Choosing An Intranet CMS For Your Company

Information runs today’s modern economy. Businesses rely on huge amounts of information to conduct business, increase sales, target advertising campaigns, and analyze buying trends. Fortunately with the onset of technological innovation, this information can be maintained digitally because if one of today’s Fortune 500 companies had to keep its information in printed form it would take several multistoried buildings to store it.

Most of today’s successful companies have both external and internal presences on the internet and these require huge quantities of regularly updated information. A web content management system is a good way for companies to management these quantities of information. These content management systems have programs and equipment that help manage all this information.

CMS intranet systems use electronic systems to organize data so that it can be retrieved, searched, updated, and shared throughout an organization. Using database technology, CMS employs sophisticated search technology to help retrieve filed information quickly and efficiently. The CMS must employ a high level of document interoperability. All documents including spreadsheets, databases, wordpressing files, .PDF files, and all other types of files must all be cross-referenced and categorized, so that when any search is conducted all information that is relevant becomes available.

Additionally, intranet CMS interoperability also provides multiple organizations and many government agencies the ability to share information when necessary even when using different systems.

Intranet CMS can truly improve information sharing and because of this companies should set policies in place to ensure controls are established to secure the company’s information. Procedures should be established naming intranet CMS account administrators and account authorization access procedures. A secure facility should be established and the administrator should determine who should have be able to gain access to which content and how. Access rights to documents should be set down to the individual user level.

Other aspects of a good content management system include the ability to capture and store large volumes of documents, the ability to create a workflow that demonstrates how one documents links to another, and the ability to reuse documents and reassemble them into new documents.

Many content management systems contain collaborative features allowing multiple workers who are located in separate places to work on the same document or to collaborate in creating or editing documents and managing changing or revisions. A CMS collaborative feature will allow all changes and edits to a document from a team to be synchronized and then distributed to all team members for review.

When a company is considering purchasing a content management system, here are some things to consider:

• Do some research. To find a quality content management system, do some research. Talk with other companies who already use content management systems and get their opinions. Talk with the administrators of these systems and get their recommendations. Try and use a CMS before making a decision and certainly before purchasing a system.

• How easily accessible is the information stored in the content management system. The CMS should store and display the information in such a way that everyone can see it and understand it and it can be easily and quickly retrieved. This must be true for everyone in the organization, even if they are not technically handy.

Many organizations allow their IT departments to choose their content management systems without input from the users and the CMS ends up being too high-tech and too complicated for their employees and customers to use.

• There are content management systems which are so big information can actually get lost in the system. Companies should purchase a CMS that is sized to handle their information needs so that the information is managed, but doesn’t get lost.

Designing a perfect intranet for your company, the type of content management system you use is the single most important factor you will need to consider. The content management system is the set of technologies which will facilitate the management, processing, and collecting of digital information across a variety of mediums.

A quality CMS will allow your company to collect all relevant information from multiple sources, share it among your employees no matter where they are located anywhere in the world, organize this information, store it, present it to your customers, and even allow your customers to access it for their benefit and use.

The type of content management system a company uses can make or break a company so this is not a purchase decision to make lightly. Some companies take months of research, testing, and analysis before making a final decision on which content management system to purchase. The best content management system for your company is the one that meets your company’s needs, not necessarily the most expensive or the largest or the one with the fanciest features.

One thing to remember is that normal people will be using this content management system. True, they will probably have some basic computer knowledge, but they most likely will not be super technical and will not have the time to learn a very complicated new system. Your employees and customers will be much more comfortable will a content management system that is easy to understand and to operate. A good question to ask yourself is, “Could my Mother or My Grandmother operate this system?” Your Mom is probably a typical business computer type user capable of doing spreadsheets, email and word processing. If you can explain the content management system to your Mom, then you can probably teach it to your employees and your customers without too much trouble.

It would also be good for your new content management system to have a WYSIWYG editor because this just makes life easier for everyone. Most of your employees and your customers will not know HTML and really are not going to want to learn. A WYSIWYG editor is very easy to learn and is pretty intuitive for even the most non-technical user.

