Yammer Groups videos

YammerVideoI wish that Microsoft would create a Yammer training video whenever the interface changed. Yammer works exactly the same for all of us, so it would be nice if we all did not have to reinvent that wheel.

What differs between customers, apart from the masthead they use, is their reasons for using Yammer. This results in very interesting case-studies of the benefits Yammer can bring in that organization. I have already highlighted a few in my earlier post, and I will continue to add those to my collection.

But there are different themes for Yammer videos than demo’s or teasers.

This hilarious video from Virgin Trains tries to stimulate the use of Yammer Groups as opposed to the All Company Network.

By the way, their Yammer launch video (and the case study: getting an alpaca out of the train) is also worth watching!

And this set of 3 videos are about Community Management. They compare a Yammer Group to a party, with guidelines to match. I love the analogy, I love the characters, I love the warning at the beginning, and I want that Bat-device! 🙂

Part 1: Starting Out

 

Part 2: Managing and Maintaining

 

Part 3: Promoting and Expanding

Although the look-and-feel may not be suitable for use in every organization, the recommendations at the end of every video are solid and helpful for all of us who have a role in managing communities on Yammer (or other enterprise social networks, of course).

It’s discovering videos like these that make collecting intranet videos so much fun!

By the way, you can filter on “Yammer”  in my collection to see all Yammer-related videos. And as always, please let me know if you know any good additions!

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Celebrating more than 200 intranet promotion videos!

FireworksUpdate November 2018: I now have more than 400 videos in my collection.

Usually my intranet videos deal with a new or revamped intranet. This time I am getting a little meta by sharing some videos about celebrating the launch of the intranet itself.
I think having more than 200 videos in my collection is cause for a celebration. When I started my first investigation I was surprised to find more than 30 of the kind. But new ones are being uploaded every week and I have a backlog, so I think we will reach 300 soon! That is, if they are not withdrawn faster than I can upload 🙂

Not every organization can do this, of course. If you are a dispersed company it will be impossible to get everyone in one place to serve pastries with the intranet’s name on it. (Yes, this appears to be a theme). Perhaps you can have a webcast and have some non-perishable goodies distributed in time.

This one is from Skanska, a building and construction company from Sweden. Watch the cupcakes!

A similar one from KEARN, a Dutch health and social services organization. It is in Dutch but you will get the idea. There are special “intranet-ladies” that help you walk through the intranet, and there are pastries with the logo.

This intranet is celebrating its first anniversary! It is more a case study than a launch party, but I wanted to include it because celebrating and evaluating are a sign that the intranet is important. Especially after the first year you will be able to extract many lessons!
This intranet has won awards, an extra reason to celebrate.
EDP is an energy company.

I hope these examples will inspire you to make (and share!) a video of your intranet launch party as well!
See my complete collection here.

Image courtesy of satit_srihin at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Yammer promotion videos

YammerVideoMy latest post triggered the question:
“Do organizations create separate promotion or instruction videos for their Yammer rollout?”

Yes, they do.

So…they are now in my collection, tagged with Yammer.

I have found many that just demonstrate the standard functionalities. I think that is a waste of effort, since there are plenty of tutorial materials around.
Therefore I have focused on videos that are specific to an organization, that  demonstrate how you can use Yammer within your team, with your specific issues. Those add real value, because demonstrating a case that people can relate to, is a good way to make people understand the benefits of Yammer.

These are my favourites:

Qantas

This is more like a teaser, informing catering employees how to use a specific Yammer group to collaborate with internal and external partners.

VerizonWireless

Tongue-in-cheek animation about project management in Yammer and the power of Yammer topics. I must admit that I was not aware of all functionalities of Yammer topics so I learned something new!

I am sure I will be adding to my collection over time. And as always, if you know another promotion video for my collection, please share the link!

8 Tips for advertising on your intranet

Advertising-billboardfullThe other day I learned (via Kurt Kragh Sorensen’s blog) that Luton Borough Council allows advertising from external parties on their intranet.

BT has done this for some years and earned a lot of money from it, according to Mark Morrell who was managing the BT intranet at that time.
I have always loved the idea, and I asked Mark some time ago for his experiences and suggestions. (You may know by know I hate reinventing wheels)

What were the suggestions that Mark offered?

1. Use only one page to display ads.
At BT they were displayed on the news page. Too many places with advertising and your audience gets distracted easily and it might lead to irritation.
In an international organization you could use a local facilities or employee benefits-page. (Ads are often locally applicable)
Luton Borough Council has two places, one on the Homepage (!) and one on the Employee Offerings page.

2. Find advertisers that fit your business.
You could think about organizations with whom you already have contracts, which fit to your core values, or where you can advertise yourself.
Luton Borough Council does not mention any restrictions for advertisers, but that may simply not be published.

