blog image

The Fully Personalised Intranet Experience: Linchpin

Are you looking for an intranet that can add personalisation, aid collaboration and still provide excellent usability? I interviewed Dan Tombs, Product Specialist at Clearvision, to see if Linchpin could be the solution.

A confluence-based Intranet that connects

Linchpin Logo

 

Dan Tombs

DAn Tombs- Product specialist at clearvisionDan is a product specialist here at Clearvision, and is a wealth of information on Linchpin as well as many of our other partner productsWe managed to steal 5 minutes of his time to conduct this interview, in which he shares some of his knowledge with us and enlightens us to the benefits that Linchpin can bring.

 

Evie J: Can you give us a quick overview of what Linchpin is and how it works?

Dan T: Linchpin is a social intranet platform built on top of Confluence, the wiki based application created by Atlassian. Its features transform Confluence to something that can look and feel like it is part of the company, while increasing functionality that can be used by every part of the business.

It therefore turns an already popular collaboration and communication software into something even more spectacular.

Diagram showing how Linchpin builds on Confluence

 

EJ: So if Linchpin is an add on to Confluence, how do they differ? What does Linchpin bring to Confluence?

DT: Underneath Linchpin is Confluence. So anything you can currently do in Confluence will always be in Linchpin. Where Linchpin adds features is:

  • Theming – Being able to style it to the corporate image can increase user adoption if they feel comfortable and understand how things look. This is common amongst intranet users.
  • Events – Linchpin adds a way of being able to create events within the system. These can then be put into the likes of gmail using the ics file you can download from the event itself. I already know we have many uses for this in Clearvision since you can categorise your events, therefore creating completely separate calendars that display depending on what is chosen.
  • Navigation – We all know confluence can be a bit basic in terms of being able to navigate around the system. This really does not help new joiners trying to learn the ways of the company. Linchpin allows you to build custom navigation based on location, department, job role or any other profile field. Meaning we only need to see the links we need to.
  • Custom Profiles – The fact we can add any profile fields we wish to our intranet profiles is amazing. As it is all searchable no matter whether the field is sensible or more fun, having the field in the system means you can collect data for it. We have had a customer put a field in their intranet that was labelled favourite cake and chocolate. So whenever it was their birthday the company would buy them their favourite cake and chocolate.
  • News – Who else gets frustrated by seeing things that are not relevant to them and that clog up their dashboards? I surely can’t be the only person! Using Linchpin, we can filter the news depending on location, office, department, job role… anything! Giving you only news relevant to what you do. Want to see everything though? Well Linchpin allows you to have both push and pull news. This gives the user full control over how much they see. We can also select certain areas to become mandatory, meaning the user has to acknowledge the news before continuing through the system.
  • App Centre – have a big browser bookmark bar? Or a lot of external applications you use? Using the app centre, and with the possibility of single sign on (SSO), we can give you access to those systems no matter where you are in the system.This solves the inconvenience of having them saved as a bookmark or keeping them on an open tab. Therefore the intranet becomes the first port of call every morning like it should be. Again we can make certain apps mandatory or recommended depending on profile fields.

And the biggest thing…. personalisation. I have mentioned this a few times. But the best thing about Linchpin is the fact we can do complete personalisation on any and all layers the customer needs. It’s amazing the amount we can do. This feature is a massive upsell on Confluence, which has not been designed to do such a thing

 

EJ: So I assume that as an add on to Confluence Linchpin integrates well with all the other tools in the Atlassian Stack. Can you run us through how it does integrate and in what ways this can be useful?

DT: Yes! Like Confluence currently does, we can very quickly and smoothly link the rest of the stack i.e. jira, bitbucket etc. in order to the see jira issues or service desk tickets spring to life within Linchpin. On top of that if single sign on is configured and external sites like salesforce.com are set up within the SSO tool we can link with those.

 

EJ: What makes Linchpin a better alternative to other more widely used options, like Microsoft’s SharePoint for example?

DT: Unlike SharePoint, Linchpin can naturally grow within a corporation. Its communication style allows anybody at any level of the hierarchy to be contacting and communicating with anyone else.

Organisations can completely personalise the look and feel for the employees, whether that be based through department, country, job role, etc. This personalisation then further benefits the organisation through the likes of filtering content and news depending on what is required.

Linchpin will not clutter your dashboard with unnecessary or messy content that serves users no purpose. We can keep the system cleaner and sleeker by giving the employee only what they need to see to become more efficient. However on the off chance they need to find any other content, they still can.

Linchpin has a set mobile app allowing you access to anything no matter where you are, as well as having multiple communication methods that serve any purpose. Proper news, Microblogs allowing for more reddit like threads, commenting, inline commenting etc.

Linchpin app for mobile

EJ: We talk a lot about how teams can be more Agile in their approach. Where does Linchpin fit into this?

DT:  Agile is about being able to adapt to the forever changing situation quickly. Have a system that is too heavy and this becomes incredibly hard.

Confluences design means it is easy to find what you want or work with those around you to solve incoming issues quickly. It’s ability to link with the rest of the stack gives complete clarity of where things are within the pipeline without repeating work.

Confluence itself is a agile collaboration tool. It is designed so organisations have a full knowledge base of information, where users can quickly find a solution to their problems, as well as having a central hub for team collaboration and communication.

Read more: How The New Confluence Beta Makes Teamwork Easier

Linchpin just enhances the features of its base application by giving you more communication methods and better ways of displaying information, making it even quicker and easier to find what you are looking for.

 

EJ: To finish off, can you tell us what advice you would give to anyone considering investing in Linchpin?

DT: The biggest adjustment is the change from Intranet 1.0 to 2.0. Giving all aspects of your company a voice instead of just top down communication gives more reasons for all employees to be using the system.

Linchpin takes on the 2.0 model by giving everyone that equal voice in one collaborative platform and still retaining the ability for the important top down communications when they are necessary.

For all employees to really get behind a new intranet solution it is really important to include them where you can. Branding your intranet and giving the users a voice greatly increases user adoption.


For anymore information about how Linchpin can benefit you, get in touch with Clearvision, or visit the Linchpin website.