Tag Archives: directory

I wrote a book about governance: ‘Digital success or digital disaster?’

Book cover - Digital success or digital disastersWhen an intranet loses its usefulness over time, and people become disengaged and end up working around it rather than through it, I often find that the strategy and governance have been neglected.

Even a strong and appropriate strategy will founder if the governance isn’t in place to execute it.

I see governance as the foundation of a great intranet, and by ‘great’ I mean an intranet that is useful, useable, and supports the organisation’s goals and people’s needs.

I often blog about intranet governance, but my brand new book offers a lot more than I could ever drip-feed via short posts.  Writing a book has helped crystallise my thinking around governance, and delve deep into my past experience as an intranet manager, and as a consultant.

Take a look at my book now – it’s called ‘Digital success or digital disaster?’ and I mean for it to be relevant to intranets, collaboration, digital workplace and mobile workspace governance, while focussing on intranets.

I’m so pleased to have it published through Intranätverk, it’s been great to work with Kristian Norling and his team.  Seeing the final book on my tablet has made the months of writing all worth the effort.  I’m thrilled to be able to offer you my experience, guidance, and tips and hope you’ll consider my book a toolkit to better governance and a better intranet.

Please take a look at what the book offers you and your organisation – this is a ‘business book’ that should help organisations of every size, but I also hope it’s of interest to individual practitioners and ‘lone intranet managers’. I think this book can support you.

* Digital success or digital disaster? – Book available now.

* Follow me on Twitter – let me know what you think!

BT Intranet SharePoint 2010 examples

I have read a lot about what SharePoint 2010 can do but I have seen few examples of it being used with an intranet.  When I was the BT Intranet manager I was heavily involved in the strategy, plans and implementation of SP2010.  It was the biggest change to BT’s intranet since it’s creation.  It is a huge programme as BT migrates all its existing content from the publishing tools it is using now for document and content management as well as collaborative tools like wikis and blogs.  I’m going to show you examples of how SP2010 is being used on BT’s intranet.  These were shown to Intranet Benchmarking Forum members at the SP2010 Special Interest Group.

You may find more help from my SharePoint page.  You can also contact me for more help.

BT’s Knowledge Management and Collaboration (KMC) programme has formal BT Board approval and has published its strategy setting out the priorities and timelines.  The KMC programme has a governance model so the implementation is effective, well managed and you can see how the different boards fit together and their responsibilities.

First priority has been on sharing knowledge more easily.  You can choose SP2010’s people finding tool from an index list on the global navigation bar at the top of every page on the BT Intranet.

This links to MyProfile which is like the existing Directory but has flexibility for you to add more information about yourself to help people.  By clicking on ‘Browse in organisation chart’ you can move from MyProfile to MySite and can see how your role fits within BT and relates to other people.

MySite has several tabs including one for Whereabouts so people can see what you are doing.  This information is automatically downloaded from your Outlook calendar.  Another tab, Overview, enables people to see topics and skills you can help others with.

MySite content shows to people with the right permissions what you have published in SP2010.  This helps people to find others who have a shared interest without any extra effort needed by you.

People using SP2010 for the first time will go to the Welcome page for SP2010.  We don’t mention the technology in the title but what it helps people to do.  There is a lot of information shown but new users say this is what they need at this stage.

You can request to publish on a TeamSite for project work or document sharing.  It will extend to other needs as SP2010 replaces existing publishing tools and what activity they help people to do.

There is a help site for anyone using SP 2010.  It helps anyone using SharePoint 2010 for anything rather than just publishing.

All these examples are shown in this slide presentation.

Intellact: BT’s customer insight and information site

There are a few ‘killer applications and content’ which have driven the usage of BT’s intranet.  As well as the BT Homepage – our corporate portal, BT Today – our new sites and Directory – our people finder, Intellact, BT’s customer insight and market portal has been key to achieveing this.

Intellact provides a wealth of insight on the communications industry. Thousands of people in all parts of BT use these services to:

  • Help understand customer needs and satisfaction.
  • Monitor the global press – daily updates on business trends.
  • Support business propositions.

Comprehensive, up-to-date, high quality research helps people make their decisions with:

  • Business news
  • IT research and advice
  • BT commissioned market research
  • Broker research
  • Industry sector research
  • Internet audience measurement

Business news is updated several times per day on Intellact.  You can sign up to receive an email that reviews the days top news from UK and international newspapers, journals and newswires.

Intellact offers an unrivalled collection of published research covering ICT and other industry sectors with the option to contact analysts for further details. 

Intellact can be searched in various ways and you can set up alerts so when a new research is available you are informed so you don’t miss anything.

