Moving towards a modern intranet

The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) is a statutory authority within the federal government portfolio of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy. The ACMA is responsible for the regulation of broadcasting, the internet, radio communications and telecommunications. From satellites in space to the submarine cables that carry communications to and from our island continent, the ACMA touches virtually every aspect of modern digital life. The ACMA Internal Communications and Information Technology teams sought to launch a new intranet to keep pace with the dynamic space in which they operate.

Challenge

The ACMA corporate intranet is the main source of information for its 600 employees—providing reference on policies and procedures, projects and initiatives, news and departmental activities—with 96% visiting the intranet for an average of 15 hours each month. However, the 2012 staff survey found that only half found the former intranet valuable.

In the four years since the ACMA’s last intranet redesign, advances in web technologies and changing user expectations—driven predominately by web 2.0 applications—were fuelling demand for more sophisticated ways of working.

Unfortunately, the first generation web platform was restricting internal implementation and adoption. As a result, the ACMA intranet was at an increased risk of becoming obsolete, struggling to meet the requirements and demands of a changing organization.

Implementing a new intranet solution would improve the ability of ACMA employees’ to manage and share information, connect with people, start conversations, and streamline communication distribution and collaboration.

There were also important business drivers for updating the intranet, including:

  • aligning with the ICT strategy to minimize the number of software platforms in use across the
    agency by transitioning to a standard corporate web publishing platform
  • integrating with key ICT business platforms including Microsoft SharePoint and Lync, assisting in driving the change agenda through increased awareness and adoption
  • making the most of opportunities offered by Web 2.0, as encouraged by Government policy
  • contributing to the ACMA key result areas (KRAs), brand values, priorities and transformational goals.

Solution

Moving to a modern intranet required a complete redevelopment and redesign.

Key features of the new intranet include:

  • A unified ecosystem of tools - provides specialist tools to enable effective, streamlined and user-friendly methods of searching for and retrieving accurate curated content, syncing with the ACMA’s records management and SharePoint environments.
  • Lync integration allows users to call or message page authors or owners directly without picking up the phone handset or leaving the intranet page.
  • Social integration - exposes the conversation taking place on our external social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.
  • Participative management - provides a twoway communication channel with comment mechanisms on all content pages.
  • Improved navigation - a mega menu acts as a gateway to key information by presenting information to users in a large format, allowing easier access to lower level content, and ultimately minimizing clicks.
  • Expanding accordions replace bookmarks and reduce long pages of text that scroll beneath the fold.
  • Adaptive screen - the intranet has been optimized for a fluid design that scales from a minimum width of 980px (the iPad/iPhone default scale viewport) to a maximum width of 1280px to cater for widescreen monitors.

User scalability was also enabled to allow a user to zoom in on a page on smaller devices. The ACMA’s Cybersmart site is built on Sitecore’s CMS, and the external-facing ACMA website is in the process of moving to Sitecore. Sitecore was also chosen for its out of the box integration with Microsoft SharePoint.

Digital communications company, Reading Room—already working on the external-facing website—worked closely with the Internal Communication and Information Management teams to develop this new intranet. The project was launched on time (in five short months) and within budget in October 2012.

Result

The new intranet is demonstrating evidence of achieving many Internal Communication and Information Technology goals, including:

  • Efficiency - minimizing the amount of technology platforms in use across the business by leveraging existing software platforms, business process (including support and governance) and frameworks
  • Integration - files in Office format can be opened, edited, collaborated on and saved in SharePoint and then integrated to the intranet environment, resulting in a single source of reference.
  • Enhanced communication - there has been a 40 percent increase in hits to the homepage news which can be attributed to an increase in dynamic functionality and interactive elements—with features including a news rotator, sliding events calendar, video content and social media.
  • Productivity - enabling people to work in a manner that they are already used to and proficient in from their private life
  • Breaking down silos – paving the way for greater agency-wide collaboration and knowledge exchange across division, branches and sections by moving away from content arranged in silos according to the organizational chart
  • Business intelligence – the ability to retrieve usage metrics that can be used for continuous intranet improvement initiatives and user insights

But this isn’t a ‘set and forget’ strategy.

The ACMA has plans for integrating content pages and employee profile pages with wall feeds and customizing a workspace for employees—targeting content and tools to individuals—based on their job role, team, interests and other factors.

The ACMA intranet will continuously change and evolve as the business and user expectations do.

Technical Description

Solution Special Ingredients

  • Sitecore CMS
  • Sitecore Digital Marketing System
  • Integration with Microsoft Lync and SharePoint and various social media including YouTube, Facebook and Twitter.