Articles, Digital Workplaces, Intranet

Intra.NET Reloaded Berlin 2017 Review

The Intra.NET Reloaded Berlin 2017 was once again a fully packed event with extensive networking, inspirational keynotes, interactive sessions and the first Intra.NET Reloaded Hackathon. Let us take a deep breath and look back on what has been going on at KOSMOS Cinema in the past days. We tried to pick out at least a few of the exciting sessions that left lasting impressions on the community.

Pre-Conference Action

While a lot of attendees were still on their way to Berlin some sedulous minds had already begun with the first Intra.NET Reloaded sessions on Wednesday. Rasmus Thomsen (Is It A Bird) led the Pre-Conference Design Thinking Workshop on developing a user- and people centric intranet approach at Hotel Oderberger. At the same time we witnessed the official start of the first Intra.NET Hackathon with 20 coders, interface designers and UX specialists.

As the hackers made their first moves the pre-conference action commenced with the annual icebreaker sessions in the evening. This year’s icebreaker was special – it didn’t take place in a traditional dinner location but at the headquarters of our partner movingimage, who invited the community for an informal get-together with a beautiful view on the Spree.

From All-Stars to Early Birds

Thursday started with the conference introduction by 2 true Intra.NET Reloaded all-stars – Kelli Carlson and Darius Miranda from Wells Fargo. The advocates gave an outlook of what to expect from this year’s Intra.NET Reloaded edition and asked Hanna Karpi from Skanska AB to initiate the first conference stage – digitalization of the workplace. Her case study focussed on balancing local and global needs on the journey to the digital workplace. She also emphasised the importance of usability as users have to be engaged to develop commitment for the digital development.

The following presentation by Sebastian Picklum from movingimage addressed a topic that should come up more often during the conference: Enterprise Video. He showed the audience how to enable live and on-demand video streaming in intranets with Jive, Yammer, Jam and SharePoint.

Stage 2: Enterprise Collaboration and SharePoint Engineering

Further presentations on Stage 2 commenced after a short networking break. with 4 presentations focussing on enterprise collaboration and SharePoint engineering. Dr. Michal Tsur from Kaltura for example mentioned big business changes induced by the video convergence. Until recently many different tools and platforms were needed to use video as an instrument for communication, information and knowledge sharing. However this should become part of the past soon due to the implementation of the digital workplace where all employees become content creators and consumers.

After a huge portion of first-hand knowledge the attendees started their well-deserved lunch break. Meanwhile Jeff Willinger from RightPoint made the final preparations for his 2h workshop session “Creating the Digital Workplace with Office 365” after lunch. The workshop aimed on teaching how to lead voice of the user sessions to drive adoption and engagement with your intranet portal. It included a real world digital roadmap via live demo to deliver a renewed sense of intranet purpose.

Think Digital – Spread the Digital Word

Parallel to the workshop Stage 3 took off in the plenary with Morten Dal (PANDORA) and his talk on the challenges of engaging a global organization in a new corporate digital workspace. PANDORA’s old intranet was only used by barely 25% of the workforce, so it was a huge task to integrate the people into using the new platform Infora. That is why PANDORA spent one third of the project budget for each the platform, internal marketing and training. The company also developed a mobile app for employees who are not working with a desktop computer like it is the case for 12,000 people from the location in Thailand. Additionally an intranet team was built that travelled the global company locations to train site managers and end users.

Barclays: Giving the Eagle Digital Wings

Another exciting use case was presented by David Gowans from Barclays Bank. He told the story of Barclays’ cultural transformation through its Digital Eagle program and its new Eagle Labs, urging the audience to not forget about the people and their needs when it comes to digital transformation. Listening to the voice of 130,000 employees across the world is a tough challenge, but Barclays did so in 2012 and filtered central issues: The workforce complained that it is difficult to communicate with branches and/or with frontline staff as they didn’t have email. Many people also requested a stronger focus on customer service and a mobile app for communication. The company granted their wish and developed “MyZone”, an app driven by colleague evolution offering communication tools, enterprise news, job boards and more.

Moreover Barclays sent 18 volunteers, the so called Digital Eagles, on a global trip to coach colleagues regarding the digital workplace and showcase its benefits. As of now there are about 17,000 Digital Eagles in the company. The Digital Wings programme was launched – an internet-based learning platform with gamification elements where colleagues can learn how to code, develop, support colleagues and customers in becoming digitally savvy. Lastly Barclays initiated Eagle Labs – areas and co-working spaces for businesses and people to collaborate and connect.

Night Shift: Intra.NET Award and Party

Towards the end of the first conference day people gathered at the 9 Challenges Your Peers Roundtables moderated by Intra.NET Reloaded speakers addressing the attendees’ most relevant questions and challenges around content governance, platform merge, user adoption, mobile app integration, user profiling, data analytics and community management. After 2 more case studies the chairs concluded the first conference day and announced the upcoming Networking Dinner and Intra.NET Award Ceremony. This year’s award theme: “Candyland”. The award location was full of colorful furniture, balloons, sweets and a DJ who could be considered Willy Wonka’s brother. Like last year the award ceremony was moderated by Philipp Rosenthal from infocentric. Together with the event charity partner DKMS he handed the winners their trophies and rang in the after-award party.

The community partied hard at night but was mostly set and ready for the start of the second conference at 7:30 AM. Second day chair was Dr. Michal Tsur, who already held a presentation on the first conference day. Morten Anderskov and Thomas Borch (Novozymes) swept away the audience’s slight hangover with their approach for a social intranet using SharePoint out-of-the-box functionality. The “Zymernet” helped to build more efficient project teams and find knowledge that the company wasn’t aware of before. Another milestone was the ability to move the solution to the cloud with limited effort.

Awaiting Millennials and merging Intranets

Next Adrian Gagala from dormakaba changed the vantage point and looked at the digital workplace from a demographic perspective. In 2014 the company raised the question: “How will our work look like in 5 years?” The answer: Multiple generations (4-5) will work side by side in 2020, 40% of the workforce will be millennials. So managing generational and geographical mixture is the key to success. Adrian mentioned plug & play offices for 24/7 communication and worldwide core teams instead of isolated departments as two possible success factors for the future. He also mentioned the challenges of transferring one intranet to another which was implemented in 2015 when dorma and kaba merged.

At 11:20 AM we rang the bell for the start of the 14 World Café sessions. The interactive conversation rounds were hosted by digital experts from organizations such as Lufthansa, Delivery Hero, Bosch, The European Commission, Siemens and Wells Fargo, to name a few. Afterwards the participants reassembled one last time to listen to the last 3 case studies by Vodafone, Schneider Electric and Amec Foster Wheeler.

The closing keynote was held by another Intra.NET Reloaded all-star and award jury member – Tereza Urbankova. Just like in the dormakaba case a merger was the initial spark for creating a digital workplace. Tereza started the project pre-merger in 2014 and has produced visible success ever since. 4 versions of platforms have been introduced in the past 2 years. The first one was “just” a common website with no particular branding. By the end of 2015 Amec Foster Wheeler had a digital workplace called Onespace with different apps and tools such as a document filter, search function and directory and Yammer conversation. Today the workspace counts 22,000 unique users, 375,000 unique sessions and 48,000 daily visits.

And that’s it from the Intra.NET Reloaded 2017 in Berlin. We sure can say the event was a stunner – we can’t wait to see you again next year!

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