Vendor Profile: Igloo
The Intranetizen team are often asked advice about intranet vendors that supply software and hardware solutions to run your intranet. Whilst we have 35 years of blue-chip intranet experience between us, in common with many intranet practitioners, we have relatively limited experience of the 200+ software systems that companies use.
To help you, to help us and to help the vendors themselves, we’re running a series of posts over this week showcasing five intranet companies. We’ve supplied them with the same standard set of questions and will publish their answers in their own words to ensure equity! All the images have been supplied by the company themselves and are reproduced with permission.
Today, we showcase Igloo.
In a brief paragraph, who are you?
Igloo is an intranet you’ll actually like. With Igloo, you can collaborate easily with your team and your whole company — share news, organize files, coordinate calendars, and manage projects, all in one place. And it works on your phone! It’s the tools that helps you collaborate more humanly together.
Briefly describe your product’s history? Why did you start it, where does it come from?
In 2004, a think tank called the Centre for International Governance Innovation launched an initiative to bring together the world’s greatest minds in one virtual location to share research and exchange ideas around global governance issues. Since email was ineffective as a collaborative tool, a platform – known as Igloo – was architected to connect these researchers. The platform was so successful that in 2008, Igloo was spun out of CIGI as a cloud-based solution for social collaboration. Today, Igloo helps thousands of employees across the world collaborate better together.
Describe your typical customer – what kind of company, what size, what are the kinds of problems they need to solve?
In terms of the typical organization, the need for virtual collaboration is not restricted to a specific size organization nor is it limited by geography.
It could be a small business whose operations spread across multiple cities or countries and is seeking to better coordinate its efforts. Or, it could be a large enterprise with numerous departments that is struggling with information silos and knowledge sharing.
Remember, even if you’re under the same roof, the fifty-foot rule applies – people are not likely to collaborate very often if they are more than 50 feet apart. They need the right tools – email, conference calls and shared drives just don’t cut it.
What do you see as your product and company’s USP?
What truly set us apart is not our cool features (like file sharing, social newsfeeds, tasks, team calendars, blogs and wikis), but our amazing implementation service team. They will make sure your Igloo looks like your company and works like your company.
That includes structural planning, training, consulting, designing, building and even help with your kick-off launch to ensure your employees will get on board as quickly as possible. IDC Marketscape ranked Igloo #1 in Customer Experience for two years in a row for a reason!
Which feature(s) of your product do you feel are most under-used?
We offer a social news feed feature that is a great way to keep all employees communicating with each other, through notifications, @mentions, embedded pictures and videos and many more options. This system, however, is best used in enterprises with very open communications channel, a friendly culture and a flatter hierarchy.
We have also recently developed “Tasks”, which work somewhat similarly to a to-do list, all the while allowing you to quickly find the documents and files the tasks assigned relate to. As we continue to improve and refine our task system, more of our clients will start using it as well.
How much customisation does your product typically need / how much to you recommend your customers make?
Our product looks terrific out of the box and we offer templates that fit the needs of most typical smaller enterprises or teams. However, one of the strength of Igloo, is its how easily you can customize it.
It ranges from a complete restructure, new colour themes, and custom integrations with some of your most used software, such as Eloqua, Salesforce, AD or Sharepoint. Depending on your budget and time, we can offer a full range of training, consulting, designing and customizations to make sure your Igloo looks like your company.
What advice would you give a company planning to invest in a new intranet platform? What are the three most important factors to consider?
1. Adoption. If your employees refuse to use your new shiny piece of software, it’s money down the drain. If it’s too complicated, too different from their current workflow or too time consuming to be trained on, adoption will suffer. Make sure the software you pick is user-friendly. At Igloo, we designed our platform with users in mind because of this reason. We don’t want to sell you software, we want you to use it!
2. Pick a vendor you trust. The technology is only one part of the equation. What will happen after you signed a deal is crucial. Will the vendor help you set up? What about launching your intranet: what does that look like? What if it breaks, can you trust them to fix it? What steps will they take to ensure your software works the way you want it to and solve your problems? As platforms get more and more complex, it is important to trust your intranet vendor will respond quickly, should an issue arise.
3. Which problems will this new intranet solve? Even as a software company, we understand that technology, in and of itself, is not the solution. There are operational and cultural forces at play which will impact the success of your intranet. That’s why it’s so important for any search to be driven by or have input from the business. Start any intranet platform search by clearly defining your goals and objectives first. Where are we now? Do we have an intranet? Are we simply using it as
What’s your cost model? Free; one-off; per seat per month charging; something else?
Per user, Free – limited users or features, Non-profit or educational discounts
What are your hosting options?
Public cloud, Private cloud, Hybrid
Who are your main competitors?
Solutions such as Sharepoint [or even Box and Drop Box in smaller companies] might work well for document storage but some enterprises need more than just a knowledge management solution. Or maybe you have too many “apps”: one for emails, one for calendars, one for document storage, one to exchange in real time.
That’s when we come in – we can either replace or integrate with your current solutions and help fix newer problems that might have arisen within your organization: misalignment between the executive team and the workers, silo-ed knowledge, lack of communication between teams, broken culture, etc. We strive to be that one platform that you can go to to get the answers you need to do your work.
What do you need from *your* customers to deliver intranet success?
As previously stated, ask yourself what problems you are solving. Once you are selecting vendor, consider whether this solution will be solving our problems now, in 6 months or in 12 months. Is the issue you are solving a point in time issue? Will you still be facing this problem in a year? Think about the future and where they are going to be and how the solution you buy today will grow with you to ensure continued use and adoption. You can choose a temporary band-aid fix if your issue is going to disappear or if it is likely to stay, maybe it’s worth investing in a solution that is scalable and will grow with you! Igloo, for example, lets you easily add more department or team spaces as you grow, add offices and recruit workers. And our intranet works for both SMB and enterprises. You can start using your Igloo as a full-suite solution intranet and slowly add on applications until it becomes more of a portal where you can find information about your work and your company.
What does the future have in store for your product?
We are currently working on adding more and more integrations with software that can be found in most offices, such as Sharepoint, Google Drive, Active Directory, Eloqua, etc. Igloo wants to become the single pane of glass, an integration hub for all of your enterprise wide applications. This way, your employees will always know where to go to find the information they need to do their job.
What does intranet 2017 look like?
There will be a lot more ad-hoc feeds to report on user activity within the organization, which is why solutions like Yammer, Slack, or Office 365 are becoming more popular. Real time collaboration assistants and virtual discussions will soon try and replace meetings. This is in conjunction with the rise in flex-time and remote workers. Companies, in order to adapt to the new work trends and retain their top employees will have to invest in software allowing them to break down the barriers of time and space within the organization.
Who should Intranetizen readers speak with to find out more about your product?
Feel free to reach out to our sales team or our media team at any time. They are nice, well-trained and have had all of their shots. Shoot them an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
What question should we have asked? And if we had, what would the answer have been?
Do you use your own product? And if so, how?
Yes, we do. We are the most active users of our product by far, and there are only a hundred of us. But this allows us to interact with it everyday, know it inside and out and make sure that what we created will actually help people do their job better. Our social newsfeed feature has been an integral part in maintaining the fun start-up atmosphere from the beginnings well into our 8th year in the space, as we expanded greatly, moved offices and became a much larger organization.