From Clunky to Classy: The Transformation of Intranet

Explore how modern intranet systems transform internal communications.

June 28, 2023
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Can you recall the prehistoric era of intranet systems? Picture this: you’re in the early 2000s, sitting in your swivel chair, staring at the computer screen with a cup of lukewarm coffee beside you. You're navigating the labyrinth-like intranet pages, clicking link after link, and finding everything else except the document you actually need. The clock is ticking, and your coffee is getting colder, but your quest for that elusive file remains unsuccessful. Frustrating, right?

Yes, the word 'intranet' often invokes memories of such clunky systems that were anything but user-friendly. Back then, intranets were notorious for their rigid structure, limited functionalities, and static pages. They resembled more of an arcane library than an engaging platform, where finding information felt like deciphering a cryptic code. Users were left navigating a maze of information with no reliable search functionality or intuitive user interface to guide them.

Old-school intranets were the digital embodiment of "inflexible corporate infrastructure", brimming with missed opportunities for collaboration and engagement. It was more of a one-way information highway where content was merely pushed from the top down, rather than a dynamic platform for two-way communication. This created a glaring disconnect in companies, leading to disengaged employees and a lack of collaborative culture.

But, like an old relic collecting dust, this perception of intranet has become a thing of the past. As we fast-forward to the present, you will see how modern intranets have flipped the script, turning into highly interactive and indispensable tools in the digital workplace. These systems have shaken off their rigid past to embody flexibility, connectivity, and efficiency - the very essence of today's dynamic corporate landscape. Welcome to the future of intranet systems, a stark contrast and a breath of fresh air from the systems of yesteryears!

What is an Intranet?

Before diving deeper into its relevance, let's take a moment to define what an intranet is. An intranet is a private, secure network within an organization that provides employees with a central platform for communication, collaboration, and information sharing. Think of it as your company's internal internet—a digital hub where all internal resources, from documents to discussion forums, are consolidated.

Modern intranets are more than just a repository of information. They are dynamic platforms integrated with various productivity tools, allowing employees to collaborate on projects, manage tasks, share knowledge, and even engage in social interactions. They can include features like personalized news feeds, social networking tools, content management systems, search functionality, and more. Some intranets even allow for custom integrations, creating a tailored digital workplace that suits your organization's unique needs.

In essence, an intranet is a digital reflection of a company's culture, facilitating not only work-related activities but also creating a sense of community and belonging among employees.

The Intranet Relevance: Is It Still Used Today?

Yes, and more so than ever! The advent of remote and hybrid work has cemented the importance of intranets. Modern intranet features have become an indispensable part of our working life, ensuring that the digital workplace stays connected and engaged, no matter where employees are located.

Intranets serve as a unifying thread that keeps everyone in the loop, fostering a sense of connectivity and inclusion even when teams are dispersed geographically. They are no longer just a "nice to have" feature but rather a "must-have" in today's increasingly digital and remote work environment.

Why Having an Intranet is Crucial?

An intranet is the nerve center of an organization. It's a digital common room where employees connect, discuss ideas, share files, and keep up-to-date with company news. But its significance goes beyond being an internal social network. It's a potent tool for task management, knowledge sharing, and project management, fostering a collaborative and engaging work environment. An intranet platform provides a central repository for information and resources, making knowledge management simpler and more efficient.

Top Features: Modern Intranet Capabilities

Modern intranets are equipped with features that redefine internal communications and employee engagement. From personalized user interfaces and robust search functionalities to mobile access via branded apps and custom integrations with other digital tools, modern intranet software leaves no stone unturned in empowering employees and enhancing productivity. Let's delve into some of the top capabilities that modern intranets offer:

Bridging Gaps with Assembly: The All-in-One Employee Experience Platform

A quintessential example of modern intranet software is Assembly, an all-in-one employee experience platform designed to foster participation, streamline communication, and facilitate knowledge finding. Regardless of where your team members are, whether in-office, remote, or part of a hybrid setup, Assembly acts as the connective tissue, ensuring everyone stays informed, engaged, and on the same page. Assembly is more than just an intranet; it's a digital haven that promotes an inclusive, collaborative, and productive work culture.

Book a demo to get started.

Communication Tools

Communication sits at the heart of every successful organization, and modern intranets facilitate this by providing dynamic tools for two-way dialogues. Social feeds, instant messaging, and discussion forums available on intranet platforms provide ample opportunities for employees to exchange ideas, share updates, and engage in productive conversations.

