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Thanks for joining us today. Welcome to the 4th annual ThoughtFarmer Best Intranet Awards. We’ve been taking this time every year since 2011 to celebrate the amazing things that our clients are doing with their intranets, with ThoughtFarmer.
Here’s what we want to do in our webinar today:...
I don’t wanna give away too much, but there will be special effects! All on the edge of your seats.
1st category: BEST LOOKING. Let’s take a look at some amazing, pretty and handsome thoughtfarmer intranets
Wesgroup Equipment, based out of Surrey in British Columbia. They are a leading supplier of construction, industrial and material handling products and services in Western Canada.
Intranet = The Yard Users: 200
Wesgroup wanted to create a fresh, gritty and innovative design that aligned to their brand and company culture. For them, it was important to create a clean and simple equipment themed design with specific content and portlets that enables their team members to dive into the site quickly.
They called their intranet The Yard and designed a logo that utilizes service parts and tools along with yard equipment imagery.
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They also introduced Axle, a friendly Intranet mascot that helps team members navigate through the site with helpful hints and tips. Axle needed to be friendly, masculine, industrial, smart and likeable and the team voted on the best mascot design.
Subtle design elements such as the ghosted forklift equipment images in footer area and fence background in The Yard logo.
Here is another screenshot of the Intranet Redesign team space on The Yard.
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With their intranet design Wesgroup has really called on their staff’s team pride in the tools that they use to communicate as a company.
video technology company
By providing top notch video software and services, Piksel helps their clients create and manage video marketing solutions. Among their clients are some of the world’s leading media brands such as AT&T and Vodafone.
Headquartered in New York City, Piksel offices can be found throughout Europe and the Americas.
750 users Intranet is called Popsikel.
Popsikel has a look and feel that is a playful interpretation of the Piksel brand and logo - designed to be confident and contemporary. The same brand colours that are featured in Piksel’s barcode logo (see on left), return in the Popsikel logo on their intranet.
As a video company, they obviously embed a lot of video content on their intranet pages to communicate.
To celebrate Piksel’s first birthday, P-Day, the company ran a staff video contest through ThoughtFarmer, encouraging each office to celebrate their office culture.
They used ThoughtFarmer and their internal TV channel PopsikelTV to promote the contest, live stream the video entries and finally announce the winner. Then they stored all the videos on Popsikel, and used the quick poll feature used to select a “People’s Choice” winner.
Finally, Piksel is also using simple, flat icons to highlight specific features in context on Popsikel- you can see these used on their menu pages - these follow the same simplistic style of their logo.
DST Bluedoor is one of our customers in faraway Australia.
DST Bluedoor offers their clients a fully integrated Wealth Management platform that delivers a ton of different investment functionality - all from one system.
Based in Melbourne, AUS Intranet: iConnect 530 staff
This is their homepage.
Similar to Wesgroup’s The Yard design, you can see that DST Bluedoor as well is taking full advantage of ThoughtFarmer’s custom theme capabilites. They have customized the look and feel with their brand colours both in the header and the background image.
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And they’ve also added their own computer-themed background patterns throughout the site to tie the look together.
Note here on their homepage how they have done a great job in making their news and homepage content very visual with lots of images and custom portlets to engage their staff. A nice design touch here is how DST has customized the design for the default profile placeholder image in ThoughtFarmer. They added the green sunglasses! Again, using the same diagonal lines that are present in their entire iConnect theme and brand
Their headquarters are in Austin, Texas.
They build fund accounting software and fundraising solutions specifically for non profit organizations.
Intranet used by about 200 staff members. Name: Abila Connect.
Again, look at the nice custom logo that they have designed for their intranet that uses the same brand colours and standards than their corporate brand, but just makes it a little more playful with the emojis and text balloons.
One of the teams at Abila that is really going the extra mile in making their content look good, is their sales team.
Up on the screen here we can see a page that has information about a past sales training event.
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They are using the rich text editor in TF to their full advantage here to spread content out of over 2 column and add in a few nice photos that really capture the spirit of the event. really well done.
And then out of London, we have ACCA Global.
ACCA is the world’s leading body for professional accountants. Founded 110 years ago by Arthur Priddle. ACCA acts as a driving force within the accounting profession to constantly improve working practices. They have offices all over the world, but are based out of UK
Intranet = Arthur Almost 1400 users on their TF intranet
ACCA has named their intranet Arthur, after their first president, Arthur Priddle.
They have a really polished home-page which they have recently refreshed to be consistent with their external brand.
