Categories
Best Practice Branding Content management Intranet SharePoint

Give your intranet some personality

Intranets should be engaging as well as functional; it’s often useful for them to have a personality and a name that resonates. Picking a name needs some thought. This blog should help with that.

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.

Cool names

In no particular order or for any good reason, I like these (though number 7 isn’t what it was):

The Fridge

CentralStation

Skynet

VIOLA

Alexandria

Eve

BORIS

The Well

Minerva*

The Hive

* 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.

NameCompanyYearMy rating
The HiveSynexus Clinical Research2017***
SUSISouth East CSU2015***
BoBNHS England2014***
EveBirmingham Women’s NHS Trust2013***
The IntranetNorfolk & Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust2013*
ConnectSandwell and Birmingham Hospitals2012**
KingsdocsKings College Hospital NHS Trust2012**
ClubhouseAmerican Golf2012**
GrapevineRoyal National Orthopaedic Hospital2011***
TeamNetBerkshire Shared Service2012*
TurazNetTuraz2012*
CompassWaterstone’s2012**
iConnectCoca-Cola2012*
K NetKettering General Hospital2011*
OrchardEastern and Coastal Kent PCT2010***
UKi (UK intranet)HSBC UK2010*
TheBridgeHumber Mental Health Trust2009**
iWebebay2009*
AdiwebAdidas2009*
StaffroomWandsworth PCT2008**
InKA (Intranet des Kantons Aargau)Kanton Aargau2008***
SchwebCharles Schwab Corp.2008***
the tubeIDEO2008**
Staff RoomCity of Plymouth (UK)**
BRAIN (aka Berger Research And Information Network)Roland Berger Strategy Consultants2008***
InsiteBDO Stoy Hayward2008**
ElvisAmcor Flexibles2008**
360°Investors Group2008*
PitstopMercedes Benz2008***
HorizonLondon Borough of Hillingdon2008**
MilkywayFonterra (a milk company)2008***
MaxANZ Bank2008**
CentralStationGovernment of Victoria (AUS)2008**
OneplaceCapitalOne2008**
The HubAMP2008**
BC WorldBritish Council2008**
DimensionMarch of Dimes2008**
SaltireScottish Government2008**
HomeportTravelport2008***
Plaza (old),
Lighthouse (new)
DHV2008***
floWWolf Theiss2008**
GatewayBBC2008**
K.I.S. (aka Keep it Simple)Printing Company2008***
Momentumundisclosed2008**
EnergyEnergy Company2008**
The FridgeVictorian State Library2008**
IMS – Information Management Systemundisclosed2008*
IntrapezeTrapeze Group2008*
Access MCDMcDonalds2007*
BORISCity of Casey (Australia)2007***
COMNETCommerzbank2007*
CrewNetVanguard Group2007*
e-touchCablecom2007*
eXpressNorthland Regional Counicl (Australia)2007**
GreenportGruner + Jahr2007**
justiz onlineJustizministerium NRW2007*
KnowledgeNetPA Consulting2007*
momaGoogle2007***
My IntranetSiemens Medical Solutions (Med AX)2007*
MySocratesGeneral Motors2007**
NG InsiderNational Geographic Society2007**
RedNetSchweizerische Mobiliar Versicherungsgesellschaft2007*
Sparsh (“to touch” in Sanskrit)Infosys Technologies Limited2007**
TrellNetTrelleborg2007*
Violin (aka Volvo Group Information Online)Volvo2007***
w3IBM2007*
WoW (World of WestLB)WestLB2007**
you AND meDeutsche Telekom2007**
Fidelity CentralFidelity2006**
BeNetBertelsmann2006*
iCONCanon Australia2006**
MyALPHAALTANA Pharma AG2006**
EUROnetEURO Kartensysteme GmbH2005*
RAIwebRaiffeisen2005*
7netFederal Reserve Bank of Chicago2003*
Abbott Wide WebAbbott2003*
Cisco Connection OnlineCisco2003*
VentanaVerizon2003**
SPARKLE (aka System Providing Access to Research, Knowledge, Learning & Education)De Beers2003***
AGENTGovernment of Alberta2001**
MyKGNKetchum2001*
VIOLA (Vogel Intranet OnLine Account)Vogel Medien2000***
The WaveWilliams & Wilkins1998***
EUROPAplusEuropean Commission1995*
mswMicrosoft*

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.

