We asked our VP of Product Development, Simon Dance to give us an insight into some of the amazing new intelligent features in the latest version of Interact Intranet software, Interact Intranet Version 5.

So Simon, tell us about Version 5 and why the new features will help Interact Intranet users

Well, Version 5 is a massive deal for us at Interact because we have spent many months listening to our customers and analysing how we can help them get even more from their intranet.

We have developed some great new features to do this, including the Interact Personal Page which is a page on the intranet tailored to the users needs, Interact Suggests which pushes relevant content to users and the Signpost Widget which makes sure peopleís profile pages are kept up to date and ensures users are making full use of all the features in the intranet. All of the new features in Version 5 have been developed around the core offering of Interact Intranet Ė its Intelligence Store which is designed to ensure the right content is pushed to the right people.

We have also made a number of additional enhancements to many of the existing technologies in Interact Intranet, as we do in each software upgrade.

The Interact Personal Page sounds like a great idea, how can it benefit organisations?

The Interact Personal Page is a user centric page on the intranet that is tailored to fit the specific needs of the user. †Similar to how Amazon will recommend items for you based on your previous purchases, the Interact Personal page monitors the users interactions with the intranet and scans their interests, skills and searches to intelligently push them content it thinks they will be interested in. It then presents this content via two clever widgets called Interact Suggests and the Signpost Widget.

One of the main benefits to organisations is that the Personal Page will push users new information they didnít already know about that could really help people with their daily duties. It also eliminates the constant burden that intranet managers face to design a homepage that will appeal to all staff and removes the need for them to constantly encourage staff to update their profile page.

How does Interact Suggests know what to suggest to users?

Interact Suggests sits on your Personal Page and pushes you tailored information based on what it thinks you might be interested in. It does this by scanning a number of criteria including historical searches and documents youíve commented on and then suggests information you may be interested in. This means employees can rapidly find what they are looking for on the intranet, saving their time from being wasted searching for content that could be crucial to their job. It also pushes users content they donít even know exists on the intranet, as people canít search for information they donít know is available.

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How will the Signpost Widget make an intranet managers life easier?

We work with lots of intranet managers and we know that one of the biggest problems for them is out of date information on their intranet. The Signpost widget prompts users to update their profile with information that only they know and can enter. This is critical as there could be somebody in the organisation who needs that skill, for example somebody may need a document translating and they might not be aware that somebody else in the organisation has that language skill.

Intranet managers no longer have to constantly encourage people to use all of the features on their intranet as the Signpost widget points users to the features they donít know exist on the intranet or they may be nervous of using for the first time. We regularly come across users in organisations who have never used the search function, so the Signpost widget would detect this and promote it to them.

The Signpost widget also provides short tutorials about the features users havenít used such as the clever linker, @tagging and #tagging. The tutorials give a short overview of how you can use the features to your advantage. All that is topped off with a bit of gamification on the widget! Basically users get an overall score depending on the features they have used and how complete their profile is which is displayed at the top of the Signpost widget, the ultimate goal is to get 100%. This counter widget is continually changing as new features are added and as skills change.

As the Signpost widget performs all these tasks automatically, this frees up time for intranet managers therefore eliminating the pressure of ensuring everyone keeps their profile up to date and makes use of all the features in the intranet. Itís a tool that makes sure everyone in an organisation gets the most out of the intranet and areas that are not seen by everyone donít get missed.

What are the main benefits of using the new Share feature?

The Share feature is an easy way of pushing around a piece of content to other users without sending an email, so the user is more likely to use. It is a great way for people to start collaborating on the intranet if you are short of time or are nervous about using your intranet. The shared piece of content will automatically appear on your personal profile page and you can choose whether to send an alert notification to your co-workers if you want them to be directly notified of the content you are sharing.

Tell us about the Like feature

The ĎLikeí feature is another simple collaboration tool Ė it lets you declare that you agree with the message behind the content, basically replacing the need to rate a document. Recent surveys we have carried out have showed us that people donít like to rate content on the intranet and it is something that rarely happens so ĎLikingí is a positive approach. It signifies you ‘like’ something and is quick and easy to do.

What was the reason behind developing a new version of the Discussion Forums?

Well, as Discussion Forums are one of the key ways to communicate, share ideas and collaborate we really wanted to improve the usability of them. It was important that we added even more functionality and intelligent features such as the way the forums now scan keywords of the forum and intelligently suggest existing forums that may be similar to the one the user is adding, preventing duplication of content.

Find out the full list of enhancements to the Discussion Forums>>

So whatís next for Interact Intranet?

There will be an exciting new product release at the end of March with lots of new integration features that will help to make intranets be the single point of call in every organisation. We are in a unique position as a leading player in the intranet space and we are dynamic enough to adapt to the changes in social collaboration, so we update our product three times a year to ensure our customer get the maximum potential out of their intranet.