Intranet Names – Choosing a name
For many years (since at least 2008) I have banged on about how important it is to create an identity or brand for an intranet (or whatever your communication, collaboration and content workspace platform is, regardless of whether it is built with SharePoint, Microsoft Teams, a CMS or something else, or all the above); something that both reflects its purpose and also lets your staff refer to it in an easy and unambiguous way.
Increasingly intranet are being personified with people names, such as Eve
An intranet’s identity probably should be sexy and evocative. It shouldn’t really talk about anything ‘techie’, such as SharePoint, since a good intranet is not about the technology but about the business, the processes it supports and the sense of community and assurance it engenders.
Some names intranets lack any identity (‘Welcome to the Royston Vasey intranet’ – dull!) or unimaginative (‘TeamNet’).
Some reflect the organisation’s identity; at Cloud2 ours was ‘Cloudbase’ – which both referenced our name and was a fun, geeky reference to a Gerry Anderson series; meanwhile CapitalOne used ‘OnePlace’, which is less fun but presumably works for them.
Others convey a sense of what they try to do – Connect is a common one; others I like are ‘Flow’, ‘MySocrates’ and ‘The Bridge’.
Often (with my blessing, for what that’s worth) intranets are given people names; Birmingham Women’s Hospital call theirs ‘Eve’, while NHS England named their enterprise intranet ‘BoB’ (Business or Banter). NHS South East CSU went with SUSI. I like people names as it provides an identity that is easy to relate to and promotes a personality. It also allows phrases such as “check with Bob” or “ask Eve”, or “I’ll see what Susi knows”; these are very human phrases and brings the tool into the team rather than being just another technology foisted on staff.
Some names are just plain weird (but catchy): ‘Elvis’, ‘moma’, ‘BRAIN’ and ‘The Fridge’!
Whatever you go with, communicate it, engage people in it and make it stick. Names have power. So don’t just call it “The intranet”
Names have power. Don’t just call it “The intranet”
Selecting a name
Even the process of choosing a name is valuable. It helps you think about the purpose of your digital workspace and the culture of your organisation. It also should form an important part of the user engagement activity.
Many organisations run a competition, with a prize for the name which is ultimately selected. Doing so forms part of the communication plan for staff, creates a sense of excitement, engagement and the so-important feeling of ownership. A leading global clinical research company had over 30% of their staff worldwide respond to the naming competition; this level of response in an organisation is a rare and precious thing.
In no particular order or for any good reason, I like these (though number 7 isn’t what it was):
* aka the Goddess of Knowledge
Names used by existing intranets
Here are intranet names that might inspire you, or cause you to wince. I’ve indicated what I think.
|The Hive||Synexus Clinical Research||2017||***|
|SUSI||South East CSU||2015||***|
|Eve||Birmingham Women’s NHS Trust||2013||***|
|The Intranet||Norfolk & Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust||2013||*|
|Connect||Sandwell and Birmingham Hospitals||2012||**|
|Kingsdocs||Kings College Hospital NHS Trust||2012||**|
|Grapevine||Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital||2011||***|
|TeamNet||Berkshire Shared Service||2012||*|
|K Net||Kettering General Hospital||2011||*|
|Orchard||Eastern and Coastal Kent PCT||2010||***|
|UKi (UK intranet)||HSBC UK||2010||*|
|TheBridge||Humber Mental Health Trust||2009||**|
|InKA (Intranet des Kantons Aargau)||Kanton Aargau||2008||***|
|Schweb||Charles Schwab Corp.||2008||***|
|Staff Room||City of Plymouth (UK)||**|
|BRAIN (aka Berger Research And Information Network)||Roland Berger Strategy Consultants||2008||***|
|Insite||BDO Stoy Hayward||2008||**|
|Horizon||London Borough of Hillingdon||2008||**|
|Milkyway||Fonterra (a milk company)||2008||***|
|CentralStation||Government of Victoria (AUS)||2008||**|
|BC World||British Council||2008||**|
|Dimension||March of Dimes||2008||**|
|Plaza (old), |
|K.I.S. (aka Keep it Simple)||Printing Company||2008||***|
|The Fridge||Victorian State Library||2008||**|
|IMS – Information Management System||undisclosed||2008||*|
|BORIS||City of Casey (Australia)||2007||***|
|eXpress||Northland Regional Counicl (Australia)||2007||**|
|Greenport||Gruner + Jahr||2007||**|
|justiz online||Justizministerium NRW||2007||*|
|My Intranet||Siemens Medical Solutions (Med AX)||2007||*|
|NG Insider||National Geographic Society||2007||**|
|RedNet||Schweizerische Mobiliar Versicherungsgesellschaft||2007||*|
|Sparsh (“to touch” in Sanskrit)||Infosys Technologies Limited||2007||**|
|Violin (aka Volvo Group Information Online)||Volvo||2007||***|
|WoW (World of WestLB)||WestLB||2007||**|
|you AND me||Deutsche Telekom||2007||**|
|MyALPHA||ALTANA Pharma AG||2006||**|
|EUROnet||EURO Kartensysteme GmbH||2005||*|
|7net||Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago||2003||*|
|Abbott Wide Web||Abbott||2003||*|
|Cisco Connection Online||Cisco||2003||*|
|SPARKLE (aka System Providing Access to Research, Knowledge, Learning & Education)||De Beers||2003||***|
|AGENT||Government of Alberta||2001||**|
|VIOLA (Vogel Intranet OnLine Account)||Vogel Medien||2000||***|
|The Wave||Williams & Wilkins||1998||***|
List of names
And if you are really stuck, here is a list of a few hundred names that have been suggested for an intranet recently. Make of them what you will.
- BIT (Bringing Info Together)
- Brainy Smurf
- DIP – Document & Information Portal
- Flash point
- greenhood or shorter: g-hood (ghood) or s-hood (shood)
- i -sky
- Message Wall
- PIP / Post It Point
- QUANTUM or QUANTA
- RMP (Records Management Portal)
- roots / root
- Expanding Resource
- SR Compass
- The Ark
- The Bridge
- The Buzz
- The Causeway
- The core
- The Edge
- The Hill
- The Hub
- The Matrix
- The Wire
- Treasure Chest
Names are important. So is the welcome message… try to avoid anything that starts “Welcome to…” it’s unimaginative, hackneyed and conveys nothing. Better to say nothing than say that. Express your intranet’s personality with campaigns, news graphics, photographs and content instead.