“If only HP knew what HP knows, we would be three times more productive”
The quote is a statement from the former chief executive of Hewlett-Packard, Lew Platt and summarizes this week’s discussion on knowledge sharing intranets at the conference “Sociala intranät” (Social Intranets) in Stockholm.
For two days intranet managers, editors, web strategists and communication managers gathered in Stockholm to talk about the benefits (and pitfalls) of knowledge sharing intranets where the end-users share and contribute with their own and their colleagues information. And what role search plays in a Social Intranet.
A number of larger companies and organization, such as TeliaSonera, Thomas Cook, Manpower and Perstorp, have started their second generation of intranets: where blogs, collaborative areas, wikis, personalization, micro blogging (see the twitter flow from the conference) and Facebook-inspired solutions finally seem to work in a larger scale.
The pioneers, such as Fredrik Heidenholm from Skånemejerier, has been doing it without a large budget – proving that social intranets are more about users than expensive technical solutions.
Read interviews of Fredrik Heidenholm, Gunilla Rehnberg (Röda Korset) Hans Gustafsson (Boverket) and Lisa Thorngren (Thomas Cook Northern Europe – Ving).
And in general, the speakers as well as the attendees seem to be agreeing with one another: having the whole organization contributing with their knowledge is a prerequisite for keeping knowledge sharing intranets alive.
But letting everyone create information requires a good enterprise search solution, something some of Findwise customers, such as Ericsson and Landstinget i Jönköping, talked about: “Search promotes the value of our social intranet” said Karin Hamberg, Enterprise Architect, at Ericsson. Search makes it possible to gather information from all kind of sources and make it accessible from one entrance. However, this also requires strategies for handling security restrictions (who should have access to what?), metadata models, user experience (expectations and behavior) and ranking (who determinates which results that should appear on the very top?).
Sven-Åke Svensson, from Landstinget i Jönköping, had the same experiences and emphasized the need for a good prestudy (workshop method) and tools for the editors such as a metadata service to help the contributors write good metadata tags. Sven-Åke also made a demo of the new intranet (if you are Swedish, the blog post “Landsting på väg mot det social intranätet” gives a great overview of the solution)
The two days covered most angles of Lew Platt’s vision – and apart from a number of good speakers the informal talk at coffee breaks and lunch gave a good insight in the fact that Swedish companies are working hard to provide knowledge sharing intranets that serves consumers as well as contributors.
Did you visit the conference? Was there anything in particular you found interesting? Please feel free to comment and share your thoughts.
P.S. If you want to read more about social intranets, take a look at Oscar Berg’s blogpost “The business case for social intranets”. An inspiring summary of the topic.