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Enterprise hits and misses - the thorny question of the staff intranet, AI for video content raises questions of quality, and three dragons tackle a custom LLM

Alyx MacQueen Profile picture for user alex_lee August 7, 2023
As Jon takes a well-deserved escape, there are some big footprints to fill. This week - can intranets fill the gap in knowledge management? Will AI displace video editors for B2B editors, or should we treat AI like a toddler? Instead of the usual whiffs, there's something a little different.

Footprints in the sand along a beach next to ocean © Alexander Ozerov -
(© Alexander Ozerov -

Lead story - Filling the gap in knowledge management - can the intranet create a unified employee experience?

Phil tackles the thorny question of how employees should access enterprise functions and data in their day-to-day work. There's no magic solution of course - and most employees find out valuable information from collaborative working, sharing tribal and anecdotal knowledge as and when questions arise. But for Chris Ciauri, CEO of Unily, that's not good enough.

In a lot of organizations, that technology is in different silos. That's not a combined, multi-channel experience for employees. It's a proliferation of communication channels that are trying to find knowledge, and a lot of productivity is getting lost, a lot of engagement is decreasing.

In the back of my memory, this quote took me back to a decade old experience of searching fruitlessly through a company's external website and staff intranet pages for information only to be told, "That's on the XYZ SharePoint site". Which ironically had restricted access, and the person who managed the permissions had long-since moved on to another role.

Now, I know times have moved on - but channels have also grown. A proliferation of chat groups, hangouts and various other tools picked up for collaborative working in the last few years means there's a lot of valuable information spread very thinly across many sources. Which could turn onboarding a new colleague into a hell-on-toast experience. Ciauri approached this from a different angle - the push for a unified customer experience: 

What's become really clear is, employee experience is the next wave. If the customer experience got the majority of investment in the last decade, I think this is the decade ahead of us where companies are going to invest in employee experience.

This isn't a theory plucked out of the air. Ciauri is drawing on years of failed attempts by organizations to put enterprise information on an internal version of the Internet to make it easy to find. As Phil notes:

This was a false dawn — it turned out that simply putting enterprise information onto a digital platform still didn't make it any easier to find.

Unily's founders put those lessons to use and now has an impressive base of customers using Unily as the front-end to bring together not just knowledge, but applications and integrations to mainstream vendors: 

We believe that what we're doing is unifying productivity apps ... and the knowledge that [employees] need, and want, and maybe they don't even know they need it, because it's hard to find those things. And ultimately, the company's culture. We're unifying all that in a digital employee experience platform.

Of course, no discussion can escape the topic of AI nowadays. But Ciauri comes at this from the perspective of personalization for individual employees. A single source of truth - tailored to each user to improve their experience. However, Unily is just one of many vendors emerging to offer a solution to this problem. Calling back to my earlier point that there's no silver bullet for the challenge of collaborative knowledge management, Phil's take is a valuable one:

For enterprise IT leaders, it makes for a bewildering landscape where the right choice remains unclear — which is why diginomica talks about the need for the Collaborative Canvas as a conceptual framework to help these decisions... But the knotty question of how to knit all of these components together is one that the market is still not answering in full.

The quest for the holy grail of a single, easy to use resource for internal staff knowledge isn't over. 

Diginomica picks - my top stories on diginomica this week

Vendor analysis, diginomica style. Here are my top three choices from our vendor coverage:

A few more vendor picks, without the quotables:

Grab bag - some highlights from the last week


As Jon is the master at finding out the absolute stinkers whiffs, I'll leave that section behind this week.

Last but not least... 

Instead, I'll leave you with this highly relatable tweet which I spotted in my timeline by Bindu Reddy: 

That's all from me, I've been your Jon Reed stand-in.

If you find an #ensw piece that qualifies for hits and misses - in a good or bad way - let us know in the comments as Clive (almost) always does.

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