Vendor profile: Wizdom
The Intranetizen team are often asked advice about intranet vendors that supply software and hardware solutions to run your intranet. Whilst we have 44 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 run a series of posts showcasing intranet companies. We don’t ask for any payment to feature them and we aim to include any relevant platform that is willing to openly respond to our questions.
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 Wizdom
In a brief paragraph, who are you?
Wizdom is a ready-to-run intranet solution for Office 365 and SharePoint that’s easy to customize and use. Taking best practices from hundreds of companies and packaging them in a world-class intranet solution, Wizdom offers you the most comprehensive selection of state-of-the-art intranet features and business apps.
Briefly describe your product’s history? Why did you start it, where does it come from?
We have been around since 2001 building intranet solutions to more than 400 customers. Building custom solutions for SharePoint we couldn’t help but noticing that in spite of each organization’s unique spirit, different industry and individual business processes, the intranet needs were a lot alike.
We asked ourselves – why not gather the knowledge we have collected on best practice intranets and build a world-class ready-to-use standard intranet for SharePoint? Not only would this intranet meet almost any need of any business. The intranet would, also, wipe out the cost, complexity and risk involved in building a customized SharePoint intranet.
In 2010 we realized our vision and delivered Wizdom, the world’s first standard intranet solution based on SharePoint, to Kvik – a designer, manufacturer, and seller of kitchen, bathroom and wardrobe solutions with more than 120 stores in Europe and Asia. Since then, Wizdom has been adopted by more than 180 organizations worldwide addressing needs of any business in question because of the flexible design inherent in the solution.
With a full product development team to back it up, Wizdom has been further developed every day since the birth of the product. Today, we are proud to offer the most comprehensive intranet for SharePoint and SharePoint Online (Office 365) on the market.
Describe your typical customer – what kind of company, what size, what are the kinds of problems they need to solve?
Wizdom is used by more than 180 organizations in a broad variety of industries from financial institutions to retail, charity and the public sector – among others. Our customers range in size from a few hundred users to several thousands.
A great part of our customers comes to us because they have experienced challenges in earlier SharePoint intranet projects. Poor user adoption, weak usability plus drawn-out development processes of simple intranet features characterize several of the experiences.
What do you see as your product and company’s USP?
A great part of the value that lies in our product is thanks to our many clever customers.
From every new intranet manager we encounter, we learn more about intranet. And from every new project we deliver, we learn how to solve a new challenge faced by organizations. This knowledge is absorbed in the Wizdom intranet product in the shape of new features and apps that are created to support current business needs.
As the world’s first standard intranet for SharePoint, Wizdom has been around for a long time and now features the most comprehensive selection of intranet features and business apps.
In this sense, Wizdom mirrors the core soul of an intranet: By the use of best practice knowledge sharing, collaboration, communication and efficient processes, Wizdom manages to gather the world’s great knowledge and transform it into innovative solutions.
Which feature(s) of your product do your customers rave about most?
As user adoption is critical for an intranet solution to work, we have found our customers to be especially keen on features that support this. Among others, we can mention:
1) Easy-to-use news module Wizdom’s news module revolutionizes news and information distribution across the whole intranet by offering editors as well as end users an intuitive experience that makes writing, commenting and reading news easy for everyone in the organization. The engine organizes news through a subscription management system and target news to relevant audiences.
2) Enterprise Social Social features in Wizdom enables staff too easily engage in the intranet dialogue. Features as like, @mention and comments engage users on a broad basis.
3) Forms, project spaces and handbooks Users need to truly find it reasonable to visit the intranet. Features like forms, project spaces and handbooks provide exactly this by easing and supporting employee work tasks.
Which feature(s) of your product do you feel are most under-used?
As Wizdom’s features are template based, you can customize the visual design of your SharePoint intranet by the means of simple HTML. However, most of our customers still tend to use the standard design inherent in Wizdom’s features. We must humble declare that Wizdom’s standard visual design is quite cool, so customizing it isn’t critical.
How much customisation does your product typically need / how much to you recommend your customers make?
How much customization we recommend, depends solely on the organization in question. We used to say that Wizdom features 80% of the functionality that any organization needs for a corporate intranet. As the product has grown richer in features and functions, we now consider Wizdom feature rich to a degree where only very few customizations are necessary – and, very often, none at all.
As all features and apps in the product are template based, however, it is extremely easy to customize and further develop the product by the means of simple HTML.
In addition, Wizdom extensibility provides you with the framework to build own custom features to your Wizdom intranet. By using the Wizdom rapid development framework, you can easily develop and deploy apps for your Wizdom intranet solution.
What advice would you give a company planning to invest in a new intranet platform? / what are the most important factors to consider?
1) Choose a future safe solution This of course, is tricky, as the future is hard to predict. But if you choose a product that has the future in mind you are closer. Ask yourself: Is the product following industry trends, is the product under continuous development, is the product easy to upgrade to newer versions? If yes, it is a good sign.
2) Integration No news, however, intranet today is more than your company newspaper. It is a digital workplace. Optimally, users have access to all tools and resources from the intranet. Ask yourself: Does the intranet integrates or contains the tools that my staff needs to perform their tasks? If yes, this too, is a good sign.
3) Don’t get caught up in detailed requirements specifications As we have mentioned, intranet needs does not differ a whole lot. Even in very different organizations and industries, basic intranet needs are the same. Therefore, don’t get caught up in time consuming requirement specifications. Do your research. See what features successful intranets includes. Look to what the market recommends. Then, spend the time in specifying the unique needs you have. It will spare you an awful lot of time.
What’s your cost model? Free; one-off; per seat per month charging; something else?
What are the hosting options?
On Premise, Public cloud, Private cloud, Hybrid
Who are your main competitors?
Most of our customers have evaluated other standard intranet solutions for SharePoint before deciding on Wizdom.
What do you need from *your* customers to deliver intranet success?
Successful intranets are a result of an engaged and ambitious intranet team backed up by management.
A successful intranet is more than platform and features. It requires a dedicated team to secure that the intranet is responding to current needs with updated content. A dedicated team needs support from management in order to have the resources they need. So simple is that.
What does the future have in store for your product?
Currently we are launching a version of our product that runs on both SharePoint on premise and Office 365’s SharePoint Online. This meets a need among many of our customers that might go cloud in the future, but are just not completely ready yet. With this solution, they will be able to change their intranet solution from an on premise solution to a cloud solution easily and without the need of a migration project. The new version, also, supports hybrid solutions very well.
What does intranet 2017 look like?
Even more cloud. Even more mobile. And even more business processes and actual work done at the intranet. To be able to access your digital workplace anywhere anytime from any device will be even more critical.
Also, we see a tendency towards single sign-on solutions. Users will increasingly demand solutions that makes resources and tools available from one place. Consequently, solutions like extranet will increasingly be integrated to the intranet.
Collecting data from various independent sources and making sense of these data will, too, be a task for future intranets.
Who should Intranetizen readers speak with to find out more about your product?
If you would like to know more about Wizdom intranet you can speak to our Business Development Manager, Dan Thomsen: firstname.lastname@example.org, +45 70 26 57 30.
And please, do speak to our clients too. We are happy to put you in touch with clients of any industry and size.
What question should we have asked? And if we had, what would the answer have been?
How can you promise us a best practice SharePoint intranet that is easy to customize and use? Our more than 180 happy customers, many of which have been running their intranet on Wizdom for years, is, to us, the finest proof that our intranet solution is providing real value to businesses.