Transforming SharePoint into the Digital Workspace with Enterprise Social Collaboration

According to The Digital Workplace Group, 70% of corporate intranets are still developed on the Microsoft SharePoint platform. That means that an awful lot of intranets are based on SharePoint. But are these SharePoint-based intranets relevant and engaging for their business users?

The emergence of Enterprise Social Collaboration platforms and the growing requirement to deliver enterprise applications on mobile devices looks to present both opportunities and threats to the IT and Corporate Communications teams who typically own and administer the Intranet environment.

For many, Enterprise Social Collaboration is the saviour of the Intranet. Social Collaboration solutions promise to boost user engagement and knowledge sharing and, in general, offer compelling mobile working experiences right at a time when the current generation of Intranets were looking tired and losing their ability to add value and engage business users.

While some enterprise social collaboration tools may surface some features and functionality in the SharePoint intranet, they will often use the Intranet as a springboard to encourage the user away from the Intranet and into the social collaboration application. This can draw the attention and eyeballs of the user away from an Intranet where engagement and adoption become bigger issues as users suffer from intranet app dilution.

Sitrion Social – Transforming SharePoint into the Social Workplace

Solutions like Sitrion Social, that are designed and built on the Microsoft SharePoint platform, give companies an opportunity to transform their SharePoint intranets into digital workplaces while ensuring that users remain in one single environment.

Digital workplaces are transforming the way that IT and Corporate Communications are delivering value and engaging with their user base. The notion of activity streams, communities and groups for targeting communications, expert finding and automatic question answering from knowledge bases are all features that can be delivered through enterprise social collaboration platforms.

Unlike SharePoint’s native social collaboration features, that mainly revolve around the concept of the user profile and news stream, some vendors are beginning to extend enterprise social features into other line of business applications and processes. Sitrion’s iComms application for corporate communications and bringing SAP HR self-services into the SharePoint intranet are two examples of this.

Innovation Lifecycle Management is also an area that can be served well through a Social Intranet platform. While there are many stand alone best of breed Innovation Management solutions on the market, the challenge has always been one of awareness and engagement with end users who have innovative or value-adding ideas to submit and to know who to contact or where to submit their ideas. Incorporating idea submission, crowd-voting of ideas, innovation labs and scoring and the seamless creation of social project teams to implement ideas, makes the idea of managing innovation campaigns through the SharePoint intranet a more compelling proposition.

To see how leading consulting firm Roland Berger uses Sitrion Social, read the following article from the Digital Workplace Group: 10 examples of bringing social onto the intranet homepage 


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Ronan Lavelle

Ronan Lavelle is Sitrion’s Sales Director for the UK and Ireland. He brings with him 18 years of experience in information, document, content, contract, and workflow management technologies. Beginning his career at Cambridge Market Intelligence (acquired by Gartner), he then held senior marketing and management roles at companies including Corechange, Hummingbird, and OpenText where he was General Manager for EMEA for eDOCS and the Mid-Market Line of Business. Ronan also spent several years working with start-ups, including Dolphin Software, which he co-founded, and as CEO of Azurati. Ronan is also an Advisory Board member of Brunel University Business School in London.

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