Fun-style intranet keeps staff keen and involvedOn 4 Sep 2001 in Personnel Today If employee portals and corporate intranets are to be exploited to the full,they need to become as important a bookmark to the employee as CricInfo is tothe cricket fan or ft.com to the share trader. After all, we know from thedotcom crash of last year that it isn’t enough to put a website up and expectpeople to use it. And much like a B2C website, B2E sites must offer compelling content. Global IT services company Wipro believes it has come up with a successfulformula by incorporating a fun element into its portal, Channel W, which aimsto be the single window through which its 9,500 “Wiproites”, spreadacross more than 10 countries (with headquarters in India), can interact andbond with each other. “We were redesigning our intranet and realised what we had was ratherflat. We wanted something that would mean that employees went to it of theirown volition,” says George Joseph, manager of talent engagement anddevelopment at Wipro. The average age of Wipro employees is 26 and they are, typically,”talented and fun-loving”, spending most of their time in front ofthe computer. With this in mind, Channel W has been designed to look more likea youth portal and, in addition to self-service HR tools and a knowledgemanagement system, staff can use it to organise their social lives, buy andsell items and set up interest groups. Feedback is encouraging, with the majority of areas actively used. The buyand sell section, for instance, is heavily populated because of all therelocation going on within the company. “I’ve just moved to London fromIndia and used it to dispose of some of my possessions,” says Joseph.”You can sell whatever you like, and it doesn’t need administratingbecause the buyers and sellers interact directly.” As well as helping to sort his home life out, the self-service HR side ofthe portal has immeasurably helped in his working life too, says Joseph.”It has let me concentrate on the more value-added and forward-thinkingareas of HR.” Those working on projects together can also brainstorm online and it giveemployees on the shopfloor a chance to have a direct line to senior personnel. The serious side to the portal is its role as a corporate communicationsdevice and as a hub for the company’s collective knowledge. As aknowledge-intensive company, which is growing at a rapid pace, it knows it mustuse the technology to manage and share this knowledge. As Vivek Paul, Wipro’svice-chairman, explains, “Managing our intellectual capital efficientlyhas become one of the most critical factors that will help create businessvalue and provide competitive advantage for Wipro as an organisation. Channel Wis a vehicle to achieve this.” Wipro has also opened the portal up to clients to act as a showcase for thecreativity in the company and this has led to customers expressing an interestin having one of their own. But they don’t come cheap: the cost of developing a full-functionalityportal like Channel W is $3-5m, while a scaled down version would cost about$1m. “When we delivered Channel W, we did not do it with the intention ofhaving a saleable product,” explains Paul. “Sometimes you do something that you think is smart for yourself andrealise it can be sold to others.” www.wipro.com Previous Article Next Article Comments are closed. Related posts:No related photos.