The system should load pages quickly without dragging. There is nothing as frustrating as having to wait and wait while a content management system churns and churns to load a document. Processing time is very important and that is why it is recommended that you test any content management system you are contemplating purchasing to see if it will meet your requirements.

Using an intranet CMS to manage and facilitate your company’s document management and processing is a good idea, especially if your information processing is of large quantity. Just ensure that your CMS is adequate to meet your needs, but not so large your information gets lost within the system.

Do You Need Enterprise Content Management?

In today’s hectic business environment, most companies find themselves generating anything from generous (at best) to serious (at worst) amounts of data during the course of a single business day. This happens every business day, and the sheer amount of data threatens to create bottlenecks (at best) in the business, or overwhelm (at worst) a business so that it loses control of its internal systems. So can a business function without enterprise content management, and if not, what does it need to do?

In the short term, any business can appear to be functioning without enterprise content management. Within a project or a project team, the scale of activity can be kept under control for a time and business results can seem unaffected. But as soon as the scope of your business activities runs across more than a single team in parallel, and / or multiple projects one after the other in a series, obvious vulnerabilities will begin to show.

Take the relatively simple issue of how to manage all that paperwork generated by a project team while working on a single project. From the resumes acquired during the hiring process; the minutes of team meetings (draft and then later ratified); the piles of receipts generated from the simple logistics of getting people and information moved around; the clusters of project authorization requests and work orders; the invoices generated in the course of doing business; – everything about your volume of paperwork requires an increasing number of person hours just to stay on top of the project.

At what point do you or your team recognize that you have a paper problem? When the ‘In’ tray is full to bursting point? When the pleasant ambiance of the office is broken by clusters of archive boxes bursting with paperwork? Or when you have entire rooms dominated by rows of filing cabinets storing information that you do not actually need to access on a day to day basis, but that you cannot actually throw away?

If it is hard to find just one piece of paper in among all those archives, your company is losing time and money to inefficiency. If processing each piece of paper is taking up a lot of human resources and is too slow, this is eating into your competitiveness. If paperwork cross-references other paperwork that is not co-located or easily linked up with it, then you run the risk of operating in a state of incomplete information. It exists, but you just cannot find it. Worse still, if such inefficiencies result in somebody needlessly duplicating the work of others in your organization, then you are breeding wastefulness.

You are never going to completely do away with the need for paper throughout your business activities. You will always have paper and it will always play an important part in the life of your business. But isn’t there something that you could be doing right away to eliminate waste, increase efficiency and avoid bogging your workforce down in unproductive, low-vale tasks?

Just by taking one decisive course of action at one point in your business activities, you could achieve massive results. Imagine a paperless customer ordering system, eliminating the need for printers and ink for that stage of your business, and removing the need to print out thousands of pieces of paper each month.

Imagine giving each and every employee equal electronic access to any document within the business. It would no longer be the case that employees would need to be employed just to procure and serve the paperwork required by others. Neither would other employees need to waste precious time waiting for the paperwork to be served to them. They wouldn’t have to physically go and look for it themselves, either. They could just access the relevant information in a seamless, connected 360-degree facing system. Minimal delays, maximum efficiency.

Literally, physical documents are all over the place and even electronic documents can be anywhere from this server, or that memory stick, or that laptop sitting at home today, or in a colleague’s email inbox. If even a moderately well-paid employee in your organization spends any measurable amount of time looking for a document, then your business processes become increasingly expensive. Paper files can go missing, and similarly emails, spreadsheets, and text files not kept in any kind of orderly, centralized enterprise content management system.

Just one central document management system would enable everyone to find what they need and remove the severe bottlenecks that occur in any business. By almost eliminating the need for anyone to spend time searching for documents, your employees are instantly freed up to focus on just getting their jobs done. Managing the complete life-cycle of all documents, from their creation through to their destruction, is one of the most powerful efficiency bonuses that you can bring to your business.

You’d obviously take care to back up your central system, so that locating all of your company’s assets in one place did not become a weakness. You might also investigate your requirements for some kind of document version control system, and effective training for all staff on how to use the new enterprise content management system.

