Integrating social tools with the EUMETSAT intranet
In 2008, the European Organisation for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites (EUMETSAT) won a commendation in the Intranet Innovation Awards. Their AJAX-based ‘Intranet Newsflash’ delivered quick bulletins of news and critical messages to users, regardless of the page on display.
EUMETSAT’S intranet innovation doesn’t end there, however. A wiki for new starters and a discussion forum to improve dialogue and internal communication have also been launched.
In this interview, Niklas Sinander, Enterprise Content Manager at EUMETSAT, discusses the motivations for both tools, and they are motivations that will almost certainly strike a chord with most intranet-focused professionals.
S2D: Why did EUMETSAT begin looking at tools such as wikis and discussion forums?
There were separate reasons for each tool, although they’ve evolved similarly.
For the wiki, the idea emerged because we have a high turnover of employees from countries from all over the world.
When they arrive, new employees have a difficult time due to the social differences, how the authorities work and the different language (German). Naturally, in their first few weeks and months, new employees need to concentrate on settling in: they need to buy or rent a house or flat, get a tax identity number, get all the needed insurance, import their car or buy a new one, find schools for their kids, find schools teaching German for themselves, find new friends, and so on.
During this time they’re not very productive for EUMETSAT since, quite naturally, their minds are occupied with all the settling in issues.
To help new employees settle in more quickly, which would be beneficial for both EUMETSAT and the employee, we felt there was a need to provide all the necessary information in one place and ensure it was right up to date.
To this end, we introduced the wiki, with the idea being that all employees, new and old, can add all this information.
[March KM Column by Alex Manchester, read the full article]