If your organisation is looking to replace its existing Intranet solution, there are plenty of more options available than ever before, whether built on a products from a vendor such as Lotus or using open-source or bespoke alternatives.
In the IBM/Lotus stable, one could use a Domino-based content management system, WebSphere Portal, Lotus Connections or Lotus WCM as the underlying infrastructure. All would do a great job I'm sure (though as ever, the tool being used is only a fraction of the overall solution)...
However, an option that doesn't get considered as often as it should is to use Lotus Quickr as the core for the intranet.
A Danish IT services company, Semler IT, have done just that, by basing their intranet on Lotus Quickr together with the Neo.Dashboard solution from OpusNeo:
Semler IT is part of the Semler Group, the largest family-owned car importer in Denmark. The group employs 1,600 people and imports Volkswagen, Audi, Seat, Škoda and Porsche vehicles, which are sold through a network of 200 dealerships across the country. Semler IT employs 60 people, and provides IT services, support and consultancy for the other group companies and the dealership network.Taking the best features and functions of Lotus Quickr, and adding a layer of web content management from Neo.Dashboard, the solution delivers a comprehensive, dynamic and highly-personalised home page for Semler employees:
Semler IT's existing intranet had been designed by external consultants, and could not easily be developed by the in-house team. To reduce development costs, the company wanted to move to a new technology platform.
Semler IT deployed Neo.Dashboard from IBM Business Partner Opus Neo. Based on IBM Lotus Quickr, Neo.Dashboard provides a highly versatile intranet platform that users can personalise with RSS feeds, Google Gadgets and other Web 2.0 technologies.
Neo.Dashboard is easy for the in-house team to maintain and develop – and should deliver an estimated reduction in ongoing costs of more than 50 percent. The flexible Lotus Quickr platform enables simple integration with email, calendars and applications. Employees can personalise their own homepages, improving the user experience and encouraging them to make regular use of the intranet.
“We immediately recognised Neo.Dashboard as the right solution for the new intranet,” says Thomas Hansen. “It leverages the flexibility of Lotus Quickr to enable the integration of all sorts of content – from text, pictures and video through to Web 2.0 technologies such as Google Gadgets and RSS feeds. Adopting Neo.Dashboard meant that there would be no more need to build portlets to add new features. Instead, everything could be handled via simple iFrames, and we already had all the skills we needed in-house.”(The Semler case study is available in PDF form for download).
The first phase of the project was to migrate the existing intranet content over to the new platform, giving Semler an intranet that runs on the Lotus Quickr platform and displays data from Lotus Domino databases and several internal and external Web sites. In the future, the intranet will also display data from the company’s Quickr places.
“The intranet is one of the most important channels Semler Group uses to communicate with its employees, so we wanted to make sure that the new solution would be as easy to use as the old one,” says Thomas Hansen. “To maximise user acceptance, we decided to replicate the look and feel of the existing intranet as far as possible, before we started to add anything new.”
With the new platform running smoothly, the team began to introduce new features. Integration with Lotus Notes and Domino enables users to access their email and calendars, as well as a number of Lotus Domino databases and applications.
“For example, we have an application that allows staff to pre-book their own cars into our repair shops for servicing,” comments Thomas Hansen. “We used to handle this process by email, but now it’s much easier – they can make pre-bookings directly into the repair shop’s Lotus Domino database via Neo.Dashboard.”
In the future, Semler IT plans to integrate other systems with the Neo.Dashboard solution – including the company’s IBM Cognos Business Intelligence platform. This is intended to give executives a simple, at-a-glance view of important key performance indicators, making it easier for them to get the information they need to make important decisions.
Thomas Hansen says: “The beauty of the solution is that this kind of thing is very easy to implement. We have a lot of experience with the Lotus Quickr platform in-house, and its tight integration with Lotus Domino means that we can surface all sorts of applications quickly and easily, with no need for help from external consultants. The initial cost of the Neo.Dashboard solution was 80 percent less than our previous intranet, and we estimate that ongoing maintenance and development costs should be at least 50 percent lower.”
So, if you're looking to replace your corporate intranet site, give some thought to using Lotus Quickr and Neo.Dashboard - it might be just the solution your organisation needs...
By: Stuart McIntyre - Quickr Blog | 3 Comments | On: 6 April 2010 07:22:43 | Tags: quickr opusneo intranet