So by now the case is clear and obvious – your business needs enterprise content management in order to function smoothly, efficiently and productively – just taking into consideration the volume of paperwork that you are required to handle shows up an already pressing need.

Making Effective Use Of Intranet Software

Intranet is a term used to describe a private computing network that designed to only serve the needs of a given organization. The main difference that it has with the more commonly used term internet is that it represents a closed network of computers that is closed to unauthorized users. It was mainly developed at first to be used by educational organizations but soon gained major traction with private organizations as well.

It is not to be confused with extranet which are networks that provide a more open access to customers and interested third parties. For that reason, many intranet networks are protected by serious encryptions as well as firewalls that enable them to really restrict the number and origin of the people who have access to their network.

But it doesn’t just represent a company’s website either. Instead, it is a technological infrastructure that enables the company to process, share and organize all the information that said company needs. The main purpose of an intranet network is to reduce the cost of operation as well as the time and effort required to accomplish the necessary tasks within the company.

Obviously, operating such a network requires a very efficient and highly personalized piece of software to best suit the company’s needs. These software programs are designed to provide the necessary tools to the company employees to facilitate various processes such as sales, customer relationships, productivity and management.

They can also be used for effectively sharing information between the different parts of the organization. If many employees need to share information on a regular basis because they are working on a project together, a private forum or discussion board might be integrated into the system.

Another thing that can be done with intranet software is to track and measure the activity of all parties who use the intranet network. That way, organisations are able to track user activity and how the information is getting shared so that they are able to optimize the different systems they have in place and get a better return on their investment. This is ultimately great for organisations that are continuously striving to improve their efficiency and improve their service.

In most cases, the intranet software will only be accessible to people within the organisation. However, with the proper software options, certain parts of the intranet can be ultimately opened up to customers (or the general public) who have a need to track or better understand what they are getting out of their relationship with the organisation in question.

Many large organisations actually have their own team that builds and manages their intranet software. That way, they have a tighter control on just what is happening in terms of the way their employees share information and get their work done as well as in how their customers are being served. Most of the time this task falls onto the communications department (or the equivalent).

There are many benefits that can come from using a powerful and effective intranet software solution. These can range from better control of employee activity all the way to improving relationships with customers.

One of the main attractions in the eyes of the company who uses it is obviously the ability to improve the productivity of their workforce. By providing tools and applications that enable them to attribute tasks more easily and more quickly, they can make better use of everybody’s time. Also, it enables the employees to access the information they need to get their job done faster. This is reflected by not only the improved access to the information in question but also by the better organization and structure of that information.

Improved communication between all parties is also a very attractive benefit of a good intranet software solution. This obviously allows everybody who is working on a given project to be up to date on the most current information and strategies established by the upper management.

This is also great for companies that require communication between multiple locations. Some larger organizations actually own several buildings (sometimes with different purposes entirely) that are sometimes in entirely different countries. Effective information exchange between multiple locations becomes an absolute must.

Such an intranet software will mainly use email or direct chat to exchange information between parties. This cuts down on the usage of the more traditional telephone which ends up saving massive amounts of money for the company. This is especially true for organisations that have locations in different cities, states or countries because it eliminates the cost of long distance phone calls.

Of course, most of these intranet infrastructures are entirely customized to the company in question because not two companies have precisely the same needs. In turn, this really helps them better serve the end customer more quickly and effectively. This is fantastic for companies who rely a lot on repeat sales from a more static base of customers because it allows them to tailor their service much more closely to their needs.

Also, whenever there is a change in company policy, in the laws that govern the way the company operates or just a change to optimize the productivity or return on investment of the company, these changes can be propagated very quickly across all the locations. All the employees and parties affected by such changes can be kept up to date and implement the changes as fast as possible. This is especially important for when changes are made to comply with newly implement laws in different countries of operation.

All in all an good and efficient intranet software solution is absolutely imperative for any company who is looking to optimize their processes as well as make better use of their employees and resources. What’s best is that these solutions can be fully customized to the company who is going to be using the software. That means that they can ultimately communicate better within the company as well as with any customers and also between different branches and locations that the company might have. This ends up saving time and money on all fronts.