Creating a successful small business intranet
Establishing and maintaining an intranet that improves internal communication, collaboration, knowledge sharing, and employee engagement is a challenge for any organization. And especially for smaller and mid-sized organizations with limited budgets and resources. But with Omnia Express, there is now an easy and cost-effective way to a great intranet in Microsoft 365.
Omnia Express is an intranet-as-a-service offering where you get a fixed-priced implementation of an intranet customized to your needs in only a few weeks. Your subscription includes a capable product with all features needed for a successful intranet, services to ensure your solution runs like clockwork, and product updates to help you improve your solution going forward. And if you run into any Omnia or Microsoft 365 challenges, our support desk is ready to help.
Simply put, we believe that this is the best way to create a cloud-based intranet for any small or mid-sized business. In this article, you can take part in some solution examples that we see in many Omnia Express solutions.
Essential intranet features for the small business
Omnia is a truly capable product and comes with all the features needed for a great intranet. To start with, your new intranet will be branded in your colors, displaying your logo, and having a name of your choice. The solution will naturally be seamlessly integrated with the most popular Microsoft 365 applications.
Below you can find images showing an example start page and how the solution can be delivered also in Microsoft Teams. These are definitely features that you and your colleagues will love!
The start page will help end-users stay on top of what is going on within the organization. Here you will find promoted news articles, upcoming events, navigation to highlighted topics, and personalized navigation to teamwork, documents, and applications. Many of our customers also use the start page to post quick polls, highlight people, and encourage employees to strengthen their user profiles.
Image 1 - Start Page: An example of an Omnia Express start page
With Omnia, it is easy to deliver the intranet not only as a browser experience but also as an integrated part of Microsoft Teams. You can display the full intranet experience with a start page, navigation, search, and access to all content. The intranet will also be available in the Teams mobile app. We believe this is a great way to help drive the adoption of your new solution.
Image 2 - Intranet in Teams: The full intranet experience in Microsoft Teams
Improving internal communications
With Omnia, you will get great tools for publishing news, events, and organizational information that will improve internal communications. End-users will love that the strong governance concepts of the product help ensure that content is relevant, updated, and used in daily work.
At delivery, your solution will have a news center set up to make it easy for you to get started publishing news articles. Just click Create, use the intuitive publishing tools, preview, and publish to let your colleagues know about what is going on in the organization. Just like information pages, news articles are based on a mobile-friendly page layout with the possibility to add images and videos from internal and external sources. To spur employee engagement, some social features can be added to news articles to make it possible for end-users to like, comment, and share news articles.
End-users will be notified when new articles are published and can easily take part in articles in the notification panel. You can also choose to tag news articles as promoted to make these show on the start page.
Image 3 – News article: Example of a news article in edit mode
Your new intranet will contain one or several calendars for upcoming meetings, campaigns, training, or other events within your organization. You can display a list of upcoming physical or online events on the start page. Finally, it will be easy for your workforce to keep track of what is around the corner within your business. There is also a possibility to display events from the logged-on user’s Outlook calendar on the start page.
Image 4 – Events calendar: Example of events calendar on the start page
You can right away start publishing organizational information about your vision, objectives, products, procedures, locations, or other topics of importance. Omnia comes with an easy-to-use publishing experience and all pages are based on a mobile-friendly page layout. Editors can use the powerful media picker to find images from internal sources or external services like Pexels and preview pages on both broader screens and on mobiles. It is easy to manage navigation structures and build a mega menu that provides end-users with an intuitive overview.
It is your choice of course, but we can add test content to the solution before delivery to make it even easier to get started.
Image 5 – Information page: Example of an information page
MEDIA AND IMAGES
When publishing content in your new intranet you will have the possibility to pick images and media from several sources. Your solution will have a central image bank where you can store suitable photos, but you can also use Pexels or Bing Image Search to choose from a wide range of professional options. It is also possible to publish videos from Microsoft Stream or YouTube on your web pages.
Image 6: Media picker
Collaborate and drive engagement
Your new intranet will have capabilities that can help colleagues connect interact and become more engaged in the workplace. The intranet and Teams will join forces to help streamline collaboration, and you can use the solution for polls and surveys to learn more about employee preferences. You can also choose to highlight new colleagues, upcoming birthdays, or an employee of the month on the start page, like in this example.
Image 7 - Highlight people on the start page: Example of highlighting people on the start page
Omnia will help your organization to more productive collaboration using resources in Microsoft 365 such as Teams, SharePoint, and Planner. You will be able to create new collaboration teams based on built-in but customizable templates in a step-by-step wizard.
End-users will have personalized navigation to collaboration teams, recent teamwork, and followed teamwork. They will also receive notifications on announcements, tasks, and new or updated documents in teams that you follow.
There are also several social features in Omnia to help end-users interact with published content. It is possible to activate the possibility to like, comment, and share content. One of the most common examples in Omnia Express solutions is threaded commenting on news articles like in the example below.
Image 8 – Commenting: Threaded commenting on a news article
Deliver a world-class user experience
Visual appeal and a personalized start page is a great start, but it takes more to deliver a great user experience.
On delivery, you will have a quick search and an advanced search experience with search categories to help provide a good search experience. Also, navigation possibilities like mega menu, current navigation, breadcrumb, and personalized navigation will have been activated.
Image 9- Mega menu: Example of mega menu
With Omnia, your intranet will have an intuitive and user-friendly interface and features that will help you get things done. The notification panel will also help end-users keep track of new information and what needs attention promptly.
Image 10 – Notification Panel: The notification panel will help end users stay updated
Finally, we do expect your employees to appreciate the outstanding performance on all screens. In a performance test carried out a couple of months ago, the average time for loading a web page in an Omnia solution was 0,295 seconds – which of course is impressively fast.
Want to learn more about small business intranets?
Thanks for taking the time to read this article. We hope that you now have seen how Omnia Express can be your easy and cost-effective way to a great small business intranet.
But there is of course much more to show and discuss regarding Omnia Express intranet, and we are happy to provide more information. If you wish to set up a live demo of an example solution you can do so by clicking this link.
We also have other resources on our Omnia Express website: