Wizdom Accelerate module delivers worlds first instant intranet for Office 365 and SharePoint

blog_348x232_webinaraccelerateIntranet projects just got even faster with Wizdoms Accelerate programme

In the past, some SharePoint intranet projects have been long, exhausting and resource-intensive.  We can remember a few which felt truly epic!

Thankfully, the triple whammy of Office 365, SharePoint intranet in-a-box solutions and a more iterative and agile approach to intranet projects means that far more rapid deployments are now possible, preferred and even expected.

And now Wizdom, our Danish partner behind the leading Sharepoint-in-a-box intranet, has just introduced the Accelerate programme, a guided and semi-automated way to provision an entire intranet site structure very rapidly.

An already relatively speedy Wizdom intranet project just got even quicker and easier.

What is the Wizdom Accelerate programme?

When we originally announced our partnership with Wizdom we said that we loved the solution because of the maturity of the product, its flexibility and its great ease of use.

Another reason we choose to partner with Wizdom is because of the companys strong commitment to continue to invest in the product in response to customer feedback.  Wizdom has a product roadmap which is full of innovative new features and capabilities and Accelerate is one of the latest modules to emerge.

Put simply, Accelerate allows us to provision a whole site structure very quickly for our customers. We can build all the central components you need including the homepage, a news centre, a central document library and more. We can also set up any relevant departmental sites and sub-sites you require, all with the right associated site templates.

And because each template already delivers all the functionality you need for each section of your intranet, using Accelerate means you end up with a fully provisioned site which is ready to start populating with content and data.

Using Accelerate means in one session you can potentially build an intranet which includes a homepage with all the features youd expect, corporate and local news with social features, an employee directory, departmental and divisional sites, a mega menu, a collection of links and more. Thats also an intranet thats optimised for mobile and can either be cloud-based or on premises.

Using Accelerate has some key advantages.

Allows for truly agile or semi-agile project delivery

Many IT functions and intranet project teams want to be able to develop their intranet using an agile methodology, or at least a semi-agile methodology. Accelerates instant provisioning capability saves hours of time, even days, for very complex sites. Essentially you can have an intranet built in less than an hour.

At last, heres an intranet product that isnt working against your IT delivery teams aspirations around agile development, but fits into the way your project team want to work.

In the bigger picture that also ensures a more rapid implementation, with all the benefit that entails including quicker ROI and avoiding the pitfalls of losing momentum often associated with big waterfall intranet projects.

Brings the intranet build closer to the business

Before Accelerate, building a site has been an activity for IT developers. Of course, how you structure an intranet and which associated template to use is a business decision rather than a technology one. However, when you hand the site build over to a developer to complete, there can be a degree of separation between that person and the team making those essential business decisions.

Accelerate moves the building process closer to the business. When we use Accelerate we’re right there in the room with the intranet team, completing the online forms which provision the new intranet. The build process is far more transparent.

Our information architect can get the direct feedback on any decisions that need to be made there and then and we can also tease out any issues that might arise. With the structure built in full visibility, the client will also consider things which they might only think of later, making the whole build process smoother. Overall, weve found using Accelerate is a much better way of working.

Reduces costs

Using Accelerate saves time by automating parts of the site building process. Naturally that means our customers do not have to pay for IT developer time previously spent building the intranet, individual site by individual site. The more complex the site, the more the potential saving.

See what content looks like

Another great feature of Accelerate is that it allows you to view content as it would appear on a site or subsite. You can download content packs which will show you what the different pages within parts of your newly provisioned intranet look like.

This is very useful if a team wants to visualise what a department site might look like and can help intranet teams make quick decisions about which templates to use. It also means there is less frustrating to-ing and fro-ing with SharePoint developers as intranet teams ponder their options.

Lets Accelerate!

We’re using the Accelerate programme with our clients and we’re already seeing the benefits. Naturally we like the time saved, but we also enjoy having intranet teams even more involved in the building stage. The process helps them make essential decisions about site structures and makes the new intranet more tangible.

And our clients like the reduced cost, the speed of implementation and the fact that after just one meeting they have an intranet they can start to add content to. That accelerates the intranet project and means everybody is happy.


Also please watch a video about Wizdom accelerate from Flemming Goldbach (Head of product development at Wizdom)

Wizdom Intranet video case study for award-winning intranet

Stadtwerke Lübeck is a utility company in Germany. They implemented Wizdom Intranet with agency partner Hansevision and won 2nd place in Intra.NET Reloaded Award 2017 in the category “Intranet Integration, Strategy & Digital Workplace Management”.

This video was shown at the award show.

Why your intranet must budget for change management

Intranets now have a powerful set of capabilities and apps, from internal communications to collaboration to forms and workflow to being fully optimised for mobile devices. Indeed, some are morphing into digital workplaces, becoming the starting point of the working day for employees.

However, despite the powerful features of your intranet, it does not necessarily guarantee adoption from users. And without adoption, your intranet might as well not exist!

The intranet adoption conundrum

Adoption is often a conundrum for intranet teams. As an intranet consultancy, its something we get asked about all the time.

Despite the best efforts of teams, employees seem hooked on repeating old habits, such as using email for everything.

One critical point is that, in most cases, using the intranet and the related tools is not mandatory. There are other options for employees. So instead of using collaborative spaces or social tools, employees prove resistant to change and revert to the ubiquitous email. However good your intranet is, the idea of build it and they shall come has long been discredited.