And ACCA’s Arthur intranet name and brand is a great example of how a strong, relatable intranet brand can really resonate with your staff and help with employee engagement.
The lady on the right here is Ethel. Ethel is the name of ACCA’s council member ThoughtFarmer Site. And again, Ethel is historically important for ACCA. Ethel was the name of their first female member. So ACCA is carrying on this strong, personal intranet brand onto their secondary ThoughtFarmer site. Really thoughtful and really well done.
ACCA’s Arthur intranet brand is now even making it into other forms of internal communications with him being featured on internal emails and posters.
By personifying Arthur and Ethel, ACCA also saw that they could have a lot of fun with their intranet brand. Arthur’s moustache e.g. has inspired Movember blogs and cake bake sales. The balloon Arthur that you’re seeing here on the slide was created to mark the first year after ACCA’s intranet had launched. To mark this occasion they also had a special intranet banner up and the intranet ran highlights of the previous year each day in their homepage top carousel.
Here’s another non-profit org, IHDF based out of NYC
The “I Have A Dream” Foundation works to ensure that all children have the opportunity to a higher education. They are active in low-income communities and provide children with tuition support giving them the skills, knowledge, and habits they need to get into higher education and succeed in college.
Intranet = DreamerConnect A little over 100 staff using intranet
IHDF was an early adopter of our TF home page new grid layout and –in their own words- they love it. Again, notice how all of the news is really people centric with nice descriptive images and lots of faces on their homepage.
They’ve also reorganized some of the default content areas on their homepages, like the Quick Poll and Quick Tips portlet, to make sure the important content for their staff is really front and centre.
Here is Dreamer Connect’s Sharing Area.
They’ve done a really nice job at creating a custom set of beautiful icons to make their content navigation really tight and polished. these icons as you can see are also fully on brand using their main IHDF brand colours
Jackman Reinvents. Toronto-based consulting firm that helps companies (re)invent their customer experience, their marketing plans and brand strategies.
Intranet: The Wire Users: 100
Here is a look at their home page. Look at that nice site header and again a really polished intranet logo for The Wire
You can see that there is a heavy emphasis on the home page content management and readability.
The home page design and user experience was customized to best present all of the blog posts in an attractive and engaging manner.
And also note how they have added custom content, such as the Shout Out portlet on the left hand side, which is also designed to use their brand colours. A really polished looking homepage and intranet
RS Investments is a financial company, they provide investment portfolios and financial advice to their clients. They have offices in the US, Hong Kong and Signapore. Their head office is in San Francisco, CA.
Intranet: InsideRS 230 staff on intranet
their main intranet objective was to provide the most pertinent information employees need in a design that is fun and engaging. For RS, personalizing the intranet experience was essential, so they created a mascot, Archibald, who stands in the banner happily unspooling an overwhelming ball of yarn.
him and his band of lookalike friends present in the headers of most of the main features and pages of the site. on the home page, that approach enhances the consistency of the lay out
Like some of the examples we saw earlier, RS decided to customize the content on their homepage. They added features such as:
“I want to…” menu for quick access to common tasks (lower left column) resourceRS for essential updates from the HR team (upper right column)
A clever thing they did: they built a module that rotates content on the homepage from new employee announcements (welcomeRS), quotes, employee-generated photos and quick polls
using that content rotator, the homepage can look different from one minute to the next. here is an alternate homepage view with the staff photos, think quotes and inspiring influenceRS portlets. really impressed with how they made this happen
again an example of how Archibald (mascot) and his friends pull that intranet brand right through the different sections of the intranet
Friedman Integrated Real Estate Solutions is one of the largest privately-held commercial real estate organizations in the US.
HQ are in Farmington Hill, Michigan but they have offices all over the United States
Intranet = Connect, 250 users
Fresh intranet header design, using the grid news layout with tons of images.
And, like DST Bluedoor, they are using an area of their homepage to shine a light on different staff members.
With our help, Friedman also built an amazing custom directory of all of their commercial properties they have up for sale. Each property is listed here with a nice photo and the site address.
And they’ve built a custom search and filter field at the top too where staff can easily find specific properties.
Really neat. Actually, we feel they might have also been a great contender in our Most Innovative category which we will talk about later
Time for our honourable mention in the Best Looking category. And that one goes to...
RS Investments and InsideRS for a clean, consistent brand with adorable little creatures. And a a neat content rotating module on their homepage.
ACCA and Arthur and Ethel for creating a really strong intranet brand and visual identity. congrats!
