The activity stream is a central part of enterprise social software platforms. This is an information stream that depicts activities such as status updates and recently published content and conversations – with the corresponding comments and tags – chronologically and in real-time. The advantage of activity streams is seen in the transparency of the communication and the ad-hoc interaction: Important information, thoughts, ideas and questions can be share with everyone. Some solutions even include a facility for implemented applications to provide notifications.
Beyond activity streams and messages, some social intranet solutions provide additional integrated applications. With these, the range of functions can be adjusted and expanded just as you like. For example, reservation and release processes can be controlled from within the social intranet. More elaborate applications even provide a facility for notifications from software systems, e.g. the CRM or project management tool, to flow directly into the employee communication.
You'll find ready-made applications in the United Planet App Store.
Depending on the solution, the applications connected to the social intranet can be customized or created from scratch according to the users’ needs. Some products provide a graphical user interface for this purpose; this can be used to make the digitalization of business processes easier.
Authoring refers to the simple publishing or editing of content as an individual author (e.g. in forums) or as a group (e.g. in wikis).
The use of private devices, such as smartphones and tablets, is currently in trend. With BYOD, companies are hoping for increased employee satisfaction and efficiency because the employees are already familiar with their own devise. It’s common, however, that companies worry about security issues here. A new alternative is the CYOD concept: Companies present employees with devices, which fulfil the company’s requirements in terms of security and IT structure, and allow them to select their preferred device.
Change communication refers to the communication measures that support change processes in organizations. The primary goal of such measures consists in encouraging the employee’s acceptance of changes.
Displacement of IT resources (memory, software) to central servers that aren't considered to be part of the company infrastructure but rather made available by independent third-party providers.
Collaboration is when employees work together with the aid of functions from a social software platform.
Communities are groups of employees who work together on a project or pursue a mutual interest with the help of social software. Furthermore, “community” is the name of a feature within social software used to create work groups.
The dashboards refers to the graphical user interface that tools can be managed and controlled with.
Data integration, also known as information integration, is a term for the merging of data from a variety of sources into a uniform data structure. Data integration is mostly used when integrating workflows and processes from established systems with different data structures. Sometimes, data from external systems, such as the ERP, can be brought together at a central location in the social intranet.
Digital transformation is understood to be the use of technology to noticeably increase the performance or range of a company. Here, it’s about refining the business procedures, the business model and the customer experience; it’s not just about implementing new technologies.
The Digital Workplace refers to the entirety of the required access infrastructures, applications and device platforms of information and knowledge workers who need these to fulfil their work tasks and to practice collaboration. The long-term goal from the management’s perspective should be to provide the employees with personalized access to all of the relevant information, business and collaboration applications and resources. The main idea is to network the available applications and to have uniform control.
More information about the Digital Workplace.
The document management system (DMS) encompasses the management and administration of electronic documents in a database. Functions that enable the centralized management of documents are labelled with document sharing. Collective editing, versioning and the provision of access permissions to documents are all widespread functions of document sharing. The social intranet is often directly connected to the document management system.
More information about document management.
The use of social media tools, especially within a company or an organization, comes under the term Enterprise 2.0. Andrew McAfee introduced this term as follows in 2006: "Enterprise 2.0 is the use of emergent social software platforms within companies, or between companies and their partners or customers." (McAfee/Andrew 2006).
An enterprise social network is a network that simplifies collaboration and communication and usually combines the following applications: activity stream, exchanging of documents, photos and videos, creating of topic and project-related groups, messaging function, and personal profiles. For the employees, the network can be open, half-open (content is visible/contribution is possible only after approval) or closed (only invited members can see the community and content of the network).
Gamification is a term for the use of game-like elements and processes in a non-gaming context to increase the motivation of those involved. An example of gamification is awarding badges (awards/achievements) for intensive use of social software.
Go live refers to the productive deployment of a software after the testing phase.
New forms for the flow of information create new potential for information. Social software enables interaction across departments, locations and even countries. With this, the traditional partitions between departments and information silos are prized open. In doing so, facilities for collective creativity and new ideas are provided across the entire company.