  • Ablaze
  • Accord
  • Agora
  • Alliance
  • AMBER
  • AMIGO
  • AVOCADO
  • Axis
  • BABEL
  • BABILON
  • BACCHUS
  • Backstage
  • BeeHive
  • Hivemind
  • BIT (Bringing Info Together)
  • Boabab
  • BOLT
  • Brainy Smurf
  • BrightConnection.net
  • BRITA
  • Buzz
  • CAPTURE
  • Chappening
  • Chatterbox
  • Chitchat
  • Clari
  • Clear
  • Click
  • CLUB
  • CODEX
  • Cogito
  • COLAB
  • com.together
  • Comet
  • commdox
  • Compass
  • CONNECT
  • CONOPERUM
  • Core
  • Cortex
  • Cosupa
  • Crystal
  • CTFace
  • Ctrl24/7
  • CTSpace
  • CTWeb
  • DAMASCUS
  • DAMOCLES
  • Darwin
  • DataBlink
  • Depository
  • Diamond
  • DIANEX
  • Digichat
  • Dior
  • DIP – Document & Information Portal
  • Discover
  • Dixichat
  • doxus
  • Drive
  • EaseNet
  • eBinder
  • e-Diner
  • Einstein
  • Engage
  • ePoint
  • Erasmus
  • eService
  • Esprit
  • EVEREST
  • EVOLVE
  • Express
  • Extranet
  • Fingertips
  • Flash point
  • Focal
  • FOLIO
  • Formulate
  • Forum
  • Fountain
  • Fuse
  • Fusion
  • FUZE
  • Fuzion
  • Galaxy
  • gateway
  • Globe
  • GlobNet
  • glow
  • Green5
  • Greenbox
  • Greenet
  • GreenField
  • greenhood or shorter: g-hood (ghood) or s-hood (shood)
  • GreenPoint
  • Greenrad
  • greenweb
  • Guru
  • Harmonia
  • Harmony
  • Headline
  • Heart
  • Helm
  • Hierarchy
  • Hive
  • i -sky
  • ICEBERG
  • Iconic
  • iDeal
  • iDMS
  • IlluminatedFocus.net
  • Impendo
  • Inclusion
  • INDIANA
  • Infobucket
  • Infonet
  • Informant
  • Infovast
  • InnerCell
  • Inscope
  • Insider
  • Insight
  • INSITE
  • Interdocs
  • Interlink
  • Inzone
  • Iris
  • iSEEK
  • Ithaca
  • Keyfile
  • Konect
  • Legion
  • Lens
  • LIBRUS
  • Lightning
  • LIND
  • Lounge
  • Luminexus
  • LYNX
  • MANDOLIN
  • mars
  • Matched
  • Mate
  • Merlock
  • Message Wall
  • Metropolis
  • Milkyway
  • MONAMI
  • Mosaic
  • Mycom
  • MyCore
  • Mynet
  • NAIAD
  • Nexra
  • Nexus
  • Nice
  • Nostro
  • Nucleus
  • Odyssey
  • OLIMPIAN
  • Oncomm
  • OnGoing
  • Oracle
  • Orange
  • OWLS
  • Partnership
  • Pathfinder
  • PIECE
  • Pinboard
  • Pinpoint
  • PIP / Post It Point
  • PLAnet
  • Platform
  • Powwow
  • prestage
  • Pride
  • Primrose
  • PROGRES
  • PROLOG
  • Protea
  • PuzzleNet
  • QUANTUM or QUANTA
  • QuickShare
  • Ranexa
  • Rapid
  • RAXUS
  • RMP (Records Management Portal)
  • roots / root
  • ROSETTA
  • Savant
  • Scope
  • Sharedat
  • ShareMax
  • ShareNet
  • Expanding Resource
  • Sky
  • sky-eye
  • SkyFile
  • Sky-Zone
  • SLIPSTREAM
  • Solar
  • Sol-Attice
  • Soogle
  • Space
  • Spark
  • Sparrow
  • Speed
  • SPIN
  • spolity
  • Spotlight
  • SPRING
  • SPRINT
  • SR Compass
  • STreet
  • Studify
  • Studium
  • SuppoSitory
  • Symbiant
  • SYMPOSIUM
  • TeamDataNow
  • Tenitarn
  • The Ark
  • The Bridge
  • The Buzz
  • The Causeway
  • The core
  • The Edge
  • The Hill
  • The Hub
  • The Matrix
  • The Wire
  • Treasure Chest
  • TrialPRIDE
  • Trunket
  • twine
  • TWISTER
  • Unite
  • Unity
  • Unum
  • Utopia
  • Vault
  • venus
  • vertnous
  • VINCI
  • Volt
  • Vortex
  • WanData
  • Weave
  • Wizard
  • Worknet
  • Zebra

Final Thoughts

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.

By Simon

Simon Hudson is an entrepreneur, health sector specialist and founder of Cloud2 Ltd. and Kinata Ltd. and, most recently, Novia Works Ltd. He has an abiding, evangelical interest in information, knowledge management and has a lot to say on best practice use of Microsoft Teams, SharePoint and cloud technologies, the health sector, sustainability and more. He has had articles and editorials published in a variety of knowledge management, clinical benchmarking and health journals. He is a co-facilitator of the M365 North User Group Leeds and is Entrepreneur in Residence at the University of Hull.

Simon is passionate about rather too many things, including science, music (he writes and plays guitar & mandola), skiing, classic cars, technology and, by no means least, his family.

//cdn.credly.com/assets/utilities/embed.js

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s