Between the 20th-22nd of May, Intranätverk 2014 will take place in Gothenburg. In this article series we present the speakers who will share their knowledge at the conference and hear their thoughts about intranets today and in the future.
Profile of the day: Cristina Filipe Araujo
Cristina is an experienced digital communication manager who’s been at international companies such as Bayer, Citroën and Volvo in France and Spain. In May of last year, she moved to Gothenburg with her family and is now looking for new challenges in the web field.
Why did you begin working with intranets?
When I studied at the university, my main focus was marketing and communications (press relations, advertising and web). Later I decided to get specialized in web project management after I had my first positive working experience in that area. Then I got a job opportunity in a Volvo organization to migrate all the countries’ intranets into a new CMS platform and structure. That was my very first big international project with both technical and change management aspects as I had to promote the strategy and support all the content masters around the world. Then at Bayer, I mainly worked with launching a new intranet for all the Bayer CropScience entities based in France as well as coordinating web projects for the company.
Which is the prime challenge regarding intranets today?
Setting up an intranet is not only setting up a new technology. One of the big challenges is to get people convinced that a new digital platform will improve their daily work and will help them working together. The focus has to be on serving business purposes. So the main thing to really make sure is that you get everyone on board. This is not only when it comes to an IT or an Internal Communication project. This is a major cultural change for everyone in the company in the way they work together and share information. All have to be convinced that this major change is a chance to improve the way all the members of the company collaborate. Regardless their position in the company, everyone can have the opportunity to create, share and access information.
Have you experienced any mistakes while working with intranets that you have learned from?
Some managers may use a new intranet project as a way to show that there is an organizational change coming. This is a very difficult situation to handle as a web project manager. How to federate content masters around the intranet if it has become a negative symbol? The first step always has to be to inform the employees about organizational changes. Then, people can be involved in building a new intranet together.
In less than a month Intranätverk 2014 will take place – how did you hear about the conference?
When we moved to Sweden, I was worried about falling behind on web and communication topics, so I tried to find some conferences and workshops about the subject. I saw that the Intranätverk-conference was going to take place in Gothenburg and sent an e-mail about it. And then I met with Kristian and he asked me if I wanted to participate. I could not miss this opportunity!
What are your expectations about the conference?
I’m expecting to do some networking – to share experience and knowledge. There aren’t that many conferences focusing on intranets, and those who do are often really expensive. So I think this is a good initiative.
Could you give a brief summary of your presentation?
My main question is: should your company go for a digital workplace? Almost every company want to go in that direction, but it’s important to make sure that your company is ready for it. It is not only a technology change but also a major cultural change. Is everyone in your company ready to review the « top-down » communication model? I will share some experience from my work at Bayer CropScience and how we discussed these matters.
If we have a glance at the future – what do you think will happen?
My dream is a digital workplace where the employees can share information and where all the information is easy to find. Basically one that serves business purposes and helps people to do a better job. It would also be great if it could be opened to external partners, but it’s going to take some time since we deal a lot with confidentiality, system security and so on. A digital workplace as a trust working area would be fantastic.