3. Arrange special offers for employees.
A discount on insurance for your employees, a free private Gold Service from your preferred car rental company, or a discount for a local shop are much more acceptable than a generic advertisement for clothing.
If BT advertised on another intranet, they also offered a special deal, such as discount on a phone subscription, for instance.
Luton Borough Council is suggesting nice offers for their staff. That is why I like it: it is a form of employee benefits.

4. Be open about the profits. 
At BT everyone knew that the proceeds of the ads were used for improving the news page, and for a quarterly magazine on paper for employees. That openness, and the fact that everyone at BT profited from the advertising, decreased resistance (which was not large anyway).
Luton Borough Council does not state where the profits go, but I hope they communicate this internally.

5. Set boundaries.
BT had a maximum of 2 ads at once, each up to 2 weeks online. The ads were not shown on “prime real estate”, so they were not taking the place of business content and not drawing an overwhelming amount of attention.
Luton Borough Council has one of their spots on the Homepage, which I would find a bit too much.

6. Specify ad requirements upfront.
Provide information such as dimensions, file types, and the amount of animation that you allow.
Luton Borough Council provides some size details, and is also very open about their (modest) fees.

7. Implement a clear process.
How are you going to find advertisers? Who approves advertisers/advertisements? Who negotiates the rates? How do you deal with complaints from employees? How much time can you spend on this process?

8. Test and measure.
Test first whether it catches on and whether there are serious objections.
Then, keep measuring if people click the ads, if no irritation occurs and whether it is profitable.

When I posted a Dutch version of this blog, I immediately received an angry comment from a civil servant, that “he never wanted to see this commercialism infect his intranet”.
I hope the employees of Luton Borough Council have fewer objections. 🙂

I have never heard that other organizations allow advertising. If you know or do, would you please let me know?

7 trends in intranet promotion videos – and their intranets

VideoTrends-CamThis is the written version of part of my talk at Intra Team Event 2015 in Copenhagen.

I have been collecting intranet promotion videos for about 3 years now, and over time I have seen changes in the videos and in the intranets they feature. So it is about time for a trends post!
Remember that I am not a communications or video expert; I am rather an experienced user who has watched several hundreds of these videos in the past few years.

So here’s my take on things:

1. From “space” to “connect”.
Intranet promotion videos appear to have grown up. The earliest examples often featured a space theme: the Galaxy, Thunderbirds,StarWars. At that time, an intranet may have looked very advanced and out of this world. Today, we see professional companies making these movies, and the theme is more towards “connecting” employees with each other and the company.

This is an example from 2012, for Thunderbirds fans!


2. From static newsletter to interactive multi-purpose platform.
We all know this, of course, but it reflects in the videos. Most intranets these days are a place to do your work and keep connected to your colleagues. The static corporate news finally gets a less prominent space on the homepage.

3. Some topics are evergreen.
Several concepts keep coming back, such as:

  • 24/7 availability, working across time zones, access on multiple devices, any place any time
  • One version of the truth, centralized source of information, real-time (document) collaboration
  • Finding and connecting with colleagues and their expertise
  • Avoiding redundancy/working in silos, stimulating “working out loud”, sharing knowledge

There are also some minor recurring topics, such as company reorganizations or mergers, that warrant a new intranet, but these are of course very company-specific.
If you are creating your own video and looking to visualize those concepts, please take a look at my collection, especially the Animations. Many of those concepts have been done very nicely already.

This one below, for instance, shows “24/7 availability” and “working across time zones”:

While this one below nicely shows “real-time collaboration”

CoSMos from Skrudge on Vimeo.

4. Multi-device, not specific for smartphone.
Many intranets claim that they are accessible from any device, and show images of desktop, laptop, tablet and smartphone. However, I have not found any videos showing or mentioning specific functionalities or apps to be used on smartphone when “on the go”, or for colleagues who do not normally work in an office with a PC. Perhaps a responsive design is considered to be sufficient?

5. Intranet, not digital workplace.
Searching for new videos with keyword  “digital workplace” rarely leads to the desired result. The videos that I am looking for are still tagged “intranet” and deal with the ‘branded internal website”, not with the complete aggregation of branded and native tools and platforms. (for instance chat and teleconferencing tools, email, special applications)

This one is an exception, and although I love it, it is very much IT-focused and not very tailored to the end-user.

Digital Workplace from Home Retail Group on Vimeo.

6. Log-in still needed.
I would have expected single-sign-on everywhere by now, but I still see many log-ons. There are some cases where I can explain this:

  • Several videos have been uploaded by external agencies, and they may need a log-in because they are not employees.
  • I also have several videos for franchise organizations (real-estate, fast food chains) or universities or high schools where partners and students have not been given company email accounts. So perhaps my videos are a little biased towards “non-employees”.
  • I have also seen some log-ins to Office365 intranets. I can only hope that they are working on SSO and that it is only a matter of time :-).

