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UC Intranet project started this fall

The UC Intranet project is underway to create a single digital workspace. Pilot phase to create a base framework of sites slated to launch in November.

The UC Intranet project, co-sponsored by the Office of the Provost and IT@UC, kicked off its pilot phase in mid-August. This first phase of the project will build the architecture of the Intranet along with a framework of initial sites, scheduled to launch in early November.

An Intranet is like a company’s own private website to share communication, information, and access business tools and resources. The UC Intranet will provide a central repository for critical news, events, onboarding documents, policies, and more, that can be accessed by any UC faculty, staff, affiliate or student worker at any time.

“This centralized digital workspace will enhance engagement among our faculty and staff, increase awareness of university projects and initiatives, and grow our inclusive culture in support of the Next Lives Here strategic direction,” said Kristi Nelson, executive vice president for academic affairs and provost. 

OneDrive vs. Teams vs. the Intranet graphic; links to Teams training in Success Factors (requires UC login)

When thinking of the Office 365 file storage and collaboration tools, use OneDrive to store and edit individual documents, use Teams to collaborate with a group, and use the Intranet to communicate with the university as a whole. The UC Staff Success Center currently offers Office 365 training to UC faculty, staff and student employees through Success Factors for OneDrive and Teams.

Intranets, designed much like websites, streamline business processes, enhance communication and collaboration, which help shape the employee experience.

“The creation of a centralized digital workspace will drive operational efficiencies and build a greater sense of community,” added Bob Ambach, senior vice president for administration and finance.

During the opening visioning session for the Intranet project kickoff, representatives from colleges, business units and faculty and staff organizations converged to discuss the key priorities, needs, and goals of UC’s Intranet as well as view sample layouts and designs. The work sessions that followed offered the project team more input into space definition, desired content and navigational elements.

“These sessions gave the project team a great start on identifying the information and spaces our new Intranet will need to contain to be successful,” explained Brian Verkamp, assistant vice president of enterprise shared services in IT@UC and co-sponsor of the Intranet project.

“Our immediate goal is to get the Intranet built and off the ground – and functioning as a healthy internal communications and productivity portal, which will develop into a university-wide online hub,” added Michele Ralston, director of communications for the Office of the Provost, and co-sponsor of the Intranet project.

During fall semester, work on the project will focus on creating major templates and sites as the basic framework for the Intranet. Since the project team is working with a vendor for support, the first areas created will be limited to Central HR, IT@UC, the Faculty Enrichment Center, and a few other templated areas.

The second phase of the project, starting in spring semester, will include the creation of Intranet sites for colleges and units who were not in the pilot. While assistance and guidance will be provided, it is highly recommended that each college and unit begin reviewing their public-facing websites to evaluate which information is intended for internal-facing audiences and needs to be moved into an Intranet site.

“This is a really exciting start in the creation of a platform that will positively impact internal communications, and assist with innovation, collaboration and streamlined work processes,” highlighted Ralston.

Next steps in the project include designing the look and feel of the templates as well as how they will work together to create a network of sites. Prototypes of the Intranet design will be circulated to key audiences for feedback during the process. Activities are also being planned for the selection of a name for UC’s new Intranet and a launch at the beginning of November. Trainings for Intranet users as well as content creators are in the beginning stages of development.

For a more detailed description of the Intranet project and a timeline, please visit the UC Intranet Project webpage. Please reach out to Michele Ralston or Brian Verkamp with any feedback or concerns.