Next up, our 2nd category is Best Collaboration. Here we want to take a look at a few ThoughtFarmer intranets that excel at using their intranet for staff collaboration on projects, within team and departments or for all staff initiatives.
People working together towards shared goals.
Let’s take a look
Architectural firm, founded in 1968. They specialize in designing urban public spaces in small and large cities all over the world.
Offices in Chicago, Atlanta, Shanghai and Dubai 175 staff
tvs design uses their intranet homepage for staff to share their big ideas with the rest of the team (TheFridge). those are the news posts that you see in the centre grid. They also use the intranet heavily as an onboarding tool for new hires. New staff gets trained and familiarized with tvsdesign’s portfolio right here on the intranet in The VAULT section. The IT team shares any information about tech changes on the intranet
Next up is Mount Nittany. They are a health care organization based out of Pennsylvania Intranet: Connect 2500 staff members
Mt Nittany Health is using many of the collaborative features in TF such as Groups, Blogs, Forums, News Feeds, Comments and for them it’s really helping their staff who are spread out over across multiple locations to work together more efficiently.
Kind of unrelated but Note their really nice upcoming events area on the right side of their homepage there. Isn’t that neat?
For Mount Nittany Health, TF Groups have been very helpful for their committees and Ad Hoc Teams who need to discuss issues and exchange files.
Here is an example of one of their group pages. A construction project for a new medical building.
Goes to show how team and project groups in ThoughtFarmer are really powerful collaboration tools.
Based out of Ottawa, subsidiary of the CMA. They provide financial services and advices to physicians all over Canada
Intranet: Verve Users: 2000
Every year, MD Financial Management runs a two-week long campaign to raise money for the United Way. Last year, their organizers saw a unique fundraising opportunity, and they used the features of their Intranet to execute it.
In 2013, they re-designed our office space at Head Office. ‘retired’ all their old artwork to a storage room. “What if we auctioned off the art to raise money for United Way?”
Photo Gallery - 100 photos of the various art pieces employees placed their Bids in comments on each photo Employees from all over country started bidding
Restricted access at the deadline to stop bidding $13K raised Increased engagement and 'excitement' to use the Intranet
College Possible is a nonprofit organization with the mission to make college admission and success possible for low-income students in the United States. They do this through an intensive curriculum of coaching and support.
Intranet: The Quad Users: 250
Team members at College Possible’s offices in different cities organize dozens of campus visits for hundreds of students every year, but they didn’t have a good way of managing student’s RSVPs for these events.
When they launched their ThoughtFarmer intranet, team members that managed campus visits used TF to discuss difficulties they faced with this current process (which relied on spreadsheets on a shared drive and emails)
So after brainstorming new solutions, they created a new pilot RSVP process,
using TF calendars
For RSVP-ing they decided to embed Google Forms into a special event type on their office’s ThoughtFarmer calendar. like you can see here.
And this has been working great for them! It’s made that particular business process a lot less complicated and a lot quicker
And this one is for Teachers Retirement System of NYC, TRS for short
TRS is one of the largest pension systems in the United States. We provide New York City educators with retirement & disability benefit services.
ConnecTRS Users: 775
Ran a Scavenger Hunt to launch ThoughtFarmer / ConnecTRS. This was a really fun and hands on way to help employees get their feet wet with ConnecTRS and to encourage collaboration
They used an embedded questionnaire on ThoughtFarmer
with questions that could be answered by visiting different areas of the intranet
After the scavenger hunt was complete, they posted the winner on their intranet. And that was Elvira, up here on the screen posing with a nice gift bag she got out of it
Honourable mention in the category Best Collaboration
TRSNYC with scavenger hunt
And MD Fin Mgmt with intranet art auction for United Way fundraising
Hey, it’s College Possible!
Using ThoughtFarmer, they discussed the challenges they had trying to track RSVPs to their campus events. They came up with a solution right there on the Quad discussion forum, and then implemented the solution themselves by combining Google Forms with Event Calendars.
Well done, College Possible! Well deserved!
Most Innovative is our 3rd and last category in the Best Intranet Awards. Innovation is all about finding better ways of doing something.
Here we really want to highlight those clients who have taken their TF intranet and taken it just a few steps further and took a really creative approach to bend it to fit their unique business needs.
Based out of Montreal, Canada, LaSalle College is a private, higher education provider. Today, over 10 000 students belong to the LCI Education network with 21 campuses in 11 different countries and over 60 programs for students to choose from.
