormous Sharepoint presence, I feel a bit of fear that Microsoft will soon dominate this market soon too, if not already. A lack of Google to give a compelling presentation did not help. BAT showed quality resistance though with their Lotus Domino based intranet.
- Would have loved to record sound and image locally. I can imagine that the amount of participation and the value of the event would have dropped though.
Overall this was a great experience which I hope to repeat next year.