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Stage 6

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T H E

F R A M E W O R K ™

Stage 6

 


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The Consolidated Workplace Interface

There are very few Stage 6 intranets at the moment. These intranets integrate legacy applications, interfaces and partner portals into a single, consolidated dynamic interface for employees. In the organizations where these exist, they’re often not even called intranets. They also integrate email, voice (through VoIP), and contextual tools—in other words, every digital artifact in a company is presented through a single interface. Stage 6 intranets have strong mobile components, so that anything that is available on an employee’s desktop is also available on a companion mobile device.

 

Current State

 

Sponsorship:

Given that a consolidated workplace interface requires dramatic organizational and technical changes within a company, these solutions obviously will have to be sponsored by the CEO. Developing these solutions is a mammoth task. They will be prototyped within more forwardlooking business units and departments first or in those areas that either missed the last technological upgrade cycle or have a pressing need for a solution of this kind.

 

User Needs:

Unlike intranets in the earlier stages, these intranets don’t simply address the communication, information and collaboration needs of employees. They respond to the way employees accomplish tasks in the workplace. As a result, they address the complexity that has arisen through the proliferation of technology.

 

Experience Design:

The workplace interface is fundamentally concerned with bringing simplicity to all the digital touch-points that an employee may have. It is not only incredibly usable but contextually aware through some degree of artificial intelligence. For example, these interfaces may include technology that “holds” less important emails when employees are accomplishing mission critical tasks and only delivers them upon completion of the tasks.

 

Technologies:

Some of the technologies seen in the consolidated workplace interface include VoIP, guided navigation, enterprise instant messaging, the semantic web, visualization, content analysis, mobile, RIA, AJAX and context aware portal software.

 

Training:

On the surface, these solutions may appear to require extensive training, but that may not necessarily be the case. They are completely different interfaces, in some cases breaking out of the browser metaphor. But at the same time, they’re designed to better reflect the way employees interact with technology. Determine your training needs based on the technological savviness of your employees.

 

Adoption:

It is too early to tell how well these Stage 6 intranets are being adopted in most companies.

 

ROI Metrics:

Increased employee productivity is key to ROI metrics and, more specifically, in the ability of employees to complete tasks in a more timely fashion. With fewer visible disruptions, consolidated workplace interfaces allow employees to focus on the task at hand and accomplish more in a given day.

 

Key Takeaways

Consolidated workplace interfaces are just beginning to appear in companies across the country. While they take corporate intranets to a new level, many of them can barely be recognized as intranets. Technology companies from portal software providers to telecommunication players and application software providers, such as Microsoft with Office 12, are hoping to lead the way. Forrester Research refers to Stage 6 intranets as the information workplace, while IDC calls them the Enterprise Workplace, a new user experience platform. (“The Information Workplace: Who Wants It and When?,” Forrester Research, Inc., April 27, 2006)

 

According to Forrester Research, Verizon is one of the few companies that has developed a consolidated workplace interface, which has been deployed to 65% of its 214,000 employees. (“Verizon’s Information Workplace,” Forrester Research, Inc., September 14, 2005.) The interface is based on a functionally-rich enterprise portal, speech portal, right-time communications platform, and a scrolling executive dashboard.

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External Resources

 

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