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LBS powers personalized intranet design

Frustrated by its needle-in-a-haystack approach to locating pertinent corporate info, Citrix geared its intranet to specific employee needs worldwide.

Providing quick and easy access to localized data can prove challenging for enterprises with offices dispersed across the globe. But Michael Berg knows firsthand how important it can be.

"I went to the India office, and I couldn't easily find the holiday schedule beforehand," he said. "I went there and, sure enough, our office was closed two of the ten days I was there -- it was quite disappointing to go halfway around the world and only find that out then."

Berg is director of Web product management for Citrix Systems Inc., a software company based in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., that uses a location-based intranet to locally tailor knowledge management for more than 100 offices worldwide.

With Adobe Experience Manager (AEM), the company revamped its intranet design earlier this year after it became apparent that location was crucial in building a better site experience and helping make employees more efficient, Berg explained. "We really struggled in the past with our intranet, where people would find content related to other offices, material that wasn't relevant to who they are or where they were," he said. "It was the same problem for company news and events."

Michael BergMichael Berg

The intranet redesign started by adding a location setting for each user, with his or her primary office set as the default. Using location and other filters, AEM could then build a targeted site experience that varies according to city, region or position within the company. The intranet search is also integrated with location filters, so employees need only sift through results relevant to their region. Berg said the result was a marked improvement in user experience.

"It was a needle-in-a-haystack approach," he said. "Now it's just giving people the information that's relevant to them."

One example is employee benefits, which vary according to country. Berg said AEM allows Citrix a mix of publishing global company regulations and tailoring sections of regional intranets to local statutes as needed.

Employees can also adjust location settings to help coordinate inter-office activity. "We allow employees to switch their site experience to another location," Berg said. "I may not be in India right now, but I can traverse our intranet for India, and then I can see their holiday schedule, news and other things that are going on in that office."

More recently, Citrix added a companywide notification center, which uses the intranet to send employees reminders about upcoming events or deadlines.

"We see that as a core central part, to make sure we get the right information in the right people's hands, based on location and also their role in the organization," Berg said.

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