Vendor profile: Invotra
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 Invotra
In a brief paragraph, who are you?
Invotra | The Digital Workspace – Exceptionally Delivered
One business. One workspace. Invotra is the unified interface that connects your people with your business. We bring business applications, departments, offices, things (IoT) and people together to simplify your communication and enhance productivity.
Built using the best of open source, in particular the Drupal CMS, Invotra bends and shapes to fit your changing culture. A future-proof communication system that evolves as quickly as your organisation whilst giving you freedom and total control over your communication streams
Briefly describe your product’s history? Why did you start it, where does it come from?
In late 2012, Home Office’s intranet was coming to the end of it’s support contract.
To align with emerging Government Digital Service strategies, Home Office considered open source technologies, Cloud services and SME suppliers for the new intranet in order to realise the benefits of modern digital tools, agile delivery and better value for money.
Home Office used the G-Cloud framework to procure an IL3 Drupal SaaS service. Invotra was selected to provide the next generation Home Office intranet service to help enable the Digital Communication Team to create and manage content, and improve engagement with users by publishing and targeting content specific to them.
Describe your typical customer – what kind of company, what size, what are the kinds of problems they need to solve?
Typically our clients are large scale enterprise or government with 3000+ users over multiple sites that work from their mobile devices and /or from an office. Our largest to date is DWP with 86,000 users.
Clients are coming out of expensive long fixed contracts with inflexible providers and legacy systems that are maintained internally. Non-critical software applications are easier to manage from the Cloud, they require less in house technical resource and the SaaS service means the application will support the changing business requirements. SaaS also delivers a consistent application to all users anytime, anywhere from any device, increasing adoption rates throughout the organisation.
What do you see as your product and company’s USP?
Our application is the backbone of your organisation – central to your digital transformation, employee engagement & internal communications strategies: Invotra is a hybrid of an Intranet, Social Intranet and the Internet of Things (IoT). We take employee engagement and collaboration to the next level by introducing technologies that allow you to vote on canteen menu’s (saving on waste), check available rooms for meetings (more efficient) , locate available hot desks before you’ve entered the building (saving time) or simply collaborate on a document.
We believe employee engagement and adoption is increased by giving users multiple reasons to go to the Digital Workspace for information about the organisation. By mixing collaboration, social working and the environment, is a pro-active way to break down silos sometimes formed in large organisations.
Our around the clock service is highly rated because we listen to our customers requirements and provide transparency across the board. We go the extra mile for our clients and they genuinely appreciate it.
Which feature(s) of your product do your customers rave about most?
There are loads of features that are popular with users, the staff directory is the newest. It replaces the need for another application and feeds directly into the people directory and the profile pages, detailing every member in the organisation. The profile pages provide OrgCharts and details of skills that enable knowledge share on a mass scale.
IPE (In Place Editor) is the Invotra version of the CMS. Clients are given Webmaster access which gives them the ability to design the look and feel, as well as configure the content that is displayed. This means changes to corporate branding, communication streams can be done in minutes in-house rather than months by an external company.
Clients love our service too. From consulting, through implementation, migration and on-going product and user support. We listen and we create features for users and then make them available to all – similar to an open source community.
Which feature(s) of your product do you feel are most under-used?
If something is under used then we remove it. We believe in simplicity and only giving users what they need, anything superfluous is taken away. Specific users may have rights (secure access) to particular features. These features would only show on their screen. In other words if you haven’t been granted access then you won’t even know what you’re missing.
How much customisation does your product typically need / how much to you recommend your customers make?
Customisation is done in house by the Intranet Manager using the IPE. We can help with the migration of existing documents and content if required and provide training and support. For HMRC we migrated tens of thousands of documents!
What advice would you give a company planning to invest in a new intranet platform? / what are the most important factors to consider?
Future proof your technology – We’re big believers in future proofing your applications. Can the application cope with the Digital evolution and your organisation’s future needs?
Contract – How long is the contract? Don’t get tied into bad service contracts. It’s not necessary any more. Pay per user per month, then if the service starts to wain you can vote with your purse.
Service – Is your Digital Workspace truly supported? It needs to be working to drive employee engagement – bad systems that are down lead to disengaged employees and therefore the project will fail.
What’s your cost model? Free; one-off; per seat per month charging; something else?
Per user per month. Bringing on new users takes seconds with a SaaS cloud based application.
What are the hosting options?
Private secure cloud
Who are your main competitors?
Sharepoint and Yammer are the obvious choice because of their ability to deliver and support large scale organisations. However, Invotra is an Intranet and Social Intranet (ESN) in one, why take on more business applications than you need? But frequently we’ll replace old legacy document management systems that haven’t been used for years or custom built Intranets that were built in house and now can’t be maintained.
What do you need from *your* customers to deliver intranet success?
Teams that embrace new innovative technologies and an agile way of working.
What does the future have in store for your product?
We are developing our commercial offering for the government sector and introducing new features around the Intranet of Things (ioT). Connecting everyday workspace objects to our digital workspace. This may be fire extinguishers, tables, chairs, printer. For example the Fire Extinguishers need testing…this is logged using RFID labels that when scanned provide details of the next check.
What does intranet 2017 look like?
Invotra is the digital workspace. The next generation, we’ve had the intranet, the social intranet and now we have the digital workspace. It’s lean, driven by users for users and embraces pioneering workspace technology.
Who should Intranetizen readers speak with to find out more about your product?
Go to our website for more details or contact us directly on 0844 567 2371 and ask for a sales representative who’ll be able to organise a product demo.
What question should we have asked? And if we had, what would the answer have been?