How many Intranets function well on a mobile device? Not many at all. While a modern Intranet will provide a responsive user experience (meaning it will adapt its presentation to the size of your phone or tablet screen), they only provide the ability to consume content and not interact or perform meaningful work tasks from the mobile device itself.
Most collaboration software was designed in an era before the proliferation of mobile computing. While its been eight years since the first apps appeared in the App Store, the Intranet tools that most of us use at work haven’t evolved from last decade.
The recent release of the CentricMinds mobile app for iOS and Android was designed to enable team members to achieve more while they are away from their desk.
Tap and swipe to get things done using the CentricMinds app.
Mobile team members re looking for tools that go well beyond just responding to email, replying to Slack posts or checking social media. If given the chance, these same mobile users would relish the chance to get work done so they can move onto something more interesting no matter where they happen to be working from.
More of us too are choosing to work remotely. Thanks to the ubiquity of Internet services and mobile technology, we’re now able to conduct interactions with other team members, access operational content and perform tasks away from our desk. But where are the mobile-first collaboration platforms?
Next generation collaboration tools are starting to appear, with the most visible in recent years being the meteoric rise of Slack. But even Slack only solves part of the collaboration problem, specifically ad-hoc data management in a real-time chat environment. The ability to categorize conversation through the use of hash tags was inventive, but the need to apply hash tags still feels a little embryotic for the average business user to comprehend.
Why an Intranet on your mobile matters
No matter how large or small your workplace is, the Intranet is where you go to understand what is happening, the opportunity to discover and connect with other team members and interact with up to date content and data. The Intranet sets the beat of the organization and its where everyone can connect to get work done.
Like you, most of us are mobile-first consumers. It’s natural that our mobile expectations now play an increasing role in how we expect to interact with our team members while at work. But most Intranets are just their web relatives that responsively adapt to fit on your phone or tablet. This adaptable approach for squeezing the web-based Intranet onto our phones is a short-term approach and lacks any real longer term strategy for the mobile-first worker.
The opportunity to create a native mobile Intranet experience is compelling as it aligns with the preferred tool of the modern worker. Their phone.
Using a traditional Intranet can also feel like a lot of heavy lifting, compared to simply swiping and tapping on your phone or tablet. So where are all the mobile-first Intranets? There is a reason why the established vendors still demand significant investment in their aging platforms, which are far from being mobile-first. That’s because there are a lot of people who have a vested interest in seeing things stay the way they are. As such, there’s very little innovation happening with regards to putting mobile at the center of the Intranet user experience.
The opportunity to create a native mobile Intranet experience is compelling as it aligns with the preferred tool of the modern worker. Their phone. The challenge is with incumbent technologies that most medium to large enterprises are still committed to, and the time scale in which these technologies are likely to remain in place.
The other misalignment is the activity of vendors. These large and well-known technology companies who sell collaboration software, and their preparedness to support technologies from competing companies who have defined the mobile landscape. This can seem like a petty argument, but there are powerful brands and shifting sands at work and supporting certain strategies, which are underpinned by your competitors, is a tough pill to swallow.
In developing our mobile user experience, some of the questions we wrote on the whiteboard were:
- Is there an opportunity to work in a similar way to how we consume and use media?
- How do we incorporate a mobile-first view of content while at work?
- Can we break through incumbent technology choices by offering a compelling mobile-first experience for teams?
- Can users within an enterprise contribute to the Intranet using nothing more than their phone or tablet?
Five ways our native mobile Intranet app will transform your team communication
What we’ve provided below is a closer look at the CentricMinds app.
Email is a big problem. We continue to use it however because its such a cornerstone technology that has been part of every workplace since it became mainstream in the nineties. Real-time chat and conversation management is something that enables a team to do away with email once and for all.
Choose to like and comment on conversations that are occurring across all areas of the Intranet.
The CentricMinds mobile app enables you and your team members to participate in forums, comment and like Intranet pages, and follow other team members allowing you to be notified when they publish something new.
Tapping on the discussions panel allows you to navigate between different conversations, and to view discussions happening across the Intranet. You can also comment on specific Intranet pages or take part in secure group discussions, where it’s perhaps just you and the CEO planning an event.
Conversations enable your team members to remain engaged with each other, no matter where they might be working. More importantly the CentricMinds app enables team members to remain engaged with each other on tasks that are managed through the Intranet, and not in a separate chat app disconnected from the Intranet.
Does your current Intranet notify you? Perhaps it sends you an email when something happens that involves you. But who needs yet more email to read. Real-time notifications will appear on your phone or tablet as events occur within the Intranet that concern you. Within your profile you can view a listing of all your current notifications, as well as your notification history.
Notifications keep you engaged, no matter where you might be working.
Notifications enable you to respond to your team members more efficiently. Think about when you’re seeking an answer to a problem. Wouldn't it be awesome if you could post a query and receive responses within a few minutes? What could that mean for your productivity?
We all get frustrated with the drudgery of emailing other team members asking for input, and then waiting and wondering if anyone will take the time to get back to us. The ability to engage with Intranet team members via our mobile devices means we encourage engagement no matter where everyone is located.
We trust our phones more than we trust our inbox, and native push notifications on our phone provide a trustworthy method of supporting other team members when they need it the most.
Document Management and Sharing
The CentricMinds mobile Intranet app allows your team to access the entire document management repository contained and managed within the Intranet directly from their iPhone or iPad.
The CentricMinds app will determine the users security level and then present the Document Management System (DMS) hierarchy based on their access privileges. Your team can then tap to browse folders and preview documents while on the go.
Browse documents, tap to view and share with other team members.
Team members can also take mobile document management further by choosing to:
- Share documents directly with other team members. Once you’ve tapped to view a document, you can then choose to send the document to another team member
- Access and view versions of documents. CentricMinds supports full versioning of documents, enabling you to tap back through previous versions on your mobile device
- Comment and reply on documents. Post a comment to a document and reply to other comments made by team members
You can also be notified when team members choose to share documents you’ve published to the Intranet as well.
Mobile Intranet Search
The powerful CentricMinds search comes to the native app. Search enables you to tap and search across all assets. Using keywords and phrases team members can search within documents, across conversations, team profiles, events and more and have results delivered right into the palm of your hand.
An Intranet-wide search result right on your mobile device.
Mobile search will also save the last searches you performed, allowing you to tap and perform the same search queries again.
Browsing the Intranet on the go
The responsive nature of the CentricMinds Intranet platform means no matter what Intranet page content your team members decide to publish, you can be assured that all Intranet pages will render beautifully within the native app.
Browsing the responsive Intranet.
The home screen of the app will present the Intranet homepage. From here team members can browse the entire Intranet from the mobile-first navigation.