In speaking with Dan Latendre the CEO of IGLOO Software, I've become versed on collaboration tools, and most importantly, the distinctions between many of them. Igloo develops securely stored social, collaborative business solutions that can be used for employees, business partners and customers. Delivered in the cloud, the company's social software includes an integrated suite of content management, collaboration and enterprise social networking features.
Adapted from Ragan Communications, these are the four features the company advises organizations seek out when evaluating a social intranet solution.
1. An open contribution model. Not all collaborative solutions behave the same way. With editorial processes, approvals, and workflows often customizable within a system, the optimal system needs to be democratic. Meaning, everyone in the company should be able to contribute content to the social intranet. Regardless of his or her position, Igloo advises that everyone should have the liberty to post without having to go through a cumbersome approval process. In this way, your company can truly tap into the collective conscious of your employees.
2. Uphold a comment-friendly environment. Constructive dialogue isn't merely about broadcasting opinion in a one-way discussion. One of the essential points to having a business social intranet is so employees can share their knowledge and opinions. To achieve universal adoption and an open environment, it's important to encourage comments and discussion.
3. Ways for employees to rate the value of content. A business intranet exists for the puposes of employee empowerment and collaboration. An essential part of this empowerment is to enable employees to determine what's important to them. In the same way social networks enable "liking" and sharing, a solid business intranet should encourage employees to rate, share and bookmark content.
4. Promote employee information. It's equally as important to have information about employees as it is to include information about the company. People work better and build deeper relationships through relatedness. Many people use social intranets to learn more about their co-workers, and yours should encourage that. Ease of use for employees to own their business is critical so others can learn and evaluate who has the authority on what topics and areas of business.
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