Strategically advocating national interests requires constant communication and collaboration between the government’s personnel and departments. Investing in outdated or dilatory systems will leave the internal information flow stagnating. A performant platform however empowers an institution to stay up-to-date and synchronized. Iceland’s Ministry for Foreign Affairs therefore decided to migrate to a Universal Intranet based on IBM Connections and XCC, the Web Content & Custom Apps Extension. This decision set a new course for their Internal Communications.

The Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Iceland coordinates various diplomatic issues on behalf of the state. Similar to gears inside a machine, institutional components need to interlock perfectly. As previous solution for their Internal Communication, the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Iceland used a classic intranet based on IBM WebSphere. While the system did include basic functions to store and display information, it simply encapsulated content into static units. Employees could not productively engage with the content, let alone contribute to important discussions. The lack of sufficient features for collaboration complicated decision making processes and several other cooperative tasks. As a result, the intranet had a low acceptance rate among the ministry’s employees and wasn’t used to its full potential.

Setting the Foundation for a Social Intranet

The Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Iceland had already plans for replacing their former intranet with a more functional alternative based on IBM Connections. At an IBM Conference, the ministry’s IT specialists were introduced to the Web Content Management & Custom Application Extension for IBM Connections, in short XCC. This lightweight Web CMS integrates into IBM Connections and enhances it with classic Web Content Management capabilities and sophisticated functions. XCC and IBM Connections blend communication and collaboration to form a Universal Intranet that significantly reduces complexity and cost. The simple integration in IBM Connections and variety of features convinced Mr. Sigþór Hilmisson, Head of IT, to drive the decision for XCC. “We are very happy with XCC, it has become a total game changer for our use of IBM Connections”, Mr. Hilmisson states.

During the short period needed for XCC’s installation, TIMETOACT provided assistance, when necessary. “We are very content with the support of TIMETOACT. Everyone has been really helpful and cooperative”, Mr. Jón Einar Sverrisson, Comp. specialist, recalls. After setting the technological base, the ministry started migrating and efficiently restructuring pre-existing content. XCC empowers users to create dashboards with only a few mouse clicks. These dashboards serve as fully customizable grid for a wide variety of widgets that can be placed and repositioned on the respective page via simple drag and drop.

Sigthor Hilmisson Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Iceland “We are very happy with XCC, it has become a total game changer for our use of IBM Connections!”

– Mr. Sigþór Hilmisson, Head of IT, MFA Iceland

Simplify Intranet Usage with IBM Connections & XCC

With the new XCC based intranet, employees no longer need to tap into a multitude of platforms to tediously collect and compare fragments of content. A single point of truth offers employees exactly what they need to know at one glance. Institution-wide information is now centralized on one comprehensive landing page. To target their content more efficiently, the ministry integrated a manual on their homepage that allows users to navigate to embassies’, offices’ or employees’ individual landing pages for detailed information.

In combination with XCC, IBM Connections not only offers the possibility to distribute content. XCC incorporates various channels for communication and enhances collaboration between users. The new intranet also supports forms, surveys or discussions, which makes the intranet a lot more interactive. Intuitive handling of functions let’s employees and managers participate in creating the content. Employees benefit from the more accessible and functional intranet, as well as the broad variety of interactive features.

That became evident in the overwhelmingly positive reactions to the new intranet solution. The wealth of possibilities through XCCs adaptable and user-friendly features already inspired promising ideas for additional applications. Integrating quick surveys and an automatically updated out-of-office list, which supports the ministry’s receptionists by quickly letting them check availability of personnel. Since XCC is highly adaptable and can contain various applications, the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Iceland has the best opportunity to further develop and improve their individual IBM Digital Workplace Hub and Universal Intranet.

MFA Island Logo

Customer Profile:

The Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Iceland with its head office in Reykjavik is an Icelandic cabinet-level ministry founded 18 November 1941. They tend to Iceland’s diplomatic matters, maintaining international relations and providing safety and services to Icelandic citizens abroad. International connections include over 20 Icelandic embassies as well as missions in about 200 locations all over the globe.

MFA Iceland Headquarters

Initial situation

Initially, the Ministry for Foreign Affairs used a classic intranet based on IBM WebSphere. The platform was capable of storing and displaying content but offered no sufficient features for collaboration. Employees could not contribute to topics and were limited to inactively view static information reservoirs. In addition, refined targeting and channeling of information was not implemented in the previous solution, what complicated the search for relevant content. Consequently, the platform had a meager acceptance rate.

Our solution

A small team from the ministry and TIMETOACT worked on a centralized intranet platform summarizing features for Web Content Management and channels for communication in a multipurpose Universal Intranet using IBM Connections and XCC. A comprehensive information architecture was introduced to simplify knowledge exchange between employees from around the globe. Surveys and other interactive functions were implemented to transform the employees’ role from mere bystanders to actively involved members.

Value for the customer

XCC enhances IBM Connections with classic Web Content Management capabilities and utilizes it for various tasks such as content storage and approval. As a lightweight, easy-to-use Web CMS, XCC integrates well into IBM Connections, shifting the editor’s attention from the technology to the actual content. Managers and employees alike can now effortlessly create content, contribute to discussions and quickly find the information they’re looking for. Therefore, XCC has paved the ministry’s way towards an individually optimized Universal Intranet with functional and adaptable applications.

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