Social networking, personalisation form core of new CSIRO intranet

Project expected to be complete by September, website to follow

Social networking and personalisation features lie at the core of CSIRO's new intranet, which is currently being deployed by digital agency Next Digital. The government organisation chose the SiteCore content management system (CMS) to replace several platforms currently in use. The CMS will also form the basis of revamped CSIRO websites, once intranet deployment in completed in September this year.

Philipp Heltewig, Managing Director of Sitecore Australia, told Computerworld Australia that CSIRO's intranet requirements focussed on SiteCore's personalisation features, which provides a different front end for employees, depending on which department they work in.

"Our system allows them to implement personalisation right out of the box," Heltewig said. "That means if you log in and you work in the marketing department for example, you would see different content than when I'd log in as management. If you have a new employee, then a new employee menu can be presented for the first couple of weeks. After they've worked at the company for a while, then the content that is presented to them can change."

For CSIRO, this meant a different front end for each of the organisation's 28 business units.

"The design of the intranet is based around making sure the info is personalised both to the person's location and their role within the organisation," Stephen Lord, General Manager for Next Digital's NSW and ACT offices said.

“The new CSIRO intranet will create a one stop shop for employees, where they can easily find the information they need to get their job done efficiently as possible,” CSIRO manager of internal and online communications for CSIRO, Catherina O’Leary, said in a statement. “The project has had significant support from employees from all business units and we are looking forward to implementing a system that is flexible and can be shaped to fit the organisation’s requirements as they arise.”

Next Digital has implemented smaller intranet solutions to companies Qantas, Jetstar, Brisbane Water and NSW Teacher's Credit Union. The agency is also deploying a similarly sized Sitecore intranet for the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. "We worked extensively with CSIRO in guiding the requirements that they had, the audiences they were talking to and how they could match a cycle implementation to the best effect for those objectives," Stephen Lord said. "The implementation included extending and configuring Sitecore to mapping the type of audiences they were talking to."

CSIRO had considered open source intranet solutions, but chose Sitecore due to the solution's warranty and "comprehensive accessibility features”.

Heltewig said the deployment of the intranet began in early March and is expected to be completed by September. Once finished, the features of the content management system will become part of various CSIRO websites.

"I don't know when that will happen, I assume that will happen after the intranet project is finished," Heltewig said. "It was definitely planned."

O'Leary said that CSIRO was still in planning stages for CSIRO websites.

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