Explaining the social concept of Omnia – the No 1 Intranet in a box-product for SharePoint and Office 365 

For the second year in a row, Omnia is ranked at the very top in the comprehensive Intranet in a box-product review annually published by Clearbox Consulting. One of the areas covered in the evaluation is Social and Knowledge Management and, in this article, you can find more information on how Omnia delivers within this area.

We believe that an Intranet can be a vital vehicle for implementing a successful knowledge management strategy and we are convinced that Omnia is the best product to support you in this challenge. In this article you will get an overview on some of the social features and concepts within Omnia.

Background

In Mid-November the fourth edition of the annual review of Intranet in a box-products for SharePoint by Clearbox Consulting was released. The report includes full reviews of 39 products, and an overview of 17 intranet accelerators, and is published with the purpose to help workplace leaders, intranet managers, and IT professionals understand the market and match products to priority requirements.

All products covered by the report has been evaluated regarding a wide variety of aspects such as deployment possibilities, mobility, accessibility, product support, frequency of updates, user community, partner network and customer voice. Also, all products have been closely reviewed within eight solution scenarios based on common customer needs, for instance News Publishing, User Experience, Search, Analytics and Social and Knowledge Management. Each product has then been given a rating for each scenario and pricing for various customer sizes has also been compared.

Omnia Intranet is of course one of the products in the report and for the second year in a row the product is ranked at the very top in the maturing and competitive ready-made intranet market.

You can purchase the full report to learn more about Omnia and the other evaluated products at ClearBox website, Clearbox.co.uk.

One of the scenarios is called Social and Knowledge Management and, in this article, we will explain how these areas are covered in Omnia.

Social can transform how people work

First, we believe that the social aspects of an intranet can transform how people work by providing effective tools for documenting, finding, sharing and accessing knowledge within the organization.

Thereby, we consider the social intranet to be an important vehicle when implementing a successful knowledge management strategy. So, for us the terms "Social" and "Knowledge Management" are tightly related and that is also reflected in the Omnia product.

The following image gives an overview of the social concept of Omnia.

The social concept of Omnia

The social concept of Omnia starts with structured management of relevant competences within the organization and the possibility to use these to find and access colleagues, conversations, communities and content. The concept also includes the possibility to follow peers, tags and sites and to be notified on new or updated posts and events.

We have developed the social concept of Omnia to be tightly integrated with common apps within Office 365, to let customers stay close to the original services provided by Microsoft.

Here we will give an overview of various aspects of Social and Knowledge Management covered in the image above. Please note that the screen shots used in the article should be treated as examples and that a solution based on Omnia might differ regarding design, layouts, content and deployed features etc.

Structured competence handling

Any competences that the organization acknowledges as important or relevant from a business perspective can be defined and set up as term sets in SharePoint. Administrators can then, based on Omnia, create organization-specific sections in user profiles and set up what competences should go in which section and how these should impact profile completeness.

Image showing Settings and configuration of the User Profile Completion Wizard – example.

The structured handling of (hierarchies of) competences can now be added as properties or tags on user profiles, content, communities and in conversations.

Complete User Profiles

Once the structured competences are in place the organization can trigger users to fill out and update their user profile. The user profile rating can be available as a block on (for instance) the start page, and when clicking it the user enters a profile completeness wizard and can add further information to their profile and thereby making it easier for other users to find them.

Using the User Profile Completion Wizard - example.

From a general standpoint we believe that user profile completeness has many advantages for the organization. Not only will it make it easier to find colleagues via search, but our experience is that rich user profiles also will drive engagement in and usage of the solution.

Find, contact and follow colleague

Omnia holds enhanced People Search both in the Quick Search Panel and in the Advanced People Search. In the latter, any users matching the search will be presented in a view based on business cards with possibility view more information on the user and to contact the user via email, chat, voice call and video call based on Microsoft Teams or Skype for Business. We recommend that the structured competences should be available as refiners on the search result page.

There is also a possibility for the user to build a social network by following other users. It is possible to follow users in several scenarios, but the most common set up in Omnia solutions is that this aspect is based on the Follow People feature in Yammer.

People Search results page – example

Communities

For more structured and/or long-term social collaboration users can start a community for knowledge sharing (approval can be used) to host discussions around a certain area or subject. Other users can find communities via search or in a community directory and can join and follow the community for receiving notifications on new posts, answers and other updated information.

We recommend that communities should be based on Modern Team sites and that Omnia Site Templates can be used to define what settings, conversation tools, functionality and meta data should be available for any communities created. All competences that the organization handles in a structured way can be used as meta data on Communities and as tags in conversations.

Tags

We recommend our customers that the structured competences (when relevant) also should be available as tags within the intranet. Based upon the possibility to follow tags Omnia can also provide users following a certain tag with new updates based on new content that holds the followed tag.

This means that for instance new blog post or a conversation can be #tagged with terms which will make it easier for users that are interested in a certain area or competence to find it via following the tag in questions.

Create and supply content

Users can be given permission to create and supply content that can be accessed by colleagues. This can of course be curated content sponsored by the organization, but it can also be of a more informal type. The most common set up for this purpose in Omnia solutions are the use of personal blogs or team related wikis. We believe that both these (and other) are relevant tools for enabling users to share experiences and knowledge with their peers.

Comment and share with colleagues

There are several ways for a user to share content with followers. When a web page, for instance a news article, is shared and commented this can be posted to Yammer and will show up in the Yammer feed of followers. When publishing new blog posts these can also be shared in Yammer with followers.

It is of course also possible to start conversations using the Yammer feed that followers and colleagues can interact with.

Comment and share - example

Omnia also provides the possibility for users to like content on a web page, for instance a news article.

User activity charts

Omnia provides not only the possibility for commenting, sharing and liking content within the intranet, but also to set up charts showing user patterns and activity. This feature makes it possible to publish (for instance) the ten most commented news articles, the five most liked blog posts or 20 most read web pages.

Most commented and most liked posts

User feed

We recommend customers to use the Yammer feed on the start page to keep the user updated on any new posts from followed colleagues, updates from Communities as well as well as discussions in other groups and sites within the intranet.

Example of the Omnia user feed

Notification panel

Omnia also provide the Notification Panel to be used (for instance) on the Start Page. Using this feature, it will be possible to roll up relevant content for a user and also to notify on new or updated content. This can cover new Announcements or Team News articles, Planner or SharePoint tasks, recently updated documents or new conversations in communities.

Example of the Omnia notification panel

Want to know more?

Do you want to know more on how Omnia can support your organization when implementing a successful knowledge management strategy? If so, you are welcome to join one of our webinars for a first overview. You can find dates, agenda and registration form in our Knowledge Bank.
We will also be happy to set up a personal demo of the product for you and your colleagues. Just fill out the form on our web site and we will contact you about what and when.

During the upcoming weeks we will also publish a series of blog posts where you will find information on other aspects of and concepts in Omnia.