Another key reason is that employees are constantly bombarded by messages and information, and thats on top of them being fantastically busy with their everyday activities. It can be challenging to get their attention and let them know about the intranet or social tools they should be using.

Plan for change management

For the best chance of good intranet adoption, you need to plan for adequate change management. Change management is likely to feature marketing and communications, training and support and initiatives to drive engagement. Generally, it will need to be targeted to specific groups and it will need to be ongoing.

Typical change management tactics for intranet and digital workplace projects include:

  • Traditional written communications, often via the intranet itself
  • An engaging launch campaign with teaser videos, events, competitions and roadshows
  • Endorsement from senior leaders
  • Self-service resources including how-to videos, user guides and e-learning
  • A support community to answer questions and give advice
  • Targeted training for super-users, content owners and community managers
  • Use of an advocate or champions network and their continuing engagement to drive use via peer recommendations
  • A train the trainer programme

In addition there may be behind-the-scenes stakeholder management, possibly a programme of improvements released iteratively and, of course, a highly useful site!

Youll need budget!

All of this takes time and resources to deliver adequately. Although you can leverage the (free) energy and enthusiasm of local champions, theres a limit to what you achieve without any spend. Youll still need to support and train them, produce resources, get your message across to users and even travel to remote offices.

If youre not budgeting for change management as an integral part of your intranet project then youre missing a trick. A good approach is to do this upfront, presented together with any development, product, IT and design costs. Indeed, weve seen some projects which have budgeted most of the project costs to change management.

Also with the opportunities for lower costs delivered by an intranet-in-a-box solution, presenting additional change management costs can be more palatable for stakeholders.

Heres some reasons why you should budget up-front for change management.

There may not be budget for business-as-usual

Traditionally when a project is considered finished and goes into business as usual there is either little budget left or investment can get cut. Budgeting for a period of ongoing change management can reduce the chance of that happening.

Change management starts during the project phase

Change management effort starts during the project phase, not just around launch time. When you involve employees to provide input, give feedback and test your new intranet, youre helping to drive a sense of ownership and creating advocates for the new platform.

These people may help you launch it later and act as champions within their peer networks. Consider change management as a process which runs from the very beginning of your project.

Employees and organisations are continually changing

Organisations, teams, employees and their needs are always in a state of flux. Youll always need to educate new starters, train new content owners and launch new features. All that requires ongoing support and change management. An intranet is never truly finished and nor are the efforts to drive intranet adoption.

Complex platforms are likely to have a phased launch

Usually central intranet teams are very small. Realistically a team of three may support 100,000 employees. To cope with the workload, it may mean that a staggered or phased launch is required in organisations. This may require a sustained change management effort lasting months.

Adoption will be part of the strategy and business case so be consistent

Your intranet strategy and related intranet business case will almost certainly have envisaged good adoption. Ideally, both should have mentioned the change management efforts required. If this element is in your business case it should then be in your project budget too.

Manage the expectations of your senior stakeholders

Intranet teams are always keen to win budgetary approval for a new platform, and getting that doesnt always come easy. Dont succumb to the temptation to sugar coat a budget request by leaving out change management costs so it is more likely to get passed. Make sure your senior stakeholders understand that change management is essential or youll be setting yourself up for a fall.

Digital literacy is a source of competitive advantage

Learning how to use the tools on the intranet and wider digital workplace, for example those in the Office 365 suite, can help to increase confidence in tools and levels of digital literacy across the workforce. This is hugely beneficial in the long run and can really help drive digital transformation, deliver better collaboration and inspire innovation.

Change management is key

The experience of organisations shows that change management is key to driving intranet adoption, and good levels of adoption are a prerequisite for intranet success. If you want to achieve convincing intranet ROI then employees need to be using the intranet on a regular basis. Change management is integral to success.

Training, support, communications and campaigns need to be properly resourced. By including the costs in your original project budget plans, everybody has a realistic view of what will be needed to make your intranet a lively platform that helps employees with everyday work and enables wider organisational objectives.

Wizdom Intranet is now available on the G-Cloud 9 (within the Governments Digital Marketplace)

We are excited to announce that Wizdom Intranet is now available to procure through G-cloud DfT Id templates9, the UK Governments digital marketplace. More Information about Wizdom Intranet can be found on the Digital Marketplace.

Wizdom is an award winning off-the-shelf intranet for Office 365 and/or SharePoint. It can also be installed on SharePoint on-premises. Wizdom extends and simplifies SharePoint and Office 365’s capabilities, creating intranets that are intuitive to navigate, easy to maintain and highly configurable. It can be set up in just a few short weeks with few resource commitments from the customer. Its a mature product with more than 50 different features and functions that is suitable for small organisations and large enterprises alike. There are over 220 installations around the world in companies ranging from less than a hundred employees through to ones with over a 100,000.

Content Formula is the sole UK partner for Wizdom Intranet. Content Formula (established 2005) is a SharePoint and Digital Workplace consultancy in London that designs and implements digital workplace solutions that are useful, useable, and well adopted by employees. We believe that the best solutions emerge from a blend of technical excellence, intuitive user experience, and sound user adoption strategy.

If you have any questions regarding the framework you can get in contact with us directly or arrange a demo

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