Mobile Access

The power of modern intranet software extends beyond the confines of a desktop. With an increasing number of remote and hybrid teams, mobile access to intranet platforms has become essential. Modern intranets like Assembly offer mobile apps, ensuring your employees stay connected and productive no matter where they are.

User Interface

The user interface, often the first interaction point with an intranet, can dramatically impact the user experience. A well-designed, intuitive, and user-friendly interface not only facilitates ease of use but also encourages regular interaction, boosting overall platform engagement and productivity.

Productivity Tools Integration

Modern intranet software is not just about communication and engagement; it also functions as a productivity booster. With the capability to integrate with various productivity tools like Microsoft SharePoint and Google Drive, modern intranets serve as a comprehensive hub for document management, knowledge sharing, and project management.

Seamless Integrations

One of the defining features of modern intranet software is its ability to integrate with various digital tools. The consolidation of task management tools, social intranet features, and other digital tools onto a single platform streamlines processes, boosts productivity, and elevates the user experience, paving the way for a truly efficient digital workplace.

Knowledge Sharing and Finding

Knowledge is one of the most valuable resources in an organization. The ability to share and find information efficiently is vital to maintaining a competitive edge. Modern intranet platforms facilitate this by providing a centralized hub for knowledge management, promoting a culture of continuous learning and innovation.

With features such as search functionality, document management systems, and interactive forums, intranets allow employees to easily access, share, and collaborate on various knowledge assets. This feature ensures that valuable information is no longer trapped in silos but readily available to those who need it, promoting efficiency and informed decision-making.

Intranet platforms like Assembly take this one step further by offering personalized content feeds and recommendation systems that bring relevant information directly to the users. This not only improves information accessibility but also enhances the user experience by providing tailored content.

Future Trends: The Evolution of Intranet Software and Digital Workplaces

As technology evolves, so do our workplaces. Intranet software, the unsung hero of the digital workplace, isn't immune to this ongoing transformation. Future trends in intranet software hint towards a hyper-connected, AI-driven, and highly personalized digital workplace.

Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning: Modern intranet platforms are expected to harness the power of AI and machine learning to offer personalized user experiences. This could mean smart content recommendations, automated workflows, and AI-powered chatbots that help users navigate the intranet and locate relevant information more efficiently.

Integrated Digital Experience: The boundary between the intranet, extranet, and the internet is expected to blur, giving birth to a unified digital experience. This holistic approach will provide employees with seamless access to both internal and external resources.

Mobile-first Intranets: With the rise of remote and hybrid workforces, intranets will continue to optimize for mobile devices. Employees should be able to engage with the intranet as easily from their smartphones as they can from their desktops.

Focus on Employee Experience: Modern intranet software will focus on enhancing the employee experience. From intuitive user interfaces to personalized content feeds, the intranet will serve as a vehicle to foster a positive, collaborative, and inclusive workplace culture.

Case Studies: The Power of Modern Intranet Systems

Illustrating the benefits of modern intranet software, let's delve into some case studies.

Case Study 1: Boosting Productivity with Microsoft SharePoint

A multinational corporation was grappling with inefficiencies in document management and collaboration among its diverse and geographically dispersed teams. Implementing Microsoft SharePoint transformed their digital landscape. With SharePoint's robust document management features, employees could easily access and share files, reducing duplication of efforts and enhancing productivity. Plus, the platform's collaboration features improved internal communications, fostering a culture of teamwork and innovation.

Case Study 2: Enhancing Employee Engagement with Assembly

A growing tech startup faced challenges in keeping their remote workforce engaged and informed. Adopting Assembly's modern intranet software changed the game. Assembly's social intranet features created a virtual watercooler, where employees could interact and share ideas, fostering a sense of community among remote workers. Furthermore, Assembly's robust internal communication tools ensured that all employees stayed updated, reducing miscommunication and boosting employee engagement.

Book a demo to learn more about getting started with Assembly.

Case Study 3: Streamlining Processes with Google Workspace

A non-profit organization was struggling with disconnected systems and inefficient workflows. Implementing Google Workspace as their intranet solution streamlined their processes. The seamless integration between different Google apps like Google Docs, Sheets, and Drive eliminated system silos, making information sharing more efficient. The organization could also harness Google Workspace's task management tools to automate workflows, freeing up valuable time for staff to focus on their mission.

These case studies demonstrate the transformative power of modern intranet software. They underscore the importance of selecting the right intranet software that aligns with your organization's unique needs and fosters a productive, engaged, and connected digital workplace.

Final Thoughts: Embracing the Modern Intranet

Intranet systems have come a long way from the static, unidimensional tools of the past. Modern intranets are dynamic, interactive platforms that empower employees, foster collaboration, and drive productivity. Whether you're a small business looking for a free trial or a large enterprise ready to invest in the best intranet software, there's a solution out there that fits your needs.

