ahead X Summary

May 28, 2020

The first edition of our event series "ahead X" took place on April 30, 2020. The event with the topic "all about the intranet" was opened by our CEO, Pascal Grossniklaus. The two sessions were held by Thomas Mäder from rethinkdigital.ch and Dorothea Portmann from Hotelleriesuisse. Finally Pascal Grossniklaus presented the roadmap of ahead and showed where the journey with ahead will lead in the future. The crisp Q&A session at the end rounded off the event. In the following blog post we have summarized the most important key takeaway of the event.  

"On the road to the modern intranet - where are we today?" Thomas Mäder, rethinkdigital.ch

Thomas Mäder can look back on 20 years of experience in the intranet sector. In his session he showed what he understands by a modern intranet and what is today "state of the art" in the area of digital employee communication.

Right at the beginning Thomas Mäder named the two most important factors influencing an intranet. The first part is the Digital Workplace, i.e. our working environment, our tools that enable us to do our work at all. The other factor is the "Digital Employee Experience", i.e. the experience that employees have when they use the intranet. We can also speak of the brain and heart: We need one to make everything work, and we want the other to make sure that what we do suits us. Thomas Mäder thus demonstrates the importance of the interplay between tools and culture in the intranet.  

In a later part of his session he went into the state-of-the-art in the field of intranet. What is possible and what is expected of an intranet today. Here are the most important points:  

  • Employees want to have all the necessary tools integrated in one place and not constantly switching from tool to tool
  • Editors can create content easily and by themselves without having to get IT on board for this purpose
  • Quick access to the intranet from anywhere with their own device
  • The intranet needs a powerful search function that can be used to find information, people and documents across tools
  • Even "non-desk workers" have access to the intranet and are integrated into the corporate culture
  • The intranet connects employees with the company

Although the points are understandable, they are still not standard on many intranets today. According to Thomas Mäder, these points must definitely be worked on further.

In a final part, Thomas Mäder presented typical employee segments or so-called personas in order to raise the audience's awareness of how employees are made up in a typical company:

  • 15% Desk Workers
  • Over 50% Non Desk Workers
  • 25% Specialists
  • Around 10% Managers

With this example, Thomas Mäder clearly shows how important mobile use of the intranet is today. Although the various employee segments have different requirements for a digital workplace, they all share the need to access information quickly and easily.

The conclusion of Thomas Mäder: it is essential to design the digital employee experience holistically.

"How do I successfully operate an intranet - from introduction to operation? A success story from the customer's perspective" Dorothea Portmann, hotelleriesuisse

In the second session of the event Dorothea Portmann gave us an insight into the success story of Hotelleriesuisse and ahead. Using the practical example of Hotelleriesuisse, Dorothea showed us how they handled the introduction of ahead.

Hotelleriesuisse has around 100 employees at three different locations. All employees have their own PC workstations. The company recently switched to Office 365 and chose ahead as the last piece of the Office 365 world puzzle as its new intranet.

The company worked mainly with playful elements, so that the employees were able to slowly familiarize themselves with the new tool. For example, right at the start of the go-live, they launched the "Summer Puzzles" campaign on ahead. With this and other campaigns, users were encouraged in a playful way to use the new intranet, carry out initial actions and use the various functions. Thanks to the well thought-out go-live phase of the project, acceptance of the new tool among employees was very high right from the start.  

Even today, those responsible are constantly creating new campaigns or small competitions to keep usage and acceptance high and thus establish the intranet as the main channel for corporate communication in the long term.

“ahead Roadmap” Pascal Grossniklaus, CEO, ahead AG

Das Unternehmen arbeitete vor allem mit spielerischen Elementen, so dass sich die Mitarbeiter langsam an das neue Werkzeug gewöhnen konnten. So starteten sie gleich zu Beginn des Go-Live die Kampagne "Sommerpuzzles" im Vorfeld. Mit dieser und anderen Kampagnen wurden die Benutzer auf spielerische Weise ermutigt, das neue Intranet zu nutzen, erste Aktionen durchzuführen und die verschiedenen Funktionen zu nutzen. Dank der gut durchdachten Go-Live-Phase des Projekts war die Akzeptanz des neuen Tools bei den Mitarbeitern von Anfang an sehr hoch.

  • Auto – Translate Comments  
  • QR Code Login – Flow  
  • Autorefresh  
  • Blackboard / Marketplace  
  • Push Notifications  
  • Direct Messaging / Chat  
  • SMS Notifications  
  • Feedback to Intranet Admin / Editor

At the end of his session Pascal Grossniklaus started a survey among the participants: Which features and functions do you wish for the future? Three points emerged:  

  • Blackboard
  • Direct Messaging
  • Auto Refresh

The feedback of our customers is a matter of the heart for us and it is our concern to implement it as far as possible and to develop it further ahead.

There is only one thing left to say: Thanks to all participants for the exciting inputs and a big thank you also to our two great key note speakers for their commitment. We are already looking forward to the next event in our "ahead X" event series. Stay tuned!

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