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Corporate Communications Solutions

Corporate Communications Solutions

Intranets are a part of the corporate communications landscape, but in most cases they don’t meet or exceed employee expectations. Intranets that fail to deliver on its most basic function, which is to deliver internal content, result in minimal adoption and use by the organization’s staff, thus rendering the system ineffective, particularly by the teams tasked with delivering it. If your intranet is not helping your staff work faster and smarter, while also strengthening your company culture, then your organization is certainly missing out on the potential of these systems.

Download a copy of our whitepaper, “Building The Intranet Your Employees Expect.”

Since 1982, AIS has built complex intranets for all types of businesses, with multiple locations and thousands of employees. We know what it takes to build an intricate intranet and the features you should incorporate to make this a transformative and collaborative communications tool for your organization. We work with each of our clients to design a solution that is specific for their business goals, however, there are few “must have” attributes that all good intranets should possess, and we know how to deliver them.


Intranet 101: If your employees still use email to request information that’s on your intranet, your intranet is failing. A lack of user engagement can doom an intranet quickly — and often irrevocably. If your users think your intranet is too hard to use or difficult to update, they simply won’t. A successful deployment is only half the battle. At AIS, we’ve designed intranets for organizations just like yours and understand how to factor end-user usage into every facet of the architecture, administration, design and workflows.


Our client’s Intranet systems are built using SharePoint, which has an intuitive interface that should be familiar to your users. The SharePoint ribbon is the same as the ribbon in Office 2010 or later, so your users will grasp the functionality and navigation rather quickly, while the simplicity of the Content Management UI makes it remarkably easy for content managers to post content. A quality information architecture and interface design, designed by an AIS consultant, will increase the user acceptance of your portal and make it user friendly.


Expense reports. Vacation requests. Timesheets. Probably the mere mention of at least one of these processes prompts an involuntary groan from your employees — or you! Your intranet can be an effective tool in minimizing the time and effort spent on these everyday functions. By combining forms with automated workflows, your team can say goodbye to outdated, disparate systems and do it all in one place, using one familiar interface.


SharePoint lists, forms and out-of-the-box workflows allow you to design simple workflows and business processes without involving software developers. For more complex workflows, AIS has the knowledge and expertise to properly leverage the new SharePoint 2013 Workflow Manager to quickly build workflows that automate your more complex business processes.


A good intranet will serve as the central repository for your company’s documents. But a great intranet can do much more. Imagine getting all of your corporate documents off individual hard drives and onto a beautifully designed intranet, with added features like document restriction based on positions and departments, version control capability that includes document check-in and check-out for updating, read confirmation, testing, and surveys…and more. This is just one of the ways an effective intranet can change everything.


AIS Architects can evaluate the content you want to provide your users through your intranet and design an information architecture that uses out-of-the-box SharePoint structures to provide the basic building blocks for your Corporate Document Repository.


If your company is in the business of attracting new clients via your corporate website, then a great deal of time and money has been spent making the site mobile friendly for phone and tablet devices. But have you considered what could happen if your intranet was mobile friendly? Your intranet can be made fully functional (view, download, upload, data entry, form submission and more) on mobile devices, allowing your employees to get work done, anytime, anywhere. Mobile-friendly intranets are just one of the ways we’ve changed everything for our clients.


AIS’ experience building mobile applications can turn your isolated mobile workers into active participants in your business processes. AIS can create a responsive design for the portal that works with all mobile devices. For key business processes, mobile-enabled forms can be used in combination with push alerts to let your users participate in key business processes with only their mobile phones.


No matter how hard you work to organize and segment the content of your Intranet, the reality is that your users just want to type some keywords into the search bar in order to find what they want. And most of the time, they simply don’t. Search engines like Bing and Google have entire teams and countless resources dedicated to improving their algorithms and the quality of their search results. Your intranet isn’t so lucky. But that doesn’t mean you can’t drastically improve the quality of its search functionality.


A quality information architecture designed by an AIS architect will take into account how your users will search for and navigate to content. Once the groundwork has been laid to organize and tag content according to the information architecture, content is easily found by your users through your intranet’s search or navigation.


Does your intranet accurately reflect your company culture? Is it a hub of collaboration between teams and fellow employees, or is it a digital ivory tower, where faceless users post information into the void with little or no interaction? We’ll be honest: Some social functions are just unnecessary bells and whistles. They sound “cool,” but after building hundreds of intranets we know from experience that users rarely touch them. But other social functions have the power to transform your intranet from a one-way sounding board to a truly essential collaborative tool.


An AIS architect can design a social business network tailored to your organization’s business and make it easier for employees to share knowledge and find others to help them with their daily workload. The business network can be prepopulated with information from your Human Resources and Directory systems to minimize the initial data entry requirements from your users.


Let’s face it: Employees more engaged with their own individual team or department than with company-wide news and announcements. If that’s all your intranet provides for them, you’re not going to attract a thriving, active user base. The good news is that you can change this — easily! By allowing each department to create and maintain their own site on your corporate intranet, your intranet will quickly transform into a thriving hub of effective collaboration.


AIS consultants can design common building blocks for pages that will provide consistency across your portal, and also empower content managers to create their department-specific content on their own, with zero involvement from IT. This will enable content managers to provide fresh content and keep your intranet updated on a daily basis.