7. Relaunch often means: simplification
In 2014 I suddenly noticed several videos for a relaunched intranet, with the explicit message that the intranet had been simplified, decluttered, easier to use. Also at other events I have often heard about “removing thousands of outdated webpages”, “simplifying navigation”, etc.
I think this is the result of a learning curve: in the early days we thought we needed to move all information to the intranet, while we now know that only a small amount of information is really useful for employees, and some things are done better via the enterprise social network, a 1-on-1 chat, dedicated applications or email.
I am afraid it will be some time before intranets and all employee tools will be as simple, well-designed and easy-to-use as e-commerce sites, but I hope intranets are on their way.

Please use the filter Simplification on my collection. I am currently retagging all videos. .

What is your opinion?
Can you spot these trends and have you noticed any others? Or even better, do you have any videos to add to my collection?

Image courtesy of Idea go at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

The deconstruction of the intranet

Deconstructed-PuzzleJust after publishing my last post, I found three interesting things that increase my belief that we are currently “deconstructing” the intranet and making it into something different.

1. No more Internal Comms department.

A Dutch bank and insurance company reported they have done away with their Internal Communications department. The rise of enterprise social networks (two-way communication – I wrote about this earlier) as well as the large number of customer-facing employees in webcare and other business processes had made them decide that communications is no longer a role for one department but for all the company.
English version of article.

Why is this important? Because it is often Internal Comms that has been the department that has introduced intranets to their employees as a communication tool for all the company. They have made sure intranets looked good, that people got training and that the corporate news got the best real estate on the homepage.  🙂

Most of them have realized that the intranet is no longer only a communication tool, but a tool to do your work. In that respect, it may be time to hand over the ownership of the intranet to a different part of the organization, and the digital workplace team may be the best candidate. They can take care of a proper technical installation, governance, training, app selection and development, usability etc. (which, incidentally, apart from the technical installation, are all things I really like to do :-))

If Internal Comms is no longer the owner of the intranet/digital workplace, it means that we can finally use that prime real estate for the most important work stuff, regardless of what that is. Perhaps we can also be less fanatic about design and branding, 🙂 and focus on usability.
But of course this is just one company. I have no idea if (m)any others will follow suit.

2. More talk about an app-store on your intranet.

I came across an article about Neil Morgan’s work for an intranet app store at Richemont. And that was done in 2012!

3. More proof that the app intranet exists! 

And then I found another intranet teaser video featuring a Windows 8 tile view with apps! This is the screenshot. (Please click to enlarge)

Screenshot of the desktop
A screenshot from 19s into the video shows the desktop, with various apps. Source: http://vimeo.com/98925422

Once again, all kind of tools are displayed on the desktop and several elements from the intranet are there (news (in the centre – prime real estate!),  time and weather, an HR app). But there appears to be no integrated website called “intranet”.

[Update October 17th, 2014: Unfortunately, the video was suddenly made private, so I removed the embedded link. I am glad I made that screenshot! ]

This feeds my theory that the “intranet” will be replaced by the individual building blocks of the intranet-as-we-have-come-to-know-it + other tools. I will call it the “deconstructed intranet” 🙂
This term has already been used earlier in a blog by Russell Pearson. I am not sure if he meant exactly the same thing though.

Is this the same as a Digital Workplace? I do not think so – this may be part of a Digital Workplace or a stage towards a Digital Workplace, but I think the Digital Workplace has more to it than just a set of tools.

Have you seen other examples of “deconstructed intranets”? I am ever so curious how this will develop!

Image courtesy of ponsulak at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

 

Rest in peace, dear colleague.

InMemoriamI am posting this on the day that the Netherlands have a Day of National Mourning for the victims of the horrible MH17 airplane tragedy.

I have a reason to do that.
Many passengers were not only a partner, a family member or a friend, but also a colleague.

Recently I visited an intranet team who showed me how they use their internal social network to announce the passing away of a colleague, and to give everyone in the organization the opportunity to share their memories about that person.

Of course the immediate colleagues would be informed by their manager. Other employees had to rely on the printed newsletter, so they often learned quite late about the death of their colleague. In many cases, the funeral service had already taken place.

Since then, they have chosen to post the sad news on the social network, in a special “Obituaries’ group. The reactions have been overwhelmingly positive.

  • All employees are informed timely, and can attend the funeral service if they want to.
  • Many people value the opportunity to share their personal memories and stories about their colleague; the responses are many and long.
  • All reactions are collected and sent to the family, which is highly appreciated.
  • It draws people to the social network that normally do not go there.

Technology-wise it is quite straightforward: the main message is a copy of the printed card, with a picture of the colleague, a short message from management, and the reactions underneath. You can imagine it. It does not feel good to recreate screenshots.

I was very touched to see the internal social network being used for this purpose, it was new to me, and I wanted to share it. Perhaps you may need to deal with this one day. Perhaps even now…

My sincere condoleances to everyone who has lost a loved or liked one in this terrible event. My thoughts are with you.

Image courtesy of dan / FreeDigitalPhotos.net