Tag Archive for portal

Getting The Best of Intranet Portal

Living in a large organization required medium for circulating first hand information to all staffs. If looking back at old days, notice board will be the main medium while in bits and bytes age, intranet portal is the preference. Intranet portal existed since intranet being introduced in the organization, focusing on internal information and federated from outside internet. So, since those days, have it delivered it purpose?

Common Intranet Portal Concept

Common features of intranet is the news update, announcement, photo gallery, quick facts and sub sites for the respective organization’s department which having the same feature as it’s parent site. Looking at from the illustrated concept, it shows that each portal site have their own governance and content administration. Having said, content submission required to be vet through before it can be publish to the  portal’s page. Filtering process might drop several contents that relevant to niche group but less important to the organization. Thus what will left in the portal consist of common knowledge which equivalent with high level knowledge. By having this situation it lead to less consumption by majority of staffs but will pleased the top management. But wait! Why I am emphasizing “knowledge” not information? Well it is due to the information contributed is meaningless to most of other staffs but valuable and knowledgeable to the focus group.

Portal Knowledge

Other issue that arose was relevancy when the information (not knowledge) were outdated when the time it published to the portal site. Process of vetting from internal review until to corporate review make it worsen. It is understandable when it purposed for internet publishing but not for internal.

Having each department owning their own intranet portal make information scattered and deviates staff from accessing the information. They do know the portal existence but will not favour accessing to the site.

As most of staffs focusing on their KPls’, when they could not get information from the intranet, they will start frustrated and won’t bother to come again.

So now come the questions how to overcome this issues and bring out the best from it. Let tackle it item by item.

Portal - ContributeLet Everybody Contribute
Looking at the current practices, limiting the content contribution will not make any good. Give all staffs to contribute their findings, opinions and articles with they themselves taking ownership for their published contents. Along with permitting this privilege  there should be some guidelines to impose in order for ensuring they are not abusing given privilege. Accomodate this feature should reduce or eliminate any vetting process.

Portal - DepartmentalEliminate Departmental Portal
Let everybody utilize main intranet portal rather than providing another departmental portal. By performing this it can promote single source of “location” and accomodate all staffs to consume available information within organization. There are going to be massive contents in the single portal however by applying specific attributes will facilitate on managing information digging and classification.

Portal - Web 2.0Apply “New Web Trends”
Past few years “webthusiastic” started with Web 2.0 concept. It involves sleek user experiences, tagging, content driven, less graphics, no animation, semantic approach and many more. By applying above recommendations, this concept definitely can be easily suit in.

Portal - DashboardDashboard Reporting
Common contents can be divide into two segment, which the first segment is the text based content and the second segment is the graphical presentation. Graphical presentation mostly came from analytical process and business intelligent end result. There are needs for organization to get first glimpse on certain production or utilization. By implementing this, it do help staffs having staf informed with real time trending.

Portal - SecurityInformation Security & Classification
There should be content filtering based on staff’s role and position. Applying right attributes on the content itself can help determining content’s filtering. The filtering inclusive of write-ups and dashboard thus staff’s profile match up can be apply.

Portal - MDMLinking to Corporate Master Data
Each of portal’s content definitely have it’s own attributes (metadata). Rather than trying to solve portal’s data integrity, it should leveraging corporate master data as any content creation can be tag to business process’ application. As an example the dashboard should feed from certain application and it’s view be controlled be the staff’s profile match-up.

Portal - ECMDocument Storing/Linking to ECM
Referred back to my previous article, it shows the demarcation of portal and ECM. It is two different thing but need to complement each other. Portal is the presentation layer while ECM will be the core layer. Thus when there is a need to share documents in portal, it will provide a link to documents which reside in ECM.

Portal - SocialContent Socializing
Published content should not be limited to just content viewing, it should be extend to content socializing. Posted content might lead to queries thus enabling comments is recommended. Besides this approach should replacing common forums or bulletin boards. At the same time, other features such as post recommendation, rating, sharing through notification/social media, bookmarking should be available. Doing this it will promoting the content information into a knowledge sharing.

Portal - MobileMobile Enabled
“All web content must be mobile enabled!”. Now days most of human beings do have mobile device closed to them. Mobile device is the main medium for consuming information in the internet. If they can use it for internet, why not intranet? As when they can access the intranet portal through their mobile devices, having the portal itself was not mobile friendly, it will deviate staffs from utilizing the portal. They need to wait until they get back to their workstation and start using either desktop or laptop just for accessing the portal.

All item above do improvise the portal itself but do not going to increase the portal utilization. Proper change management should be available to ensure all staffs properly on-board and understands the rational of having above items implemented.

Is There Any Difference Between ECM & Portal?

When a topic raised where should I share (which actually store) my document, few locations popped out. In a big organization there will be a lot of initiatives for storing and collaborating documents. As example corporate units were having a departmental portal displaying news, initiative updates, announcement and might host few documents such as circulations, memos, guidelines or perhaps news clips. Mean while knowledge department unit for sure will have knowledge portal to encourage knowledge sharing which for sure involving documents. When come out to internal audit unit (or IT), there will be ECM for storing department’s document. Doesn’t is sounds that all of this have similarities?

When implementing a collaboration platform, all of above aspects need to be consider and defined as business requirement. A proper architecture need to define who owns what, where to locate it, who is the consumer, who will be the creator, what is the linkages between repository and what is the access list. Drawing this information will assist promoting single source of truth.

Most of this scenario take place when an organization is using same technology for providing the solutions. As example MS SharePoint as the portal and document repository. Users will use “MS SharePoint” terms rather than the solutions itself. In order to arrange all the site let’s put it in two layers. The bottom layer will be the “Portal” and the top will be the “ECM”. Within the portal itself it will be arrange through it functional sites. Such as the organizational portal as the main site while other departments portal will be the sub sites. The departmental portal will be having specific information of each respective department. The nodes can be extends deeper until it unit’s site, depends on the business requirement. Beside of the departmental portals, the organization can have a collaborative portal for collaborating across department or with outside organization. The collaboration portal mostly fit when there is a project activity that require non-department access. Besides the collaboration portal can fit for requirement to have a place for community or fraternity to communicate.

Portal vs ECM

In this model, Portal’s role is only on managing information, not document. All documents must reside in ECM. ECM itself might have multiple repository based on the business requirement. Thus all documents that required to be shared or collaborate through the portal must be a link that pointing to it’s original location in ECM. Thus the functions between this two site can be defined and manageable.

By following this model, there will be queries on how knowledge management team can come into the picture. Basically the corporate unit is the one who govern on the policies and guidelines while knowledge management unit will enforce on the operation, change, utilization and the content itself. As for the IT unit, they need to ensure that the platform is accessible and solve any arise issues.