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A letter from our CEO: The intranet industry changes now

auto-governance engine - modern intranet

Written by

Dhiraj Sharma


November 5, 2019



Starting today, we are going to change the perception of employee intranets!

It’s not my personal nature to make such bold claims. In fact, we rarely go out of our way to grandstand about feature releases… but we promise this new capability is distinctly different!

Today, we will formally launch our new Auto-Governance Engine, an AI-Backed technology that recognizes when intranet content is stale and helps you keep your intranet consistently up-to-date.

Simpplr takes a methodical, research-backed approach to our product development because employee intranet technology has under-delivered for decades. Rather than rebuild features that have failed in the past, we want to understand the root causes of failure and act on these issues. Case-in-point: the content dumping ground. Our research has shown that many intranets fail when they reach a tipping point where stale, outdated materials make the intranet’s user experience frustrating and untrustworthy.

How Simpplr’s Auto-Governance Engine works:

The engine is built on a variety of backend technologies to evaluate what content gets consumed and what becomes stale over time. The engine checks for content redundancies, monitors usage, incorporates search data, and allows content authors to set archiving parameters to help surface potentially outdated content to administrators. Simpplr spent over a year with customers in beta environments evaluating how content gets consumed and how AI can help reduce stale content.

Pick your metaphor. Intranets are hard to maintain!

We’ve had a lot of fun talking to customers about their intranets and hearing how they don’t want another “content dumping ground” or “junk drawer” or “trash heap”. I think of an employee intranet like a garden. Its purpose is to nurture connections, alignment, and employee engagement. Pulling weeds and overgrowth is just as important as planting and watering. So think of the Auto Governance Engine as an environmentally sound RoundUp for your intranet.

This is an evolution to the evolving intranet

Point-and-click administration has helped the intranet industry in a couple of ways. One, the business users, often those internal communications, are able to update the intranet without IT dependencies. This is important because those logjams used to force communication tradeoffs and news lagged. Secondly, once those technical dependencies were removed, it’s been much easier to truly federate intranet ownership: the finance team can maintain their own site, the London office has someone providing London specific updates. This is extremely powerful for the ongoing adoption and energy behind an intranet because it turns the system from a centralized hub-and-spoke model to a vibrant engine with contribution from across the organization. 

Admittedly, a centralized approach is easier to control whereas this distributed approach, while better, can go awry quickly if the organization does not have strong governance and oversight over its content and contributors. The Auto-Governance Engine does a few things to help: It provides the core administrators a command center that gives visibility into who is doing what, what content is being managed, and what is in-demand so they have the data to followup with contributors across the organization and enforce standards. The engine also does some of the gardening for you. In a distributed world, it’s nearly impossible to stay on top of every piece of content. We’re excited that technology can help with this challenge.

Ultimately, this is a conversation about trust

Big picture, employees are overwhelmed because they have access to too many systems and can’t make sense of all the information they have. They can be distributed thousands of miles from their coworkers. They’re frustrated, partially informed, and distracted from the big picture. 

The modern intranet should help address these challenges. It should be a place employees go to get what they need, up-level their perspective, extinguish fake news, find help, and keep connected to the company’s culture. But first, it must be a trusted resource. The Auto-Governance Engine aims to bring that trust to your employees by smartly working behind the scenes.

Dhiraj Sharma
Founder & CEO, Simpplr
November 5, 2019

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