With the right intranet software, you can create a digital workplace that meets the evolving needs of your workforce. Remember, an intranet isn't just a tool - it's a digital extension of your workplace that can revolutionize how you connect, engage, and collaborate. So take the leap, explore the best intranet software providers, and embrace the future of internal communications with a modern intranet solution.

Browse our Free Employee Recognition Guide

Get the foundational knowledge on creating an employee recognition program that boosts employee engagement and helps them feel valued.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Is Assembly SOC 2 compliant?

Yes, at Assembly, security is a top priority. Each quarter, we have ongoing security work that is everyone’s responsibility. While we maintain a strong security posture, it was important for us to prove to our customers that we do everything we claim to do. This led us to pursue a SOC 2 Type II report that would provide evidence of our compliance with industry gold-standard security practice.

What's the ROI for employee recognition?

There is study after study showing that employee recognition leads to increased engagement. This in return creates an environment where employees are happier and more motivated which increase productivity and reduces voluntary turnover significantly. In order to filled critical roles, companies tend to spend nearly twice the value of an annual salary. Assembly is an investment in your employees that supports your bottom line.

Does Assembly offer longer-term contracts?

Yes, we will offer contracts for companies with longer-term agreements to help larger customers have more certainty around future costs.

The minimum agreement term is a 12-month subscription.

Does Assembly offer onboarding support?

We do and for FREE! Any new customer needing further support to get started with Assembly to ensure you're set up for success can request custom onboarding support. Improving your employee experience is about much more than just using our amazing software; it’s about transforming your business to create a workplace that people love. That’s much easier to do with the personal support and advice from our passionate people experts.

Is there a free version of Assembly?

Yes. We offer a completely free plan for up to 50 team members. This plan is intended for teams or organizations that are looking to get started with an employee engagement tool. Keep in mind, this plan is limited in features.

All customers can open an Assembly account for free and get started without a credit card. Then you can change plans as necessary.

How much do rewards cost?

At the time of redemption (when your employees exchange their points for a paid reward) you'll pay face value. If a reward is a $10 Amazon gift card, your cost will be $10. All paid rewards are billed for on a monthly basis.

The good news is that you don't have to pay for rewards upfront because we only charge you when points are redeemed, not when they're earned.

Does Assembly offer discounts?

We offer discounts or educational or charitable organizations. In order to secure a discount, you'll first need to book a demo with a customer support specialist.

For all other organizations, we are willing to consider longer-term agreements in exchange for discounts. To set up annual plans or longer, you will need to book a demo with a customer support specialist.

How do I cancel my plan if needed?

If you're on a month to month plan, you can go here and cancel anytime. If you're having concerns or need help setting up your account for success, you can always book a demo with a customer support specialist.

If you're on a longer-term custom plan, you'll need to reach out to your customer support specialist to cancel your account or email us at

What customizations are available?

Great question! You can customize your core values to match your organization's to boost and track alignment. You can change your currency from the 🏆 emoji (our default) to any emoji of your choice. You can swap our logo for your own. You can also set up company culture rewards such as, "Lunch with the CEO," "Buy a book on us," and so much more!

Who can give or receive recognition?

While we recommend a peer to peer set up where anyone in your organization can give or receive recognition, you can set up Assembly however you want. If you need to limit the people who can give or receive recognition, that's perfectly fine and can be done from your Admin, here.

What integrations are available?

Assembly connects to the tools your employees use every day to offer an easy, seamless experience with minimal change management.  

Assembly has integrations with HCM/HRIS systems like ADP, Google, Office 365, and Slack. We also integrate with communication tools like Slack and Teams so you and your employees can access Assembly wherever they work now.

What's your average adoption rate?

That depends on the company's permissions set up. That said, over 90% of the employees on Assembly's platform are recognized on a monthly basis. That means nearly every employee across all of our customers are receiving regular recognition from their peers, managers, or leadership. We're extremely proud of this.

Must rewards be set up to use Assembly?

They are not required. You can use Assembly without having rewards set up. However, we don't recommend it if you intend to have a high adoption and usage rate. You can always keep the costs down by offering internal culture rewards that are fulfilled by you internally.

Are points required to use Assembly?

No, you can remove allowances from anyone or everyone. It's up to you but we do recommend using points whether they're worth a real dollar value or not. Companies that use points have a much higher engagement rate even if those points don't exchange for real dollars.

Could find the answer you are looking for?

Please schedule time with an expert and we will help you to get all your questions answered