• Lisa O'Sullivan

The Modern Intranet: A Gateway to Connection and Collaboration

Event recap of a joint webinar held on December 5.

Slater Hill and Powell Software join forces in this webinar to present a fresh view of an intranet - i.e. the modern intranet, a gateway to connection and collaboration for your organization.

Over the last few years Slater Hill has searched for an intranet product that would deliver a quality intranet solution. After investigating several intranet-in-a-box products, we found that Powell 365 from Powell Software was a clear winner with definitive advantages for customers. In this webinar, we share these advantages and more!

Juan Larios (Principal Consultant, Slater Hill) and Ryan Orehek (Regional Manager, Powell Software) give an overview of the features of Powell 365 for Office 365 online and for SharePoint on-premises, plus a live demo, showing how quick and easy it is to create a modern and useful intranet for your organization.

To find out more about a modern, engaging and interactive Powell 365 intranet for your organization, whether online or on-premises, contact sales@slaterhill.com or call on: (416) 515-1161.

To watch the full recording, click here: http://ow.ly/cTxa50fzv16. (And remember to Subscribe).

The Modern Intranet

The modern intranet is much more advanced that the intranets of the past. The modern intranet is not just a document management platform, but it is the home of your organization, the base point for your team and the gateway to connection and collaboration within your organization. Slater Hill - an introduction

Slater Hill is a technology consulting firm based in Toronto, Canada. Slater Hill specializes in SharePoint solutions as well as mobile applications, custom development and solutions based on Microsoft technologies (Our Services). One of our main services is to build engaging, effective intranet solutions, to maximize value and user adoption.

Why Slater Hill Chose Powell 365

After reviewing and trialing several intranet-in-a-box solutions, we chose Powell 365 as our go-to partner for the following reasons:

1. Powell Manager: this is a design tool available with Powell 365 and there is no other tool like it. With Powell Manager, we can build and manage templates without the need for custom code.

2. Build and manage templates: Powell 365 makes this so easy, and you can deploy to a target environment at the click of a button.

3. Branding: the branding capabilities are perfect for the types of projects that we are involved with, and is a feature that our clients particularly like, it makes their intranet really feel like the ‘home’ space that it is supposed to be.

4. Layout builder and navigation: Powell 365 is drag and drop, with a wide variety of configuration options, making it easy yet flexible.

5. Widgets: Powell 365 has a large selection of widgets, which saves us from having to re-invent / build, manage and update the widgets, which saves our clients’ money.

6. Integration with Office 365 applications: Powell 365 has excellent integration with the Office 365 applications – this streamlines the content creation process, including for SharePoint online and makes life so much easier for the managers and the users of the intranet.

7. Additional customizations or 3rd party add-ins will work alongside Powell 365: we really appreciate that Powell 365 doesn’t restrict how we can create new solutions or augment an existing intranet that we have built with Powell 365. We found other similar products were too restrictive in terms of customization and 3rd-party add-ins.

All in all, Powell 365 is a clear winner for Slater Hill.

Powell 365

Ryan Orehek champions the next section of the webinar, taking us through some of the features of Powell 365 and why it is more than an intranet – it is a digital workplace.

Powell 365 has taken all the components of a traditional intranet (e.g. news, corporate information, phonebook, policies) and of an advanced intranet (project workspace, workflows, RSS and internal tools) to create a digital workplace, which also includes:

  • multi-device availability and functionality

  • a personalized look and feel

  • enterprise social networking and instant messaging

  • external tools such as BI and CRM, or any of the Office 365 tools, including video

Powell 365 is simple to use, and easy to implement and set-up.

Powell 365 has a wholly responsive design and you can use Powell 365 on multiple devices (both Android and iOS). You can customize it, and you can do some custom coding – but you don’t have to. Most of what you will see in the demo was created out-of-the-box; drag and drop with little or no coding. Powell Manager adds another layer of functionality by allowing you easily to manage the evolution of your intranet portal.

Implementation Approach

The Powell 365 implementation approach is geared towards quick deployment and has 5 steps:

  • portal construction in Agile (by your internal team or with the help of a partner)

  • design integration

  • content management / migration

  • launch

  • evolution based on feedback

With a 3,000 – 5,000 employee company, Powell 365 could have your intranet deployed within approximately 60 days. It is a fast and relatively painless implementation.

Benefits of quick deployment

  • Cuts Office 365’s implementation time and costs:

  • average implementation time divided by four

  • average three-year budget divided by two

  • Significantly boost Office 365’s employee usage: one month after implementation:

  • SharePoint online usage increased up to 90%

  • Yammer / Delve / Office 365 video usage increased up to 70%

Powell 365 - Demo

Juan Larios takes us through three different Powell 365 intranet portals, and show us the look and feel of each portal as well as the different features deployed.

Example 1 – at 8:15.

Features of this demo intranet:

  • predictive search

  • recent activity log

  • favorites panel

  • content management panel

  • top navigation that can be configured in multiple ways e.g. with departments, communities etc. and with security controls to only show you the departments / communities that you have access to

  • company news / departmental news feed with the ability to print, email, like, comment etc. Comment functionality all comes from Yammer.

  • multiple ways to configure the widgets to enable flexibility for your end-user while still controlling the content throughout your intranet.

  • quick access links e.g. stock, weather

  • polls, including anonymous polls

  • dash-boarding & reporting capabilities (e.g. using Excel Services, Power BI)

  • events – connects to SharePoint calendars – can aggregate across all departments or community events

  • Office Videos, soon to be known as Office Stream – the video plays right within the browser, you can capture all your media in one place, and commenting capabilities is an option through Yammer.

Example 2 - at 14:18.

Features of this demo intranet:

  • clock widgets to show different time zones

  • weather widget

  • personal profile – connected to Delve and OneDrive and you can edit your personal profile from within the intranet

  • My Emails – integrated with Outlook, can create messages instantly within the platform incl. attachments

  • My Next Events – from your Calendar

  • My Tasks – from your Planner

  • My Groups

Example 3 – at 21:20.

Features of this demo intranet:

Similar features to the demo 1 and demo 2 environments e.g. My Apps, clock widgets, recent activity log, plus a layer of personal branding - with Powell 365, you are able to change the logo, color scheme and the theme for a look and feel that reflects your organization.

Architecture Overview


To understand why Powell 365 is our go-to partner for an intranet-in-a-box solution, watch the full replay: http://ow.ly/cTxa50fzv16. (And remember to Subscribe).

To find out more about a modern, engaging and interactive Powell 365 intranet for your organization, whether online or on-premises, contact sales@slaterhill.com or call us on: (416) 515-1161.

#digitalworkplace #intranet #collaboration


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