Intranet: AGORA Users: 1500
LaSalle has 120 full-time teachers who all work on paid R&D projects every year. For the admin team, managing the projects, hours and approvals was a struggle and took so many hours wading through Excel spreadsheets. The process has been moved completely into ThoughtFarmer by means of a customization.
This new tool allows teachers to enter their desired projects on a user friendly, personalized Research and Development intranet page under their program.
Now, at a click, both teachers and directors can see the planned projects, and they can see the progress on each project.
On top of that...for the Academic Dean and Program Directors, it is now super easy to track the completion of all of these projects. In one click they can generate reports by teacher, by program or for the whole college.
So no more excel sheets for LaSalle. or at least not as many as before. This has made the management of their annual R&D budget much more efficient.
Canadian Architecture firm. They do everything from landscaping, interior design, urban planning, and design for sustainability.
Calgary, Vancouver, Edmonton and Toronto
Intranet: DASH Users: 550
For DIALOG, DASH is really a centre for innovation and collaboration between professional disciplines across Canada.
For example, DASH is used as a collaboration hub for DIALOG’s young designers who are competing in global design competitions.
At DIALOG [ThoughtFarmer] is an essential part of their recognition as one of Canada's top 100 employers, as well as DIALOG's recognition as one of Canada's Most Engaged workplaces.”
Examples of this include project collaboration on large infrastructure projects such as Edmonton's Walterdale Bridge that you can see up here on the screen
INSURICA! They sell Specialized Insurance Programs for certain specific industries such as construction, healthcare, energy, education etc
Intranet: OneInsurica Users: 475
Insurica uses TF to drive their sales culture.
You can see that here on their homepage: Sales contest results; (carousel) Recent sales; (left) Running total of org-wide sales; (right hand side)
In Insurica’s own words: “Having this information hit you in the face every time you visit the home page reminds us of our ultimate purpose and is a true innovation for us.”
INSURICA also integrated their sales leaderboard onto the intranet. This data also probably lives in a CRM, but putting it onto TF really puts the life and personality into it! Staff will come here and check out how their office is doing on the sales leaderboard.
I never noticed the tagline they have up there right where it says Leaderboards until someone pointed it out to me yesterday. A nice touch of healthy competition at INSURICA.
By the way, if you are interested in learning more about Insurica and how they use ThoughtFarmer, you can check out a recent case study webinar they did with us. Jill is just posting a link to the recording of that webinar in the GoToWebinar chat box. It’s a super interesting webinar and really well presented, I highly recommend checking it out.
Time for our honourable mention in the Most Innovative category
Well guess what, it is INSURICA! And their innovative way of unifying their company and culture on their TF intranet.
It’s LaSalle College for their truly innovative way of integrating their R&D time tracking system into TF and great job guys releasing yourselves from the iron grip of excel spreadsheets.
Really well done, congratulations!
That concludes our Best Intranet Awards 2015.
I hope you enjoyed seeing all of the fantastic examples we showed you today and maybe you even feel a little inspired. Perhaps you’ve seen a few things here that you can take away and implement on your own intranet.
To wrap up, let’s summarize some of the best intranet practices that we’ve seen today in our Best Intranets contenders
First - A personalized intranet brand goes a long way. It unifies your message and reinforces your company culture. Think about little Archibald, Arthur and Ethel. Build a strong brand that will resonate with your staff. Second - Use your intranet for every day tasks and business processes. ThoughtFarmer is extremely flexible and can help your staff complete many of your current processes really well. We’ve seen a ton of examples that demonstrated that well, from LaSalle’s teacher R&D timesheets to College Possible and their improved student event RSVP workflow Third - We’ve also seen a number of great examples of companies who use their intranet to engage staff. Set up a charity auction like MD Financial Management or organize an intranet scavenger hunt, OR organize a video contest for your remote office locations like Piksel did. Your staff will love it! Fourth - Provide your staff with tools to connect and collaborate. Think about how DIALOG’s creates spaces for collaboration on their construction projects on their intranet. Fifth - Improve! Your intranet is a living, breathing thing, and new opportunities will present themselves along the way. So, keep an open mind, set regular times to reevaluate your intranet and always be on the look out for how you can improve your staff’s intranet experience.
And with that, it’s wrap up time for me. Thanks so much for joining us and I really hope to see you all next year when we announce our ThoughtFarmer Best Intranets 2016. And if you are a ThoughtFarmer customer, start getting ready for entering the competition next year.
In our webinar today
• Showcase all the submissions we received for our
annual Best Intranet Awards
• Celebrate the winners of each category:
• Summarize innovative ideas that you can take back and
use on your own intranet.