Engineering group BTR Siebe became so frustrated with the lack of usefulness of its Lotus Domino based corporate Intranet, that it decided to go it alone and develop systems in house.
The 125,000 employee corporate teamed up with consultants, Corporate Network Services (CNS), to produce a more dynamic Intranet. The result was Active Intranet, a product that builds on Domino to allow anyone in a company to publish from their desktop.
This aims to take Intranet management away from the IT department and creates an up to the minute knowledge base.
"The problem is that Intranets are all very well for a week, but if you go back in six months you can see the dust," said Ron Yuen, managing director of CNS. The first Active applications BTR Siebe implemented included Active Group Directories and Active Group Announcements modules.
"Corporate communications used to have two fax machines permanently on the go, just to cope with announcements," said Jon English, manager of corporate centre information services at BTR Siebe.
The product has also been rolled out by Kingfisher and Scottishpower. Scottishpower's installation of the product supports collaborative work to develop plans for crisis management.
"Lots of businesses have bad Intranets with a lot of poor quality, out of date information," commented Wilson Thomson, an information systems manager at Scottishpower.
Thomson said that Active Intranet allowed material to be dropped after three months and made it easier to ensure that content complied with company policy.
A key factor for Scottishpower was that the product kept its options open during a time when it was in the throes of migrating from cc:mail to Exchange.
Active Intranet applications include directories, organisation charts, discussion groups and projects. The publishing component of the service converts over 70 different document formats and supports multimedia as well as publishing tools such as Microsoft Front Page.
For more stories see 24 February issue of Network News
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