When you are setting up a digital workspace or intranet solution, there are different types of content you have to take into account. In this blog, we briefly explain the different types and we discuss how you can use them in Workspace 365 to simplify people’s work.
User, automated and managed content
Comapnies have three different types of content that are important to share within the organisation, specific teams or even with specific individuals. If you’ve chosen a modern solution, like Workspace 365, you have the possibility to show the information, documents and applications, based on people’s roles. With this, you save people time and irritations, because you only show content that is relevant to them. This ensures a higher adoption of your digital workspace or intranet solution. Some content in the workspace is mixed content, which means it’s partially managed or created by the user, but it’s being shown automatically in the workspace, such as appointments in the Calendar.
User generated content
Within the digital workspace, it’s possible to enable people to share content themselves. There are several set-up options for this. The most effective and modern option is integrating a social platform, such as Yammer, in which people can easily share posts. The benefit of this method is that most people can use it without any training, since it looks like social media they’re already familiar with, such as Facebook. Within the social feed they’re able to post blogs, videos, polls, questions and updates, and they can also directly reply to others. Another possibility is to link a content management system (CMS) to Workspace 365 through RSS or iFrames (for this you could for instance use SharePoint or WordPress), so that people can post blogs themselves.
Another type of user generated content we see being used more and more by customers, is Microsoft Teams. This method especially suits the younger employees, who are used to chat tools. By setting up teams and placing this as a link in the workspace, you enable people to quickly collaborate. Consequently, you lessen the need for meetings and people get quicker answers to their questions.
The latter type of user generated content is also a way to offer managed content. This information is posted by the organisation (for example by the communication department). This way, a communication employee can integrate blogs from SharePoint or another CMS, but also videos, podcasts and other content into the workspace with just a few clicks.
Within Workspace 365, we integrate by means of RSS feeds and iFrames, so that an organisation has a wide range of choice from media instruments and platforms. The most important thing to remember is that Workspace 365 uses Azure for authentication of a workspace user. In other words: if you want content only to be visible for people within the organisation, it’s important that the place you post content also authenticates with Azure, so we can collect the information.
There has been written a lot lately about Artificial Intelligence. A strong development which can help many organisations, but most organisations can already advance by using Automated Content. This means that the digital workspace (or the social intranet) collects information that is relevant to a specific workspace user or group.
With this, you can help people on a daily basis by showing data that is relevant to them. Besides showing statistics such as turnover figures, growth goals and KPI’s that are recorded in tools (such as Power BI or Tableau), it is also possible to retrieve other data from third-party applications. For example, we have recently made a connection to show Support Tickets within the workspace. Consequently, people who have a support question for their IT department don’t have to log in to separate systems anymore to see what the status of their question is, but they can view the information automatically in their workspace. Also, we enable people to perform actions from the workspace, which are processed automatically in other systems as well, like for example creating a support tickets or requesting leave.
One of the purposes of a digital workspace is that it offers one complete starting point. In it, people not only have insight into news from their organisation, social feeds, documents and their schedule, but they also have access to all their applications. With Workspace 365 we have specialised in the roll-out of these applications – for an employee, it doesn’t matter if it’s a local, web or hosted application. An employee logs in to the workspace (potentially with Multi Factor Authentication) and can thereupon open all applications with one click, without an extra login. With a good set up, employees only see the applications they have access to and they are protected when they for example work outside of the company network or work on a device that is not supported.
How nice is it when you find a document without having to put in any effort? In the digital workspace, all document solutions are combined. Because of this, you have quick insight into your recently edited or favourite documents. Although many organisations are researching how they can move from the file server (Z-drive) to Office 365, it’s not suitable yet for every application or employee. For this reason, you can open documents from Microsoft SharePoint, OneDrive and your file server from the Workspace 365 document app.
Setting up the digital workspace
Before you start setting up or migrating to the digital workspace, it’s important to ask questions within the organisation. By answering these questions, you’ll quickly find out whether the focus is mostly on applications, information, social feeds or automated content. Think questions such as:
- Do we want to reduce the amount of necessary login moments?
- Do we want to collaborate in documents and make them centrally available?
- Do we want to improve the information flow towards employees?
- Do we want to simplify processes, such as requests for leave or mileage registration?
In a previous blog, we wrote about the adoption of the digital workspace. It’s good to read this before you, as an organisation, start setting up the digital workspace.
Make top functionalities exclusive
To stimulate the adoption of a digital workspace or intranet solution, you can create exclusive functionalities. For example, make sure that you can only request leave, check payslips, register mileage or open the favourite applications through the workspace. This way, you make sure that these functionalities are safely available on any device and that people discover the digital workspace. The digital workspace, or an intranet, is not only a place where the organisation shares news, but mostly a resource to help people work easier and more productively.
The five most used top functionalities
At some organisations, the first discussion concerning an intranet is about the look and feel. Even though this is an important component, I would recommend to focus on the content first. As I’ve just described, there are methods to uncover what is important to your organisation. You can substantiate this with research by Customer Carewords. This organisation has done research at 55 organisations and 49 thousand employees and with this, came to five important components.
- About me: Here the employees execute tasks like requesting leave, viewing payslips, order work clothing, register mileage or for example view the menu. You can integrate these tasks with Workspace 365 Business Apps. Furthermore, the applications they need to do their job are accessible with just one click.
- About the company: Here are the plans and goals of the organisation.You’ll also find an organisation chart and the office locations. For this you can use automated content from for example Power BI. This way, you instantly show the status compared to the goal.
- Find people: Here people will find all contacts they’re looking for. Also, they can add contacts themselves, so that they’re easy to find later. It’s important here that people are not only retrievable based on their name, but also based on their role. Consequently, you make sure that people can easily contact other employees. For this, we integrate the personal company contacts in Workspace 365 and we’re currently working on the same functionality for organisational contacts.
- News and social feed: This component includes news items such as blogs and videos from the organisation (top-down) and news from the employees via tools such as Yammer (bottom-up).
- Core tasks: Of course, the key tasks are a crucial part of a digital workspace or intranet. This includes making the most used applications available with one login and securing applications (for example setting up conditional access on an Electronic Patient File outside of the network of a healthcare institution), but also helping employees by for example only making locally installed apps visible when they’re working on a laptop.
Conclusion: Digital workspace to-go
Before you start setting up (or even choosing) an intranet platform or digital workspace, it’s important to check if all top tasks from your organisation are available or if it’s possible to make them available. Within Workspace 365, we continually analyse hundreds of organisations that use the workspace, to monitor which functionalities we’ll improve. This way, our partners are able to provide a digital workspace which is completely in tune with the wishes of your organisation, employee groups or even individuals. Are you missing something in our digital workspace? We’re happy to hear it through our Feature Request portal.
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With kind regards,