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What is an intranet
A network based on TCP/IP protocols (an internet) belonging to an organization, usually a corporation, accessible only by the organization's members, employees, or others with authorization. An intranet's web pages look and act just like any other web site's, but the firewall surrounding an intranet fends off unauthorized access. Like the internet itself, intranets are used to share information. Secure intranets are now the fastest-growing segment of the internet because they are much less expensive to build and manage than private networks based on proprietary protocols.
The True Power
Many companies realize that they can post bulletins or announcements on their companies web site. But, did you know you can use your intranet to cut down the time your employees spend on routine communication tasks. If you are using email internally you already know the benefits over trying to get someone over the phone. The one problem with using email is that the entire message is usually not conveyed in the first communication. One email usually starts a string of emails back and forth until the other part completely understands your request or message. Instead consider putting forms on your Intranet. Design forms for frequently requested tasks within your organization. For ex. Request for PC repair, stationary reorder from supply room, telephone messages. Have your users fill out the form and make sure the required information is entered by using data validation. This will provide the recipient with an email that is complete with all the required information and save a lot of time.

How much time do your employees spend answering routinely asked questions? want to cut down the time? put the information on an Intranet. Don't just put it out there, refer all your callers to your Intranet. for ex. before your travel office answers the phone play a short recorded message saying "For routine questions check our pages on the company Intranet at www..... ."

Do your employees spend time chasing paper? trying to hunt down paper forms, reports, documents, microfilm? consider converting these documents to electronic formats using scanners, OCR software or other means. Provide a search interface to these documents using your Intranet. Once users know how easily accessible these documents are over the Intranet, they will prefer the faster solution. Result? you save money.

Many manufacturing comapnies are realizing the benefits of using an intranet to collect and distribute OSHA and safety information.

  • Access to information: web servers are fairly easy to set up, and companies are finding the web is a good tool to integrate disparate information as well as distribute information
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  • Platform independence: because there are browsers on every major platform developers no longer need to worry about cross-platform client development.

  • Multiple data types: developers can easily provide access to multimedia as well as textual information
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  • Easy To Use: web based applications run in a web browser, and everybody knows how to use a web browser.
The Cost
What many companies don't realize is if you are running a server, then you already have everything you need to start using the true power of your intranet...