Q&A with Christoffer Soltau Chief Solutions Specialist
Recently, we had the opportunity to sit down with our colleague, Christoffer Soltau, LiveTiles Channel Director and Chief Solutions Specialist who has a wealth of more than 20 years’ experience guiding enterprise clients through their digital transformation. We started off by asking him to share his deep understanding about the top-level business requirements that organizations must include when drafting their RFPs (request for proposals) seeking the intranet vendors and solutions.
Q: How can organizations, when finalizing their RFPs for intranet vendors, ensure that the results will not just will keep employees informed and included and ensure the relevance and efficiency of information, but also empower organisations to foster a connection to their company values and vision, facilitate relationship-building, and provide a platform for employees to be heard?
Christoffer Soltau: The first thing that comes to mind is collaboration. Today’s workplaces are increasingly distributed, and an intranet needs to facilitate seamless communication and cooperation among employees, regardless of their physical location. That means offering robust messaging capabilities, support for social and visual content, and easy document sharing.
Customization is another important factor. Every organization is unique, and their intranet should reflect that. From branding elements like logos and color schemes to layout and content structure, having the ability to tailor the platform to the organization’s specific needs is crucial.
But customization doesn’t stop at aesthetics. A good intranet also needs a robust content management system that allows different categories of users to create, publish, and manage content. This helps ensure that the right information gets to the right people at the right time.
Another critical requirement is analytics. Organizations need to understand how employees are interacting with the intranet, what content they’re engaging with, and where there might be room for improvement. This data can drive decision-making and help organizations maximize employee engagement and corporate communication impact.
Personalization is also key. Every employee has different needs and roles within the organization, so the intranet should offer personalized experiences that deliver the tools, resources, and information to enhance personal productivity.
Beyond these, workflow automation capabilities are becoming increasingly important as organizations seek to streamline processes and improve efficiency. Your intranet should provide an intuitive, user-friendly interface and search function, ensuring that employees can easily find the information they need. And it should be available 24/7, because work doesn’t always happen between 9 and 5.
Q: What about the most important technical requirements for organizations to consider?
Christoffer Soltau: On the technical side, there are several key considerations. First and foremost, the intranet needs to be accessible via a web browser and compatible with all major browsers. It should also integrate seamlessly with existing enterprise applications, like Microsoft Office or SharePoint. This kind of integration can significantly enhance productivity by allowing employees to access everything they need without leaving the intranet environment. As we emphasize in our software design principles: Be where the user is!
Scalability is another crucial factor. This means that the platform can grow and evolve as your business grows and evolves. It means organisations are not locked into the requirements made “4 years ago” but continue to build on and evolve their digital workplace.
Security is, of course, paramount. Your intranet will handle sensitive information, and organizations need to know that this data is protected. So, robust security features – including authentication, authorization, and encryption – are non-negotiable essentials!
The design of the intranet also needs to be responsive, ensuring it functions well on different devices – from desktop computers to smartphones. With many employees now using their own devices for work, mobile app support is becoming increasingly important.
A quality content management system (CMS) is another must-have, providing users with the tools they need to create, manage, and publish content from any location on any device. And just like on the business side of things, a user-friendly search function is vital for helping users find and discover relevant content.
In terms of deployment, the intranet should ideally be cloud-based, with options provided for on-premises and hybrid deployments depending on the organization’s specific needs and constraints. The cloud service provider should have a 24/7 monitoring system and be able to take immediate action in response to any security incidents.
ISO Data Protection certification is also essential, as it is used for customer audits or audits carried out by an independent third party. By ensuring your organization’s data is managed with utmost care, you are not only creating a secure environment, but also empowering your customers in adhering to their own security compliance requirements.
Christoffer Soltau: Selecting an intranet solution is a critical decision for any organization. It’s not just a question of choosing a vendor for today’s solution. It’s about finding a partner that understands your needs, can tailor their solution to meet them and is committed to accompanying you on your digital workplace and your digital transformation journey. I hope that this list of requirements will serve as a useful guide for organizations as they navigate this important process.