Microsoft’s Sharepoint platform continues to dominate the intranet landscape in various sectors, including law firms and professional services. But as Toby Ward writes on CMSWire, this is not necessarily leading to more social intranets appearing, with only 10% of a recent survey reporting that their intranet could be described as ‘social.’
This is a real shame, in our view, since intranet projects tend to fall down on the very issues of engagement, relevance and collaboration for which social intranets are such a good solution.
At the recent Interact Intranet conference in London, I spoke about the importance of social intranets for workforce engagement, and highlighted some of the key features and benefits of social intranets for knowledge-based firms such as legal and professional services firms. Here are my slides:
Recognising the limitations of Sharepoint, which we have discussed here before, many firms are now asking how they can use SharePoint as a base layer for their intranet, taking advantage of its Office integration, identity and security management and other good features, whilst adding a social layer on top to drive engagement and collaboration. We are doing several projects in this area, and the solution usually involves some combination of good user experience and workflow design, to get the best out of existing SP2010 social features, and/or the use of additional products such as tibbr or Newsgator.
But something we have not covered before is the possibility of using IBM Connections as a complete social business layer on top of Sharepoint. This has some clear advantages such as the simplicity of managing two distinct platforms, rather than over-customising SharePoint, and taking advantage of the far more advanced social features of a dedicated social business platform.
To explore this option further, we are jointly hosting a breakfast briefing with IBM on November 15th for top tier UK law firms, where we can learn more about their experiences of or opinions on SharePoint and social intranets, and discuss the possible benefits of SharePoint + Connections. If you are interested to attend, please contact my colleague Christoph Schmaltz.