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Intranets & Extranets

Intranets & Extranets

Discover the secret of good internal and employee communication

Look at a staff survey of any business with more than around 30 people and you’ll discover it’s an all too common fact that many businesses are not very good at internal communications. The good news is that, providing your staff have access to a PC with links to the internet, poor internal ‘comms’ can be a thing of the past – all you need is an intranet or extranet.

What are intranets and extranets?

An intranet or extranet is absolutely no different from a website – because it is a web site. We use the term intranets and extranets to differentiate the fact that the content on these web sites is not for public consumption, but targeted at and meant for a ‘closed user group’ of staff.

We use the term intranet for a web site that can normally only be accessed within the existing network of a business – within a Local Area Network (LAN) or Wide Area Network (WAN) behind a an existing security provision such as a firewall. Usually this covers people in your business with desk-based jobs and PCs provided by the business.

If you have staff who need to access the content from a non-business browser – say from home, a mobile device, a shared kiosk or even and internet café – we call it an extranet.

Why do businesses invest in intranets and extranets?

Businesses who don’t communicate with staff online tend to spend significant sums printing a whole heap of ‘stuff’:

  • Newsletters
  • Staff handbooks
  • Staff telephone directories
  • HR policy documents
  • Holiday request forms, expenses forms, forms and more forms
  • Internal reports, surveys etc

In a business of any size the list can be seemingly endless – any time somebody writes something important you need to print it. Migrate all this communication online and you’ll save money, save time and cut down a lot less trees.

Even the biggest document can be uploaded as a pdf and another beauty of online information management is that it can be updated with just a few keystrokes.

Is the content secure?

For both intranets and extranets the content can be password protected which makes content much more secure than any printed equivalent that can get left lying around on a photocopier.

  • Protected by a generic password
  • Protected by an individual password
  • Protected at varying levels of access

Password protection of content ensures that people can only see the amount or extent of content you want them to see. Thus there may be ‘all staff’ content, but also ‘departmental content’ or ‘board director only’ content.

Administrators and those who generate content can be given access in the same way, always subject to master ‘publishing’ approval to make sure content is ‘on message’.

The enhanced internal comms experience

More and more businesses are not just using their intranets and extranets for compliance and information purposes. Enlightened businesses with visions of a wider staff ‘community’ are using their online communication for a broad variety of functions:

  • Email ‘blasts’ and SMS messaging to push to content
  • Divisional or geographic self-administered micro sites
  • Training, examinations and membership
  • Internal online auctions
  • Messaging forums and blogs
  • Contact points for ideas and questions to leadership
  • Video broadcast

An intranet or extranet can be as diverse and versatile as any website. At Agilecoms ltd we believe they are the secret of great staff and internal communications that lead to enhanced productivity and profit.

If you’d like to find out more about intranets and extranets please don’t hesitate to call.

For the
technical people

As well as offering market leading solutions like SharePoint our C# ASP.NET developers allow us to develop bespoke custom made solutions to suit your specific business requirements.

View our portfolio of Intranets & Extranets

Intranet Development

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