What’s new in Interact Intranet version 4.8 – Interview with Simon Dance, Product Manager

We have grilled our Product Manager, Simon Dance about all the new features in Interact Intranet version 4.8, that are guaranteed to help your business work smarter, no matter what size it is.

Simon Dance, Product Manager

What’s new in version 4.8 of Interact Intranet Simon?

“We have three new major features – Interact Answers, a collaboration and crowd-sourcing tool, Interact Rewards – a motivational peer-to-peer recognition feature and Interact Developer Platform, which allows users to deeply integrate into the core of Interact Intranet.”

“We also have a great new widget now available called the hashtag cloud, which offers a visual representation of keywords and #tags used within the intranet. This means at a glance you will able to see where your most popular keywords and #tags are and get a high level understanding of what topics are important within your company.”

Where did the ideas for these new features come from?

“One of the main reasons why we develop new features for Interact Intranet is based on feedback from Interact Intranet customers. We have a dedicated forum on Interact Extra (the Interact Intranet customer extranet) for discussing change suggestions for Interact Intranet software. Collaborating on ideas on our forum is a great way to get other client support for the change you want. The more support a suggestion gets, the greater its chance of being included in a future release of Interact Intranet. We also get feedback from consultancy and training sessions. Generally all training and consultancy sessions generate ideas for our product. Site visits are another great way of getting suggestions from customers. I visit clients a couple of times a month and speak to them about how Interact Intranet is used within their organisation.”

What were the main reasons for developing Interact Answers?

“When a person has a work related question they tend to; visit their intranet to find answers to questions, email a select group of peers or ask someone who they believe would have the solution.”

“When visiting the intranet, traditionally they will use search features, organically navigate to find content or perhaps use a micro blogging or discussion board to ask a specific question. The problems with these actions are, they take significant time – how long would it take a user to do all of these? It can be difficult to know which option is best for your particular question – which forum do I use? The people who have the solution are often unaware the question exists and often there isn’t enough recognition for people who provide the answers.”

With all these issues in mind, we came up with a solution to provide a dedicated feature within your intranet that allows everybody to collaborate to find an answer and targets the people with a solution, which is intuitive enough to use without training.”

What makes Interact Answers unique?

“There are four main reasons that make Interact Answers unique:

  • Its intelligence – Interact Answers tries to find a solution using Interact Intranet’s intelligence store of content, events, discussions and previously answered questions.
  • The ability it has to ‘ask’ people who will have a solution to the question – based on their intranet profile and previous intranet activity.
  • Recognition of users – allowing users to be publicly recognised as experts within their departments, companies and networks becomes a power incentive to get employees collaborating.
  • Analytics – collaboration is so beneficial to organisations, but how do you measure its worth within your company? Interact Answers analytics is such a powerful tool as it shows how many solutions have been found to questions within your organisation.”

What are the key business benefits Interact Answers delivers?

  • “It locks vital knowledge into the company, in Interact Intranets intelligence store
  • It helps eliminate duplication in effort and makes the workforce more productive
  • Speeds up the decision making process as less time spent searching for answers
  • Increases accuracy as answers can be challenged
  • Provides employee recognition as ‘experts’ are created”



What are the main features of Interact Rewards?

“The Interact Rewards Widget is a motivational tool, which allows employees to publically recognise fellow employees’ efforts. Designed to be a peer-to-peer tool it boosts morale and provides a pull mechanism to encourage intranet usage and employee engagement.”


What are the main features of the Interact Developer Platform?

“The Interact Developer Platform lets you deeply integrate into the core product and build on the foundations of Interact Intranet. You can do this in two ways – by using our Remote API (Interact Web Service) and by developing an Interact Intranet plugin. To facilitate the full integration of Interact Intranet with third party applications, we have created a new industry standard web services library called Interact Web Service. Using this, developers can perform tasks, whilst maintaining the product’s user security.”

“The Interact Developer Platform lets you easily build and register custom widgets using a dedicated administration interface, this auto generates the required source files with example source code to give your developers a head start. Developers can build a sample module including the source files, the navigation menus and the dedicated permissions and register the module within the Interact Intranet system. It enables your developers to build highly customised modules, such as an Internal Projects Management System, making your workforce more efficient.”

See what’s new in Interact Intranet version 4.8 in detail – Join the exclusive launch webinar!

We will be hosting two exlusive launch webinars on Wednesday 30th March at 11.00 – 12.00 (GMT) and 17.00 – 18.00 (GMT) to launch the new version of Interact Intranet version 4.8, including Interact Answers.