Ready to inspire: Perttu Tolvanen
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: Perttu Tolvanen
Perttu started his career as a project manager and has been working with intranets for about 15 years. Nowadays he is an intranet concept design and content management system expert. In his job, Perttu consults with clients on project planning and defining requirements, as well as supports customers in selecting content management systems and implementation partners.
Why did you begin working with intranets?
I’ve always been interested in how large organizations work with their internal systems. When I studied at the university I experienced a lot of chaos at many companies and thought that this was something that really needed improvement.
What would you say is the most interesting with intranets?
I’d say the social aspects of intranets. But also how intranets can be used as a leadership tool – as a tool for top leaders to communicate with the employees.
Which is the prime challenge regarding intranets today?
I’d say adoption because there are so many competing channels at the moment and each individual is attacked by messages coming from all these different channels. So trying to get the intranet into the place where it belongs – to be the central hub for communication – is a big challenge. An intranet has to have a clear role in every specific organization.
How do you make that happen?
It’s about starting from the bottom. You have to understand the employees and especially the needs of the biggest groups within a company. Then you can build a system that supports their daily work and the rest of the employees will automatically follow.
A very important thing would also be to interview the management and understand which problems they are facing. Then it’s about trying to make them realize that an intranet can help them solve these issues.
Could you share any factors for success when working with intranets?
If I look back at my latest projects I would say that finding a clear role for the intranet is vital. And as I mentioned before, you have to make sure that the management sees the intranet as a valuable tool.
In just a few weeks, Intranätverk 2014 will take place – why have you chosen to participate?
I want to understand more about the intranet market in Sweden and how the organizations in Sweden are using intranets. Basically to see if there are any differences between Finland and Sweden.
What are your expectations?
I’m just hoping to hear interesting stories about organizations in Sweden. I would be sad if all the problems and solutions are the same as in Finland.
Could you give a short summary of your presentation?
I’m going to talk about the alternatives for SharePoint. The fact is that SharePoint has become the default intranet platform in many countries, but that doesn’t mean that it’s the only one out there. Sometimes there are other concepts that are more appropriate. I want to educate my audience about those alternatives and in which situations they can be useful.
If we look into the future a little bit – what do you think will happen regarding intranets?
I think that they will become more social and more useful as a tool for the top management. To be honest, I actually don’t think that it will be any major revolution regarding intranets. It hasn’t been and it probably won’t be. But one thing that I’m pretty sure about is that intranets will continue to be important communications hubs within organizations.
At last – is it anything that you would like to add?
I have to say that I’m really pleased that Sweden offers an intranet conference with an international track. I’m really excited about being a part of this.