Intellact helps BT give people what they need for their business needs and a competitive edge to BT.

Have a look at these Intellact examples.

Meeting mobile intranet users’ needs

Last Friday I was interviewed by the Intranet Benchmarking Forum about how BT was meeting our intranet users’ needs who use a mobile device.  I also came across a great blog post and an internet report on mobility (over 40mb!).

So, I thought I would share what BT has done and what I would like to do in this post as it is becoming a hotter topic.

I posted about BT Intranet mobile users in June 2009 which links to examples.  I feel progress in 2010 will move in different ways for content than for applications.


Now: BT’s intranet standards make sure a PDA heading is on the templates used by our content management system for publishing information.  It means mobile users can click on this to see a text version of the same content.  Changes made to the main version automatically update the PDA version so people can rely on the content being the same.

Future: With the increased capability of mobile devices used by people in BT I want to make sure the coding (CSS) used for the content is capable of sizing up or down for any device and enable images to also adjust their size.  This means we only need one version that is usable and accessible to any device (mobile, laptop, desktop PC, etc) saving on costs and giving users a better experience.


Many of my regular readers will know my views about the poor usability of applications for intranet users and my concerns with Oracle’s applications on BT’s intranet.

For applications two versions are needed.  The full, standard, functionality is available for people to use but for mobile devices only the cut down, key functionality is available.

For example with BT’s Directory I can check a person’s contact details, manager, organisation chart, whereabouts, team members and their whereabouts.  For mobile devices only the contact details for the person found are available as that is the main reason why people use it.

The difficulty for me is persuading software vendors used by BT for intranet applications to understand why this is important and what is needed.  It should keep me busy during 2010!

BT’s intranet is 15 (yes, 15) years old

Just before Christmas 15 years ago a few grey pages appeared and flickered away on a computer screen in BT for the first time.  

What began as a small pilot project to look at the problem of “information overload” has led to being one of the best intranets globally with everyone in BT using it.

It’s now such an intrinsic part of the way that the company does its business that it is hard to imagine business life without it.  A BT person now uses the information network for a variety of tasks at work and also works with processes and systems which are intranet based.

 These include ‘killer applications’ at the start of our intranet that I have posted about before – BT Homepage, Directory, BT Today and more recently social media tools like Blog Central, BTpedia and Podcast Central.

Information and activities supported by the intranet include sales and marketing data, fault resolution, service planning and provision, facilities management, human resources support, senior executives’ sites and business intelligence.

All our key BT-wide applications most people need to use are online – whether booking a room, claiming expenses, ordering a PC, performance marking or training – saving time, paper, effort and transforming costs.

So what about the future?  I can’t predict for the next 15 years but I’ll post about the next 15 months soon.

BT Directory – connecting people easily

When BT’s intranet started in December 1994 one of the key demands from people was to easily find and connect with other people in BT.  Along with the BT Homepage and BT today, BT Directory was one of the ‘killer application/content’ that encouraged people to want to use BT’s intranet because it gave them a tool that helped make their life easier.

Today Directory is still as critical as when it started.  It is the easiest and quickest way to find out who you need to contact in BT.  I have shared some examples of BT Directory for you to see.

Ease of use (slides 1 and 2)

It is very easy to find anyone in BT.  You can use Directory to find people from any page on BT’s intranet using the Global Navigation Bar (GNB).  You can see I have entered my name as an example of what you do, then just press ‘Go’.  Their details will appear from Directory (slide 3).  You can also click on the Directory heading in the GNB to enter to use all the features on Directory (slide 2).

People information (slides 3 – 5)

You can find a person’s contact details – office and mobile phone nos., email, address –  their job title, manager and what part of BT they work in.  Again, I’ve used myself for the example (slide 3). 

You can also check their whereabouts (downloaded automatically each day from Outlook Calendar) to be able to choose when to contact them and if their office or mobile no. is better.  It helps when planning calls or meetings too (slide 4).

You can also see who is in their team as well as their manager and where in the BT organisation structure a person is.  I’ve used myself to show my team and where in BT – Group Communications – I fit in (slide 5).

Extra features (slides 6 – 9)

You can use a power search to find someone by just knowing their phone no., which location they may be at, part of their name or even initials (slide 6).

You can find out who else has a particular work interest, activity or title.  The example shows how many people with a connection with ‘intranet’ in BT (slide 7).

Mobile users can also use a cut down version of Directory to find people’s contact details (slide 8).  The results shown are the key contact details you will need (slide 9).

As social media tools continue to grow in BT, Directory will be a hub to help you find out more useful information to help them connect easily and quickly with the best people who can help you.