As a new year approaches, I can’t help but reflect on what a great year it’s been for us and our intranet community here in the U.S. The NYC office grew by 100% and continues to do so, as does our portfolio of amazing customers across the country.

With all this to consider, let’s take a look at the top four things that inspired us in 2015 and are motivating us towards an awesome 2016.

1) Inspirational customer success stories

We wouldn’t have had such a wonderful year if it weren’t for our wonderful customers. There really is nothing that makes us happier than seeing a great intranet in action, making a difference and addressing workplace challenges.

We learn just as much from our customers as they do us, and it’s great when we can pass on those learning to other organizations. There’s been loads of customers who have stood out this year because of their innovation, determination and a willingness to share their journey. There are two who have absolutely made a positive impact on workplaces across the globe.

ASPCA has had astounding success, with their intranet being named Project of the Year at the 2015 Employee Engagement Awards. It has given a boost to internal communications, improved operational efficiencies and simplified HR service delivery by integrating with Workday – inspiring others to do the same.

For March of Dimes, the intranet has been a huge success. What stands out most is how they used their intranet as part of a major strategic realignment to improve operational efficiency. By introducing a 30 day cultural challenge, engaging employees in micro-challenges each day for 30 days, they were able to meet their communications objectives and increase adoption of their intranet. Geoff Garcia explains how they did it in more detail.

2) Getting our customers together

Our customer meet ups have proved to be a big hit! This year they were held in the Big Apple and the Nation’s Capital – something we are hoping to expand next year.

These get togethers have been great for our customers to share ideas, successes and challenges both with one another and Interact employees.

Fellow customers have showcased their intranets:

The top 4 U.S. influences to shape 2016_NYCCustomerMeetup

In New York, the ASPCA sparked a wave of “I want that to be my intranet” with their site, rich in content and imagery.

The top 4 U.S. influences to shape 2016_WashingtonCustomerMeetup

In Washington D.C., DQC and Management Sciences for Health (MSH) kicked things off by showcasing their awesome intranets.

And it has sparked some great roundtables discussions that current communications professionals are facing, including, overcoming senior management negativity and engaging those hard to reach employees. Here are some of the key findings:

  • As communications professionals you need to be part-salesman, part-facilitator
  • Overcome the divide between IT and comms first and then go to management as a united front
  • To get execs to adopt the intranet, share the anecdote that once an email is out with an error or risk it can be difficult to recall. With a blog you can immediately edit
  • Rather than expecting C-level execs to understand your needs and terms, talk in their language, demonstrating objectives, benefits and bottom line etc.
  • It can be tempting to focus on those last few % of non-adopters, but there comes a point where you must decide if you time is better spent actively catering for your captive audience. Peer influence can be an amazing thing

3) Live intranet tours and invaluable networking

Have you gone behind the firewall of some awesome U.S. intranets in 2015? We did…5 times!

‘Behind the Firewall’ is a unique seminar put together to help intranet managers understand and share best practice, getting their hands on information and examples that are usually hidden behind company firewalls. Each of the seminars this year showcased a selection of award-winning intranets from top industry names, sharing the stories of how they achieved success and the challenges they faced along the way.


The top 4 U.S. influences to shape 2016_BehindTheFirewall

We held four of them around New York and Chicago, as well as bringing one online by popular demand. With almost 500 registrations, this seminar will be sure to continue in the U.S. in 2016.

Follow us on Twitter to make sure you hear about the new dates as they’re released.

4) Getting inside 1,500 great communications minds

We love putting on our own events, but it’s just as valuable to attend seminars and exhibitions where thought leaders gather and we can uncover the latest trends and industry opinion.

This year’s IABC World Conference in San Francisco was fantastic! It is the premier strategic communications knowledge network which attracts 1,500 business communications professionals, there to learn the latest developments and best practices in communication.

The top 4 U.S. influences to shape 2016_IABC World Conference

We had a great time talking to as many people as we could and showcasing how employee engagement flourishes when the social functionality in people’s everyday lives is brought inside the organization.

Look for us at the 2016 conference, where we will be the track sponsor for all things Employee Engagement. We’re also partnering with the NYC chapter of the IABC to host a seminar that’s jam-packed with presentations and discussions about innovative approaches to optimizing internal communications.