Randstad Group set itself the goal that all its 7,000 workers – from the Randstad, Yacht, and Tempo Team operating companies, as well as other supporting members of Randstad Group – should be able to communicate with each other quickly and easily. An ambitious, but achievable goal, thanks to Incentro.
In 2014, the board of Randstad Nederland decided to change their intranet. They wanted to move from a transaction-oriented intranet to a collaborative digital workplace concept, which required personalization and integration with Google domain. Randstad called upon Incentro to interpret this in a creative and results-oriented manner.
Randstad required an innovative solution, state-of-the-art design and high usability. Employees needed to be able to work intuitively with the platform and easily find and access information. In addition, important information needed to be searchable, shareable, and accessible from anywhere and from any device. Randstad wanted each subsidiary to have its own intranet, by connecting different front ends to a generic back end. These front-ends, based on Google app engine landing pages, would have a blue look and feel for Randstad, black for Yacht, or red for Tempo Team.
Randstad was immediately enthusiastic about Incentro’s plans for randstadtnet. Incentro presented a clickable demo in August 2014, and it went so well that it went live in October. The process of concept, design, and development was completed rapidly.
Rob van Wijk, senior project manager for I-bridge, the IT organization for Randstad Group, comments on the partnership: ‘We had good, creative people from the preliminary phase. We were assigned a manager during the development, who supervised the whole project excellently. We linked up very well. You can tell that Incentro likes to put beautiful solutions together, the same drive we have in I-bridge, and so the cooperation was really excellent.” ’
starting point social intranet concept
As a starting point for randstadnet, it was decided to go with an intranet based on already-available information rather than creating a separate information library. There is no information or content written into randstadnet itself. This makes all the information in Randstad from Google Apps and other sources clear and searchable. It also provides the end user with the ability to shape the content themselves. Randstad can show the user information, such as important news, links and banners, but the user can also put personal, relevant content on the page through widgets.
Incentro created a Google app engine for all of the Randstad Group companies. The manager of the Randstad intranet can easily customize the landing page, such as by adding a menu option, introducing campaign banners, or by turning certain widgets on or off. Every employee receives Randstad news, but can also choose their own widgets – for example, their five most important documents in Google Drive or their five most visited sites. A widget library gives employees the choice to pick the widgets that are most relevant to them.
google search appliance
With Google Search Appliance, sites outside of the Google environment can also be accessed. This means that the end user has an optimal search experience. The intranet can search various linked sites like Linkedin, Google Plus profiles, or the Central Address Guide. There are also links to ServiceNow, for process support articles, Salesforce for working with and viewing contracts, as well as Google Sites and Google Drive.
To monitor randstadnet’s use, and improve it based on this use, Google Analytics was installed to analyze click and search behavior. After 6 weeks, for example, about 200,000 searches were performed. Every week Van Wijk and his team study the important statistics about use, and makes adjustments based on these results. Based on this data, existing functions are optimized, and they can determine which new functionalities need to be developed. They will only be developed as needed. This means the project is built around accommodating the user needs, not just on technological possibilities.
decentralization of management
The management of the earlier intranet required a lot of tiresome work. Now, with internal communication, anyone can easily make changes. There is almost no management, which results in substantial reduction of the time and costs spent. “The ongoing costs for the Google app engine and storage are only a few bucks a month,” says Van Wijk.
results en next steps
With the new randstadnet, Randstad races ahead of other businesses in the EMEA region. Never before has a company installed Google Apps on so great a scale and deployed it in such an integrated manner. Google has therefore named Incentro its most innovative partner in the EMEA region.
For Helmer Baas, manager of Incentro, this title is the crowning achievement of a wonderful project: “Together with Randstad we have quickly demonstrated innovative solutions to the entire Google environment, which are also valued by the users.”
In the future, Randstad will integrate all business applications with the social digital workspace. The platform will be continuously improved and adapted based on user experiences, new approaches, new insights and new possibilities. Van Wijk lists the results: “The online collaboration is better facilitated, ease of use is improved, and there is a better understanding of search behavior that we can react upon. In addition, speed has increased enormously and there are substantial time and cost savings. But above all, we are most proud of such an innovative and ‘state of the art’ solution.”