Well-structured and easily found information is a requirement on every collaboratively used knowledge store. Information architecture denotes the meaningful organization, structuring and labelling of information to make it easier to find and more useful to the users. To be able to organize content meaningfully and sustainably, questions about the information architecture must be addressed early on in the intranet project and evaluated again and again in day-to-day life.
Instant messaging is a form of synchronous, digital communication where two or more users interact via text messages. It enables direct electronic communication in real-time by using push notifications so that the messages are received immediately.
Under the sign of enterprise 2.0, knowledge management zeroes in on comprehensive networking and participation. A fundamental benefit of enterprise 2.0 for knowledge management is the ability to merge the expertise of individual employees and to package, archive and make specialized knowledge available on a permanent basis. Here, wikis form the linchpin. Internal communities also provide the benefit of creating knowledge together and then analyzing, improving and sharing it.
There are almost no current collaboration platforms that don’t prioritize a micro sharing/blogging function in their application. With this form of blogging, employees can publish short text messages. This tool is one of the most successful tools for enabling employees to share, generate and, from time to time, find knowledge.
It’s becoming more and more important for companies that their employees can access the intranet’s content, processes and applications while away from their desktop workspace. Responsive design improves the social intranet’s appearance on different display sizes. The first step on the way to a mobile intranet is the establishment of the technical requirements. If company data and information leaves the internal network, the security of the information channels plays a more important role.
News feeds allow you to subscribe to website content that is updated on a regular basis. Similar to a news ticker, the subscriber receives brief information and a link to the corresponding page after an update. The most well-known news feed format is RSS. In the corporate communication, news feeds are well suited for selecting information and controlling the input of information.
The term social business describes companies or organizations where all internal and external stakeholders, such as employees, customers, partners and shareholders, work together with the aid of the company’s social software to achieve company goals.
More information about social business.
Social intranet refers to a company’s infrastructure, or rather a medium, that is based on web standards and in particular uses social technologies alongside the classic mechanisms to share content, use applications and integrate functions. The pivotal applications in the social intranet are wikis, (micro)blogs, social networks, tags, social bookmarks, news feeds etc. These should serve to support feedback mechanisms and collaboration and imply an interactive design and administration of content. Employee profiles also play an important role. This form of networking is especially important in large companies with multiple sites and promotes the setting up and maintaining of company-wide networks as well as strengthening employee engagement and the corporate culture.
A popular social intranet that combines these benefits is, for example, Intrexx Share.
Ideally, social media guidelines are based on a social media strategy. The guidelines support the previously defined company goals and demonstrate which channels should be used to reach these goals and in which form. Social media guidelines pursue the goal of sensitizing employees with regards to the benefits, and protecting the company and its employees from imprudent actions. The development of social media guidelines requires close collaboration between the various departments as different internal interest groups are involved.
The terms enterprise 2.0 and social enterprise describe a company’s positive stance towards the use of new technologies. The software platforms used for this purpose are labelled with the term social software. Unlike social media, this refers to technical systems that are administered autonomously by companies and organizations and not by an external provider – independent of the physical location or the actual ownership structure.
Tagging describes the labelling of content and is the fundamental principle of social bookmarking. Tags are not predefined and can be assigned freely. The tags are gathered together to form a so-called tag cloud that provides information about how often a tag was assigned – the larger a tag is shown in the cloud, the more often it has been used. A substantial benefit of tagging is that tags can be created collectively and all employees are kept up-to-date.
In the team room, a digital project group, all of the important documents are packaged together and are therefore available for editing to all of the members. The connection to blogs, forums or wikis within the team room leads to knowledge being exchanged and managed optimally.
User-generated content refers to digital content, such as texts or images, that are generated by the users of a social media platform themselves and therefore don’t originate from the company or the platform’s operators.
Wikis are open content management systems that are available online in the web. In wikis, individual posts are connected to one another and to other sources and websites. Within the corporate communication, wikis are created for efficient information and knowledge management. Usually, every employee (or in some cases a defined user group) can create and edit content and thus ensure that it’s kept up-to-date.
The term workflow refers to the structuring of commonly recurring processes. The individual steps of the processes are connected to one another in a logical context and chronilogical sequence.