What to Integrate Your Intranet System with to Make It Useful
Internal communication systems containing only the information about what is happening in the company are often being forgotten by employees. If you want the intranet system to be regularly visited, you need to make it a place containing information that is relevant to everyone. Check out what you should integrate your intranet with, in order to make it an attractive place for people in your organisation.
How to integrate
Many people understand the phrase "systems integration" as a complicated IT project that will take a long time and a large budget. This does not have to be the case with an intranet. In the intranet, you do not want to copy the functionalities of other systems but present the most important information for a given person.
The simplest example may be an integration with a project management system. Such a system is a set of tasks that have statuses and are assigned to different people. As part of Drupal consulting, we point out to our clients, that in the intranet, it is enough to display the task titles assigned to the currently logged-in person to convey information relevant to a given user. It will be very personalised and useful information. The user will be more likely to enter the intranet and check what tasks they have to perform.
In programming terms, such integration is very simple. It is enough that the system provides in some way (e.g. JSON, XML or even RSS) a list of tasks assigned to a selected user. Then you should display this source data in HTML format in a selected location in the intranet.
From our experience in implementing an intranet system, I can say that such integration can be completed in 1 day by an efficient programmer.
Project management support system
In the previous paragraph, I initially wrote that in the intranet you can view tasks from the project management support system assigned to a given person.
In addition to the title, it is good to display the name of the project (often people work on several projects at the same time) and the priority.
It is also good if the list is being sorted, e.g. – by priorities or by the expected completion date. So that the most urgent tasks are at the top of the list.
You can also visually distinguish the three most important tasks so that everyone knows what to focus on first.
If you do not use project and task management systems in your company yet, I recommend that you familiarise yourself with the most popular systems (paid and free):
You can find more systems on the Internet.
Many companies use AD/LDAP servers for user authentication. It is good to integrate the intranet system with an LDAP server, and thus – facilitate access to the intranet.
If you are building an intranet based on Drupal, all you have to do is use the ready-made module https://www.drupal.org/project/ldap. After the installation, you must provide the LDAP server configuration and you can log into the system using the data from LDAP.
Companies often publish valuable information on their social media profiles. Published there is also information about new clients, completed projects, etc.
Currently, algorithms on social networking sites present content selectively. Even if an employee of the company liked its profile on Facebook, they may not be able to see the content posted there due to the operation of the Facebook algorithm.
That is why it is also good to display posts published in social media profiles in the intranet system. You can be sure then that the content from social media will reach the employees also.
Technically, such an integration most often involves embedding the code in the iframe element. It is very simple and should take no more than 1-3 man-hours.
A calendar is a frequently used system for organising work in companies (e.g. Google Calendar). It is good to show in the intranet the upcoming events planned for a given person.
If you use Drupal for an intranet system, you will find ready-made modules for integration with Google Calendar.
For many companies, their website is now the main source of clients or inquiries. Information about website traffic may be interesting for the company's employees.
It is good to show the number of visits to the website within the last month, week, or currently. An interesting option is to present the data in the form of charts.
Google Analytics has an API thanks to which you can easily download data and share it in your intranet system.
Working time records
Many companies have separate systems for recording working time, leaves, business trips, etc. It is also good to present this data to users in the intranet system.
Among the basic information that is important for every employee, certainly will be the number of leave days remaining in a given year or the number of days or hours worked in a given month.
This information is important mainly for the management board or the people dealing with financial matters. In the intranet, you can show them the unpaid invoices, so that they will have access to a list of payments to be claimed.
You can also present other financial data, e.g. income from the previous months. You can see then if the company is in good shape or if it is developing.
There are surely many other systems that can be integrated with an intranet. It all depends on how the organisation operates. When deciding on integration, remember to think about the people. Check the functionalities that will make your employees willingly use the intranet. Integrations do not have to be expensive and time-consuming. It is enough to present the data in a read-only mode. The whole functionality should remain within the external system.
Intranet integration and implementation are our Drupal development services. If you are looking for help, contact us.